Al-Hijrah and Ashura for Muslims
Every religion observes special times that are considered important for their adherents as they represent significant dates and events in the religion’s calendar. There are various religions across the globe, including Christians and Muslims as the major religions across the globe. The Islamic religion is one of the major religions across the globe; Muslims believe in monotheism, and therefore, they worship one, all-knowing God, who is regarded as Allah in Arabic (Reza). Like every religion, followers of Allah aim to live a life of complete submission to Allah, as they believe that nothing happens without his permission, despite humans having free will. There are numerous special times in the Islamic religion that can be regarded to be of great importance to its adherents, including Al-Hijrah and Ashura special events for Muslims. For this assignment, I will analyze the two special events – Al-Hijrah and Ashura, analyzing their history, beliefs, and the activities associated with the observance of the two special events.
The Al-Hijrah is a special event for the Muslim adherents as it is the Islamic New Year (Kanaker and Ghani). It is the first day of the month of Muharram. The Al-Hijrah marked the Hijrah in 622 CE when Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina, setting up the first Islamic state in Medina. The Muslim calendar counts dates from the Hijrah, and this explains the reason Muslim dates have the suffix A.H (After Hijrah). Prophet Muhammad moved to Medina so that he could have the freedom to worship freely. According to the Muslim adherents, by Prophet Muhammad moving from Mecca, which was his home city, to Medina, a foreign territory; it depicts that faith is bigger than family, and therefore, Muslims are highly encouraged to put more emphasis on their religion even if it means abandoning their families.
Despite having a great significance to the Muslim adherents, the Al-Hijrah is depicted as a low-key event in the Muslim world and thus, celebrated less than some of the major festivals such as Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Based on this, there are no specific religious rituals required for Al-Hijrah, but Muslim adherents often think about the general meaning of the event and regard this as a good time for making ne year resolutions. Since it is not a major holiday, there are no special rules to be followed. It is considered to be more of a cultural day than a religious day, but in many Islamic countries, it has been designated as a public holiday. The special event provides Muslims with an opportunity to reflect, remember, and be grateful for what they have achieved in their lives. It is a time to find peace, and Muslims are encouraged not to fight, and therefore, soldiers may lay down their weapons in adherence to Al-Hijrah (Mahameed).
The Ashura is another major event in the Islamic religion. It is an Islamic holiday that occurs on the tenth day of Muharram, which happens to be the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. While the Al-Hijrah marks the day Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina to find freedom of worship, Ashura marks the day in which Prophet Moses was saved by God when he parted the sea while leading the children of Israel to the promised land (Haleem). Besides, the Ashura signifies the day on which the Battle of Karbala took place, resulting in the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, as well as a member of the Household of Muhammad (Al-Salihi). Therefore, the Ashura is a special event in the Islamic religion, and its adherents tend to observe it as a reminder of the two major events that occurred on the tenth day of Muharram. Since it reminds the Islamic adherents of martyrdom, there are certain rules that need to be followed in observance of the event, including fasting and mourning. Prophet Muhammad is a significant individual in the history of the Islamic religion, and so does his grandson. Based on this, Ashura symbolizes a time to strengthen the faith of the followers.
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