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Gender, Sainthood, & Everyday Practice in South Asian Shiʿism$
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Karen G. Ruffle

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834756

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877975_ruffle

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A Bride of One Night, a Widow Forever

A Bride of One Night, a Widow Forever

Text & Ritual Performance in the Constitution of an Idealized South Asian ShiʿI Selfhood

(p.121) Chapter Four A Bride of One Night, a Widow Forever
Gender, Sainthood, & Everyday Practice in South Asian Shiʿism

Karen G. Ruffle

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Dr. M. M. Taqui Khan's family, who has been hosting the mehndi mourning assembly for nearly sixty years. The members of the Khan family had relocated from their residence on the banks of the Musi River to their current location near Nawab Shawkat Jang's palace. One year, Khan's grandmother remarked, “We have such a big house and this open space. Why don't we host the seventh of Muharram majlis here?” Around 1955, the Khan family began sponsoring an annual mehndi mourning assembly. Their first 'ashurkhana was a simple structure built of canvas tents and bamboo screens; the members of the Khan family subsequently replaced this modest structure with a permanent 'ashurkhana located in the spacious courtyard behind their large house, which sits on Yaqutpura's main road. Every 7 Muharram around one o'clock in the afternoon, more than one thousand men and boys flock to the Khan family 'ashurkhana for the men's mehndi mourning assembly.

Keywords:   mehndi mourning assembly, Nawab Shawkat Jang, seventh of Muharram, majlis, 'ashurkhana

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