Muharram 2022: Know significance of day of Ashura, difference between Sunnis and Shias observance of it | Culture News

By | August 8, 2022

New Delhi: Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Hijri calendar that is based on the lunar cycle and has 12 months and 354 days in a year.  and is considered to be the second most auspicious month after Ramadan. This year Muharram began on July 31 in India, based upon the sighting of the moon. Muharram is considered to be the second most holiest month by muslims after Ramadan. The word ‘muharram’ means ‘forbidden’ in Arabic and during this month of the year ancient Arabs refrained from engaging in any warfare and quarrelling and devoted their time in remembrance of the Almighty. The 10th day of Muharram is called Ashura and is of great significance for the Muslim community for multiple reasons.

Significance of the day of Ashura

It is believed that on the day of Ashura, Prophet Musa (Moses) successfully defeated the cruel Pharaoh with the help of Allah and established righteousness on Earth. The day of Ashura also marks the migration of Prophet Muhammed from Mecca to Medina in circa 622 AD as he and his followers were cruelly targeted for following and preaching Islam. It is also believed that on this day, Prophet Nuh (Noah) left on his ark. 

The day of Ashura also marks the brutal murder of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson and Hazrat Ali’s son Hazrat Imam Hussain by the army of Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala. Shia Muslims mourn on this day remembering the horrors of Karbala.

Difference between Sunni and Shia commemorating Ashura

While Sunni Muslims observe a fast and engage in ibadat (remembrance of Allah) on 9th and 10th Muharram as it was done by Prophet Muhammad to mark the victory Allah gave to Moses against the Pharoah.

On the other hand, Shia Muslims mourn the first 10 days of Muharram by remembering the sacrifices made by the Prophet’s family in the bloody battle of Karbala. Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Imam Hasan and Hazrat Imam Hussain are remembered for their fight for justice in the face of immense hardship. Processions are taken out and fasts are also observed in remembrance of their martyrdom. Charity is given and religious hymns called Nohas are recited.

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