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‘Āshūrā’ in Arabic means "the 10th", and is commemorated on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram. For Sunni Muslims Āshūrā is a time to remember two of Allāh’s merciful acts: Noah's safe landing after the Flood and the Israelites liberation from Egypt under Moses. Since Muḥammad fasted on this day, fasting is recommended but not required. (Observance begins at sunset of the previous day, but special worship and prayers begin August 29.) For Shi'ite Muslims Āshūrā has special importance as it commemorates the martyrdom of Ḥusain, Prophet Muḥammad's grandson, in AH 61 (680 CE). They observe the event for 10 days, from the first of the month. It's a time of great mourning.

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  • Alexis MacGregor

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