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Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance

Posted on: November 30, 2011

In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance

Assalam Alaykum Brother and sister,

Few Muslim brother (specially Shia Brother ) have taken our last post in wrong view.

I’m not here to make controversy  here … i just want to bring truth infront of every one,Its your you follow it.or reject it.

anyways…i hope this post will make it clear what both praty believes.

May Allah swt unite all muslims of this world.


10th of Muharram (the day of Ashura) is observed as an important day by both Sunni and Shia Muslims – however, for different reasons.

Most scholars believe that Ahsura is named as such because of “tenth” of Muharram (ten is translated as “Ashara” in the Arabic language)

Sunni Muslims look at Ashura as “good” while Shia Muslims believe that day to be a day of mourning and sorrow.

Sunni Muslims

Based on the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (saws), Sunni Muslims celebrate Ashura as the day when Prophet Moses (Moosa) fasted on that day because Allah saved the Israelites from their enemy in Egypt. One of the many Ahadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) that attests to that is in Bukhari that states:

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1865) from Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: The Prophet (saws) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashoora. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa fasted on this day.” He (the Prophet Muhammad) said, “We are closer to Moosa than you.”

So he (the Prophet Muhammad) fasted on this day and told the people to fast.

There are many other versions of this Hadith in the books of “Muslim” and “Bukhari”.

According to a version narrated by Muslim,

This is a great day when Allah saved Moosa (Moses) and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people.”

Sunni Muslims celebrate Ashura by fasting on that day. Usually, Sunni Muslims are recommended to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

It is permissible to fast the day of Ashoora on its own, but it is better to fast the day before it or the day after it. This is the Sunnah that is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as he said, “If I am still alive next year, I will certainly fast the ninth.” Narrated by Muslim, 1134. [Source: (question 21776)]

Other Ahadith on the subject are the following:

The prophet observed the fast on Ashuraa (the 10th of Muharram),
and ordered (Muslims) to fast on that day. (Agreed upon Hadith i.e. Bukhari & Muslim).

Narrated by Abi Katada: The prophet was asked about fasting on ‘Ashuraa’ (the 10th of Muharram), he said: “it expiates the previous year (for sins).” (Sahih Muslim)

It was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that the best fasting after Ramadaan is fasting in the month of Muharram. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best fasting after Ramadaan is the month of Allaah Muharram, and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night.” Narrated by Muslim, 1163.

Shia Muslims

Shia Muslims observe Ashura as the day of martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala. Shia Muslims therefore consider this a day of sorrow and observe it as such by refraining from music, listening to sorrowful poetic recitations, wearing mourning attire, and refraining from all joyous events (e.g. weddings) that in anyway distract them from the sorrowful remembrance of that day.

Some Shia sects carry the observance to further extremes by beating themselves with chains in public, cutting themselves with knives and sharp objects and holding mournful public processions.

Sunni Muslims believe such Shia practices (beating, etc.) of the day of Muharram (Ashura) as innovations. Their basis is that during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a number of senior Sahabah (Prophet’s companions) were martyred and he mourned their loss, such as Hamzah ibn Abd al-Muttalib, Zayd ibn Haarithah, Jafar ibn Abi Taalib and Abd-Allah ibn Rawaahah, but he never practiced any such acts. [References:]

Your thoughts and knowledge on the subject are welcome!

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18 Responses to "Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance"

[…] Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance …Nov 30, 2011 … Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance Assalam Alaykum Brother and sister, Few Muslim brother (specially Shia Brother ) … […]


Thanks for sharing a nice and educative article backed by the verse of Holy Quran, and Hadiths ………. nice insight


i am not a Muslim but i feel great interest in Islam so can any one please tell me that why violence takes place on this sacred day of Ashura and why they fight with each other.




Assalam alaikum to all my moslim brothers and sisters
It’s not important you are shia or Sunni it’s enogh to think only for few minuts about this subject,in this day (Ashura) your grandchild of our prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was killed in the crouel and coward way ,And nobody can’t deny the interest and love of our prophet to this family ,to his grand child .
so you can refer to your heart Is realy the soal of our prophet happy in this day!?!and shoudn’t we consider the morality and share our grief and joy letalone our prophit joy and grief!…


Assalam alaikum,jazakallah khair,its been long since I last read a very comprehensive and educative article backed by Quranic and Hadiths quotations.


In this sacred month of Muharram, the martydom of the holy progeny of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) many muslims are commemorating with majalis being read where the stories of the tragic events are told. This heartfelt truth is not only for the muslims but for anyone who supports justice, for anyone who values humanity. I pray for peace in the hearts of brothers and sisters and people who are willing to at least learn and reflect upon this great event.
“Some Shia sects carry the observance to further extremes by beating themselves with chains in public, cutting themselves with knives and sharp objects and holding mournful public processions.”Is a WRONG statement because it shows a lack of understanding and lack of knowledge from the writer of the article. Find out the FACTS before writing.


The writer had clearly given stated .Yes it is happening no matter which sect is doing .What the writer had posted the fact.


The incident of Shaadat of Hussain(R,A.) is the one which is viewed differently by both the sects. Better to accept the feelings of others and accept the fact as per your thinking.


To me this Article is more than Nice.And may Allah(sw) save Muslims of nowadays from the evils of disbelievers the way He saved Prophet Musa(AS) and his followers.


It’s really no use getting into religious debates online. I think it’s much better if we concentrate on our own practices and beliefs rather than fretting over others’. Because, pointing fingers is something that Everyone can resort to!And like they say “Mind your own business”.


Nice Article!!


Very Nice


people sorrow on those who is dead, hussain(R.A) is alive so why should we sunni muslim mourn like shia??
as allah says in quran those who dead for islam dont call them dead person they are alive..
a great sher by iqbal
Katle Hussain Asal Me Margaye Yezid hai
Islam Zinda Hota Hai Har Karbale Ke Baad.


As a learned Muslim Al-hamdo-Lillah, we muslims should should have complete knowledge, why we should fast on 9 & 10 or 10/11 or 9-10-11 of Muharam, in light of Quran & Sunnah.
One must go and study these fasting days, & should help each other of better understanding.
There are no roses without thorns, so stay try to save yourself from thorns, and pick up roses for Jannah.


What is “Right: is right !!!

Though it may be bitter for others.


a very fine comprehensive explanation !


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