While everyone knows the reason behind why we observe Ashura, there are several misconceptions about what exactly Shias do on these two days.
To gain some better insight, The Current spoke to several Shias about how they spend the important days of 9th and 10th Muharram and here is a short summary of what they told us.
On 9th Muharram, all Shia Muslims attend the majlis and juloos, where they listen to the historical background of the tragic incident of Karbala. In these gatherings, the religious scholars highlight the importance of the Family of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in Islam and the hardships they faced during the incident.
During zuhr, all men and women are segregated to offer prayer(namaz) during the juloos. After offering prayers everyone performs Ziyarat of Shabeeh e Zuljanah (Imam Hussain’s ride) after which they pray to Allah and recall the hardships of the family of Imam Hussain(A.S).
Many Shia families arrange drinks and food, also known as Niyaz, for people attending the juloos.
Then they pray Maghrib and Isha and do Ammaal, Nawafil that are specified for that night (Shab e Ashoor). They also recite Surah e Ikhlas because according to their Imam the surah is one of Allah’s favourite. They also eat something before Fajar for faqah which means they do not eat anything from Fajr to Zuhr.
After this, everyone gathers to listen to the Azaan e Ali Akbar (the son of Imam was the moazzan at that time and it was his last Azaan before his Shahadat).
Ziarat e Ashoorah (Salam to Imam Hussain and his companions) is recited at zuhr following which everyone gathers to eat Niyaz because the faqah timings end then.
The night of 10th is called Sham e Ghareeban during which everyone listens to the hardships of the Imam’s family left after the shahadat of the male members. According to tradition, when camps were burnt down, the women and children were forced to evacuate and were made captives.