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The Ashura (Arabic: عاشوراءʻĀshūrā’ , colloquially: /ʕa(ː)ˈʃuːra/; Urdu: عاشورا‎; Persian: عاشورا/ʕɒːʃuːˈɾɒ/; Turkish: Aşure Günü) is on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram. Shi'a Muslims maintain that Ashura is a day of great sorrow due to the tragic events of Karbala. It is commemorated by Shi'a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH ( in AHt: October 10, 680 CE). The massacre of Husayn with small group of his companions and family members had great impact on the religious conscience of Muslims. Especially Shia Muslims have ever remembered it with sorrow and passion. Mourning for Husayn and his companions began almost immediately after the Battle of Karbala, by his survivor relatives and supporters.

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Karbala at Arba'een
The Mourning of Muharram marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, was killed by the forces of the second Umayyad caliph Yazid I at Karbala. Family members, accompanying Hussein ibn Ali, were killed or subjected to humiliation. The commemoration of the event during yearly mourning season, from first of Muharram to twentieth of Safar with Ashura comprising the focal date, serves to define Shia communal identity. At present, Muharram Observances are carried out in countries with noteworthy Shia population, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, India, and Bahrain.

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The shrine of Husayn, as seen from the shrine of Abbas in Karbala, Karbala Governorate, Iraq
Al-‘Abbās ibn ‘Ali (Arabic: العباس بن علي‎, Persian: عباس فرزند علی‎) (born 4th Sha‘bān 26 AH – 10 Muharram 61 AH; approximately May 15, 647 – October 10, 680) was the son of Imam Ali, the first Imam of Shiite Muslims and the fourth Caliph of Sunni Muslims, and Fatima bint Hizam commonly known as Mother of the Sons (Persian: 'أم البنين'‎). He fought bravely at the battle of Karbalā and was killed, according to most traditions, on the day of Ashura (10 Moḥarram 61/10 October 680) while trying to bring back water from the Euphrates river to quench the unbearable thirst of the besieged "Ahl al-Bayt" (holy family). Abbas is revered by Sunni and Shiite Muslims for his loyalty to his half-brother Hussein, his respect for the Households of Muhammad, and his role in the Battle of Karbala. Abbas is buried in the Shrine of Abbas in Karbala, Karbala Governorate, Iraq, where he was martyred during the Battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura.

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Battle of Karbala by Abbas Al-Musavi
Credit: Abbas Al-Musavi

A painting on the Battle of Karbala hold in Brooklyn Museum.

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Muharram procession in Bahrain

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