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Article 2- Muharram and the Event of Ashura-2024

Muharram and the Event of Ashura

HIWM Seyed Hashem Moosavi, Imam of The Islamic Centre of England

Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar, holds significant importance for Muslims, particularly Shiites. This month witnessed the heartrending event of Ashura, during which Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his loyal companions were martyred in Karbala. This event is not just a historical occurrence but also deeply religious, ethical, and social, carrying powerful messages not only for Muslims but for humanity as a whole.

The Importance of Muharram: For Shiites, Muharram is not just a month, but a period of reflection and resistance. This month symbolizes standing against oppression and tyranny. Imam Hussein (A.S.), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), opposed Yazid bin Muawiyah, a caliph deemed unworthy of leadership by many Muslims due to his sinful actions. Imam Hussein refused to pledge allegiance to him and ultimately, with a small group of followers, engaged in battle against Yazid’s larger army, where they were heroically martyred. This sacrifice to preserve Islamic values and resist corruption and injustice makes Muharram a crucial month for Shiites.

The Role of the Event of Ashura in Preserving the Message of Islam: Ashura is more than a historical event; it is a powerful symbol in Shiite culture. This day signifies adherence to principles such as truth, justice, and freedom, for which Imam Hussein (A.S.) sacrificed his life and those of his companions. His children, women, and loyal followers were taken captive.

These values, rooted in the essence of Islam, are reflected through the rituals, traditions, and particularly through the mourning ceremonies of Muharram, reminding the Muslim community of the critical actions taken by Imam Hussein (A.S.) which have helped keep Islam alive through the centuries.

Lessons from the Uprising of Ashura: The uprising of Ashura and the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his companions in Karbala offer significant religious, ethical, and social lessons for Muslims, particularly Shiites, applicable in daily life. Here are a few examples:

  1. Standing Against Injustice: Imam Hussein (A.S.) stood with a few companions against enemies far superior in military strength to demonstrate that he would not succumb to injustice, regardless of the cost.
  2. Sacrificing for Higher Values: Imam Hussein (A.S.) showed that defending principles and values might sometimes require great sacrifices. This lesson is crucial for those striving to uphold their principles.
  3. Patience and Perseverance: Throughout the siege and battle of Karbala, Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his companions displayed extraordinary patience and perseverance, serving as an example for all Muslims to remain patient during trials.
  4. Loyalty to Family and Friends: A commendable aspect of the Ashura uprising is the loyalty Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his companions showed each other. They stood together and supported one another until the end, highlighting the importance of strong, sincere bonds among people.
  5. The Importance of Prayer and Trust in God: Throughout their struggle, Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his companions focused on prayer and reliance on God. They even maintained their prayers under extremely challenging wartime conditions, illustrating the importance of connecting with God and trusting in Him at all times.
  6. Maintaining Human Dignity Under Difficult Conditions: This lesson is valuable not only for Shiites but for all who seek spirituality and human dignity.

Duties of Muslims Regarding the Uprising of Ashura Muslims, especially Shiites, have many duties concerning the uprising of Ashura, including:

  • Constant Remembrance and Commemoration: This is often done through mourning ceremonies during the months of Muharram and Safar, helping participants empathize with the hardships faced by their revered Imam and reflect on his sacrifices.
  • Living According to the Messages of Ashura: Emphasizing the values fought for by Imam Hussein (A.S.), such as justice, honesty, and courage, encourages Muslims to be aware of their role in society and their impact on the world around them.

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