New Delhi: Muharram day of Ashura 2020 is expected to take place on August 29 or August 30 as the exact date is derived based on the Moon and the location.
The term Muharram means ‘forbidden or prohibited’. The different denominations of the Muslim community observe the tenth day of Muharram as per their beliefs. The Sunni Muslims observe a fast because Prophet Muhammed fasted on this day. It is believed that Allah saved the people of Israel from Pharaoh and that Prophet Musa (Moses, according to Judaism) observed a fast on that day. Muslims recite verses from the Holy Quran and offer their prayers.
The Shia Muslims take part in a procession and carry a Tazia (replica of the sacred tomb) of Imam Hussain (Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammed) on this day. It is a period of mourning for them because Husayn ibn Ali was beheaded in the battle of Karbala (a place in modern-day Iraq).
Shia Muslims recall the agony that the Imam went through. They narrate the incident that took place centuries ago to teach their young ones about their great leader who was killed.
On Muharram, mourners offer prayers at mosques and take out processions grieving the death of the Prophet’s grandson. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, permission for Muharram processions in India over the weekend has been refused by the Supreme Court. The court said it would lead to chaos and “one particular community will be targeted” for spreading the coronavirus.