Muḥarram (Arabic: مُحَرَّم muḥarram) is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year. It is held to be the second holiest month, after Ramadan . Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.
The tenth day of Muharram is known as the Day of Ashura, part of the Mourning of Muharram for Shia Muslims and a day of fasting for Sunni Muslims. The practice of fasting during Ashura stems from the hadith that Musa (Moses) and his people obtained a victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh on the 10th day of Muharram; accordingly Muhammad asked Muslims to fast on this day and on the day prior, the Day of Tasu'a.
Shia Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussein and his family, respecting the sacrifice of the martyrs by praying in abundance and refraining from all joyous events. Shia muslims don't fast on the 10th day of Muharram, but some don't eat or drink until zawal (afternoon) to show their sympathy with Imam Hussein. In addition there is an important Ziyarat book, the Ziyarat Ashura about Hussein ibn Ali. In the Shia sect it is popular to read this ziyarat on this date.
Muharram and AshuraEdit
With the sighting of the new moon, the Islamic New Year is ushered in. The first month, Muharram, is one of the four sacred months that Allah has mentioned in the Quran: Muharram, Rajab, Dhu al-Qi'dah, and Dhu al-Hijjah. Even before Islam came, Quraish and Arabs as a whole knew the sanctity of the months and were forbidden to wage war on those months.
Muharram and Ashura to the ShiaEdit
Muharram is a month of remembrance and modern Shia meditation that is often considered synonymous with 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 murder of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad.
Shia's 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 Imam Hussein and his family and followers (including women, children and elderly people) were deprived of water from the 7th onward and on the 10th, Imam Hussain 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 Imam Hussein'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:)
|AH||First day (CE / AD)||Last day (CE / AD)|
|1437||14 October 2015||12 November 2015|
|1438||2 October 2016||31 October 2016|
|1439||21 September 2017||20 October 2017|
|1440||12 September 2018||9 October 2018|
|1441||31 August 2019||29 September 2019|
|1442||20 August 2020||17 September 2020|
|Muharram dates between 2015 and 2020|
Incidents occurred during this monthEdit
- 1 Muharram: Seizure of the Grand Mosque in AH 1400.and also Hazrat Umar 2nd caliph of Islam was martyred on 1st Muharram
- 2 Muharram: Hussein ibn Ali enters Karbala and establishes camp. Yazid's forces are present.
- 7 Muharram: Access to water was banned to Hussein 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 martyred people in Karbala, they pray for them and send upon them peace and blessings.
- 15 Muharram: Birth of Muhammad Sirajuddin Naqshbandi in 1297 AH (1879-1880 AD)
- 25 Muharram: Zayn al-‘Ābidīn, fourth Shia Imam was martyred by Marvanian in 95 AH (714 AD).
- 27 Muharram, Maytham al-Tammar was martyred.
- 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.
- Abu Hurairah said that the Prophet said:
There will be an Ayah (sign) in (the month of) Ramadan. Then, there will 'isabah (splitting into groups) in Shawwal. Then, there will be fighting in (the month of) Dhu al-Qi'dah. Then, the pilgrim will be robbed in (the month of) Dhu al-Hijjah. Then, the prohibitions will be violated in (the month of) al-Muharram. Then, there will be sound in (the month of) Safar, then the tribes will conflict with each other in the two months of Rabi' al-awwal & Rabi' al-thani. Then, the most amazing thing will happen between (the months of) Jumada and Rajab. Then, a well-fed she-camel will be better than a fortress (castle) sheltering a thousand (people).
- The others are Dhu al-Qi'dah, Dhu al-Hijjah and Rajab, The Islamic Calendar
- Volume 3, Book 31, Number 223: Narrated Abu Musa: The day of 'Ashura' was considered as 'Id day by the Jews. So the Prophet ordered, "I recommend you (Muslims) to fast on this day." 
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- Commemoration of Muharram is permissible
- Optional prayers for Muharram, especially Qalbi Zikr
- Muharram Quotes and Wishes
- Matam (beating the chest) in Muharram
- "Muharram". New International Encyclopedia. 1997.
-  Allahabad Azadari.Com
- A day of mourning for Shiites
- Muharram in West Sumatra
- What is Muharram ?