Day of Ashura

Day of Ashura

Muharram is considered a festival of martyrdom, its importance is very much in the Islamic religion. It is the first month of the Islamic calendar, it is celebrated with full devotion as martyrdom to the prisoners of Allah. Muharram means ‘month of remembrance‘ so there are solemn and commemorative events rather than joyful celebrations. It is considered a holy month after the holy month of Ramadan. Even in Islam, four months are considered great. Many Muslims fast during the days of Muharram. For both Shia and Sunni Muslims, Ashura is a solemn day. It’s observed differently among the two sects, however.

It was during this month that Imam Hussain Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was brutally assassinated together with his family and supporters thousands of years back at the Battle of Karbala. The battle of Karbala took place on the 10th day of Muharram, that is, Ashura.

Ashura is observed on the 10th day of Muharram and it is the most sacred day among all its days and is expected to start on the evening of 27th July till 28th July 2023. The precise date is derived based mostly on the sighting of the Moon and the situation.

On this day, Muslims take our large processions through the streets carrying Taziyeh (replicas of the mausoleum of Hussain Ali and others made from bamboo and paper) decorated with gilt and mica. Many Muslims observe partial fast as part of the mourning. Muslims belonging to the Shia sect often wear black clothes on Muharram.

Specific dua – acts of worship that call on Allah – are performed. These are known as Dua e Ashura and some of them must be recited seven times. The Shia Muslims mourn the day of Ashura by flagellating themselves with sharp objects that symbolize the suffering experienced by the Prophet’s grandson before his death. It is also a symbol of struggle against injustice and oppression.

Muharram Celebration across India

Both Shia and Sunni Muslims celebrate Muharram; however, they do not observe the occasion in the same manner. For Shias, it is a day of observance and not joy, and thus, they are in mourning for the 10-day period. They dress in black, attend special prayer meetings at mosques, and even refrain from listening to music or attending events like weddings. On the 10th day, street processions take place in which they walk barefoot, chanting and whipping their chests until it draws blood to commemorate the sufferings of Imam Hussayn. Sunnis observe this day with fasting from the first to the 10th or 11th day of the month. This is voluntary, and the ones who fast are believed to be rewarded by Allah.

How to celebrate Muharram?

  • It is considered a culinary month. All those who believe in the Islamic religion celebrate this day with great devotion.

  • Roses are also kept during these ten days. The 10th day is called asura.

  • Many people do not fast for 10 days. Rosa is kept on the first and last days.

  • It is called the month of prayer. According to Hazrat Muhammad these days, the bad deeds are done by keeping Roza are destroyed. The sins are forgiven.

Take advantage of this opportunity to bring yourself closer to Allah on ‘Ashura’ by fasting and praying for forgiveness. Ashura Mubarak!

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.