Ashura Starts

Ashura Starts Quick Facts - US

AKA NameAshurah
HashtagsCompiled on#Ashura
Related Hashtags#Muharram, #Hussain
2024 DateJuly 16, 2024
2025 DateJuly 5, 2025

Ashura Starts

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Ashura History

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.

Ashura Starts facts & quotes

  • It is common for Sahih Muslim to fast on the 10th of Muharram (first month of the Islamic calendar). According to Sahih Muslim writings of Abu Qatada (a companion of the prophet Muhammad), this fast atones for the sins of the preceding year.
  • Shi'a Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn (also spelled Hussein) Ibn Ali on Ashura. He was killed in the Battle of Karbala in the year 680 AD. Husayn was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad as well as the third Shia Imam.
  • According Abu Dawud, Book of Hadith, per the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, fasting on Ashura became nonobligatory when fasting during the month of Ramadan became obligatory.
  • The Prophet Muhammad said: The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram (1st month of the Islamic calendar).
  • The progress of Islam does not depend on the use of sword, but on the supreme sacrifice of Hussain. I learnt from Hussain how to achieve victory whilst being oppressed - Mahatma Gandhi

Top things to do in the US for Ashura

  • To commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn Ibn Ali Husayn, Shi'a Muslims often re-enact plays of the epic battle of Karbala.
  • Many Shi'a Muslims go on a pilgrimage to Karbala (Iraq) where they pay homage to Muhammad's family on the day of Ashura.
  • Some Shi'a Muslims flog themselves in parades. This is to and to pay tribute to the pain suffered by Husayn. This happens in Pakistan, Iran, and other countries where there are substantial Shi'a communities.
  • For those unable to attend public gatherings, individuals can observe Ashura by creating a private space at home for mourning and remembrance, which may include prayers, readings, and communal meals.
  • Reading books, watching documentaries, or attending lectures about the history and significance of Ashura can deepen one's understanding of the commemoration.

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