‘Ashūrā’ (Arab., from Heb., ʿāsōr, ‘tenth [of the month]’). The Jewish Day of Atonement, observed as a day of fasting by the early Muslim community in Madīna. It became a voluntary fast day on 10 Muḥarram, often observed by the pious. For Shīʿa Muslims, this is the anniversary of the death of al-Husain at the hands of the Caliph Yazīd, and it is observed often with displays of self-inflicted wounds indicating willingness for martyrdom, and by martyrdom plays (taʿziya).
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