عاشورا (Ashura)

The holiday of عاشورا began at sundown last night. Please enjoy the post I wrote about عاشورا last year.

Persian Word a Day

Sundown today marked the beginning of the Islamic holiday known as Ashura or عاشورا (ʿāshūrā). This is the tenth day of the month of Muharram (محرم), or in other words the tenth day of the new Islamic year, and it takes its name from the Arabic name of the numeral ۱۰ (our 10), عشر (ʿashr). Please read some of the general information about the holiday at my Arabic site, but then come back here for the story of why it is such an important day in Shiʿism.

Ashura is fundamentally important in Shiʿism because on this day, in the Hijri year 61 (680 for non-Muslims), Imam Husayn (حسین), the son of Ali (علی), was martyred in battle with the armies of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid I (یزید) at Karbala, in modern Iraq. Yazid was the son of the previous Caliph, Muʿawiyah (مُعاویه), who had promised…

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