Afghan Noha: A Form of Mourning and Resistance
Noha, also known as marsiya, is a genre of poetry that expresses grief and sorrow for the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and his companions in the battle of Karbala in 680 CE. Noha is recited by Shia Muslims during the month of Muharram, especially on the day of Ashura, the tenth day of the month, when Imam Hussain was killed. Noha is a form of lamentation that conveys the emotions and sentiments of the mourners, as well as the historical and religious aspects of the tragedy.
Afghan Noha is a distinctive style of noha that has emerged in Afghanistan, a country that has a significant Shia minority, mostly belonging to the Hazara ethnic group. Afghan Noha is influenced by the Persian and Urdu traditions of noha, but also has its own characteristics and features. Afghan Noha is usually recited in Dari, one of the official languages of Afghanistan, but sometimes also in Hazaragi, a dialect of Dari spoken by the Hazaras. Afghan Noha is often accompanied by music, such as drums, flutes, and harmoniums, and sometimes by chest-beating (sina zani) or self-flagellation (zanjeer zani) as a way of expressing grief and solidarity with Imam Hussain.
Afghan Noha is not only a form of mourning, but also a form of resistance and identity. For many Afghan Shias, especially the Hazaras, noha is a way of expressing their faith and culture in a country that has been torn by war, violence, and discrimination. Noha is a way of remembering the past, honoring the martyrs, and seeking inspiration for the present and future. Noha is a way of challenging oppression, injustice, and tyranny, and affirming dignity, justice, and freedom. Noha is a way of connecting with other Shia communities around the world, and celebrating their shared heritage and values.
Afghan Noha has also become a form of art and creativity. Many Afghan poets and singers have composed and performed nohas that reflect their talent and passion. Some examples of Afghan noha reciters are Abulfazl Faizi , Abdullah Ansari, Mahdi Rasouli, Ali Murtaza Masoomi, and many others. Their nohas are available on YouTube and other platforms, where they have gained popularity and appreciation from audiences across the world.
Afghan Noha is a rich and diverse tradition that showcases the culture and history of Afghanistan's Shia community. It is a tradition that deserves recognition and respect from all people who value human rights and dignity. It is a tradition that can inspire hope and courage in times of hardship and despair. It is a tradition that can foster peace and harmony among different faiths and ethnicities.