Replacing the ages-old tradition of injuring themselves by blades while mourning the supreme sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain on Moharram, members of the Shia sect of Islam in village Khirwa Jalalpur donated blood on Sunday.

In view of the ban on the procession of Moharram due to the COVID 19 pandemic this year, those who used to mourn the sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain in Karbala by shedding their blood with blades came up with a unique idea of donating blood that could save human lives.

This, however, was made possible by the suggestion of Indian Medical Association (IMA) secretary Dr Anil Nausaran to one of the villagers of Khirwa Jalalpur, Saiful Hassnain Zaidi, who was known to the doctor. The idea clicked him and he shared it with other villagers.

Initially, hardly five people in the village were ready for blood donation but gradually the idea became a hit and the Shia Muslims of the village came out for this cause to mark Moharram, informed Zaidi.

A team of Indian Medical Association`s blood bank reached the village on Sunday morning for conducting blood donation. Forty Shia Muslims, all clad in black outfits which they wear as a mark of mourning during Muharram, came out for blood donation.

IMA secretary, who is also the in-charge of its blood bank in Meerut, Dr Anil Nausaran said that 40 men in the age group of 18 to 59 years donated blood on Sunday to mark Moharram and pledged that they would continue doing so in the years to come.

Dr Nausaran appreciated this exemplary move of the Shia Muslims of Village Khirwa Jalapur and said that this could be an inspiration to others as well.

Zaidi, who was one of the donors himself, said, “By donating blood we wanted to contribute in saving mankind as directed by Imam Hussain and it reminds us of his teaching of ‘Jio aur Jeene do’. ”

Zaffrul Hassnain Zaidi, another donor said that it was altogether a different feeling to have donated blood that could be life-saving to someone. Initially, people in the village were unhappy over the ban on Moharram procession but later after the decision of blood donation, they seemed happy.

According to the ages-old tradition, Shia Muslims while mourning the sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his family about 1400 years ago feel the pain by shedding their blood with sharp blades on Moharram.

This had been our tradition but this time instead we decided to donate the same blood to save human lives, said Sayyed Ali Bin Haadi.

Khirwa Jalalpur is a Muslim dominated village with a population of about 10,000. The village is having around 200 Shia Muslim families who commemorated Muharram as ‘an act against terrorism this year’. “We are against terrorism and are there to serve the country by good deeds and donating blood was one such deed,” said Haadi.

Appreciating the villagers, Dr Nausaran said that one unit blood donated by a person could save two lives hence 40 units blood donated by them could save the lives of 80 persons. That is why it is rightly said that blood donation is a supreme donation. He called upon people to come forward for such a cause.