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      Mourning Imam Husayn in Karbala and Kabul: The political meanings of ʿAshura in Afghanistan

      research-article
      Afghanistan
      Edinburgh University Press
      Shiʿi Islam, ʿAshura, Karbala, Hazaras, Qizilbash, Sunnism, devotional life

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          Abstract

          This article explores Afghan Twelver Shiʿi commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at the Battle of Karbala. It shows how the rites of remembrance and mourning celebrated on ʿAshura in Afghanistan has evolved in important ways from the late nineteenth century to the recent past. More than a pivotal event in the ritual calendar of Shiʿism, ʿAshura has served as an index of Afghan politics—and a field of contestation among state officials, clerical authorities, and the Shiʿi faithful. It has thus been at the center of struggles over the identity of the Afghan nation, the status of the Shia, and ritual practices in public life. Drawing on representations of ʿAshura produced by government authorities, state media, clerics, and lay people, this article examines how different actors have competed to give ʿAshura meaning and to develop distinctively Afghan forms of commemoration.

          Most cited references126

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          An Enchanted Modern

          Lara Deeb (2006)
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            Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy

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              An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi‘i Lebanon

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                AFG
                Afghanistan
                Edinburgh University Press ( The Tun - Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson's Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ UK )
                2399-357X
                2399-3588
                October 2020
                : 3
                : 2
                : 202-236
                Article
                10.3366/afg.2020.0056
                c7f9fd7e-c500-43d4-867e-ac58143757cf
                © Edinburgh University Press
                History
                Page count
                Figures: 4, References: 104, Pages: 35
                Categories
                Articles
                Historical Studies

                Political science,Literature of other nations & languages,Art history & Criticism,Religious studies & Theology,Arab world & Islam,History
                Karbala,Shiʿi Islam,Qizilbash,devotional life,Sunnism,Hazaras,ʿAshura

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