One of the four sacred months of the year when warfare is forbidden, Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. After Ramadan, Muharram is the holiest month.
The day called ‘Ashura’ is the tenth day of the month of Muharram. While Shia Muslims mourn the death of Husayn ibn Ali’s family, the Sunni Muslims practice fasting on Ashura.
The day marks the anniversary of the forced migration of the Prophet Muhammed from Mecca to Medina. In 622, the Prophet and his companions were forced to leave Mecca and proceed towards Medina and since then the Hijri calendar began. Before this day, Prophet Mohammed wasn’t allowed to spread the message of Islam in Mecca. After the conquest of Mecca in 629, it is believed that the Prophet returned to the city.
Muharram is the month of praying and mourning instead of celebrating like other Islamic events. No celebrations can be seen anywhere. In fact, this month is of utmost importance to Shia Muslims.
The grandson of the Prophet and the son of Hazrat Ali, Imam Hussain was martyred in the battle of Karbala on the 10th day of Muharram in the year 680. This particular day is known as ‘Ashura’ and Shia Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussain for the first 10 days of this month.
One of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran along with - Dhu al-Hijjah, Rajab, and al-Qi’dah, Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Warfare is forbidden during these sacred months. One should worship Allah a lot during the month of Muharram. In 2021, Ashura day will be observed on 19th August.
Q1. Why Do We Celebrate Muharram?
Ans - Muharram is celebrated to mourn the struggles and sacrifices of the martyrs of the battle of Karbala. The month of Muharram begins with the sight of the moon. This month is as important as all the other Islamic festivals and events. Marking the beginning of the new Islamic year, Muharram is the second holiest month after Ramadan.
Q2. What Should We Do On Muharram?
Ans - Several mosques offer free food on certain nights of the Muharram to all people. The day of Ashura also marks the day when Prophet Moses or Musa was saved by God from the Pharaoh of Egypt. It is also believed that Prophet Muhammad used to observe fast on the day of Ashura in Mecca.
Q3. What Does the Quran Say About Muharram?
Ans - Muharram is mentioned in Quran along with other sacred months such as Dhu al-Hijjah, Rajab, and al-Qi’dah, and warfare is forbidden during these months.
Q4. How Long Is Muharram For?
Ans - Marking the start of the Islamic New Year, Muharram is one of the most important months for Muslims. This year Muharram will begin on 10th August.
Q5. How Many Days Should We Fast In Muharram?
Ans - To give thanks to Allah, Musa used to observe fast each year on this day. To recognize the closeness to Musa above others, Ibn Abbass used to observe fast on two days according to Al-Tirmidhi.