Muslims across the globe are commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who embraced martyrdom along with his family and companions in the battle of Karbala in 61 AH (680 CE). The day of Ashura, the 10th of Muharram, marks the climax of the mourning rituals that began on the first day of the Islamic lunar month.
Imam Hussain (RA) is revered by Muslims as a symbol of resistance against tyranny, oppression and injustice. He refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid, the Umayyad caliph, who was widely seen as a corrupt and illegitimate ruler. Imam Hussain (RA) and his small band of followers were surrounded by Yazid’s army in the desert of Karbala, Iraq. They faced thirst, hunger and torture before they were massacred on Ashura.
The sacrifice of Imam Hussain (RA) is not confined to a certain time or place but it is a message for Muslims beyond all borders and for all coming generations and continents. He stood for the principles of Islam, as taught by his grandfather, which were against tyranny, oppression and injustice.
In the process, he sacrificed his own life as well as the lives of his loved ones including his six-month-old baby, but he was able to save everything that humanity needed as a result.
Muslims remember Imam Hussain (RA) by attending lectures, reciting poems, and performing plays and processions that re-enact the tragedy of Karbala. Some also express their grief by self-flagellation or donating blood. The commemoration of Ashura is not only a mourning ritual but also a reminder to uphold the values of justice, compassion and steadfastness in all spheres of life.
Muslims around the world pray for peace and harmony on this solemn day and hope that the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (RA) will inspire them to overcome the challenges and difficulties faced by the nation and the whole Muslim Ummah.