Yesterday (Tasu’a) and today marked 9th and 10th Muharram 1433 Hijrah and for the Moslems, it is encouraged to perform fasting. The 10th Muharram in particular is affectionately known as “The Asyura” – which loosely derived from the Arabic word “asyara” which means ten. Hence, I performed fasting yesterday and today to commemorate the holy day.
Now, it was said that Prophet Muhammad SAW performed the Asyura Fast ever since back in Makkah (Mecca) as it was considered as a local ritual. When he moved to Madinah (Medina), he found out that the Jews there too, were fasting in the Asyura (1oth Day) as they have their own sacred day which is “Yom Kippur” in the 10th of Tishrei (the beginning month in the calendar of the Hebrews. A year later, Moslems were committed to perform fasting in the whole month of Ramadhan whereas 10th Muharram had simply become an ‘encouraged’ fasting – not a must; but an encouraged one.
The ‘fiesta of hurting themselves’ or Mourning of Muharram according to The Shi’ites. It was the Shi’ites who killed Prophet Muhammad SAW’s grandson, Saidina Hussein Ibni Ali but they then slandered and accused Khalifah Yazid as the culprit. As an atonement for their treacherous deed, The Shi’ites hurt themselves to commemorate the murder in Karbala. – This is very much the same concept like cilice in Christianity (hurting oneself for atonement) – corporal mortification; and Thaipusam in Hindu.
Filipino reincarnate the Christ’s crucifixion & Germans reincarnate the Church’s corporal mortification – in the name of atonement.
I am not sure whether I got my facts right since I referred these from Wikipedia and translated them myself, but it is said that a lot of red-letter events in Islamic calendar occurred in the 10th Muharram-making it eligible to be recognized as one of the sacred/holy day in Islamic calendar. It was said that in the 10th Muharram :-
- The first day that ALLAH SWT created the world;
- The first day that ALLAH SWT bestowed “rahmat” (bless);
- The first day ALLAH SWT granted rain to drench the earth;
- ALLAH SWT created ‘Arasy (The Higher Throne Of Ever After);
- ALLAH SWT created “Luh Mahfuz” (The Fate & Destiny Of Past, Present & Future);
- ALLAH SWT created archangel Jibril A.S. (archangel Gabriel);
- Prophet Adam A.S. (Adam) was created;
- The day when Prophet Adam’s sin was forgiven after years of seeking apologies from ALLAH SWT for disobeying the rules and regulations in Heaven;
- Prophet Idris A.S. (Enoch) was acknowledged by ALLAH SWT and archangel Izrail A.S. (Azrael) brought him to Seventh Heaven;
- Prophet Nuh A.S. (Noah) and his followers were saved from the Big Flood and his ark was safely-drifted to an apex of a mountain;
- Prophet Ibrahim A.S. (Abraham) was born in a rural state, far away from the ruthless King Namrud (Nimrod);
- Prophet Yusuf A.S. (Joseph) was released from prison after being kept there for 7 years;
- Prophet Yaakub A.S. (Jacob) was healed from the blindness when his son, Prophet Yusuf A.S. (Joseph) came back on that day;
- Prophet Ayub A.S. (Job) was healed from his ailment;
- Prophet Musa A.S. (Moses) was saved from the wrath of Pharaoh’s army and the occurrence of Exodus;
- The revelation of Taurat (Torah) to Prophet Musa A.S. (Moses);
- Prophet Yunus A.S. (Jonah) came out from the belly of the whale after 40 days and 40 nights in there;
- The misdeeds committed by Prophet Daud A.S. (David) was forgiven by ALLAH SWT;
- Prophet Sulaiman A.S. (Solomon) was granted a vast kingdom;
- Prophet Isa A.S. (Jesus) was summoned to Heaven when the Romans were to crucified him;
- Saidina Hussein Ibni Ali (Prophet Muhammad SAW’s grandson) was a martyr when he was killed mercilessly in Karbala by The Shi’ites and then they had slandered Khalifah Yazid R.A. from Ummaiyah Clan claiming that he was the one who killed Saidina Hussein. This slander has been exaggerated to confuse Moslems with Asyura and they held “a fiesta of hurting themselves” in the name of atonement and called it Mourning Of Muharram.
Well, whatever it was that differs Sunni and Shiah on the concept of Asyura, it sure comes to the same focal point that it is the day to be revered and welcomed graciously with the spirit of humbleness and piety. Wallahulam.