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What is Ashura?

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Ashura is an annual day of morning on the 10th day of Muharram (the first month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar). It is an annual event which marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (the prophets grandson) in 680AD in Karbala Iraq, for refusing to submit to the tyranny of the Caliph at the time Yazid.

The portrait of Karbala started from a piece of land on the outskirts of a very large desert. A person by the name of Hussein was isolated in an open field in this desert. He was with his family and companions (whom did not muster even 70). On the other side stood an army that has been sent to fight him from various regions in the area reaching in excess of 30,000 soldiers (based on even the weakest of narrations).

At one place on the field lie many palm trees and behind them a small river called the Al Alqami River, which branched from the Euphrates River. This place was where the animals quenched their thirst, the plants sourced their nutrients and humans got their sustenance that God has provided as a gift.

This large army prohibited Hussein’s camp from drinking water after he was asked to choose between submitting to the rule of a thoughtless tyrant named Yazeed. Yazid knew nothing about Islam except the name of the religion. So Hussain made a choice. He chooses to die beloved and strong rather than being killed whilst weak and humiliated. He chose to be killed and cut into pieces to show to all mankind that this tyrant (Yazeed) who ruled the people and who’s followers were not Muslims and the path they follow is not related to Islam at all. He chose to be killed so that the pure Islam would last in perpetuity with his martyrdom, as the honored Prophet Mohamed stated:

“Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein”

Hussain and his companions have become eternal in front of the face of time. One would say how? The incident has occurred more than 1360 years ago so how are the personalities of the story still present with us today?

Its simple.

Look around you and witness the elements of righteousness and the elements of oppression. You will find that the light (of righteousness) is ever so bright where as the darkness (of oppression) is dark, despite the passing of time and other changes.