Muharram (Arabic: المحرّم) is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.
Muharram is derived from the word haraam, meaning "sinful". It is held to be the most sacred of all the months, excluding Ramadan. Some Muslims fast during these days. The tenth day of Muharram is the Day of Ashura, which to Shia Muslims is part of the Mourning of Muharram.
Some Muslims fast during this day, because it is recorded in the hadith that Musa (Moses) and his people obtained a victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh on the 10th day of Muharram; accordingly Islamic prophet Muhammad asked Muslims to fast on this day that is Ashura and on a day before that is 9th so that they are not similar to Jews (since, according to him, Jews used to fast for one day due to the same reason, and many practices recorded in the hadith are specifically performed to avoid any apparent similarity to those of contemporary neighbouring Jews and Christians).
Fasting differs among the Muslim groupings; mainstream Shia Muslims stop eating and drinking during sunlight hours and do not eat until late afternoon. Sunni Muslims also fast during Muharram for the first ten days of Muharram, or just the tenth day, or on both the ninth and tenth days; the exact term depending on the individual. Shia Muslims do so to replicate the sufferings of Hussein ibn Ali on the Day of Ashura.
Muharram and Ashura
Muharram is a month of remembrance & Modern Shia Meditation that is often considered synonymous with the event of Ashura. Ashura, which literally means the "Tenth" in Arabic, refers to the tenth day of Muharram. It is well-known because of historical significance and mourning for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad.
Shias start the mourning from the 1st night of Muharram and continue for two months and eight days. However the last days are the most important since these were the days where Hussein and his family and followers (consisting of 72 people, including women, children and aged people) were killed by army of Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala on his orders. Surviving members of the family of Hussein and that of his followers were taken captive and marched to Damascus and imprisoned there.
Muharram is also observed by Dawoodi Bohras in the same way as Shias.They practice prayers on the sayings of the present dawah of Bohras, Mohammed Burhanuddin. On the tenth day of Muharrum, they pray for Hussein till the magrib namaz. When the namaz ends, Hussein is considered shahid by Yazid. It is also close to the day of resurrection because it said in a book that this world will one day come to an end on Friday 10th of Muharram.]]
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Muharram migrates throughout the solar years. The estimated start and end dates for Muharram are as follows (based on the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia:)
|AH||First day (CE / AD)||Last day (CE / AD)|
|1431||18 December 2009||15 January 2010|
|1432||7 December 2010||4 January 2011|
|1433||26 November 2011||25 December 2011|
|1434||15 November 2012||13 December 2012|
|1435||4 November 2013||3 December 2013|
|1436||25 October 2014||22 November 2014|
|1437||14 October 2015||12 November 2015|
|Muharram dates between 2010 and 2015|
Islamic events taking place during Muharram
- 01 Muharram: The Islamic New Year.
- 01 Muharram: Shi'a Muslims begin the Commemoration of Muharram which marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala.
- 01 Muharram: Indonesian Muslims celebrate Satu Suro, a day of meditation for some.
- 02 Muharram: Death anniversary of Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Sunni Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate.
- 02 Muharram: Hussein ibn Ali enters Karbala and establishes camp. Yazid's forces are present.
- 07 Muharram: Access to water was banned to Husayn ibn Ali by Yazid's orders.
- 10 Muharram: Referred to as the Day of Ashurah (lit. "the tenth") was the day on which Hussein ibn Ali was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. Shia Muslims spend the day in mourning, whilst the Sunni Muslims fast on this day commemorating the rescue of the people of Israel by Musa (Moses) from Pharaoh
Many Sufi Muslims fast for the same reason as the sunnis mentioned above, but also for the martyrs, they pray for them and send upon the peace and blessings.
- 15 Muharram: Birth of Muhammad Sirajuddin Naqshbandi in 1297 AH (1879-1880 AD)
- 25 Muharram: Martyrdom of Zayn al-‘Ābidīn, fourth Shia Imam, day of Shahid (martyrdom: lit. "witness", as "martyr" is Greek for "witness") in 95 AH (714 AD).
- 27 Muharram, Mesum was killed.
- 28 Muharram: Death anniversary Urs of Ashraf Jahangir Semnani in 808 AH (1405 AD) a great Sufi saint in India.
- Death anniversary Urs of Baba Farid, a great Sufi saint in Pakistan for six days in Muharram.
- Optional prayers for Muharram, especially Qalbi Zikr
- Muharram Quotes and Wishes
- Matam (beating the chest) in Muharram
- "Muharram". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
-  Allahabad Azadari.Com