Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Religious Practices: Religious Commemorations: Iran
(937 words)

The Twelver Shīʿī ritual cycle is rich in celebrations. Throughout the year women gather for rawẓas, commemorating the martyrdom of the Imāms and their relatives. These are female-only gatherings led by a male or female preacher or cantor or mixed gatherings led by a man, where women sit in a separate room. The rituals include sermons, Qurʾān reading, invocations (duʿāʾ), dirges (nawḥa), and elegies (marthiyya) accompanied by ritual crying and breast-beating. The climax for mourning rituals is the month of Muḥarram, commemorating the martyrdom of Imām Ḥusayn…

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Kalinock, Sabine, “Religious Practices: Religious Commemorations: Iran”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 06 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0617d>
First published online: 2009

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