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Ashura- a day of reflections

Ashura, an Islamic holiday, is observed on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year. The word Ashura means ten which signifies the date of the holiday.

Some time after the Hijira, in AD 622, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) designated Ashura as a day of fasting. Some scholars argue that perhaps this is patterned on the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Scholars say that traditionally, Ashura memorialises two events: the day Prophet Nuh (PBUH) (Noah) left the ark and the day Prophet Musa (PBUH) (Moses) was saved from the Egyptians by Allah. But when relations became strained between Jews and Muslims, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) made Ramadan the Muslim month of fasting, making Ashura a voluntary fast. And it has stayed as such among Sunnis.

For Shia Muslims, however, Ashura is a very important festival. It memorialises the death of Hussain, son of Imam Ali and grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), on the 10th of Muharram, AH 61 (approximately October 10 or 20, 680), in Karbala, Iraq.

While the fasting is not mandatory for Sunnis, Ashura is celebrated with much importance by Shia Muslims. For Shia Muslims, rituals and observances on and of Ashura comprise mainly of public expressions of mourning and grief. Some Shia Muslims express mourning by flagellating themselves on the back with chains, beating their heads or ritually cutting themselves. This is intended to connect them with Hussain's suffering and death. Many Shia Muslims used to make pilgrimages on Ashura to the Mashhad al-Husayn, the shrine in Karbala, Iraq.

In Bangladesh, it is often difficult to feel the presence of Shia Muslims considering that the country mainly has a Sunni population. But the day of Ashura which is more commonly referred to as Muharram, makes its presence widely felt through the rituals it commands.

Sunni or Shia, Ashura is a day to commemorate for all Muslims alike. In the end, it is most importantly another day to remember and pray to Allah, be reflective and be thankful to all the people who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob
Photo: Amirul Rajiv

Check it out

Weekend barbecue at Radisson

Radisson Water Garden Hotel is celebrating the month with a big smile and a lot of charcoal. Imagine yourself drifting through the wonderfully landscaped pool side with BBQ-ed meat on a platter. Well, stretch your imagination no more. Radisson started a new program- Weekend Barbeque at the Pool Side. Moreover, 50 60 different mouth watering dishes will definitely delight food lovers. One may enjoy the Weekend Barbecue at the Pool Side on Fridays at 19.00 -21.30 hours. This special program will continue till the end of February 2007.

-LS Desk

Sheraton on the sizzle

With temperatures rising a couple of degrees to facilitate for very comfortable weather conditions, outdoor evenings are one of the best ways to optimally enjoy the pleasant climate. And to do just that, where better than Dhaka Sheraton's Pool Top Patio? To commemorate the much desired turn in weather, Dhaka Sheraton will offer special BBQ nights every Thursday from 7-10pm with seafood and beef from a charcoal oven at the Poolside Terrace. Aside the scrumptious gustatory palette, entertainment will also be well-catered for with live music throughout the evening. Be sure to take them up on their offer for a perfect outdoor dinner this season!

-LS Desk

Kay Kraft reaches out

While the privileged hardly note the turn of the season in their temperature-controlled confines, life is not all Prada jackets and CK Thermal Underwears. Winter is a wake-up call for the woes of the less fortunate. Places like Srimongol have encountered the lower extreme on the temperature scale. And there has been more than a sizable share of deaths. The infant who shivers in the chilly nights with no cloth on his back, people consider it best left to the imagination.

Kay Kraft, the fashion house, has taken up a stand against the miserable situation. It took to collecting warm clothes for those victimised by the cold. For this, it has involved the people. Customers have responded with generosity, and donated both new and used winter wear. For the donations, the customers had the privilege of a 10% discount on their Kay Kraft purchases.

This step taken by Kay Kraft was heartfelt, and goes to show how large corporations can help out the poor in times of need. Their effort is appreciated.

-LS Desk

On the cover

Rooted in history, steeped in religious tradition Ashura holds a lot of significance for Muslims around the world. Lifestyle takes a moment to take a look at this religious event.

Photo: Amirul Rajiv


Beating the bug…

As January rolls into February, so change the seasons. It's time for winter to start packing and for spring to knock on the door. Or so we thought. But the seasons in Bangladesh always had a mind and a pace of their own. And this year is no different. One day it is too foggy to see beyond the next streetlight and the next day the sun is blazing down while you ride a rickshaw to work. If you're bundled up at daybreak, chances are you've turned on a fan by the end of the day. But in its own way and own rhythm, the season is certainly changing. And it is a time to take extra care so that you don't catch a seasonal bug.

Veer off of the viral…
It's a time for nursing a viral fever or catching the flu bug. If someone near or dear has come down with a viral, keep the tender loving on a leash and give the care from a safe distance. Virals are like brush fires, they spread from one person to the next like wild fire.

Fight away the flu…
The same goes for the flu. Why wait till you get it to find a cure? See if you can find preventive care in the form of flu shots and such at your local healthcare facility. And if someone in the house does come down with the flu, try just not to distance yourself physically, but also take extra measures by stopping yourself from eating and drinking off of their dishes.

Guarding the gates…
It's always good to be cautious, and best to take extra care while the season changes. So try not to get wet or cold if you can help it. Keep the youngsters from splashing about. And always make sure that your hands, feet and ears don't get too cold or wet because they are more prone to getting you into trouble than the rest of your body.

An orange a day…
There's one thing that is great at warding off the flu and fevers and everything else that tags along. No, it's not that slightly addictive cough syrup! It's orange juice. With lots of vitamin C, OJ is a great natural source of nutrients that wards off the bug and helps you recover quickly if you do catch one. So drink a glass a day if you can. Oranges will do the trick too. They should really say “An orange a day, keeps the doctor away!”
So here's to a bug free season's end. Cheers!

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob



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