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Hosayniyya in yazd.jpg
Hussainia in yazd, iran
Arabic (العربیة) حسینیة (ḥussainiā)
مأتم (ma'tam)
Hindi (हिंदी) इमामबाड़ा (imāmbāṛā)

आशुरख़ाना (āshurkhānā)

Bengali (বাংলা) ইমামবাড়া (imambaṛa)
Persian (فارسى) حسینیه (ḥoseyniye)
Urdu (اُردوُ) امامباڑا (imāmbāṛā)
امامبارگاہ (imāmbārgāh)
عاشور خانہ (āshurxānā)
حسینیہ (huseyniya)

Hussainiya is a rather recent name for public buildings in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon that are used by the Shi'a for mourning ceremonies, especially during the months of Muharram and Safar (the first two months in the Muslim calender) wherein the martyrdom of Hussain b. Ali, grandson of the Prophet, is mourned. Hussainiyas are mainly of austere architecture and generally built according to a similar design as that of a karvansara. Their basic requirement is a large space, open or covered, in which Shias perform the Muharram ceremonies, and lodgings for visiting participants are provided. Thus, the lodgings are built around a courtyard (maydan), which contains the stage, in the form of a square or circular platform (saku)”. [1]

Historical Development[edit | edit source]

Although mourning ceremonies have been common since the Buyids era, no definite date can be set for the emergence of the name hussainiya before the last part of eighteenth century. Until that time these ceremonies were held in royal palatial halls, spacious houses, in streets, and open spaces. Apparently, from the second half of the Safavid era the tekkeyyeh and khaneqa (also khanakha), buildings that originally served as establishments of the dervishes, were gradually transformed into Hussainiyas, often assuming this name from the latter part of the Zand and early Qajar periods onward. Starting in the mid-1950s, buildings serving similar religious purposes have been named after other imams and Shi'ite saints. For instance, in 1996 there were 1358 hussainiya, 148 tekkiyeh, 34 fatimiyya, 32 mahdiyya, and 57 zainabiyya in the Khorasan province. Scores of such buildings built during the last few decades of the twentieth century in the city of Mashhad bear such names as sajjadiyya, baqiriyya, sadiqiyya, kazimiyya, radawiyya, jawwadiyya, naqawiyya, faskariyya, mahdiyya, fatimiyya, nargisiyya, and zaynabiyya.

Apparently, the religious influence of the Safavid era (1501-1736) led to the building of the ashurkhanas of the Deccan during the reign of the Shi'ite [1] dynasty. Mir Muhammad Mu'min Astarabadi (d. 1625), an eminent religious and political figure, is known to have built several of them in and around the city of Hyderabad, establishing a tradition that later spread to the north and other parts of India. The magnificent imambargah of Asaf ad-Dawlah at Lucknow is perhaps the most impressive of this kind of structures ever built. [2]

Different Variation[edit | edit source]

The idea of building a special permanent place for Ashura rituals gradually spread far beyond Iran and Iraq to other Shi’i communities. As a result of its growing popularity and also adaptation to different Shi’i localities and cultures, it turn out to be known under various names, such as Takiya (place of piety), and Zaynabiyya (in honor of Hussayn’s sister, Zaynab) in Iran; Matam (funeral house) in Bahrain and Oman; and Imambara (enclosure of the Imam), Imambara (Imam building), Azakhana (mourning house), Ashurkhana (Ashura house), and Taaziyakhana (condolence house) in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. [3]

Functions[edit | edit source]

The ritual practices conducted at the hussainiya have changed, often depending on local community customs and needs. However, generally these practices involve the commemoration of events surrounding the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his loyal followers. However, its practices have extended Muharram and Safar to include other activities such as Quran recitation, special ceremonies for Ramadan, charity activities and other religious programs. [4] Since hussainiya serves as a focal point for Shi’i gathering, it also plays a really significant role in consolidation of religious identity specially for Shi’i population in diaspora. [5] The recent transformation of hussainiya into political focal points occurred in Iran during the constitutional revolution of 1905-11, a tendency which was later revived by opponents to the rule of Pahlavi. The most significant one is the hussainiya-e Irshad, founded in 1965 in Tehran. It engaged both Ulama and Laity alike and featured the lectures of Ali Shari'ati. [6]

List of Famous hussainiya[edit | edit source]

1- hussainiya-e Mushir

2- hussainiya-e Irshad

Reference[edit | edit source]