The first month of the Hijri, or Islamic, calendar, is Muharram. Muharram is a time for introspection and repentance. It is regarded as the second holiest month after Ramadan and one of the four sacred months of the year during which violence is prohibited.
The tenth day of Muharram is Ashura. Ashura is a day of fasting observed by Sunni Muslims as a way of giving thanks to God for preserving Moses and his people by dividing the Red Sea. The Prophet Muhammad, according to Islam, referred to the month of Muharram as the “holy month of Allah.”
The Islamic calendar is 13 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar since it is based on the lunar cycle. Therefore, the date of Ashura fluctuates every year.
History of Ashura
People from the Muslim world commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the fourth Caliph’s son and the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, on the Day of Ashura. During this time, there are parades in the community in memory of the deceased.
They participate in these processions in large numbers, and some even attempt to mimic the suffering Imam Hussain must have had during the Battle of Karbala.
The Prophet Muhammad traveled to Medina from Mecca at this time. Other myths surrounding this include the Sunni Muslim belief that on the tenth day of Muharram, Moses led Israel to victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh by crossing the Red Sea. Another idea is that on the tenth day of this holy month, Adam and Eve were created.
Significance of Ashura
Unlike other Islamic festivities, Muharram is a month of grief and prayer rather than celebration. On the Day of Ashura in 680 AD, Imam Hussain is said to have been decapitated during the Battle of Karbala.
On this day, Shia Muslims fast, wear mostly black, and participate in processions to remember Ashura. During the processions, you can hear people shouting “Ya Ali” and “Ya Hussain.” The neighborhood abstains from happy celebrations during this time as well. Sunni Muslims mark Ashura by fasting and making prayers to Allah.
What Is The Day’s Narrative?
Since it commemorates the passing of Imam Hussain, the Muslim community holds the month of Muharram in high regard. Shia Muslims honor their sacrifice by refraining from any form of enjoyment. They don dark clothing, fast, refrain from sensual enjoyment, etc.
On the Day of Ashura, the tenth day of Muharram, they break their fast. Muslims are frequently seen cutting themselves with knives and other sharp items, as well as publicly beating themselves. This demonstrates their admiration and devotion for Hussain, their leader.
However, Sunni Muslims often brings out non-violent items to honor their leader in numerous locations. Sunni Muslims fast from the first to the tenth day of the month in observance of Muharram. The children of Israel were delivered from the Egyptian Pharaoh on the tenth day of Muharram, according to Islamic tradition.
The Importance of 10th Muharram
The significance of Muharram is demonstrated on Ashura Day. Ashura literally translates to “tenth” in Arabic. A phrase that was used when camels were deprived of water for 10 days before being permitted to drink is derived from that. Similar to how we get goodness on this day after becoming spiritually parched, particularly on festive days,
Muharram is one of the four holy months of Islam, but it is also much more than that. This month, which is known as “the month of Allah,” has a unique day that commemorates Muharram’s most well-known significance. The Day of Ashura, which falls on the tenth of Muharram, was the day on which fasting was required before Ramadan fasting was mandated.
“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) commanded the Muslims to fast on the day of ‘Ashura, and when fasting in the month of Ramadan was made obligatory, one might choose to fast on that day (Ashura) or not.
We are urged to enhance worship, notably fasting, throughout the month of Muharram. The single thing we do that maintains our continual state of worship from dawn to sunset is fasting.
The Prophet of Allah is reported to have said: “The most righteous fasting after the month of Ramadan is Allah’s month Al-Muharram,” according to Abu Huraira.
We shall benefit from a good start to the first month of the Islamic calendar year all year long. A strong beginning will give us the courage to go on throughout the year in an effort to get closer to Allah. We may set our aspirations for the year with positive deeds even while we are battling distractions. It’s not about making “New Year’s resolutions” to start the Islamic New Year off well.
Instead, it is making use of Allah’s Month. Since our faith is built on deeds, we must demonstrate our purpose by deeds. We may falter frequently during the year, but Insha’Allah, this start will encourage us to keep giving it our best go. Making the most of Muharram is made easier when we are aware of its significance.
Muslims’ Justifications For Fasting On Ashura Day
Keeping a fast on Ashura Day is neither Wajib (required) nor Farz (necessary) (a religious duty; something that Muslims are obliged to do). It is not required. It is Roza Nafil (supererogatory prayer). For Sawab, Muslims observe a two-day fast (reward from Allah). Either on the ninth and tenth Muharram, or on the tenth and eleventh Muharrams.
Muslims observe a fast on Ashura Day for a variety of reasons, making it a highly significant day for them. Many occurrences, notably Shahadat-e-Imam Hussain Razi Allah Unha, occurred on Ashura Day, according to Islamic history. On Ashura Day, Allah accepted the dua of Prophet Adam (PBUH).
In conclusion, Muharram is a highly meaningful holiday for Muslims. Muharram is a month for reflection and atonement. It is one of the four sacred months of the year during which violence is forbidden and is regarded as the second holiest month after Ramadan.