Tuesday, February 07, 2006

On Ashura

A week ago, the Islamic world has celebrated the starting of the month of Moharram, the first month of the muslim lunar calendar. In Morocco, and in many other (mostly sunni) parts of the muslim world, the first ten days of Muharram are festive days. On Ashura day, which is the tenth day of Muharram, people will buy sweets, nuts and candy, and offer gifts and toys to their children. They will even congratulate one another by saying: "Mabrouk lewasher", and on Ashura night (or the night before) youngsters will festively burn tires and and throw water to one another. Yet, in other (mostly shia) parts of the muslim world, the first ten days are days of mourning, sadness and tears.

Have you ever thought about the contrast ? Happiness on one side, sadness on the other. Mourning on one side, festive mood on the other. Who is right ? Who is wrong ? Why are the shia mourning ? Why are some sunnis happy ? Did you ever wonder ? Did you ever care ?