The Observance of Ashura (Arabic: عاشوراء ) is a day of mourning and reflection for both Sunnis and Shias Muslims, commemorating various historical events in Islamic history. While Sunnis observe it as a day of fasting to honor Prophet Moses and his people for their deliverance from oppression, Shias mark Ashura as the day when the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussain, and his followers were martyred in the battle of Karbala. The Observance thus serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made for justice, morality, and religion.
Ashura has gained particular importance among American Muslims in recent years due to diverse historical and social contexts. For some, it is an opportunity to honor the perseverance of Imam Hussain against unjust forces, symbolizing their struggles for civil rights and social justice in the United States. For others, Ashura highlights the unity of Muslims and their connection to the larger Islamic community, transcending differences in sectarian identities and celebrating the common bond of faith. It also offers a platform to educate the American public about Islamic history and principles, fostering a deeper understanding of the diverse practices within the Muslim community.
In America, the Observance of Ashura is marked by various events, such as community gatherings, lectures, and processions. While the religious rituals may vary among different sects and cultural backgrounds, they primarily focus on reflection, prayer, and expressions of grief. These events serve as an opportunity for American Muslims to come together, often in mosques or community centers, and observe Ashura collectively. The exact date of Ashura varies each year, as it is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar, falling on the 10th day of the month of Muharram.
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Ashura references and related sitesourtruereligion.blogspot.com: The True Religion Abu Dawud, Book of Hadith