Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ashura, The Day of Ashura

The Day of Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram.

It is commemorated by Shia Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH (October 10, 680 AD). Some Sunni Muslims however do not hold this day in significance for that reason, but rather believe that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberating the Israelites from Egypt. According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him fasted on this day and asked other people to fast.

In some Shia countries and regions such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali has become a national holiday and most ethnic and religious communities participate in it. Even in India, Ashura (often called Moharram) is a public holiday.

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