Ashura is a holy day for Muslims all over the world. Celebrated on the 10th day of Muharram or the first month in the Islamic calendar, Ashura is of immense religious significance.
The special day during Muharram is observed with processions, blood donations and fasts by the believers. However, the state governments of Telangana, Delhi, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, among others, have not given the permission to carry out processions in view of the viral pandemic this year.
Apart from maintaining proper public safety and health protocols, there should not be a congregation of more than four people in any programme.
Ashura 2020: Date
Muharram is considered to be the second most pious month after Ramadan or Ramzan. Representing the virtue of sacrifice, Muslims reflect and offer prayers during the period. As the Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle, the English date of Muharram and Ashura vary every year. This year, Ashura will be observed on August 30, 2020.
Ashura 2020: Significance
The Shia Muslims see Ashura as the day to mourn the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) at the battle of Karbala.
On this day, members of the Shia community wear black clothes, observe abstinence, fast and participate in processions.
On the other hand, the Sunni Muslims consider Ashura as the day when Moses (Prophet Musa) fasted to show his gratitude for the freedom Allah gave to Israelites from the hands of the Pharaoh of Egypt. According to religious texts, Musa decided to fast for two days, the 9th and 10th day of the first month of Al Hijri or Islamic New Year. When Prophet Mohammad travelled to Madina from Mecca in 622 CE, he found out from the Jews that they had started fasting on the same days by following the steps shown by Prophet Musa.