Thousands of Egyptians gathered on Tuesday from Egypt’s different governorates at Al-Hussein square in Al-Azhar area to celebrate Mouled (the birth of) Al-Hussein ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.
Al-Hussein has a significant role for Shiite and Sufi Muslims. His birth is an annual Islamic celebration with its own rituals which last for several days and end with the highlight of the Mouled, which is “El-Leila El-Kebera” (the big night) when Al-Hussein was actually born.
For a week, just like any form of Mouled celebrations, Egyptians have been gathering in Al Hussien square where food is distributed, games are performed, Islamic enchantments are sang, and traditional “Tanoura” dancers roam the place to revive his memory. With these enchantments, attendees perform famous the “Zikr” dance where they move back and forth.
This year, prominent Egyptian reciter, Yassin El-Tohamy, was the main performer of the night, singing about the beauty of the prophet and his family members.
While music resounds in the area from the outside, inside Al-Hussein Mosque, thousands of worshippers stand by his shrine, praying to be absolved of their sins and asking for what they seek in life, believing that the holiness of the shrine would bring their prayers closer to being answered.
Photos by Mahmoud Fekry