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Ashoura Day in Gambia
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Aashura: (alternative spelling)

Date: Sunday 1 October, 2018 See also   HERE 

Around this time Sunni Muslims may fast for 2 or 3 days in succession though this is voluntary. Ashoura has been a day observed since the early days of the Muslim community and commemorates the day when Moses (Musa) was saved from the Egyptians by Allah and the day Noah (Nuha) left the Ark.  The word Ashura is Arabic for tenth. The day is indeed the tenth day of the month.

According to Sunni Hadith, Ashura was already known as a commemorative day during which some of Mecca's citizens used to observe customary fasting. In hijrah event when Muhammad led his followers to Medina, he found the Jews of that area likewise observing fasts on the day of Ashura. At this, Muhammad (pbuh) affirmed the Islamic claim to the fast, and from then the Muslims have fasted on combinations of two or three consecutive days including the 10th of Muharram.

For Shia Muslims it marks the martyrdom of Hussaine ibn Ali. In the month of Muharram 61 AH (about the 20 October 680 AD), a battle took place in Iraq at a place known as the Battle of Karbala (also spelt Kerbala) on the bank of the Euphrates River. A large army led by  Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad was mobilized by the Umayyad regime besieged a group of people numbering less than a hundred and pressurized them to pay allegiance to the Caliph of the time and submit to his authority. The small group resisted and a severe battle took place in which they were all killed. The leader of the resistance was the prophet Mohammed's (pbuh) grandson, Hussaine ibn Ali. Ashura or Ashoura is the day held to commemorate his martyrdom.

With the passing away of his brother Hassan (A) in 50 AH, Husain (A) became the leader of the household of the Holy Prophet (S). For Shia Muslims, commemoration of Ashura is not a festival, but rather a sad event, while Sunni Muslims view it as a victory God (Allah) has given to his prophet, Musa. This victory is the very reason, as Sunni Muslims believe, Muhammad mentioned when recommending fasting on this day.

Note: No guarantees are given as to the accuracy of the dates above.


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