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Muharram and Youm-e Ashura

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What is Muharram Month & 9th 10th Date?

Muslims around the world celebrate Muharram as an advent of the Islamic New Year. In the community, it is considered a religious, pious, and important festival. Muharram is the one of four sacred months of the Muslim year.

According to traditional customs, Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and is considered very pious. It only appears after Ramadan. Muharram itself means “forbidden” because it is considered sacred. 

Muharram is special only because Allah has chosen it. He ordered us not to “do wrong” in this holy month, which essentially means ensuring that we have pure intentions, righteous, pious actions, and will not fall into sin.

Muharram also commemorated the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala, in which the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad’s Imam Hussein Ibn Ali was killed. Muslims, especially the Shia community, remember the tenth day of the massacre, Ashura; some chose to fast. On August 2021 (Wednesday), the Muslim community will also mark the first day of the Hijri or 1440 Islamic calendar.

Importance of Muharram:

Muharram is so sacred that specific actions are prohibited during this period because they would violate its sacredness. Muharram and the House of Allah (Al-Masjid al-Haram) are both derived from the same Arabic word root; both are sacred spaces, and every action, good or bad, carries more weight. So, many Muslims use it as a time for prayer and reflection. Fasting during the holy Muharram is the norm among community residents.

This month has the Ashura day, when we pray, ask for mercy and forgiveness from Allah, our sins will be forgiven. It is also recommended that individual should contribute as much to charity as possible in this month. The Prophet Muhammad family (peace be upon him) was brutally tortured and martyred by the cruel forces of Yazid in the Battle of the Karbala.

Shiya Muslims all over the world celebrate this day. It was also the time when the Prophet Muhammad immigrated from Mecca to Medina and was called Hijra, so Muharram also observed this important event

Fasting In Muharram:

“After Ramadan, Muharram is the month when Muslims must fast,” said the Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace from the Lord). Muslims should fast this month and be rewarded like Ramadan. (Quoted by Buhari). ‘Muharram fasting is also mentioned in At-Tawbah;

Muharram is one of the four of holy months in Islam. In fact, every prayer or fast in that month can bring you twice as much return as other mont

According to the Hadith, Muslims must fast on these two days (i.e., 9th and 10th of Muharram.), and in case if an individual misses fast of one day such as the 9th Muharram fast, he should not observe fast for 10th Muharram alone. As it is compulsory to observe fast on 9th and 10th altogether or no fast.

The Jews fasted on Ashura (10 Muharram). After our Prophet (PBUH), he asked Jews and Christians what happened. They said that they fasted because Musa A.S. was rescued from Pharaoh. When the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) heard this, he said that we are better than Jews and Christians and we own Moses more than Jews and Christians, so prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked Muslims to fast on the 10th  day.

However, later Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ordered Muslims to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

Facts about Muharram:

When Muslims celebrate this holiday, they will celebrate it with great devotion and a high level of enthusiasm. Here are the some of interesting facts about the Muharram you should know.

  • This day marks the holy day of Ashura, and the term “Muharram” means prohibition and sinful. 
  • According to the Prophet Muhammad, fasting on Ashura will eliminate all the past year’s sins, so many Muslims choose to fast on the first ten days or the ninth and tenth days of the month.
  • Imam Hussein Ali is believed to be the third Imam of the Shia community, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and was killed on the same day.
  • He was killed by the army of Caliph Yazid in 680 AD in the battle of Karbala on the territory of modern Iraq.
  • Shia Muslim sects often practice beating or torturing their chest or back called latima, some even whipping themselves and cutting their foreheads. Sunni Muslims regard Ashura as a day to respect the Prophet Moses, but they do not participate in this ceremony.
  • At this solemn moment of Muharram, devout Muslims avoid participating in joyous activities.
  • On Ashura, people are used to reading Ziarat Ashura, a book containing greetings to the martyrs of Karbala.
  • Muslims celebrate the New Year by visiting mosques, praying to Allah to bless them, and spending time with family and loved ones during the holidays. People also like to cook sweet foods, such as sweet rice, and share them with family and friends. Eat when fasting.

The Benefits we can acquire in Muharram:

Although many of us understand the significance of Ramadan, we often overlook the holy months such as Muharram; however, they provide us with many opportunities to seek mercy and grace from Allah, that couldnt be found at any other time. They are chosen by God himself, and they are the best time to get close to him.

As mentioned above, our actions during the Muharram period have greater weight, just as they have greater importance in and around the Khana Kaaba. Therefore, it is possible to get more rewards every day; but there is also the danger of earning more sins through evil deeds. 

It means that we need to be extra vigilant about the way we work, whether it is in our relationships, work, worship, time management, or even how we take care of ourselves. With the right intention, any action can become rewarding, and it’s a great opportunity!

We have compiled a short-list of easy ways to benefit from Muharram: 

Say Salam as a greeting! This is the greeting from the Prophet (PBUH) and the people of heaven. Such a simple act can bring countless rewards and forgiveness.

Do sadaqah regularly. Muharram is the 1st month or we can say beginning of the Islamic New Year, so this is the best time to make decisions and develop good habits, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of the whole year.

Smile to everyone (also on Monday morning). This simple act will be heavy during the Muharram period.

Improving health & lifestyle. Improve your health by eating better, exercising more, and sleeping well. Taking care of your health is a beneficial behavior. Your body is Amanat (trust) from Allah. Some lifestyle changes can bring huge rewards.

Read more Quran: Obviously, Quran is always on the list as a priority; this is the perfect way to approach Allah in this amazing month! The best way is only to set aside 10-15 minutes a day; set the time and maintain discipline! I hope you will develop a good habit during Ramadan and stick to your new year’s resolutions.

Seek forgiveness. Since Muharram’s sin is the most serious, you should seek forgiveness as much as possible this month and even wipe out all your sins at once.

 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

  1. Could we fast only on the 10th day of the Hijri calendar or the 9th day of the Hijri month? Just one day? 

No, you cannot observe fast for only one day, whether it’s on the 9th or 10th of the Hijri calendar. If you miss any one of it you shouldn’t observe fast, you must fast for two days, otherwise don’t observe fast.

  1. Should we give zakat during Muharram?

It is not particularly recommended to conduct zakat during the Muharram calendar, but the highest reward for observing the year approved by Allah is one of the reasons why many Muslims around the world choose to conduct zakat during the Muharram or Ramadan.

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