Ashura and its significance
The day of Ashura, that falls on the 10th day of Muharram holds much significance for the Muslim community. It is a day where Muslims around the world fast to reflect on the bounty Allah bestowed on the Prophet Musa (as) and his people when they were freed from the clutches of the tyrannical Pharaoh. On this day, the Prophet Musa (as) led his people to freedom and, through the will of Allah, the red sea was split to allow safe passage across.
It is a day that shares equal importance for both the Muslim and Jewish communities who use this day to supplicate, perform prayers and remember the favour of God on his people. The fast that Muslims keep on this day is in reference to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) who was reported as having said when asked about fasting on the day of Ashura that, “It expiates [wipes out the sins of] the past year” [Sahih Muslim].
This day also holds significance because it commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (ra) and his family at the battle of Karbala. The Shia Muslim community have particular reverence for this day and mourn the death of Imam Hussain and his family after they were ambushed by the army of Yazid.
The key lessons we take from these events is the resilience of faith in the face of oppression and adversity. The steadfastness of Musa (as) and Imam Hussain (ra) respectively imbibes the true spirit of Islam which is ingrained in an unwavering belief in Allah and teaches us the rewards that can be gained from remembering that the help of Allah is always near.
When we remember these moments of history from within our tradition, it should serve as a reminder to us of the importance of how to act when faced with challenges and adversity. Rather than ignore what is in front of us – we must seek to emulate the way of the righteous and face our challenges head on. Much can be gained when we remain committed to bettering ourselves and looking to provide for the community around us as well.
We must always remember that the mercy of Allah is vast and every day the doors of repentance are open to us. All we have to do is ask and have a firm resolve to change.