This is the date known as Ashura which is derived from Ashra (10 in Arabic), while the martyr died on the tenth day of the month of Muharram, the first in the lunar Hijri calendar.
Sunni Muslims evoke the promise with a fast like the one with which Moses thanked the liberation of the people of Israel from the Egyptians.
According to the narrations, the Prophet Muhammad also fasted on that day and recommended it to his companions.
In the case of Shiite Muslims, the day consists of commemorating the assassination of Imam Husayl bin Ali, whom they consider the rightful and direct successor to Muhammad, because he was his grandson.
Al-Husayn died with 72 of his followers in the 10-day Battle of Karbala in 680 in a confrontation with an army of 10,000 soldiers sent by Yazid who seized the caliphate, although he corresponds by lineage to the grandson of Muhammad.
The greatest expression of Shiite remembrance takes place in that Iraqi city where there is a shrine to the martyr that gathers every year millions of believers.
The most pious procession of this shrine used sharp tools to cut themselves until they were completely bled.
This year, as in 2020, there are restrictions on the pilgrimage to Karbala in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many follow the rituals on television or the Internet.
Others are spending a day of mourning in public under strict hygiene measures.
Ashura symbolizes the eternal battle between good and evil for Shiite Muslims who consider Hussein a representative of pure values against those of the Yazidis, who stood in wrong behavior away from Islam.
mem / arc / gdc
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