Muharram: Significance of ‘Ashura’ & 5 Lessons by Imam Hussain

Muharram: Significance of ‘Ashura’ & 5 Lessons by Imam Hussain

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Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
Video Producer: Hera Khan

Muharram is the Islamic calendar's first month. A lot of what happened during this month influenced Islamic history and the life of Muslims. It is said that Adam (pbuh) was born during this month, as were many other prophets and messengers. Despite this, Shia Muslims call it the month of 'mourning'.

Battle of Karbala in 680 AD

The last prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa's (SAW) grandson, Hazrat Imam Hussain, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram. With him, 71 others, as well as Hazrat Imam Hussain’s six-month-old son, were also martyred by Yazid's army.

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The Battle of Karbala was fought between Imam Hussain and the cruel Umayyad caliph Yazid. This day is remembered by Muslims for Imam Hussain’s martyrdom, is mourned by Shia Muslims and is known as ‘Ashura’. 

Imam Hussain was the son of Prophet Muhammad's (SAW) daughter Fatima (pbuh) and Hazrat Ali (pbuh).

While Shias consider Hazrat Ali their first Imam or leader, Sunnis consider him as their fourth khalifa (caliph).

Why Is Muharram Observed?

To know these details, we’ll have to look back in time. Let’s go back to when the Islamic state had a khalifa. The khalifa ruled the Muslim community across the world.

50 years after Prophet Muhammad (SAW) passed away, the world began witnessing atrocities and oppression. Syria's governor, Yazid, declared himself the khalifa but was a corrupt dictator. Hazrat Imam Hussain did not accept him as the khalifa.

Irked, Yazid ordered his army to behead those who didn’t abide by his commands.

Yazid’s army even stopped the supply of water to Hazrat Imam Hussain and his compatriots: taking away their basic rights. Atrocities rose day by day but Imam Hussain and his supporters didn’t surrender and stood against Yazid. Yazid’s army killed all of them but Hazrat Imam Hussain never bowed down before the corrupt and cruel Yazid.

Even today, Imam Hussain’s life teaches us many lessons. His words carry the secrets for a better world.

5 Important Lessons by Imam Hussain

  • A respectful death is better than a disgraceful life.
  • Your wisdom is not complete until you advocate for (someone’s) rights.
  • Always follow the path of righteousness, no matter how difficult it is.
  • The best ruler is one who eliminates cruelty and stands for justice.
  • While talking about your friend and brother behind their backs, speak what you would want to listen to about yourself.

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