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The Meaning Behind The Observance Of 10th Muharram, Ashura

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Ashura, a significant religious observance in Islam, holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims, marked annually on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. The term “Ashura” itself translates to “10th” in Arabic, and it serves as an ancient day of remembrance. Over time, this commemoration has evolved, leading to diverse practices and interpretations among Sunni and Shia Muslims.

What is Ashura and how do Shia and Sunni Muslims observe it? | Middle East  Eye

Source: Middle East Eye

What is Ashura:

For Sunni Muslims, Ashura carries the significance of recalling the day when God, through the Prophet Musa (Moses), delivered the Israelites from the oppressive rule of Egypt’s Pharaoh by miraculously parting the Red Sea, allowing them to cross safely. The occasion is observed with fasting and special prayers conducted in mosques, highlighting its sacred nature and fostering a sense of unity and devotion among the community.

Moreover, Ashura holds additional significance for certain Sunni Muslims who revere Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. They view him as a symbol of resistance and righteousness, as he valiantly stood against the oppressive regime of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph, during the events of Karbala. Consequently, there is a negative perception of Yazid I among these followers, criticizing him for his perceived impiety and cruelty.

Muharram 2023: Significance of fasting on Ashura for Shia and Sunni Muslims  - Hindustan Times

Source: Hindustan Times

On the other hand, for Shia Muslims, Ashura holds a deeper sense of mourning and sorrow, commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein at the Battle of Karbala. This tragic event is observed with intense grief and self-flagellation, as they honor his sacrifice for justice and principles. For Shia Muslims, Ashura serves as a solemn occasion to remember the suffering and injustice faced by the Prophet’s family.

Despite the differences in the way Ashura is observed by Sunni and Shia Muslims, the essence of the day remains rooted in faith and spiritual reflection. It serves as a reminder of the values of justice, courage, and devotion, resonating with Muslims worldwide as they come together to remember their shared religious history. As the Islamic calendar cycles through each year, Ashura continues to be a time of introspection and unity, connecting Muslims of all backgrounds through their common beliefs and traditions.

Muharram Festival 2023 in India, photos, Festival, Fair when is Muharram  Festival 2023 - HelloTravel

Source: Hello Travel

What is the purpose of Ashura: 

Ashura holds a profound purpose of commemorating significant events from Islamic history and drawing valuable lessons from them. On this sacred day, Muslims come together to celebrate the triumphs granted by Allah (SWT) and also mourn the losses endured by the Muslim community. It serves as a time for introspection, where believers reflect on the fundamental values of justice, compassion, and self-sacrifice. 

Muharram 2019 Date: Why Muslims Fast And Mourn On Muharram

Source: NDTV

Why is Ashura Important: 

Ashura serves as a powerful reminder of God’s mercy and omnipotence. This observance also imparts valuable teachings about fasting as an act of worship and gratitude to the Almighty. For Shia Muslims, Ashura holds even deeper importance as it becomes a poignant tribute to the remarkable sacrifice and unwavering courage of Imam Hussein and his companions. Their resolute stance against tyranny and injustice serves as an eternal inspiration for believers, motivating them to uphold their principles and faith in the face of adversity.

How is Ashura Observed: 

The way that Ashura is observed varies from community to community.

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