GUWAHATI: The Ashura is the tenth day of the first Islamic month of Muharram. It is a day of great significance for the various Muslim denominations across the globe. The term Muharram means ‘forbidden’ or ‘prohibited’. Therefore, a few things are banned during this month. Read on to know why Muslims fast and mourn on this day.
Prophet Muhammed, who migrated (Hijra) from Mecca to Yathrib (now known as Medina) during Muharram, observed a fast on the day of Ashura.
Therefore, Sunni Muslims observe a voluntary fast on this day to pay obeisance to the Prophet.
It is said that Allah saved the people of Israel from the Pharaoh of Egypt. And Prophet Musa (Moses) observed a fast on that day.
Therefore, to commemorate the momentous day, Muslims recite verses from the Holy Quran, offer their prayers, and fast on the tenth day of Ashura.
However, the day of Ashura is important for the Shia Muslims for a different reason. Shia in Arabic means faction or followers.
The Shia Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussain (Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammed), who was martyred in the battle of Karbala in 680AD. Karbala is a place in modern-day Iraq.
The Shia Muslims take part in a procession and carry a Tazia (replica of the sacred tomb) of the Imam who was beheaded during the battle.
They gather in large numbers to collectively pay homage to their martyr by chanting “Ya Hussain” or “Ya Ali”.
They pay obeisance to the Imam by mourning and beating themselves with sharp weapons, and this custom is known as Tatbir or Qama Zani.
Thus, by mourning, the Shia Muslims evoke the agony that the Imam endured before his martyrdom.
On the day of Ashura, many pilgrims visit the tomb of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala to pay their respects to him.
However, to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the time of coronavirus pandemic, public gatherings on the day of Ashura shall not take place this year.
(Times Now News)