When describing the significance of this event, Mike Ansari of Heart4Iran says, “Ashura is a major Shia Muslim commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, that took place at the battle of Karbala in modern-day Iraq in the year 680 AD.”
Believers attempting to succeed in Shia Muslims for Christ must be acquainted with Ashura, he provides.
“Hussein’s martyrdom in Karbala was the final event that led to the split of Islam into two main sects of Shias vs. Sunnis.”
What’s Ashura and why does it matter?
As described right here, Muharram is likely one of the 4 sacred months within the Islamic calendar. Shia and Sunni Muslims observe the ninth and 10th days of this month – Ashura – in differing methods, however all agree it’s an essential 24-hour interval. Extra about that right here.
In nations the place Sunni and Shia Muslims stay side-by-side, Ashura can result in friction. “In Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, there have been multiple incidents targeting the Shiite population during Ashura services,” Ansari says. This 2013 report from Pew Analysis Middle gives an in depth account of Sunni-Shia tensions in nations like Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Lebanon.
The nations Pew surveyed have a somewhat-balanced divide between their Muslim residents in comparison with nations with both majority Sunni or Shia populations – Afghanistan and Iran, for instance. But steadiness doesn’t essentially imply security. Concern about spiritual battle runs excessive, particularly in Lebanon – essentially the most “balanced” of the three.
On the identical time, Gospel work just isn’t unattainable in nations with both a Sunni or Shia majority. Within the Shia heartland often known as Iran, Ashura gives Heart4Iran with one more alternative to share Christ’s hope by way of their satellite tv for pc TV ministry. “Mohabat TV exists to proclaim God’s love through His Son Jesus for all mankind,” Ansari says.
“‘For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son’ is a powerful message that is capturing the heart of many Iranians.”
Information is energy
Understanding is a important first step to reaching any folks group for Christ. The identical is true of Muslims. “To better understand the people of the Middle East and their socio-religious culture, we as Christians need to educate ourselves on worldviews of the Islamic regions,” Ansari says.
“While in the West we live in an ‘innocence and guilt’ culture, we need to understand that most Muslim societies adhere to [an] ‘honor and shame’ worldview,” he continues. Extra about ministry in honor and disgrace cultures right here.
“In the case of understanding Ashura, if a Shiite does not engage in intense grief and mourning they have not honored their family, tribe, society and faith. Therefore, [they] have brought shame to their lives.”
Understanding Ashura and the Muslim tradition are good however not the tip aim, Ansari clarifies.
“As Christians we need to act with integrity and trustworthiness [and] create a bridge with other worldviews so we can introduce the Gospel to them.”
Use this data to speak with Muslim neighbors about Ashura, Ansari suggests. “Create a bond of trust, respect and love – but above all, pray for our Father’s love to consume all their hearts,” he says.
“Pray with Muslims who are genuinely trying to please God, and take the step to introduce Jesus to them.”
Click on right here to search out extra methods to wish for Muslims all year long.
Header picture credit score Payam Moein by way of Wikimedia Commons.