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UNTOLD STORY : "The Enigmatic World of Ashura - A Tale of Mystery and Sacrifice"

"Unveiling the Truth Behind Ashura: A Day of Remembrance and Reflection for Muslims"

Ashura is an annual religious observance held by Muslims on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Derived from the Arabic word for "10th," Ashura holds deep significance for both Sunni and Shia Muslims, albeit for different reasons.

For Sunni Muslims, Ashura commemorates the event when God rescued the Israelites, led by Prophet Musa (Moses), from the oppression of Pharaoh in Egypt by parting the Red Sea, allowing them to cross to safety. This day is observed with fasting and special prayers in mosques, symbolizing its sacred nature. Additionally, some Sunni Muslims also hold reverence for Imam Hussein and disapprove of Yazid I, a caliph criticized for impiety.

On the other hand, for Shia Muslims, Ashura marks the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, revered as an Imam and rightful leader of the Muslim community. Imam Hussein, along with his followers, was martyred during the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE, where he confronted the Umayyad forces loyal to caliph Yazid I. This battle played a pivotal role in the later division between Shia and Sunni Muslims. For Shia believers, Ashura is a day of mourning, honoring the sacrifice of Imam Hussein and his family. Colorful plays re-enacting the events of the battle are performed, with devotees passionately portraying the figures of Imam Hussein and his followers, seen as symbols of resistance and justice.

The observance of Ashura varies among different communities, but certain practices are common among Muslims worldwide:

1. Fasting: Sunni Muslims fast on the 10th of Muharram, while Shia Muslims may fast on the 9th and 10th or on the 10th and 11th of the month.

2. Lamentation: Shia Muslims recite poems and songs of lamentation, recounting the events of the Battle of Karbala.

3. Self-reflection: It is a day for Muslims to reflect on the lessons from Islamic history, emphasizing justice, compassion, and self-sacrifice.

4. Charity: Muslims are encouraged to give to charity on Ashura, as an act of expiating sins and showing solidarity with the less fortunate.

Ashura serves to remind Muslims of God's mercy and power, emphasizing fasting as an act of worship and gratitude. For Shia Muslims, it is a day to honor the courage and sacrifice of Imam Hussein and his companions, serving as a source of inspiration to follow his values in their own lives.

Overall, Ashura remains an important occasion for Muslims, as it brings them together in remembrance, reflection, and the celebration of key events from Islamic history.

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