Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yom-e-Ashura | January Festivals & Commemorations


"If your festival is missing, please share it with me and my world of friends"

You may enjoy knowing about the people you live amidst, what they celebrate or commemorate. An attempt will be made to write a short summary about each such event, it will be with the intention of grasping the idea, knowing the essence of it and certainly not to become an expert on it. If you have a good piece on any one of the events below, please share the link or the essay to be shared with my world. Meanwhile, please refer to the Glossary of terms for a brief description. We will be updating this throughout the month to catch up with every event listed here or added from your contribution.

January Festivals & Commemorations at:


By the Islamic Center in DC

Nearly 1,400 years ago, Imam Husain ibn Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad (May God Bless Them), was tragically martyred on the sands of Karbala, Iraq. Imam Husain sought to promote justice, and help restore Islam to its peaceful and benevolent nature - a movement opposed by oppressors.

On his journey to spread the true message of Islam: that it is a religion that focuses on the Oneness of God, on prayer and fasting, on helping the needy, and speaking out against evil - he and his family members were surrounded by the armies of Yazid, a corrupt oppressor focused on building power and brutally crushing dispute.

The tomb in which Imam Husain (May God Bless Him and his family) buried, in modern day Karbala, Iraq.

On the tenth day of Muharram, also referred to as "Ashura", Yazid's forces, numbering in the thousands cornered and killed Husain and the majority of his male family members, including Husain's infant child, leaving only women and some children. The surviving women and children were then shackled and imprisoned.

This event is considered especially tragic, because Husain and his family members, were mercilessly slaughtered and the survivors imprisoned in the name of "Islam", despite the fact that they were espousing the true and peaceful belief system as taught by their grandfather, the Prophet of Islam himself. Conversely, Yazid sought to promote widespread violence and destruction in an effort to distort and destroy Islam

Since then, Ashura has been a day of solitude and remembrance for Muslims throughout the world.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.