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Ashura , Part 1

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My friend is a dentist so he forgot ceremony
The Day of Ashura (عاشوراء translit: ‘Āshūrā’, Ashura, Ashoura, and other spellings) is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram but not the Islamic month.
This day is well-known because of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680).
Furthermore Sunni Muslims believe that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberation of Israelites from Egypt. According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Muhammad fasted on this day and asked other people to fast.
The word ashura means simply tenth in Arabic; hence the name of the remembrance, literally translated, means "the tenth day". Islamic scholars, however, give various explanations as to why it is thus called
Etymology of Ashura
The word Ashura is Arabic for tenth. The day is indeed the tenth day of the month, although some Islamic scholars offer up different etymologies.

According to the Shia, this day is the anniversary of the battle of Karbala which resulted in martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, by the army of Umayyad caliph,Yazid I. Yazid was the son of Muawiyah who was appointed governor of Syria by Umer, the second caliph of Sunnis. Shias believe the Battle of Karbala was between the forces of good and evil. Imam Hussain represented good while Yazid represented evil starting from Abu Bakr down to his father Muawiyah
Significance of Ashura for Shi'a
This day is of particular significance to Shi'a Muslims, who consider Husayn the third Imam and a rightful successor of the Prophet Muhammad. Many Shi'a make pilgrimages on Ashura to the Mashhad al-Husayn, the shrine in Karbala, Iraq that is traditionally held to be Husayn's tomb. Shi'as also express mourning by thumping their chests and crying after listening to speeches on how Husayn and his family were martyred. This is intended to connect them with Husayn's suffering and death. Husayn's martyrdom is widely interpreted by Shi'a as a symbol of the struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression.
Many of the events associated with Ashura are held in special congregation halls known as "Imambargah" and Hussainia
Popular customs
Commemoration of Ashura is not a festival, but rather a sad event for both Shi'as and Sunni Muslims -- and for Shias a period of intense grief and mourning. Mourners, both male and female, congregate together (in separate sections) for sorrowful, poetic recitations such as marsiya, noha, latmiya and soaz performed in memory of the martyrdom of Husayn, lamenting and grieving to the tune of beating drums and chants of "Ya Hussain." Also Ulamas give sermons with themes of Hussayn's personality and position in Islam, and the history of his uprising. Also in Arab countries like Iraq and Lebanon they read Maqtal Al-Husayn. In some places, such as Iran, Iraq and the Arab Gulf states, T'azie, passion plays, are also performed reenacting the Battle of Karbala and the suffering and death of Hussainn at the hands of Yazid.
For the duration of the remembrance, it is customary for mosques and some people to provide free meals (nazar) on certain nights of the month to all people. These meals are viewed as being special and holy, as they have been consecrated in the name of Husayn, and thus partaking of them is considered an act of communion with God, Hussain, and humanity.

Many of the male participants congregate together in public for ceremonial chest beating (matham/latmiya) as a display of their devotion to Husayn and in remembrance of his suffering. Some Shi'a observe mourning with blood donation which is called "Qame Zani" [4] and flailing[5]. Certain rituals like the traditional flagellation ritual called zanjeer zani or zanjeer matam, involving the use of a zanjeer (a chain) are also performed

Sunni Viewpoint of Martyrdom of Hussayn ibn Ali
Husayn, according to Sunni tradition, is a historical personality who attained martyrdom in a special historical event. Accordingly, Sunnis deal with the tragedy of Karbala by investigating the historical causes that led to the martyrdom of Al-Husayn and his companions. Sunnis may at times differ in estimating its causes and results, what is right and what is wrong about it, but never ignore Husayn's grand religious rank, affirmed by religious texts and his being Muhammad's grandson[7].

