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Tasu'a Mourning-Shia muslim in qom `zdry rwz tsw` dr qm 17.jpg
Tasu'a mourning in Qom, Iran, 2009
Official nameتاسوعاءTāsū‘ā’ (in Arabic)
Observed by Shiite Muslims
Date9 Muharram
2018 date19 September [1] Date may vary according to the site of moon.
2019 date  8 September [1]
2020 date27 August [1]
2021 date17 August [1]

Tasu'a (Arabic : تاسوعاء, translit.  Tāsū‘ā’) is the ninth day of Muharram and the day before Ashura. [2] Several events occurred on this day, including: Shemr's entrance to Karbala, the granting of safe conduct for the children of Umm ul-Banin, [3] preparation for war; and Husayn ibn Ali and his companions were besieged by the enemy (as part of the Battle of Karbala). [4] The day is attributed to Abbas ibn Ali because of his actions as commander in the army of Husayn ibn Ali. [5]

The romanization of Arabic writes written and spoken Arabic in the Latin script in one of various systematic ways. Romanized Arabic is used for a number of different purposes, among them transcription of names and titles, cataloging Arabic language works, language education when used in lieu of or alongside the Arabic script, and representation of the language in scientific publications by linguists. These formal systems, which often make use of diacritics and non-standard Latin characters and are used in academic settings or for the benefit of non-speakers, contrast with informal means of written communication used by speakers such as the Latin-based Arabic chat alphabet.

Muharram first month of the Islamic calendar

Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year during which warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month, after Ramaḍān. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.


Yom Ashura or Ashura is the tenth day of Muḥarram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. For the majority of Shia Muslims Ashura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram, and commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH. Sunni Muslims have the same accounts of these events, but ceremonial mourning did not become a custom - although poems, eulogizing and recounting the events were and continue to be common. Mourning for the incident began almost immediately after the Battle of Karbala. Popular elegies were written by poets to commemorate the Battle of Karbala during the Umayyad and Abbasid era, and the earliest public mourning rituals occurred in 963 CE during the Buyid dynasty. In Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Ashura has become a national holiday, and many ethnic and religious communities participate in it.



Tasu'a literally means ninth and in the Islamic calendar refers to the ninth day of Muharram. [6] [7]

Events of Tasu'a

The following are the main events of Tasu'a:

Shemr's entrance to Karbala

In the forenoon of Tasu'a, Shemr, accompanied by a four thousand-man army, arrived at Karbala. [8] [9] [10] He brought a letter from Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad to Umar ibn Sa'ad, telling him to take Bay'ah from Husayn or fight. [11] [12] [13]

Shemr ibn Ziljawshan or Shemr was a son of Ziljawshan from the tribe of Banu Kilab, one of Arabia's Hawazinite Qaysid tribes. Umm ul-Banin, the mother of Abbas ibn Ali, was also from the Banu Kilab tribe. Shemr has a villainous reputation in both Sunni and Shia Islam. He was a Kharijite leader before paying allegiance to Yazid I and joining Ibn Ziyad's Umayyad forces. He is known as the man who beheaded Islamic prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala.

Karbala Place in Iraq

Karbala, also Kerbala, is a city in central Iraq, located about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Baghdad, and a few dozen miles east of Lake Milh. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 700,000 people (2015).

Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad Muslim general

ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Ziyād was the Umayyad governor of Basra, Kufa and Khurasan during the reigns of caliphs Mu'awiya I and Yazid I, and the leading general of the Umayyad army under caliphs Marwan I and Abd al-Malik. Ubayd Allah is primarily remembered for his role in the killings of members of Ali ibn Abi Talib's family and he has become infamous in Shi'a Muslim tradition.

Safe conduct for the children of Umm ul-Banin

Shemr was one of the tribesman of Umm ul-Banin. He was given a guarantee of safe conduct from Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad for children of Umm ul-Banin in Tasu'a. He asked Abbas ibn Ali and his brothers to abandon Husayn ibn Ali and obey Yazid. Abbas didn't accept his safe conduct and answered him: "God curse you and your safe conduct! You give us safe conduct and you do not give safe conduct to the grandson of the Prophet of God? And you are asking us to enter the obedience of the cursed people and those who are children of cursed people?" [11] [13]

Umm ul-Banin

Fāṭimah bint Ḥuzam al-Kulābīyya, commonly known as Umm ul-Banin, was a wife of the fourth caliph and first Shia Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib. She was from the tribe of Banu Kilab Kalbasi, Khasaes al-Abbasiah,, P. 63 a branch of Qais Ailan tribes.

Safe conduct

Safe conduct is the situation in time of international conflict or war where one state, a party to such conflict, issues to a person—usually an enemy state's subject—a pass or document to allow the enemy alien to traverse its territory without harassment, bodily harm, or fear of death. Safe conduct is only granted in exceptional circumstances. It may be given to an enemy to allow retreat under surrender terms, or for a meeting to negotiate; to a stateless person; or to somebody who for some reason would normally not be able to pass.

