LAHORE: With Muharram right around the corner, most cinemas and other recreational outlets have announced a brief hiatus. On the other hand, Pakistani artists, such as Shazia Manzoor and Humaira Arshad, are gearing up for the release of their marsiya and noha albums.
At the moment, most production houses and studios across Lahore are actively preparing to release Muharram-related content wherein artists pay tribute to the great sacrifices of Imam Hussain and his family in Karbala. Manzoor and Arshad are joined by Ali Badar Miandad, Maham Rahman, Anwar Rafi, Shahida Mini, Imran Shaukat Ali, Ejaz Sher Ali, Naseebo Lal and Saira Naseem, all of whom are releasing marsiyas and nohas within the next two weeks. Not to forget, a large number of newcomers are also following their lead.
“This year, I am releasing an entire album of marsias and nohas, both new and some of my old ones,” Miandad told The Express Tribune. “There is no commercial ambition behind this though. My album is purely religious in nature and I believe it is the duty of every Muslim to pay tribute to the martyrs of Karbala in their own way,” he added. Arshad echoed his sentiments, saying that the recitation of religious material has been in her family for generations. “I feel very lucky as my mother and I have been reciting marsias and nohas ever since I was young,” she revealed. “At the start of my career, I paid tribute to Imam Hussain and also released an album of naats before. This Muharram, I am releasing a marsiya.”
Unsurprisingly, it is not just singers who are observing Muharram but even stage performers have put a halt to their shows.
“I have stopped performing at theatres for the holy month. In fact, I have told my producers that I will be unavailable throughout,” she said. “Besides this, I am also planning to host a majlis at my own home wherein I will distribute food to the poor. My colleagues Khushboo, Durdana Rehman and Megha are also doing the same at their respective houses,” added Nargis.
It is pertinent to mention that the release of Pakistani films that have completed shooting or are still in the process has also been postponed till the end of Muharram.