“The Prophet (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Ashura (the 10th of Muharram), he said: “it expiates the previous year (for sins).” (Sahih Muslim)
After a long day of fasting on Saturday, Sep. 29, approximately 250 people gathered for a special program surrounding the Day of Ashura. The event lit up the spirits of those in attendance – as congregants left with their hearts warmed and their bellies full following an hour-long reflection led by Dr. Saleh Kholaki and a community iftar.
Dr. Kholaki addressed the growing crowd in the Prayer Hall that night with a message filled with history and inspiration. He gave a brief overview on the historical context of the Day of Ashura and why we are encouraged to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram before leading into the bulk of his conversation highlighting the “Ten Lessons from the Exodus.”
- Honor the Prophet (PBUH) and what he stood for
- Do not accept oppression or injustice
- Be compassionate: Sincerely care for others
- Love the Creator, Islam, and people
- Forgive & show mercy
- Be inspired & have the willpower to stand firm during the most difficult circumstances
- Be strong in faith and obedient to our Creator
- Be a moral guide & compass
- Be a messenger of peace & goodness to others. Spread good values & prevent evil
- Learn how to be human and take a selfless stand for social justice issues
His lessons were practical and gave us an outline on how we can apply these teachings in our observance of Ashura – well-rounded and applicable to scenarios across all aspects of life. And not only did Dr. Kholaki offer us ten practical ways to honor our lessons of the past, the outlined materials can also help us grow as Muslims and refine our moral character.
Following the conclusion of the program, people shifted to the lobby in preparation of breaking their fasts. ICSC staff distributed small napkins with dates and water bottles before Maghrib prayer while iftar services were being set-up in the Social Hall. Dinner plates were prepared buffet-style and featured vegetable rolls, samosas, chickpeas, and chicken biriyani sponsored by Biriyani Kabob House and Desi restaurant.
Smiles filled the faces of all who came to learn and share in our community observation of Ashura. Look for more programs like this in the future!
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