Abbas ibn Ali

Al-Abbas ibn Ali, also known as Qamar Banī Hāshim, was a son of Imam Ali, the first Imam of Shia Muslims and the fourth Caliph of Sunni Muslims, and Fatima bint Hizam, commonly known as Mother of the Sons.

Preparing for war

After rejection of the safe conduct by Abbas and his brothers, Umar ibn Sa'ad ordered his army to attack Husayn's camp. [14] [15] [16] When Husayn ibn Ali understood their intent, he asked his brother to go to them and ask about his plan. Abbas ibn Ali, Zuhayr ibn Qayn, Habib ibn Madhahir and a few others went and asked them. They answered that our governor ordered us to ask you to Bay'ah him and his rule or fight. Abbas returned to Husayn and said their message. "Go back to them and ask them to give us this evening as a respite till tomorrow so that we may pray to our Lord, supplicate to Him, and seek His forgiveness, for He knows how much I love prayers, the recitation of His Book, the abundance of invocations, and the seeking of His forgiveness", Husayn said to Abbas. Abbas went back to the army and said them the message. Umar Ibn Sa'ad agreed to delay the war until the next day. [11] [13] [17]

Zuhayr ibn Al-Qayn Al-Bajali, was a member of Al-Bajali tribe in Iraq and a companion of Husayn ibn Ali, Muhammad's grandson and son of Ali ibn Abi Talib. He was martyred during the battle of Karbala in Karbala.

Habīb ibn Madhāhir al-Asadi was of the Banu Asad clan, and one of the companions of Ali, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali. He was one of the people of Kufa who sent letters to Husayn ibn Ali and invited him to Kufa. Though, when he realized that people of Kufa have broken their allegiance to Husayn, he left Kufa, joined Husayn, and was martyred at the age of 75 while fighting in Husayn's army, in Karbala.

Siege of Karbala

In a Hadith by Ja'far al-Sadiq it is said: "Ninth of Muharram is the day, when Imam Husayn and his companions were besieged at Karbala by the army of Syria from all sides and offloaded their luggage. The son of Marjanah (Ubaydullah bin Ziyad) and Umar ibn Sa’ad were pleased at the large number of their army and they deemed Imam and his companions to be weak. They knew that Imam Husayn had no helpers or aides in Iraq. May my father be ransom upon the oppressed traveler." [12]

Hadith collections of sayings and teachings of Muhammad

Ḥadīth in Islam are the record of the words, actions, and the silent approval, supposedly of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Within Islam the authority of Ḥadīth as a source for religious law and moral guidance ranks second only to that of the Qur'an. Quranic verses enjoin Muslims to emulate Muhammad and obey his judgements, providing scriptural authority for ahadith. While the number of verses pertaining to law in the Quran is relatively few, ahadith give direction on everything from details of religious obligations, to the correct forms of salutations and the importance of benevolence to slaves. Thus the "great bulk" of the rules of Sharia are derived from ahadith, rather than the Qur'an.

Jafar al-Sadiq Sixth of the Twelve Shia Imams

Imam Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad aṡ-Ṣādiq̈, commonly known as Jaʿfar al-Sadiq or simply al-Sadiq, was the sixth Shia Imam and a major figure in the Hanafi and Maliki schools of Sunni jurisprudence. He was a descendant of Ali on the side of his father, Muhammad al-Baqir, and of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr on the side of his mother, Umm Farwah bint al-Qasim. Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was raised by Ali, but was not his son. Ali used to say: "Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr is my son but from Abu Bakr's lineage". Al-Sadiq is the 6th imam and recognized by all Shia sects as an Imam, and is revered in traditional Sunni Islam as a transmitter of Hadith, prominent jurist, and mystic to sufis. Despite his wide-ranging attributions in a number religious disciplines, no works penned by Ja'far himself remain extant.

Syria Country in Western Asia

Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria.


The day of Tasu'a, in Iran (Ardabil) Tasu'a, in Iran (Ardabil).jpg
The day of Tasu'a, in Iran (Ardabil)

In the days of Ashura and Tasua, Muslims go to mosques and Takiehs or go to mourning ceremonies. [18] They recite Ahadith and poems in honor of Abbas ibn Ali. [19] On a whole, the mourning ceremonies consists of procession, chanting and self-flagellation. [20] One of the oldest and most common tradition between Muslim is asking wishes from Allah then promise to feed people. In Iran this tradition is well-established and reaches its climax on Tasua and Ashura (the 9th and 10th of Muharram) to feed mourners. [21]

Ta'zieh as a religious play is an old traditional practice for mourning in some cities and villages. [22] Participants see the Ta'zieh as a part of ritual mourning and not as a common play where actors have to memorize their scripts. In other words, the actors read from the script. [20]

Relation with Abbas ibn Ali

This day is devoted to Abbas ibn Ali in Shia communities, because of his bravery as the standard-bearer of Husayn's army in the Battle of Karbala. [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Hussainiya ceremonial gathering hall in Shia Islam

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