Muslims around the world celebrate the first month of the Islamic New Year, known as Muharram. Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year. Some Muslims fast during daylight hours on the ninth and 10th or 10th and 11th days of the month. Some Muslims regard Muharram as the month of mourning, commemorating the Battle of Karbala.
why is muharram celebrated?
The word “Muharram” means “forbidden”. It is held to be the second holiest month, following 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.
Sunni Muslims fast during this day, because it is recorded in the hadith.
Shia Muslims during Muharram do different things and with different intentions. They observe and respect Muharram as the month that saw the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala. Imam (king) Hossein was the son of Ali-ibne-Abi Talib (Hazrat Ali, the first Shiite Imam) and Fatima, the daughter of the Holy Prophet Mohammad. His title was Saiyid-ush-Shohada. He is the 3rd shiite Imam.
Why The Name Ahsura?
Most scholars believe that Ahsura is named as such because of “tenth” of Muharram (ten is translated as “Ashara” in the Arabic language)
Sunni Muslims look at Ashura as a day of “respect and gratitude” (for Prophet Moosa and his nation), while Shia Muslims believe that day to be a day of mourning and sorrow.
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 2009 and 2015|
The approximate dates for the next Muharram is from 2 October 2016 to 31 October 2016. Source -Wikipedia
How is it celebrated?
“It’s a low-key event in the Muslim world, celebrated less than the two major festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.
Traditions and customs for Muharram vary for Shia and Sunni Muslims, but the date is a public holiday in most Islamic countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.
The majority will celebrate the holiday by attending prayer sessions in their mosque and spending time with family. The main emphasis is on reflection, remembrance and gratitude.
In certain cases, the Shia Muslims fast for the whole month and also flagellate themselves with sticks and rods on this day. They harm themselves to commemorate the sufferings of Husayn Ibn Ali while fighting against the oppressive regime of Yazid. Other than that, there are no major celebrations on this day.
Muharram/Ashura in India- Images