“Muslim Rave Video” – an overcome Shiite cleric

February 25, 2006 at 9:10 pm (Amusement, From old blog, Islam, Religion, The Internet, Theology)

In this post by Ace of the Ace of Spades Headqarters, he says

More… Muslim clerics’ hysterics, set to rave music.

Personally, I don’t get this one, but so many people have sent to me that hey, it must be funny.

Thanks, this time around, to Brett.

He links to a certain video (preserved in the above quote) the purportedly represents a Muslim rave party. It is quite amusing.

The original video, with the original audio, can be found here on YouTube.

So, one may be asking oneself, what is this over-emotional display of sentiment?

From the setting – sombre colors, black cloth, Arabic writing thereupon, green cloth, pictures – and from the distinctive shape of the cleric’s turban, one may be able to tell that this is a Shiite event. From the very emotional participation of its people, this event evidently laments an atrocity perpetuated against Hussein or his party. We, however, cannot make out anything about who is being lamented, what event is being lamented, etc.

The obvious sign that this is a Shiite event is the chanting of “yaa Husseyn!” as men remove the distraught cleric. (“yaa” is the Arabic vocative, much like the English “O!”)

Shiites attend such events with great devotion, emotion, and fervency. The most popular speakers or presenters are those who are able to move the crowd to tears or even hysterics by their mastery of the word, moving the people to lament the atrocities against God’s pure ones. (Although it should be said that those who can remain emotional yet composed, unlike the cleric in the video, would be preferred.) There are many songs sung about this, and large lectures also, especially around the time of Ashoora.

Ashoora is often noticed because of the very emotional processions Shiites make on this day, carrying a mock coffin of Hussein. It is accompanied by wailing, chest-beating, and, in some areas, blood-letting (slashing oneself with knives, razors, whips with knives or razors, etc.). The blood-letting is less prevalent where Shiites are a very small minority (where it may be done in private, if at all).

Just as there are many Christians who go to church only on Christmas and Easter, and Jews who observe only the major holy-days, and Muslims who observe only fasting of ramaDaan and ‘eed al-fiTr and ‘eed al-aDHa, most Shiites will observe, at the very least, Ashoora by going to the mosque/imambargah/Husseyniyah to lament the martyrdom of Hussein and his party. In some ways, this is what makes Shiism what it is, what sets it apart. Sunnis don’t go to such great lengths, even if some acknowledge that Hussein’s martyrdom was tragic.

In other words, Shiites are distinctively emotional in some of their gatherings. To the point of hysterics even, as one can see in this video. It is a sign of piety amongst them.

inna naHnu-l-a’lamoon.

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