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I see there is red flag on the dome of Hussain ibn Ali(as)'s shrine, which is replaced with a black one for the month of Muharram and Safar. Which is not to be seen on the dome of any other religious figure's shrine.

What is the purpose of this red flag?

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In the Islamic lunar calendar there are four Haraam months (Muharram, Rajab, Dhu al-Qa'dah and Dhu al-Hijjah) and it's been Haraam for Arab tribes to fight against each other in these four months.

So if two Arab tribes were in a battle, at the beginning of these months they would have suspended the war and raise a red flag on the dome of the commander's marquee to show that:

"Although they're not in a war right now but they will resume the war after the Haram month."

We all know that Imam Hussain (AS) was unjustly martyred in Muharram and the red flag still being there means we, Shia Muslims, know that the battle has not finished yet and we are waiting for our Imam Mahdi (aj) to come and resume the war against all those who have oppressed ahlulBayt (AS).

It was also an Arab tradition to raise a red flag on the tomb of the one who had been killed unjustly, until his death is revenged.

As I mentioned above Shia Muslims believe that when Imam Mahdi (aj) comes, he will get this revenge insha'Allah.

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    So the red flag has nothing to with Hussain(as) being martyred in the month of Muharram but it is because his martyrdom has not been avenged? – Bleeding Fingers Dec 20 '13 at 19:37
  • People have stated both of these reasons as the answer of your question. But one is free to be convinced with both or one of them. – Zahra Ezati Dec 20 '13 at 19:42
  • I am having trouble understanding the first reason. Why? Because it says they stopped the battle in those months and raised a red flag on the dome of the commander's marquee... But in case of Hussain(as) the red flag, if I am not wrong, is raised all year round and it's changed to black in the months of Muharram and Safar. Isn't that inconsistent with what you have stated above? – Bleeding Fingers Dec 20 '13 at 20:11
  • I updated my answer. Hope that's clearer now. Also you should notice that changing the red flag with a black one in Muharram and Safar is just to show mourning. – Zahra Ezati Dec 21 '13 at 11:04

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