Ashara Mubaraka 1446H Karachi:
A Mosaic of Faith and Culture

As Dawoodi Bohras from around the world gather in Karachi to observe Ashara Mubaraka, the annual Muharram congregation commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed SAW, they bring with them traditions and values that complement Pakistan’s rich cultural mosaic. This convergence is a testament to the dynamism that defines both the Dawoodi Bohras and the country of Pakistan.

Contributing to the Cultural Mosaic of Pakistan

Pakistan, with its rich history and diverse ethnicities, is a tapestry of cultures, each thread woven together with shared values and principles. Despite this cultural mix, a sense of honour, patriotism, and strong social relationships bind Pakistanis together, forging connections and fostering mutual respect. 

The Dawoodi Bohras have called Pakistan home for generations, and they are proud and honoured to be part of this rich tapestry. Their spirit of entrepreneurship and versatility enables them to thrive in different cultures and environments while preserving their unique identity. The Dawoodi Bohras have made substantial contributions in various fields; from industry and trading to medical and legal, and are widely respected for their positive impact.

His Holiness will deliver sermons in the Taheri masjid located in the Saddar area

A Reflection of Unity

This year’s Ashara Mubaraka event in Karachi is an example of the vibrancy of this cultural mosaic, as the local Dawoodi Bohra community hosts thousands of members from diverse geographies, professions, and walks of life, all converging for a common cause: the remembrance of Imam Husain. 

In Karbala, Imam Husain’s family and companions came from different backgrounds—young and old, of diverse ethnicities and social statuses—but they were all united and single-minded in serving one noble cause. This spirit of unity and selflessness is mirrored in the Ashara Mubaraka observance in Pakistan.

Mehmaan-nawazi—The Spirit of Pakistani Hospitality

Hospitality is a prominent cultural trait in Pakistan–often referred to as “mehman-nawazi” in Urdu–and guests are treated with great respect and generosity. Reflecting these values, over 30,000 Dawoodi Bohras of Karachi have opened their homes and hearts to guests coming for Ashara Mubaraka from all across the world. 

A team of volunteers dedicate countless hours to manage the event

His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin delivers a sermon during the Ashara Mubaraka observed in Karachi 7 years ago

About Ashara Mubaraka

Ashara Mubaraka is a ten-day period at the beginning of the Islamic month of Muharram dedicated to remembering Prophet Mohammed SAW, his grandson Imam Husain, and his family and companions. This event honours their valiant stand and sacrifice for the universal values of justice, truth, and humanity. For the Dawoodi Bohra community, these congregations are a journey of spiritual, educational, and social growth and development, guided by His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. The daily sermons touch upon various themes and disciplines and encourage community members to seek knowledge from the Holy Quran and emulate the noble qualities of the Prophet SAW and the Ahl al-Bayt to reinvigorate their faith and navigate the complexities of modern life. 

Every Dawoodi Bohra community centre across the world hosts a series of congregations over these ten days. Bohras close shops and businesses and take leave from school and work to participate in Ashara Mubaraka, underscoring its integral role in their faith. The largest gathering takes place at the venue where Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin leads the congregations. Continuing the tradition of his forefathers, he selects a different city each year as the venue for Ashara Mubaraka congregations that offer such a unique learning experience for attendees.

Ashara Mubaraka in Karachi

Following an invitation extended by the Government of Pakistan and the local Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness has chosen Karachi to host the Ashara Mubaraka congregations this year. Over 80,000 Dawoodi Bohras from Pakistan and around the world are expected to attend the event and benefit from the sermons and discourses.

His Holiness will deliver sermons at Taheri Masjid in Saddar, Karachi, and there will be a live telecast to over 18 centres in other parts of Karachi, as well as the neighbouring city of Hyderabad.

The Adam masjid in Karachi is one of the oldest and important landmarks of the Dawoodi Bohras in the city

Together in Service

One of the most notable features of Ashara Mubaraka is that it is almost completely organised and executed by a team of Dawoodi Bohra volunteers. From technical tasks and artistic work to logistics and serving meals, Dawoodi Bohras from across the world converge at the host city in a unique display of teamwork, joining forces with their hosts in their preparations.

Some of the key highlights of this year’s Ashara Mubaraka in Karachi

  • Dedicated seating and facilities are planned for senior citizens and people with special abilities at all venues.
  • The Mawaid (community dining centres) will serve over 150,000 daily, with lunch and dinner provided to all attendees. 
  • Medical and well-being tents are being set up for local doctors and medical professionals to provide free medical and heat management assistance to attendees along with conducting workshops on improving mental and physical well-being.
  • Drawing inspiration from the Islamic philosophy of preserving and enhancing the environment, the Dawoodi Bohras prioritise environmental responsibility and action. Like in previous years, policies have been implemented across all centres to ensure a zero-waste sustainable event.

The Unifying Force of Ashara Mubaraka

As the city of Karachi gears up to welcome the Dawoodi Bohras, it is clear that Ashara Mubaraka is much more than simply a religious observance involving thousands of people from various walks of life; it is a manifestation of the unity in diversity that defines both the Dawoodi Bohras and Pakistan. It is a reminder that despite our differences–shared values, mutual respect and the binding force of faith can bring us together to create a harmonious and prosperous society; that is the essence of Ashara Mubaraka.