Muharram 2022: What is Ashura Day? History, significance and more

Shiite Muslims, across the world, mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Muhammad and son of Hazrat Ali.

Muharram 2022: What is Ashura Day? History, significance and more
Muharram translates to 'not permitted' or 'forbidden'. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

Islamic New Year 2022, What is Ashura Day, Its History and Significance: Muharram is considered to be of great significance among Muslims as according to the Islamic calendar, it marks the first month of the year. This time, the new Islamic year began on July 30th. According to the lunar calendar which Islam follows, the first day of Muharram is also known as Al Hijri or Arabic New Year. The tenth day is observed as ‘Ashura’ by the Muslim community across the world.

History of Ashura Day

Shiite Muslims, across the world, mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Muhammad and son of Hazrat Ali. The ten days lead to Ashura when the whole community takes part in mourning marches. It is also said that on Ashura day, Allah had saved Prophet Musa (Moses) and the children of Bani Israel from pharaoh (Firaun) and his army. Many Shiite Muslims participate in these processions and some even inflict self-pain to recreate the pain which Imam Hussain must have suffered.

What is the significance of Ashura?

Muharram translates to ‘not permitted’ or ‘forbidden’. The Muslim community remembers and mourns on Ashura day when Imam Hussain is said to have been beheaded in the battle of Karbala. The Shia community mostly wears black on this day, observes fast, and takes out marches and processions to mark the 10th day of the month of Muharram. People can be heard chanting “Ya Ali” and “Ya Hussain” in the processions. The community also refrains from celebrating joyous or celebratory events in this period. It is believed that Muharram was referred to as the “sacred month of Allah” by Prophet Muhammad, and thus it became a crucial month for the Muslim community among the 12 lunar months of the Islamic calendar. Meanwhile, Sunni Muslims usually observe the Ashura day by keeping fasts and offering prayers to Allah.

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