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Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement for the Jewish people. Yom Kippur is a sacred day in many respects, and has great relevance for Islam – after all, it was the Prophet Moses AS who initiated the observance of fasting on Yom Kippur. Sunni tradition holds that the Prophet SAW, on arriving in Medina in 622, found that the Jews in residence there were fasting in observance of Yom Kippur, and instructed muslims to observe the fast that day as well – which was 10th Muharram, or Ashura, according to the Hijri calendar. I am actually rather curious about that, it should be a simple calculation to verify sometime. Of course, in the Shi’a tradition Ashura is the day of martyrdom of Imam Husain AS, and so fasting on that day is done in remembrance and grief – the acknowledgment that Husain AS sacrificed himself for the sake of Islam. Thus, Yom Kippur carries an echo of atonement for Shi’a muslims as well. The deeper you dig into these kinds of things, the more parallels emerge, as should be expected since the prophets of Judaism and Christianity are also the prophets of Islam. 

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