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Muharram 2024: What is Ashura? Know date, significance and more about mourning, blood donation day for Muslims

Know the significance of Ashura, its date, and the mourning practices observed by Muslims, including blood donation this Muharram 2024. Learn about this important day in the Islamic calendar.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Updated on: July 11, 2024 16:24 IST
Muharram 2024
Image Source : SOCIAL Muharram 2024: What is Ashura? Know date, and more

Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is a period of deep religious significance for Muslims around the world. It marks the beginning of the Islamic New Year and is considered one of the four sacred months in Islam. The 10th day of Muharram, known as Ashura, holds particular importance due to its historical and spiritual connotations. Whether through fasting, mourning rituals, or acts of charity, these observances underscore the values of faith, resilience, and the eternal struggle for justice and righteousness in the face of adversity. Here's all you need to now about Ashura:

Date of Ashura in 2024

Muslims in India marked the start of the Islamic New Year 1446 AH on Monday, July 8, 2024, and Youm-e-Ashura on August 18, 2024. Hence, Ashura in the United Kingdom, Canada, USA, and those in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, and other Arab states is observed on July 07, 2024.

Significance of Ashura

Ashura is a day of profound significance for both Sunni and Shia Muslims, though their observances and reasons for commemorating the day differ:

Sunni Muslims: For Sunnis, Ashura is a day of fasting to commemorate the day when Prophet Musa (Moses) and the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh by the parting of the Red Sea. It is believed that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recommended fasting on this day to express gratitude for this divine intervention.

Shia Muslims: For Shias, Ashura is a day of mourning and sorrow, marking the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), at the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE. This tragic event is a pivotal moment in Shia history, symbolising the struggle against oppression and injustice.

Observances and Traditions of Ashura

How Ashura is observed can vary greatly between different Muslim communities:

  • Fasting: Many Sunni Muslims fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram, or the 10th and 11th, following the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
  • Mourning and Processions: Shia Muslims engage in mourning rituals, including reciting elegies, reenacting the Battle of Karbala, and participating in processions. These practices serve as a way to remember the sacrifices of Imam Hussain and his followers.
  • Public Gatherings and Sermons: Both Sunni and Shia communities may hold gatherings where religious leaders deliver sermons recounting the historical events and spiritual lessons of Ashura.

Blood Donation and Charity

In recent years, many Muslim communities have embraced blood donation drives during Muharram, especially on Ashura, as a way to honour the sacrifice of Imam Hussain and his companions. These acts of charity reflect the spirit of selflessness and compassion that Imam Hussain embodied.

ALSO READ: Muharram 2024: Islamic New Year to begin from July 8 in India after moon not sighted on Friday

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