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shi'a, sunni, ashura, karbala, mutilation

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11/13/2013 6:41:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
the tenth day of the islamic month of ashura is an important day in sunni islam, but even more important in shi'a islam. I think it is quite evident that the killing of hussein in karbala is one of the main reasons for the rift between shi'a and sunni islam.
I have seen many shi'a muslims participate in customs whereby they hit (and even mutilate) themselves in order to feel the pain of hussein on karbala.
I was wondering if any shi'a muslims can explain in depth why people participate in such rituals.
It seems like a very horrific tradition to me, and I want to get a better appreciation of why this is done from a shi'a perspective.