Friday, December 25, 2009

The birth of Christ and Yaum-e-Ashura

Today is Christmas throughout the world. People know 25th Dec as the day Jesus (Isaa Alaihissalaam) was born. But how many of us know that according to the Islamic calender, Prophet Isaa was born on the 10th day of Muharram ? That's on Ashura day. Ashura is not only the day Isaa A S was born but also the same day when he was taken up to the heavens.

Many of us just associate Ashura (the 10th of Muharram) with only the martyrdom of Hazrat Hussain (grandson of Prophet Muhammad S A S). But what many Muslims also do not know is that the importance of Ashura extends even beyond that. This day has always been an important day in the history of the world and religion.

On this day Prophet Hazrat Adam A S was created. And also Prophet Ibrahim A S (Abraham) born on this day. The ark of Prophet Nooh A S (Noah) halted at mountain Judi on the 10th day of Muharram. The heavens, earth, sun, moon, stars and paradise were also created on Ashura. Apart from this, many more religious events have taken place on this day.

Muharram is the 1st month of the Islamic calender. From the 1st to 10th day the most important battle of 'Karbala' was fought against 'Yazeed', a cruel king who believed himself to be God. This battle ended with Ashura, where Hazrat Hussain was martyred. Soonafter, Yazeed was also defeated and people were saved from the clutches of a cruel and evil king. From 1st to 10th, many muslims remember the martydom of Hazrat Hussain and the troubles the family of our beloved prophet went through in the battle of Karbala when they were denied food and water. That is why in many places you will find the 'Sabeel' installed to serve water to travellers so that no one goes thirsty. Sabeel comes from the arabic word meaning 'spring'. The sherbet many make on the last day is also symbolic of water. Over the period of time, the plain sweet sherbet has been modified to milk sherbet with crushed dry fruits thrown it for flavour. Some kids in Muslim mohallahs collect money to make huge tanks of sweet sherbet, mixing the sugar n water concoction for hours through the previous night (till wee hours of morning) before the colour, flavours and garnishings are thrown in. It is then distributed to all. Though there are certain sections of Muslims who raise eyebrows over the practice. But here I'd like to say that though Hazrat Hussain A S was martyred, it showed many Muslims the right path and they chose not to follow Yazeed. So in a way it was also a kind of victory too.

Also, we see many Muslim households make 'kichda' during Muharram and many (including some Muslims) wonder why! What is 'kichda'? Kichda is a mixture of wheat, rice, dals/ pulses, meat thrown together and cooked for hours till it is soft. It is made in various ways. This is also symbolic practice because it is believed that during the battle of Karbala, when they was nothing much left to eat, the leftovers of all grains and food available with the people were mixed and cooked. All these are ways of rememberance. Of course, no way of remembrance can be better than prayer and fasting (which is advised for two days on 9th and 10th day or on 10th and 11th day). Though Sunnis end their sad remembrance of the battle with Ashura (10th day of Muharram), the Shias continue to mourn throughout the entire month of Muharram. And some extend it for another additional ten days.

Ashura is on Monday (28th Dec). It is a day of great significance. My Dad used to always say - 'One should not work on the day of Muharram'. Thankfully, Govt has declared the holiday at the last moment, else I would have taken a day off, anyways!

Also refer to my earlier article dated 20th Jan 2008 : http://myjourney-shagufta.blogspot.com/2008/01/ashura-10th-day-of-muharram.html

2nd pic courtesy : my.opera.com

16 comments:

samurai said...

does ashura fall on the same day every year,december 28th.

the jews do not accept christ and the christians do not accept the prophet.but there is a thread that runs through all the three religions.
in that case,there should not be any major problem with the shrines of all three co existing as they do in jerusalem.
the jews can easily be allowed to settle down where they originally belonged to.
it is all a thing of earthly legal reconciliation,but why is there such antagonism against israel who are only a branch of the family but who have not recognized the illustriousness and the message of one of the descendants of the same family.

sk said...

Thanks Shagufta for all the facts that you have shared with us about the Ashura day. Also, I would like to add that Qayaamat (end of the world) will be also on the Ashura day. This I have been hearing from childhood, but I don't know about the source of this information.

Shagufta said...

