By: Brian Evans

Each year, thousands of Shia Muslim worshippers partake in ceremonies that they are told, mourns the death of Husayn ibn Ali, who is the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Their festivities take place on the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic calendar, called Ashura! Shia Muslims memorialize Husayn’s death, which occurred at the Battle of Karbala, which was fought between Husayn and Yazid I o in 680AD. It was used to determine who should succeed the prophet as the leader of Islam.

The Sun reported that…

Yazid is considered a tyrant by some Muslims, and Husayn’s death is considered by the Shia community to be a symbol of humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression.

The anniversary is a national holiday in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Pakistan, and typically involves public expressions of mourning.

The Ashura festivities were marked by tragedy in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala after more than 30 pilgrims died and another 100 were wounded in a stampede when a walkway collapsed.

Some Muslims mark the day with the practice of Tatbir, in which a sword or scourge is used to draw blood in remembrance of the innocent blood of Husayn.

The Sun reported pictures of the ceremony, where Shia Muslims cut themselves, and their children, in a ritual to memorialize the death of their Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn ibn Ali!

Pictures via: The Sun…

 Worshippers in Afghanistan mark the day of Ashura, the tenth day of the first month in the Islamic calendar, by drawing blood with scourges

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Worshippers in Afghanistan mark the day of Ashura, the tenth day of the first month in the Islamic calendar, by drawing blood with scourgesCredit: AP:Associated Press

 The day commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad

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The day commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the prophet MuhammadCredit: AFP or licensors

 The annual event is controversial for involving self harm, forbidden in Islam, and sometimes involving children

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The annual event is controversial for involving self harm, forbidden in Islam, and sometimes involving childrenCredit: Reuters

 A Shia Muslim in Lebanon cuts his head with a sword as part of the Ashura commemorations

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A Shia Muslim in Lebanon cuts his head with a sword as part of the Ashura commemorationsCredit: AFP or licensors

 A man in Bahrain in the process of bloodletting

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A man in Bahrain in the process of bloodlettingCredit: AFP or licensors

Many who take part in the practice believe it cleanses them of their sins.

 Volunteers in Pakistan take a mourner for treatment after he has self-flagellated

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Volunteers in Pakistan take a mourner for treatment after he has self-flagellatedCredit: AFP or licensors

 A man cuts his head in the city of Basra in southern Iraq

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A man cuts his head in the city of Basra in southern IraqCredit: AFP or licensors

 A man in Lebanon bleeds after cutting his forehead with a razor

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A man in Lebanon bleeds after cutting his forehead with a razorCredit: Reuters

 A man cuts the head of a woman with a razor in Lebanon

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A man cuts the head of a woman with a razor in LebanonCredit: AFP or licensors

 A group of man in Lebanon chant during a religious procession

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A group of man in Lebanon chant during a religious processionCredit: Reuters

 A man in New Delhi begins to beat himself

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A man in New Delhi begins to beat himselfCredit: AFP or licensors

Muslims in the United States are encouraged to donate blood through the use of the American Red Cross, and other organizations, and then use that blood in their blood rituals! The reason being, Muslim leaders believe that the ritual will give a bad image against their faith!

In all, experts warn that these rituals can have significant psychological damages to the victims, especially the children!