Muharram

Muḥarram (Arabic: ٱلْمُحَرَّم‎) is the first month of the Islamic calendar.[1]

It is one of the four sacred months of the year when warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month, after Ramaḍān. The Tenth day of Muharram is known as the Day of Ashura. Better known as part of the Mourning of Muharram, Shia Muslims practice partial fasting, and Sunni Muslims practice fasting on Ashura.

Muslims mourn the martyrdom of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī and his family, honouring the martyrs by prayer and abstinence from joyous events. Shia Muslims fast on the 10th of Muharram but some (children, elderly or sick) don't eat or drink until Zawal (afternoon) as a part of their mourning for Husayn.[2] In addition there is an important ziyarat book, the Ziyarat Ashura about Husayn ibn Ali. In the Shia sect, it is popular to read this ziyarat on this date.[3]

Muharram and AshuraEdit

The sighting of the new moon ushers in the Islamic New Year. The first month, Muharram, is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran, along with the seventh month of Rajab, and the eleventh and twelfth months of Dhu al-Qi'dah and Dhu al-Hijjah, respectively, immediately preceding Muharram. During these sacred months, warfare is forbidden. Before the advent of Islam, the Quraish and Arabs also forbade warfare during those months.

Muharram and Ashura to the MuslimsEdit

 
Shia Muslims in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in a Hussainiya as part of the commemoration of Muharram
 
Shia Muslim children in Amroha, India on camels in front of Azakhana as part of the procession commemorating events on and after Day of Ashura

Muharram is a month of remembrance. 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 Shahadat of Ḥusayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad.[4]

Muslims begin mourning from the first night of Muharram and continue for ten nights, climaxing on the 10th of Muharram, known as the Day of Ashura. The last few days up until and including the Day of Ashura are the most important because these were the days in which Hussain and his family and followers (including women, children and elderly people) were deprived of water from the 7th onward and on the 10th, Husayn and 72 of his followers were killed by the army of Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala on Yazid's orders. The surviving members of Husayn’s family and those of his followers were taken captive, marched to Damascus, and imprisoned there.

Timing for MuharramEdit

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 10 to 11 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):[5]

Muharram dates between 2017 and 2022
AH First day (CE/AD) Last day (CE/AD)
1439 21 September 2017 20 October 2017
1440 11 September 2018 09 October 2018
1441 31 August 2019 29 September 2019
1442 20 August 2020 17 September 2020
1443 09 August 2021 07 September 2021
1444 30 July 2022 27 August 2022

Incidents that occurred during this monthEdit

 
Scenes in the Tajiya procession at the Muharram festival

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Huda (25 June 2019). "Overview of the Islamic Calendar". Learn Religions. Dotdash. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance". iqrasense.com. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Ziyarat Ashoora – Importance, Rewards and Effects". almuntazar.com. p. 24. Retrieved 7 November 2019 – via www.duas.org.
  4. ^ "Muharram". 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  5. ^ Gent, R.H. van. "The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia". webspace.science.uu.nl.
  6. ^ Sahih Bukhari 003.031.222-225 Archived November 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Allama Majlisi. Bihar al-Anwar. 46. pp. 152–54.

Further readingEdit

  • Chelkowski, Peter J. ed. (1979). Ta’ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran. New York: New York University Press.
  • Cole, Juan (1988). Roots of North Indian Shiism in Iran and Iraq: Religion and State in Avadh, 1722–1859. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Kartomi, Margaret (1986). "Tabut – a Shia Ritual Transplanted from India to Sumatra", in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Indonesia: Essays in Honour of Professor J.D. Legge, edited by David P. Chandler and M.C. Ricklefs, Australia: Monash University, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, 141–62.
  • Mason, P.H. (2016) "Fight-dancing and the Festival: Tabuik in Pariaman, Indonesia, and Iemanjá" in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Martial Arts Studies Journal, 2, 71–90. doi:10.18573/j.2016.10065
  • Pinault, David (1992). The Shiites: Ritual and Popular Piety in a Muslim Community. London: I.B. Tauris.

External linksEdit