Today is the Day of Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram and marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the third shia Imam.
1374 years ago on the 10th day of the Month of Muharram, Imam Husayn, grandson of Prophet Muhammad and son of Imam Ali and his 71 supporters were killed in Karbala, Iraq by 30,000-man army of Yazid ibn Muaviye. Imam Husayn’s family was then captured by Yazid’s army and exiled to Sham.
In some Shi’a regions of Muslim countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Pakistan, the Commemoration of Imam Hussain has become a national holiday and most ethnic and religious communities participate in it.Even in predominantly Hindu majority but secular country like India, Ashura is a public holiday”.
The Day of Ashura is also commemorated by Sunni Muslims (who also refer to it as The Day of Atonement) as the day on which the Israelites were freed from Pharoah of Egypt.
Ashura day is the most tragic day for all Muslims, in particular Shi’as.
It is marked with mourning rituals and passion plays re-enacting the martyrdom.
Shia men and women dressed in black also parade through the streets slapping their chests and chanting.
Most scholars believe that Ahsura is named as such because of “tenth” of Muharram (ten is translated as “Ashara” in the Arabic language)