Shia Muslims around the world consider Ashura as a sad Holy day as back in 680 Imam Hussein – the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad – was killed in the battle of Karbala. Apart from memorial services and mourning processions, many worshipers participate in flagellation when they use special swords or chains with blades called ‘zanjeer.’ Some of them believe that taking part in Ashura washes away their sins.
Not all Shia clerics support such rituals as this may bring a negative image of their communities. Instead, they encourage the worshipers to donate blood to those in need.
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