Devout Shia Muslims across the world have mourned the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson with rituals including fire breathing and mass flagellation.

The ritual is known as Ashura, and is celebrated on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram (the first month of the lunar calendar).

It marks the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Holy prophet in 680 AD in Karbala, near Baghdad in Iraq. He was killed by political rivals alongside an army of 72 men. Hussein's body was then mutilated, leading to his martydom.

ashura 2014

An Indian Shia Muslim takes part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on 15 November

As well as marking the occasion with self-flagellation - to emulate the suffering of Hussein - some Shia Muslims take part in processions which involve walking on coals and carrying a 'Tazia' - a replica of his coffin.

Blood donation drives are also organised for those who prefer to donate blood instead.

According to the BBC, the campaigns were launched by Shia clerics who believe self flagellation has no place in modern Islam.

The death of Hussein is the event which led to the split in Islam between the two sects of the Shias and the Sunnis.

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  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Indian Shiite Muslims take part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    An Indian Shiite Muslim takes part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    A Bangladeshi Shiite Muslim performs ritual self-flagellation as he takes part in a religious procession on Ashura in Dhaka on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP Photo/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    A Bangladeshi Shiite Muslim performs ritual self-flagellation as he takes part in a religious procession on Ashura in Dhaka on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP Photo/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    A Bangladeshi Shiite Muslim performs a fire-breathing act as he takes part in a religious procession on Ashura in Dhaka on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP Photo/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Bangladeshi Shiite Muslims perform ritual self-flagellation as they take part in a religious procession on Ashura in Dhaka on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP Photo/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • IRAN-RELIGION-ISLAM-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Iranians light candles to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, during an Ashura ceremony in Tehran late on November 14, 2013. The 'Shame-e-Qariban' (strangers' dinner) ritual is held after the day procession which depicts the suffering of the third Shiite imam, whose death 14 centuries ago marked the begining of the Sunni-Shiite split which persists in Islam to this day. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BANGLADESH-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Bangladeshi Shiite Muslims take part in a religious procession on Ashura in Dhaka on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP Photo/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BAHRAIN-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Bahraini Shiite Muslims take part in a ceremony marking Ashura, which commemorates the seventh century slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, on November 14, 2013 in the village of Sanabis, west of the capital Manama. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BAHRAIN-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Bahraini Shiite Muslims take part in a ceremony marking Ashura, which commemorates the seventh century slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, on November 14, 2013 in the village of Sanabis, west of the capital Manama. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BAHRAIN-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Bahraini Shiite Muslims raise up models of impaled heads as they take part in a ceremony marking Ashura, which commemorates the seventh century slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, on November 14, 2013 in the village of Sanabis, west of the capital Manama. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BAHRAIN-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    A Bahraini Shiite boy looks at models of impaled heads during a ceremony marking Ashura, which commemorates the seventh century slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, on November 14, 2013 in the village of Sanabis, west of the capital Manama. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A man is aided after nearly fainting during a ceremony marking Ashura on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Many Shiite Muslim men and teens cut themselves on their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during the annual ceremony marking Ashura. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: People watch festivities marking Ashura on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Many Shiite Muslim men and teens cut themselves on their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during the annual ceremony marking Ashura. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: Shiite Muslim men bleed as they gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during a ceremony marking Ashura on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: Shiite Muslim men and teens bleed as they gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: The bloody hands of Shiite Muslim's are viewed after they gashed their foreheads with a sword during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: Shiite Muslim men and teens bleed as they gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: Shiite Muslim men bleed as they gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A man is aided by medical workers after fainting during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Many Shiite Muslim men and teens cut themselves on their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during the annual ceremony marking Ashura. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A Shiite Muslim wears a bloody shirt after gashing his foreheads with a sword during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A Shiite Muslim wears a bloody shirt after gashing his foreheads with a sword during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A man is aided after nearly fainting during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Many Shiite Muslim men and teens cut themselves on their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during the annual ceremony marking Ashura. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: Shiite Muslim men bleed as they gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A man is aided by a medical worker after loosing blood during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Many Shiite Muslim men and teens cut themselves on their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during the annual ceremony marking Ashura. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A man is aided by medical workers after fainting during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Many Shiite Muslim men and teens cut themselves on their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during the annual ceremony marking Ashura. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: A man is aided after nearly fainting during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Many Shiite Muslim men and teens cut themselves on their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during the annual ceremony marking Ashura. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: Shiite Muslim men bleed as they gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Shiite Muslim Men Celebrate Ashura In Southern Lebanon

    NABATIEH, LEBANON - NOVEMBER 14: Shiite Muslim men bleed as they gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves during a ceremony marking Ashura in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon on November 14, 2013 in Nabatieh, Lebanon. Shiite Muslims observe Ashura, day of mourning which means 'tenth' in Arabic, through mourning rituals such as reenactments of the martyrdom and self-flagellation. Most observers wear black and march through the streets chanting and hitting themselves in the chest and some still make small gashes to their heads to ritually punish their bodies. As the war in neighboring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Iranian Muslims Mark Ashura And Tasura

    BAGH MALEK, IRAN - NOVEMBER 14: Iranians prepare food for needy people during the Ashura mourning feast November 14, 2013 in the village of Bagh Malek ,480 Km south of Tehran, Iran. The Ashura day commemorates the death of the third Shiite Imam Hussein, who was grandson of Muslim Prophet Mohammed. Ashura is the by armies of the caliph Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

  • Iranian Muslims Mark Ashura And Tasura

    BAGH MALEK, IRAN - NOVEMBER 14: Iranians prepare food for needy people during the Ashura mourning feast November 14, 2013 in the village of Bagh Malek ,480 Km south of Tehran, Iran. The Ashura day commemorates the death of the third Shiite Imam Hussein, who was grandson of Muslim Prophet Mohammed. Ashura is the by armies of the caliph Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

  • Iranian Muslims Mark Ashura And Tasura

    BAGH MALEK, IRAN - NOVEMBER 14: Iranians eat food during the Ashura mourning feast November 14, 2013 in the village of Bagh Malek ,480 Km south of Tehran, Iran. The Ashura day commemorates the death of the third Shiite Imam Hussein, who was grandson of Muslim Prophet Mohammed. Ashura is the by armies of the caliph Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    An Indian Shiite Muslim child beats his chest as he takes part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Indian Shiite Muslims are covered in blood as they take part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    An Indian Shiite Muslim is covered in blood as he takes part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Indian Shiite Muslims beat their chests as they take part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    An Indian Shiite Muslim is covered in blood as he takes part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    An Indian Shiite Muslim takes part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-RELIGION-SHIITE-ASHURA

    Indian Shiite Muslims take part in ritual self-flagellation during Ashura in New Delhi on November 15, 2013. Ashura mourns the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)