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Muharram mourning, Hussainia TZ.jpg
Hussainia in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Arabic (العربية) حسينية (ḥussainiā)
مأتم (ma'tam)
Hindi (हिंदी) इमामबाड़ा (imāmbāṛā)

आशुरख़ाना (āshurkhānā)

Bengali (বাংলা) ইমামবাড়া (imambarha)
Persian (فارسى) حسینیه (ḥoseyniye)
Urdu (اُردوُ) امامباڑا (imāmbāṛā)
امامبارگاہ (imāmbārgāh)
عاشور خانہ (āshurxānā)
حسينيہ (huseyniya)

A ḥosayniya (Persian: حسینیهhoseyniye), also known as an ashurkhana, imambargah, or imambara, is a congregation hall for Shi'i commemoration ceremonies, especially those associated with the Mourning of Muharram.[1] The name comes from Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad and the Imam of the Shia. Husayn was killed by the Umayyad Caliph Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala in Iraq, on October 10, 680. The Shia commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn every year on the day of Ashura in ḥosayniyas all over the world.[2]

There are other ceremonies which are held during the year in ḥosayniyas. These include religious ceremonies of various kinds unrelated to Ashura (as well as Husayn mourning).[3]


From the time of the Safavid was ruling in Iran, when Shia tended to hold the religious and mourning ceremonies, not only the passageways or the roofed places were used for the religious communities, even to make the Hoseynias and also Takyeh(s) became commonplace. Any Hosseynia had some booths (or rooms) and arcades, both in large and small sizes. Also in many allays and streets, on the days near Ashoura, the religious people blackened the walls and the roofs and illuminated them, by the colorful lights… From the age of Zand, many bigger and vaster Takye(s) was made just to hold Tazia, where there was a stage by the height of one meter from the floor, to show the different senses of Tazieh.[4]


A hussainiya is different from a mosque in that it is intended mainly for gatherings for Muharram in the mourning of Hussain ibn Ali, and also the other Shia Imams, and may not necessarily hold jumu'ah (Friday congregational prayer).

In South Asia, a hussainia can also be referred to as an imambara, imambargah, or ashurkhana. In Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, it is called a ma'tam (Arabic: مأتم‎). In Lebanon, it is called a حسينية ḥusayniyah. In Afghanistan and Central Asia, the equivalent term for a Shi'i congregation hall is takyakhana.

Notable hussainias[edit]

A history image from Zanjan azam Hussainiya in Iran
A Hussainia in Iran
Imambara Wazeer Un Nisa in Amroha, India

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Juan Eduardo Campo (1 January 2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing. pp. 318–. ISBN 978-1-4381-2696-8.
  2. ^ Hussainiya at Encyclopædia Iranica
  3. ^ Hussainiahs and Takkiahs
  4. ^ The Iranian social history, (تاریخ اجتماعی ایران) written in persian, V 5, P 340