Tassoua is celebrated on the ninth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar, and this year, that falls on August 7. It is a forbidden month for Muslims in the history of Islam because of the greatest tragedy and oppression of the Prophet’s family that occurred.
Several events occurred on this day. Its popularity among Muslims is derived from Ashura because ‘Karbala’ took place on the ninth and tenth day of the month of Muharram al-Haram.
History of Tassoua
Muharram is the most significant month for Muslims. Muslims around the globe recognize it as the advent of the Islamic New Year and regard it as an important festival. It’s one of the four sacred months of the year for Muslims. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and comes next to Ramadan in terms of significance. Muharram means ‘forbidden,’ and because it is holy, many Muslims use it as a period of prayer and reflection.
Many events take place during Muharram. One of them is Tassoua, which spells as ‘Tasua’ or ‘Tasu’a.’ It holds on the ninth day of Muharram, which is the eve of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the third Shia Imam. Husayn is a prominent figure in Islam because he was a member of the Ahl al-Bayt (the household of Muhammad). He is the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fāṭimah and son-in-law ʿAlī (the first imam of the Shiʿah and the fourth of the Sunni Rashidun caliphs). He was also a member of Ahl al-Kisa, a Shia Imam, and one of The Fourteen Infallibles of Shia Twelvers. The Sunni and Shia recognize him as the ‘Martyr Of Martyrs.’
Tassoua precedes Ashura, on which Imam Husayn and 72 of his loyal companions died in the Battle of Karbala in Iraq over 1,300 years ago. They remember the massacre on Ashura day, and some choose to fast. Large mourning ceremonies are held at the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad and the Grand Bazaar of Tehran. Tassoua is also the traditional and religious ritual date of the 40 Minbar when women cover their faces and repeat zikrs (prayers) for God and light candles in memory of the martyrs of Karbala.
Islam is the second-largest religion worldwide; scholars typically believe it begins during this period.
The Prophet Muhammad designates Ashura as a day of fasting when he flees persecution by traveling from Mecca to Medina.
In Medina, Arabia, now in Saudi Arabia, Husayn is born.
This battle between the armies of the second Umayyad Caliph, Yazid I, and Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, is fought at Karbala, modern-day Iraq.
Why did the Battle of Karbala happen?
The Battle of Karbala occurred because of the crisis that resulted from the succession of Yazid I, who was nominated as successor and broke the Hasan–Muawiya treaty.
How many people died in the Battle of Karbala?
72 soldiers of Husayn’s army died in battle.
Why do Shia hit themselves?
This practice is known as ‘tatbir’ and includes striking oneself on the head with a ‘talwar,’ a form of a sword, causing blood to flow in remembrance of the innocent blood of Imam Husayn.
How to Observe Tassoua
Get familiarized with Muslim culture
This day can be an opportunity to search for information about Muslims and get to know them better. You can watch videos on Youtube or a documentary about Islamic history and traditions.
Travel to Iran
The best way to celebrate this event is to partake in person. Muharram ceremonies — Tasua and Ashura — can help familiarize local and foreign tourists with Iran’s religious and cultural features.
Fasting is a well-known Muslim tradition. Muslims fast on special occasions, and one of such is during Tasua and Ashura. If you have never fasted, this would be an opportunity to do so.
5 Interesting Facts About The Karbala Battle
Imam Husayn was invited to Kufa
The people of Kufa invited him to seek guidance on not starting a war.
Imam Husayn (R.A.) had no army
He did not want to make war; thus, there were only 72 people with him, including women, children, and his family members.
Imam Husayn (R.A.) met a poet
The poet told him not to go to Kufa because the people of Kufa were trying to kill him.
Husayn bought his own land in Karbala
After Reaching Karbala, he bought a piece of land there, knowing that this was his final resting place.
The only male survivor in the battle
Zain Ul Abideen (R.A.) didn’t fight because he was ill; thus, he survived due to his illness.
Why Tassoua is Important
It is a day to show empathy
Many cultures are in the world, and every culture must be recognized and respected. This day is an opportunity to show empathy and respect for Muslims.
It’s significant to Muslims
Islam is the second-largest religion after Christianity. Hence, it’s necessary to be tolerant and respectful.
This day focuses on love
The moral teachings of Husayn are remembered and honored through Holy practices during Muharram. In these events, people remember the sacrifice of Husayn and how his blood at the Battle of Karbala revived humanity and restored moral values.