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Muharram 2018 Begins Tomorrow, Know the History & Rituals

While the majority believed that Abu Bakr – Prophet Muhammad's father-in-law and close friend should be the successor, some supported the succession of Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law – Ali ibn Abi Talib.

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Updated:September 11, 2018, 12:29 PM IST
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Muharram 2018 Begins Tomorrow, Know the History & Rituals
Shi'ite Muslim women mourn during a Muharram procession to mark Ashura in Delhi, India, October 24, 2015. Ashura, which falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram, commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who was killed in the seventh century battle of Kerbala. (Reuters)
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Muharram 2018 begins tomorrow i.e. 12th September 2018 and marks the beginning of new Islamic Year. Muharram is observed for the first ten days and the tenth day of Muharram is known as the Day of Ashura which observes the death of Hussein ibn Al – the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. Ashura falls on Friday, 21st September 2018, this year.

The History of Ashura cites a turning point in the Islamic Community when it was split perpetually as Shia and Sunni Muslims. As per Islamic records, upon death of Prophet Muhammad there was a divide amongst the followers upon who will become the successor of the last Prophet.

While the majority believed that Abu Bakr – Prophet Muhammad's father-in-law and close friend should be the successor, some supported the succession of Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law – Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Winning the consensus Abu Bakr became the first muslim caliph, however, years later during a war against the ruling Caliph, Ali’s son and Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein ibn Ali was brutally murdered at Karbala. The Shia muslims were divided forever from the Sunni counterparts of the same faith. Karbala in modern day Iraq is an important pilgrim site for Shia Muslims who observe Muharram with mourning and great sorrow for Hussein or Hosay.

Sunni Muslims fast during Muharram and observe it as a day of reflection and gratitude as Prophet Muhammad observed a two-day fast on this day and urged his followers to follow the same.

Shia Muslims mourn the killing of Hussein during Muharram; public events are held, prayers organized and processions showcase ardent lovers of Ali and Hussein who flog themselves, walk on fire and reenact various plays to remember the pain Hussein was put through on the Day of Ashura.
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