Ashura

Ashura is observed on the 10th of Muharram and for Sunnis it marks the day Nuh (Noah) left the ark, Prophet Musa (Moses) was saved from the Pharaoh of Egypt by God, crossing the Red Sea. For Shia Muslims Ashura commemorates the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein Ibn Ali. Hussein questioned the legitimacy of the Caliph Yazid and shortly after he was martyred during the Battle of the Karbala – 10th Muharram, 680. This was a very brutal battle and the Prophet’s grandson was murdered all in a month when fighting is forbidden. On this day Shia mourn the bravery of the Prophet’s family. Many Muslims will fast on this day to show thankfulness. Shias will engage in mourning rituals – some gather at mosques and cry over Hussein’s death and remember the importance of what the Prophet’s family did for justice. Some will perform public rituals including chest beating, self-flagellation with chains and forehead cutting.

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