Typically, it is quite difficult for me to fast outside of the month of Ramadan…I love my coffee WAY too much (it’s now decaffeinated, though). But, there are a few days during which I am happy to do so. Two of those days are here.
They are the ninth and tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. The tenth day, Ashura (which is tomorrow), is a very special day, especially for Shi’i Muslims, as they commemorate the assassination of Imam Hussein, the son of Imam Ali and grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). That event is a very sad one for me, also, as I am very much in love with the family of the Prophet (pbuh).
Yet, it is also a special time because of the event which it commemorates: the Exodus of the Children of Israel out of Egypt. During the time of the Prophet (pbuh), he encouraged us to fast the 9th and 10th day of Muharram to mark the victory of the people of God over the cruelty of Pharoah. Thus, I am fasting to mark that event, and that is why our beloved Aziz went on vacation (honoring me and Willow with guest posting for a while).
The fact that Muslims fast for the Exodus may come as a surprise to many, but it should not. We are wholly part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and we honor and adore all of the Hebrew Prophets (pbut). Yet, this year’s Ashura is an especially painful one, because of the carnage of Gaza.
As Muslims the world over fast for Moses, why can’t the peoples of the Holy Land come to grips that we are more alike than we are different, that we have lived together in peace and can do so again, that our blood is equal and should not be spilled on the holy soil of the Holy Land?
As I fast, I send this prayer to the Lord: that He makes the killing stop and that both sides can once and for all enjoy peace, security, and prosperity. Amen.