What’s in a pot of water? Muharram

There are pots of water around, lots of them – outside houses and stores, in hallways and more. I’m perfectly happy to go with the flow of course, but I got curious about all the water pots.

Turns out it’s Ashura, a mournful Islamic holy day that marks the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. On this day, according to the historical accounts, Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of the prophet Muhammad, was martyred. The historical accounts I’ve heard involve the Battle of Karbala, where Hussein and his followers were killed or captured after Yazid cut off their water supplies. Hence the pots of water.

There’s a mosque across the train tracks next to our office and yesterday evening, there were particularly mournful sounding prayers. It’s not a holiday as in celebration, but rather a holy day. To all my Muslim friends out there – may you have a peaceful and contemplative Ashura and if you’re fasting, an easy fast.

And I learned a new lesson: let no pot of water go un-investigated. You just might learn something.


About Rob

Twitter @robertkatz
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One Response to What’s in a pot of water? Muharram

  1. Mom says:

    Thanks for this observation and investigation, Rob! Kinda reminds me of how it all comes down to the basic elements of life identified by the pre-Socratics: air, fire, water… There is a somewhat parallel struggle (maybe it can be likened to the Battle of Karbala?) boiling-up in Pennsylvania these days re: shale extraction and the effect it is having on the water supply vs the need to keep the economic engine primed with energy (a.k.a., fire…)… Maybe I just need to get some coffee and get out of my still sleepy philosophical mode…:-) xxxooomom

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