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Moharram is coming on! | by Hamzeh Karbasi
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Moharram is coming on!

مراسم 41منبر - اصفهان

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The Day of Ashura (عاشوراء transliteration: ‘Āshūrā’, Ashura, Ashoura, and other spellings) is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram but not the Islamic month.


This day (A'ashura) was an ancient Judaic feast day of celebration and atonement. Now it is well-known because of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680).

The word ashura means simply tenth in Arabic; hence the name of the remembrance, literally translated, means "the tenth day". Islamic scholars, however, give various explanations as to why it is thus called.


Significance of Ashura for Shi'a Muslims:

This day is of particular significance to Shi'a Muslims, who consider Hussein (the grandson of the Prophet) Ahl al-Bayt the third Imam and the rightful successor of Muhammad. Many Shi'as make pilgrimages on Ashura to the Mashhad al-Husayn, the shrine in Karbala, Iraq that is traditionally held to be Imam Hussein's tomb. On this day Shi'a are in remembrance, mourning attire is worn; they refrain from music, the reason being naturally in Islam when death has occurred music is considered impolite. It is a time for sorrow and respect of the person’s passing and it is also a time for self reflection. Basically committing yourself to the mourning of the Imam Hussein completely. Weddings and parties are also never planned on this date by Shias. Shias also express mourning by crying and listening to poems about the tragedy. They also listen to sermons on how Hussein and his family were martyred. This is intended to connect them with Hussein's suffering and martyrdom, and the sacrifices he made to keep Islam alive. Hussein's martyrdom is widely interpreted by Shi'a as a symbol of the struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression. Shi'as believe the Battle of Karbala was between the forces of good and evil. Imam Hussain represented good while Yazid represented evil. Shi'as also believe the Battle of Karbala was fought to keep the Muslim religion untainted of any corruptions and they believed the path that Yazid was directing Islam was definitely for his own personal greed.

Many of the events associated with Ashura are held in special congregation halls known as "Imambargah" and Hussainia


Relation with Judaism

The fasting suggests Yom Kippur while the Exodus story suggests Passover. Later, Muhammad mentioned that Muslims would have their sins forgiven if they repented sincerely and fasted on Ashura. There are conflicting accounts as to whether it corresponds with Passover or with Yom Kippur. Furthermore, Ashura no longer generally coincides with either days, since the Quran prohibited intercalation into the lunar calendar,resulting in the gradual shift of the start of the 354 day Islamic year with respect to the solar year, while the lunisolar Hebrew Calendar retains intercalation.


The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, 61 AH (October 9 or 10, 680 CE) in Karbala, in present day Iraq. On one side were supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali; on the other side was a military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph.

Husayn ibn Ali's group consisted of notable members of Muhammad's close relatives, around 72 men, of which some were either very old or very young. Husayn and some members of his group were accompanied by some of the women and children from their families. On the opposite side, the armed forces of Yazid I were led by Umar ibn Sa'ad and contained at least 40,000 men[citation needed].

The battle field was a desert region located beside one of the branches of the Euphrates River. The battle resulted in the military defeat of Husayn ibn Ali's group, the death of almost all of his men, and the captivity of all women and children.

The Battle of Karbala is one of the most significant battles in the history of Muslims.

This battle also had significant effects on formation of subsequent revolts against the Umayyad dynasty.

The battle of Husayn ibn Ali is commemorated during an annual 10-day period held every Muharram, culminating on its tenth day, Ashura


For More Informaition :Day of Ashura

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Taken on January 30, 2007