Also in some countries Sunnis mourn for Husayn like Shi'a. Mourning was already carried out in Iran between the 13th and 15th Centuries, prior to widespread adoption of Shi'ism in that country. Today in Indonesia, the event is known as Tabuik (Minangkabau language) or Tabut (Indonesian).
Commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali by non-Muslims
In some countries other religious communities commemorate this event. In Iran Armenian people participate in mourning.
In Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica all ethnic and religious communities participate in the event, locally known as "Hosay" or "Hussay", from "Husayn".

Socio-political aspects
Commemoration of Ashura has great socio-political value for the Shi'a, who have been a minority during history. "Al-Amd" asserts that the Shiite transference of Al-Husayn and Karbala ’ from the framework of history to the domain of ideology and everlasting legend reflects their marginal and dissenting status in Arab-Islamic society. Such an ideology helps Shiites maintain and reinforce their collective spirit against the Sunni multitude. According to the prevailing conditions at the time of the commemoration, such reminiscences may become a framework for implicit dissent or explicit protest. It was, for instance, used during the Islamic Revolution of Iran , the Lebanese Civil War, the Lebanese resistance against the Israeli occupation and in the 1990s Uprising in Bahrain. Sometimes the `Ashura’ celebrations associate the memory of Al-Husayn’s martyrdom with the miserable conditions of Muslims in other non-Islamic third-world nations, on the pretence that every nation and era has their own Husayn.

On the other hand some governments have banned this commemoration. In 1930s Reza Shah forbade it in Iran. The regime of Saddam Hussein saw this as a potential threat and banned Ashura commemorations for many years. In the 1884 Hosay Massacre, 22 people were killed in Trinidad and Tobago when civilians attempted to carry out the Ashura rites, locally known as Hosay, in defiance of the British colonial authorities.
Other Islamic commemorations
Ashura was, Sunni tradition says, a fast day during Muhammad's lifetime. Muhammad, according to Sunni sources, observed the Ashura fast in Mecca, as did the local population where it was a common practice. When Muhammad led his followers to Medina, he found the Jews of that area fasting on the day of Ashura - or perhaps Yom Kippur. At this juncture, Muhammad confirmed and underlined the Islamic aspect of the fast, and it became mandatory for the Muslims. Later, Muhammad transfered this obligatory fast to the month of Ramadan. Shias consider formally fasting on this day unIslamic. They refrain from drinking and eating in commemoration of Imam Hussain. This is known as Fakah, which is not a formal fast. Ibn Hajar al-asqalani, in his commentary on Bukhari's collection, says that the obligatoriness of the fast was superseded by fasting in Ramadan, a year later. Today, Sunnis regard fasting on the 10th of Muharram as recommended, though not obligatory.
The Ashura is commemorated for the following occasions which Muslims believe happened on the 10th Day of the Muharram:

* The deliverance of Noah from the flood
* Abraham was saved from Nimrod's fire
*Jacob's blindness was healed and he was brought to Joseph on this day
* Job was healed from his illness
* Moses was saved from Pharaoh's army
* Jesus was brought up to heaven after attempts by the Romans to capture and crucify him failed.

Violence during Ashura
The Sunni and Shi'a schism is highlighted by the difference in observance by Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. In countries that have significant populations of both sects, there is often violence during the holiday. The violence is perpetrated by Sunni extremists who view Shi'a veneration of, and mourning for, al-Husayn as a sacrilegious act. Recently, Pakistan, India, Iraq and Afghanistan have all seen violence during this time.
The 2004 (1425 AH) Shi'a pilgrimage to Karbala, the first since Saddam Hussein was removed from power in Iraq, was marred by bomb attacks, which killed and wounded hundreds despite tight security. They actually celebrated it in 2003 also, just after the US led invasion.

Ashura in the Gregorian calendar
While Ashura is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year due to differences between the two calendars, since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Furthermore, the method used to determine when each Islamic month begins varies from country to country. (For details, please see Islamic calendar.)

2003: March 13
2004: March 2
2005: February 19
2006: February 9
2007: January 30
2008: January 19
2009: January 7 and December 27
2010: December 16
Future dates listed above are only estimates

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