Shahadat

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Azadari in Muharram

Shahadat (Arabic: شهدات‎, lit.'Martrydom [of Umar]'), also called Youm-e-Shahadat (Arabic: يوم شهدات‎, lit.'Day of Martrydom') is an Islamic holiday that occurs on the first of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. It marks the assassination of Umar ibn al-Khattab by Piruz Nahavandi.

The day is primarily observed by Sunni Muslims. They perform the ritual of Azadari for Umar. In Pakistan, the day has been an official holiday.[1]

Etymology[change | change source]

The word Arabic word Shahadat (Arabic: شهدات‎) literally means 'martrydom'. It is derived from Shaheed (Arabic: شهيد‎‎) which denotes a martyr in Islam.[2] The word Shaheed occurs frequently in the Quran in the generic sense 'witness', but only once in the sense 'martyr'; this latter sense acquires wider use in the hadiths.[3] In Arabic, Shaheed can mean both a 'witness' and a 'martyr'.[4]

Background[change | change source]

One 26 Dhu al-Hijjah, when Umar ibn al-Khattab was praying in the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Abu Lulu stabbed him with a double-bladed dagger.[5] Umar died of these wounds on Sunday 1st Muharram of the Islamic year 24.[6]

Observances[change | change source]

Shahadat has been an official holiday in Pakistan.[1][7] Azadari is performed by Sunni Muslims in the country. Rallies are held in various cities including Lahore.[8][9] In 2011, Tanzeem Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat addressed gatherings in Gilgit and demanded of the government to make arrangements for observing the martyrdom day of Umar at government level.[10] He also demanded that a official holiday should be announced on these important days.[10] In 2014, a number of religious scholars and groups in Lahore arranged seminars. The Sipah-e-Sahaba held out a procession from the Data Darbar which was terminated in front of the Lahore Press Club after passing through various streets of the city.[9] In their speeches, Ulema and Mashaikh demanded that 1st Muharram be declared a public holiday.[11] The Sunni Tehreek also took out a procession to mark the day and paid tributes to Umar.[9] In 2020, Shahadat was officially declared a holiday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Khan, M. "1st Muharram: Public holiday announced on Yoam-e-Shahadat Hazrat Umar Farooq (R. A) | Jasarat". Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  2. Khalid Zaheer (November 22, 2013). "Definition of a shaheed". Dawn. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  3. "Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, μάρτυ^ς". www.perseus.tufts.edu.
  4. "The word shahid (plural shahada) has the meaning of "martyr" and is closely related in its development to the Greek martyrios in that it means both a witness and a martyr [...] in the latter sense only once is it attested (3:141)." David Cook, Oxford Bibliographies
  5. El-Hibri 2010, p. 109 describes the dagger as "unique", having "two pointed sharp edges, with a handle in the middle".
  6. Kitab al-Mihan 66; Siyar A'lam al-Nubala volume 2 page 459
  7. "Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA): Martyrdom Day being observed today". BOL News. 2020-08-21. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  8. "Hazrat Umar Farooq's (RA) Martyrdom Day rallies held in Karachi, other cities | SAMAA". Samaa TV. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Dunya News: Pakistan:-Youm-e-Shahadat Hazrat Umar (RA) observed..." dunyanews.tv. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Yom-e-Shahadat of Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) observed in Gilgit - Baltistan". PAMIR TIMES. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  11. Report, Dawn (2014-10-27). "ASWJ rallies in many towns to observe Yaum-i-Umar Farooq". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2021-10-13.