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Hussainia in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Arabic حسينية (ḥusayniyya)
مأتم (ma'tam)
Hindi इमामबाड़ा (imāmbāṛā)

आशुरख़ाना (āshurkhānā)

Bengali ইমামবাড়া (imambaṛa)
Persian حسینیه (ḥoseyniye)
Urdu امام باڑہ (imāmbāṛā)
امام بارگاہ (imāmbārgāh)
عاشور خانہ (āshurxānā)
حسينيہ (huseyniya)

A ḥosayniya or hussainiya (Arabic: حسينية husayniyya), also known as an ashurkhana, imambargah, or imambara, is a congregation hall for Twelver Shia Muslim commemoration ceremonies, especially those associated with the Mourning of Muharram.[1] Hussainiya is a multitude hall for the mourning of Muharram and other commemoration rituals of Shia that its name gets from Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad.[2]


A hussainiya is different from a mosque. The name comes from Husayn ibn Ali, the third of the Twelve Imams and the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Husayn was martyred at the Battle of Karbala on 10 October 680 CE during the reign of Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad. The Shia commemorate his martyrdom every year on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram.[3] There are also other ceremonies which are held during the year in hussainiyas, including religious commemorations unrelated to Ashura.[4] and may not necessarily hold jumu'ah (Friday congregational prayer).

In South Asia, a hussainiya can also be referred to as an imambara, imambargah, or ashurkhana. In Afghanistan and Central Asia, it is also called a takyakhana. In Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in other Gulf States it is called a ma'tam (Arabic: مأتم).


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.[5] Any Hosseynia had some booths (or rooms) and arcades, both in large and small sizes. Also in many alleys 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.[6] Expense of the Hussainiya is provided by Charitable donations and endowments.[7][8]

The Asifi Imambara in Lucknow, the capital city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.


Hussainiya was used during Muharram, Safar, and Ramadan for mourning, Rawda Khwani, Sineh Zani (a Customary form of mourning ceremony which shows their grief with chest-beating).[9] Also, Hussainiya is a place for accommodations of passengers[10] and pilgrims and feeding the poor.[1] Since hussainiya serves as a focal point for Shi’i gathering, it also plays a very significant role in consolidation of religious identity specially for Shi’i population in diaspora.[11]

Notable hussainias

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

See also


  1. ^ a b Juan Eduardo Campo (1 January 2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing. pp. 318–. ISBN 978-1-4381-2696-8.
  2. ^ Marafi, Najebah (29 September 2012). The Intertwined Conflict: The Difference Between Culture and Religion. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1477128367.
  3. ^ Hussainiya at Encyclopædia Iranica
  4. ^ Hussainiahs and Takkiahs
  5. ^ Zoka, Yahya. History of Royal Citadel in Tehran and guide to Golestan Palace, (تاریخچه ساختمانهای ارگ سلطنتی تهران و راهنمای کاخ گلستان), vol 1. p. 283.
  6. ^ The Iranian social history, (تاریخ اجتماعی ایران) written in Persian, V 5, P 340
  7. ^ Ansari Qomi. Iran's endowments in Iraq, ( موقوفات ايرانيان در عراق), vol 2. pp. 74–82.
  8. ^ Ebrahimnegad Shirvani, Pourabbas, Mahbubeh-sadat, Ata (12 April 2017). "The Role of Ashura rituals and post-Ashura days in spiritual health through promoting religious-oriented normal behavior: A practical model". Journal of Pizhūhish Dar Dīn Va Salāmat. 3 (2): 115–122.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Tekyeh & Hussainiya". persiaadvisor.
  10. ^ Kaempfer, Engelbert (2018). Exotic Attractions in Persia, 1684-1688: Travels & Observations. Mage Publishers; 1st Hardcover edition (April 3, 2018). ISBN 978-1933823911.
  11. ^ Vermon James Schubel (1996). “Karbala as Sacred Space among North American Shi'a” in Making Muslim Space in North America and Europe, edited by Barbara Metcalf, 186-203. Berkeley: University of California Press.