Lighting up the library for Ashura

Thursday 19 August 2021

Image of library lit red

On Thursday the exterior facade of the Library of Birmingham will be lit up red to mark Ashura.

Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. For Muslims, Ashura marks the day that Moses and the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh by God creating a path in the Sea. Also for Muslims, it marks the day that Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. Ashura is a major holy day and occasion for pilgrimage in Shia Islam, as well as a recommended but non-obligatory day of fasting in Sunni Islam.

Ashura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram, the annual commemoration of the death of Husayn and his family and supporters at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH (in AHt: 10 October 680 AD). Mourning for the incident began almost immediately after the battle. Popular elegies were written by poets to commemorate the Battle of Karbala during the Umayyad and Abbasid era, and the earliest public mourning rituals occurred in 963 AD during the Buyid dynasty.

Please visit The Who is Hussain Foundation website for more information.

Article posted 18 August 2021

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