Muharram The Holly Month
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad and spiritual leader of the Shi'a people.
Muharram has great religious significance in the Muslim community. Muharram has been derived from the word ‘haram’, which means ‘forbidden’. Hence, it is considered unlawful to fight during this month.
Muharram is one of the four sanctified months in the calendar, the other three being Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Rajab. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the date of Muharram keeps on changing from year to year.
The occasion is commemorated by both the Muslim communities, Sunnis and Shias. Some Muslims even observe fasts during these days. The holy month is associated with a number of auspicious events in Islamic history.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
"Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein … "[Al-Qur'an 9:36]
Although the month of Muharram is sacred month as a whole, the 10th of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named Ashurah
It is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic Calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram. It is also called Ashurah, or simply Ashura meaning, ‘the tenth day’.
Ashurah day has its historical significance and mourning for the martyrdom of Husain bin Ali, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61AH (AD 680).
Imam Husayn's martyrdom is a sad day for all Muslims who mourn the massacre of their "Prince of Martyrs" and his family in Karbala.