This Ashura is an opportunity for reflection, and for understanding the values of harmony, togetherness, and community
Ashura is a day of mourning and remembrance, marking the 10th day of the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar. This day is particularly significant for Shia Muslims, as it is the day on which Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) -- along with his followers -- was killed in the battle of Karbala.
However, this Ashura is unlike any other we have ever experienced, with the Covid-19 pandemic still raging in our country, and cases of infections and deaths holding steady, with little respite. Therefore, it is imperative that caution is exercised, and to make sure there are no large gatherings and crowds that will compromise an already fragile situation, and increase the risk of transmission and death due to Covid-19.
It must be remembered that Bangladesh has always been a country that has traditionally done well with regards to sectarian harmony and reducing communal violence. We are also fortunate that there is a minimal dispute between the Shia and Sunni communities.
Our country was founded on the foundations of secular values and religious tolerance. We must remember this at all times, and collectively fight against any forces that threaten to disrupt the country’s peace and order.
Given the extraordinary circumstances that we find ourselves in, this Ashura, more than ever before, is an opportunity for reflection, and for understanding the values of harmony, togetherness, and community. These are values that Prophet Muhammad abided by and preached his entire life, and all of our lives will be enriched if we take heed of their true meaning.