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Ashura

Learning about Islam

Ashura is a Muslim holiday. This year, Ashura will be celebrated on November 14th.

Islam, the religion of Muslims, has two main branches. Most Muslims around the world are Sunnis [SOON-eez]. Others are Shi’ites [SHEE-ites]. In some countries, violence breaks out during Ashura between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

During Ashura, Shi’ites remember Muslim heroes who died. Some honor a hero named Hussein by hitting themselves on the back with whips. Muslim leaders have tried to discourage people from hurting themselves during Ashura, but some still follow the tradition. Others use pretend whips. Many Muslims believe that the celebration of Ashura offers forgiveness for sins.

To Think About
First Peter 2:24 (NIV) says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” How does that verse say Christians’ sins are forgiven? By whose wounds are we healed?

To learn more about Sunnis and Shi-ites, read this chart comparing the two branches of Islam. Check the “Beliefs” section of this site for more comparison charts.

To learn more about Islam, read Learning About Islam, available for free download in the Downloads section.