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For the faint-hearted, young men hitting their backs with a bunch of knives, tied together with a rope, has always been a visual torture if they ever witnessed one. But that has been always a practice for Muslims during Muharram. However, natives of a village on the outskirts in Uttar Pradesh have turned the whole concept of sacrifice associated with the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, into a sacrifice for the welfare of humanity. Elders of the village Amrai decided that shedding blood own in the memory of Imam Hussain served only symbolic purpose and in no way it helped humanity. So they, instead of hitting their backs with knives, decided to organise a day-long camp to donate blood under strict supervision of district health officials on Monday, the 10th day of Muharram which is the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Dr Yonous Rizvi, one of the brains behind the move, told Express: “It is just a well-considered initiative to donate blood on Muharram in remembrance of Imam Hussain who devoted his life to humanity, otherwise the whole process has been merely symbolic even though that has been the practice ever since we can remember. Trained as a doctor, and practising the same for my bread and butter, I thought there has to be some initiative in this regard. And thankfully, my villagers and some from the neighbouring villages also supported the move.”

For the full text in the New Indian Express, click here.

Education, which is more than literacy, is ultimately what can put an end to obscurantism, not just in Islam, but in all religions. 

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