Youm Ashura or Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.
Ashura this year will take place on the 9th and 10th of September 2019 (9th and 10th Muharram accordingly).
What is Ashura?
Ashura is derived from the Arabic word for the number ten. The word Muḥarram itself derives from the Arabic root ḥ-r-m, one of whose meanings is “forbidden” (ḥarAm).
Traditionally, Muḥarram was one of the four sacred months when fighting was not allowed.
It marks the day that Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was killed in the Battle of Karbala.
Ashura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram, the annual commemoration of the death of Husayn and his family and supporters at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH.
The Battle of Karbala took place on 10 Muharram, 61 A.H. (October 10, 680) in Karbala (present-day Iraq) between a small group of supporters and relatives of Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn ibn Ali, and a larger military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph.
It is commemorated during an annual ten-day period during Muharram by Shi’a, culminating on the tenth day of the month, known as the Ashura day.
Sunni and Shi’a Muslims mourn likewise regard the incident as a historical tragedy; Husayn and his companions are widely regarded as martyrs by both.
How is celebrated?
Ashura is marked as a national holiday in many Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Pakistan, and many ethnic and religious communities participate in it.
Sunni Muslims may fast during this time, as the Prophet Muhammad was said to have fasted on the day of Ashura.
However, it is not compulsory during Ashura, but some choose to fast.
Many Sunni and Shia Muslims commemorate this special day in different ways.
What is the Ziyarat Ashura prayer?
Ziyarat Ashura is a Shia salutatory prayer to Husayn ibn Ali and the martyrs of the Battle of Karbala.
Muhammad al-Baqir, the fifth Shia Imam, recommended reciting Ziyarat Ashura on Ashura while facing Karbala, as a symbolic visit to the shrine.
It is highly recommended to read the following dua on Ashura.