Samurai,
Thanks for your comments....
Q : Does Ashura fall on 28th dec every year?
A : No, it does not. Since you comment a lot on Islamic world, I thought you would be well aware that Islam follows the Lunar calendar just like Hindus. The only difference is that while every fourth year in the Hindu calender Adhik maas (extra month) is added to stabilise certain festivals and events from moving throughout the year, Islamic calender does not! Hence you will find all Muslim festivals moving almost a month ahead every year. So we fast in Ramzan in summer, winter and rain.
Q : Regarding resettling Jews in Palestine...
A : The Jews were displaced from Germany and other parts of Europe due to increasing anti-Semitism, so ideally they should go back there! Why force them on a third country? And that too in a way that the original inhabitants of the country become refugees in their own land ! The atrocities committed on them by the Nazis is now being revenged upon on the Palestinians by the original sufferers! So how are the Isrealies different from the Nazis?
If original Land according to you is based on origins of a religion, then all Muslims should move to Arabia, Christians should be in Jeruselam, Hindus should stay in India .... while the rest of the world remains unoccupied.
Today people lose citizenship of their country of origin on acquiring citizenship of another land! Where is the question of original land?
According to your view, the Tamilians of Sri Lanka should be brought back to India so also people of Pakistan and Bangladesh be allowed free entry into India (and eventually allowed to be more powerful than us!?) as India was once their original land too!
If the Parsis go back to Iran and forcefully stay there now claiming Iran to be their original land once, will Iran allow that?
We Indians cannot tolerate our own people. We keep fighting on the basis of region, religion and even language. So called custodians of every state try to show themselves as smarter and mistreat people from other states! Then what right do we have to talk on issues being faced by other countries without understanding what pains them? Check the demographics of Isreal over a period of time, Arabs are slowly becoming a minority in their own country!
Moreover, the like you said- The Jews do not accept Christ and Christians do not accept the Prophet, but Islam and Quran accepts and respects Moses and Jesus as Prophets and Muhammed as the last Prophet and also messenger of God. The disrespect is from the other side.
And it not just a question of Jews, the mystery is deeper than it appears.... it goes further into Masonry and other related cults with dubious agenda, of which Quran and related scriptures give a clear indication. The less I say here, the better. Peace!

Shagufta said...

Yes, sk. You're right. Most religious books point towards Qayaamat falling on Ashura day.

samurai said...

shagufta,
i was not arguing for the right of the israelis to come back and establish their country.
the common thread that runs through the three religions should make it possible for the people of the middle east to develop atleast some empathy for the israelis.instead,the blind rage that fuels the al qaeda and sometimes,ahmadinejad ,is not understandable.the israelis are not some totally unconnected people as far as the peoples of the middle east are concerned.the holy books have a common beginning point.then why the absolute hatred,that s what i think is unsubstantiated.a compromise can be possible if the scholars make the attempt,and if the israelis shed their arrogance.with ahmadinejad sometimes talking about destroying israel,the possibilities get remote.
i feel that the kind of hatred expressed against israel is not in keeping with the common elements of the three religions.

Shagufta said...

Samurai,
Islam begins from Adam, the first man on earth. Quran speaks of more than a lakh prophets, some of which may be included in Hinduism too. But over a period of time, most religions have lost their originality and have been modified to suit their own interests. Some have included mythology and unrealistic characters, which will make no sense to a person believing in practicality. A few important prophets have been mentioned by name in Quran, Muhammed being the last.
In that sense, a common thread runs in all religions from creation of the first man till Islam came into being (Quran was revealed). Why only Christians, Jews and Muslims? And this common thread is recognised by Muslims only! Not by anyone else! Quran is based on actual history and has been untouched till date. Whereas other Books from God have been changed by Human beings. Hatred is from the other end. If you check out worldwide propaganda, its mostly against Muslims, to the extent of disrespect to religious figures through pictures! Have you seen Muslims making fun of Moses and Jesus? No! Because they know the truth! The Quran attributes more qualties to Jesus than Bible itself. In fact the bible does not mention much about Mary in detail, whereas Quran has a full chapter dedicated to her!
You start talking about hatred towards Jews by Arab world, whereas the hatred towards them was started in Europe -this was called Anti-Semitism (check world history). The Christians ill-treated them and started killing them, due to which they started illfiltrating towards the Arab World. Then through some act, they were forced to stay there.
Imagine, illfiltrators from our neighbouring countries coming to India and some third country forcing them to stay on through some act. And over a period of time, they start showing that they are better than us! And because of common religious thread from first man till Islam as depicted in Quran, we accept their atrocities!
Also, do not mix terrorism with Isreal issues! What Isrealis are doing to Palestinians is considered a fight, whereas what Arabs do to regain their rights are violent acts. I am not in support of terrorists. Never, Islam does not propogate that!
Most importtant financial positions in US are also held by Jews (Do you know to differentiate between Christian and Jew names?) hence they have a lot of political say in US and UN! That's why the pro-Isreal propoganda, often projecting the Arab world and Palestinians in poor light! Why was the love for Jews not there in Americans and other European countries earlier?
I consider the hatred for Muslims by many people across the world 'absolute', unlike what you have stated!

