Across the Muslim world, Shi'ites mark Ashura to mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, the event that would come to define Shi'ism. Gavino Garay reports.
Across the Muslim world, Shi'ite Muslims are marking Ashura - the commemoration to mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson, Imam Hussein. Millions of Shii'te Muslims packed Iraq's holy city of Kerbala, where Hussein died in battle in 680 AD. The event defined Shi'ism and marked its rift with Sunni Islam. The rituals, which include self-flagellation, are meant to help believers share in the suffering of Imam Hussein. But in Lebanon, many more youth now participate in Ashura rallies than in previous years, as Lebanon's Hezbollah fights Islamists in neighboring Syria. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE SHI'ITE, MOHAMAD HASSAN, SAYING: "I never used to attend in the past years, but now because of what is happening and the situation we are going through, I started to attend and I think that we all should attend. Everyone should." Iran, too, is marking Ashura, with similar scenes of self-flagellation to remember Hussein's death… as the mostly Shi'ite nation marks the defining moment in the faith.