Ashura unites Shia and Sunni Muslims

Starting today, Sunni and Shia Muslims will celebrate Ashura which marks the death of Prophet Mohammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, an event that led to the schism between Shias and Sunnis.

Ashura unites Shia and Sunni Muslims

Many ministries and institutions throughout the Muslim world will remain closed on Monday in celebration of the occasion of Ashura, which means "10th," as it is on the 10th day of Muharram, and celebrated on the both the ninth and tenth days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic years.

Following the death of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), a schism developed within the Muslim community at that time as it was trying to choose who will succeed the Holy Prophet in leading the Muslim nation.

This marked the beginning of the historical split between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

In the year 680 A.D. Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, was murdered during a battle against the ruling Caliph -- on the 10th day of Muharram ('Ashura) in Karbala (modern-day Iraq), now considered the most important religious site for Shia Muslims.

Up until today, Muslims, both, Shia and Sunnis observe the day.

But Sunni Muslims' celebration of the occasion differs from that of the Shias, some of whom recall the sad killing of the Imam by beating and flogging themselves in parades, to express their grief.

But contrary to the widespread misconception about the split between the Sunnis and Shias, both sects agree on the core fundamentals of Islam - the Five Pillars.

In 1959 Sheikh Mahmoud Shaltoot, Head of the School of Theology at Al Azhar university in Cairo, the most reputable seat of learning of Sunni Islam and the oldest university in the world, issued a fatwa (ruling) recognizing the legitimacy of the Jafari School of Law to which most Shias belong, according to

This demonstrates the mutual respect between the Sunni and Shia sects in Islam.

The Jafari School is named after its founder Imam Jafar Al Sidiq who was a direct descendent through two different lines of the Sunni Caliph Abu Bakr. And Al Azhar University, though now Sunni, was actually founded by the Shia Fatimid dynasty in 969CE.

It is important to know that Islam does not require a Muslim to follow a certain school of thought, or Madh'hab. On the contrary, each Muslim has the right to follow one of the schools of thought which has been correctly narrated and its verdicts have been compiled in its books. Also any Muslim who is following such Madh'hab [schools of thought] can transfer to another school, and there shall be no crime on him for doing so.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16