samurai said...

shagufta,you ve made a strong case and i ve really taken the point now about the insensitivity of the west towards the islamic world and the way that everyone is out there propagating a totally wrong picture.

i was thinking that the islamic countries could soften the rhetoric against israel,like ahmadinejad does,but,the realities are brutal.
maybe,it is qayamat that will occur.i did not know the meaning of the word till now.
the depth of the frustration and the hopelessness that will be felt when faced with intruders and their agendas has to be taken forward by someone.at the moment,the al qaeda is not taking anything forward.someone with the influence of osama should have attempted to develop a unity but it is not to be.
when the opposition s got the measure of the disunity,they have it easy.
a tamil film i was watching yesterday was about the fight between two brothers,each with five sons.
the descendants of abraham are probably destined to keep fighting.
there is no model of governance which can keep the forces of expansion at bay except the model of the dravidian movement.

does qayamat se qayamat tak mean end time to end time.

the tamils,like you said,did not go from here to sri lanka.it was probably the other way round.they have been there from the beginning and the sinhalese know that too.

sk said...

Shagufta, I was waiting for your reply to Samurai's comments. I'm really impressed with your answers and the details. They are based on reasonable facts and should be convincing to anybody reading them.

This also reminds me of some words from the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish:

"Why are we always told that we cannot solve our problem without solving the existential anxiety of the Israelis and their supporters who have ignored our very existence for decades in our own homeland?"

Darwish has described the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis as "a struggle between two memories."

Shagufta said...

Samurai - Thanks for seeing things from my viewpoint, though we dont need Al Qaeda n Osama to fight on behalf of the Muslim World. Such changes should be brought about by top leaders.
Redg name of QSQT, dont know on what basis the name of the movie was kept!
SK - Thanks for the addtl input in the form of the Poem. Samurai's views are never biased if you check his blog (link on my page- INDIA ORIGIN). He is well-versed on World Politics.
Sam n SK - Both you people have much more knowledge than me on many matters. I only share the knowledge I come across through life, my experiences or through reading which I feel others may not know or experience. Thanks for reading

sk said...

Shagufta, keep up the good work.
I will try to go through Samurai's blogs, as you suggested, to get some more insight in World Politics.
It's great to get other peoples views, opinions and share knowledge. We end up learning a lot from them.

Rayees said...

Asak Shagufta,

Congrats! for highlighting the other aspect of Yaum-e-Ashura. I am happy to learn that there are people like you, who are convent educated and still know a lot about their origin.

On a random surfing exercise, which I usually do, I cam across to your blog.

Allah Hafiz...

night said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shagufta said...

W'salaam, Rayees! Thanks for your comments. I wonder what's being convent educated got to do with one's religion. Education only helps people know things better. And half knowledge can be dangerous ! This is very evident in the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of religion we see around us today!

傷口很殺 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dildar Ahmed said...

Assalamu Alaikum Sis,

I am late by a year to read your blog on Yaum-e-Ashura, But it makes relevant as I am reading right on the day of Yaum e ashura of 2010. Very well written keep it up. I am very much impressed with the details explained.

Just to correct one point.. you have answered someone's question about date of ashura every year. You have very well explained it. Here the correction is Muslim - festivals move 10 days ahead every year (not a month) i.e the difference between Lunar calendar (which we muslims follow) and the solar calendar (which is followed by most of the rest of world).
Allah Hafiz, Dildar Ahmed, Mumbai.

Shagufta said...

W'salaam Dildar Ahmed,
I stand correctly. I'd mentioned 'approximately'. Its 10-11 days earlier every month to be precise. Last year Ashura was on 28th Dec, this year its on 17th Dec. I've posted another article on Ashura today also.
Check : http://myjourney-shagufta.blogspot.com/
Thanks