Muharram

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Bibi ka alam procession on elephant in Dabirpura, Old City (Hyderabad, India). Bibi ka alam.jpg
Bibi ka alam procession on elephant in Dabirpura, Old City (Hyderabad, India).

Muḥarram (Arabic : مُحَرَّم) is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year during which warfare is forbidden. [1] It is held to be the second holiest month, after Ramaḍān. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.

Islamic calendar lunar calendar used by Muslims to determine religious observances

The Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holidays and rituals, such as the annual period of fasting and the proper time for the pilgrimage to Mecca. The civil calendar of almost all countries where the religion is predominantly Muslim is the Gregorian calendar. Notable exceptions to this rule are Iran and Afghanistan, which use the Solar Hijri calendar. Rents, wages and similar regular commitments are generally paid by the civil calendar.

Islamic military jurisprudence refers to what has been accepted in Sharia and Fiqh by Ulama as the correct Islamic manner which is expected to be obeyed by Muslims in times of war. Some scholars and Muslim religious figures claim that armed struggle based on Islamic principles is referred to as the Lesser jihad.

Ramadan Muslim religious observances in the month of Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.

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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 [2] 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.

Mourning of Muharram

The Mourning of Muharram is a set of rituals associated with mainly Shia Muslims; however, some Muslims from other sects, as well as some non-Muslims, also take part in the remembrance. The commemoration falls in Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Many of the events associated with the ritual take place in congregation halls known as Hussainia.

Hadith collections of sayings and teachings of Muhammad

Ḥadīth in Islam are the record of the words, actions, and silent approval, traditionally attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Within Islam the authority of hadith as a source for religious law and moral guidance ranks second only to that of the Quran. Quranic verses enjoin Muslims to emulate Muhammad and obey his judgments, providing scriptural authority for hadith. While the number of verses pertaining to law in the Quran is relatively few, hadiths give direction on everything from details of religious obligations, to the correct forms of salutations and the importance of benevolence to slaves. Thus the "great bulk" of the rules of Sharia are derived from ahadith, rather than the Quran.

Moses person, mentioned in the Torah (Pentateuch) and in the Quran, who led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to Canaan

Moses was a prophet according to the teachings of the Abrahamic religions. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure, although retaining the possibility that a Moses-like figure existed.

Shia Muslims mourn the death of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī and his family, honoring the martyrs by prayer and abstinence from joyous events. Shia Muslims do not fast on the 10th of Muharram, but some will not eat or drink until zawal (afternoon) to show their sympathy with Husayn. [3] 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. [4]

Husayn ibn Ali Grandson of Muhammad, son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah bint Muhammad, and third Shia Imam

Al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī ibn Abi Talib was a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Muhammad's daughter Fatimah. He is an important figure in Islam as he was a member of the Bayt (Household) of Muhammad and the Ahl al-Kisā', as well as the third Shia Imam.

In Islam, ziyara(h) or ziyarat is a form of pilgrimage to sites associated with Muhammad, his family members and descendants, his companions and other venerated figures in Islam such as the prophets, Sufi auliya, and Islamic scholars. Sites of pilgrimage include mosques, maqams, battlefields, mountains, and caves.

<i>Ziyarat Ashura</i> Wikimedia list article

Ziyarat Ashura is a Shia salutatory prayer to Husayn ibn Ali and the martyrs of the Battle of Karbala. The prayer is part of the liturgy used in pilgrimages to the shrine of Husayn in Karbala. Muhammad al-Baqir, the fifth Shia Imam, recommended reciting Ziyarat Ashura on Ashura while facing Karbala, as a symbolic visit to the shrine.

Muharram and Ashura

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.

New moon phase of the moon

In astronomy, the new moon is the first lunar phase, when the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. At this phase, the lunar disk is not visible to the unaided eye, except when silhouetted during a solar eclipse. Daylight outshines the earthlight that dimly illuminates the new moon. The actual phase is usually a very thin crescent.

Islamic New Year holiday

The Islamic New Year, also known as Arabic New Year or Hijri New Year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new Hijri year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The epoch of the Islamic era was set as 622 Common Era (CE), the year of the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra. All religious duties, such as prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and pilgrimage, and the dates of significant events, such as celebration of holy nights and festivals, are calculated according to the Islamic calendar.

Quran The central religious text of Islam

The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters, which are subdivided into verses.

Muharram and Ashura to the Shia

Shia Muslims in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in a Hussainiya as part of the commemoration of Muharram Muharram mourning, Hussainia TZ.jpg
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 Azakhana wazeer un nisa.jpg
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 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 Ḥusayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad. [5]

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 Husayn 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.

Yazid I Umayyad caliph

Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiya , commonly known as Yazid I, was the second caliph of the Umayyad caliphate. He ruled for three years from 680 CE until his death in 683. His appointment was the first hereditary succession in Islamic history and his caliphate was marked by the death of Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali and the start of the crisis known as the Second Fitna.

Battle of Karbala 10 Muharram 61, October 10, 680 AD

The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, in the year 61 AH of the Islamic calendar in Karbala, in present-day Iraq. The battle took place between a small group of supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson, Husayn ibn Ali, and a larger military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph.

Timing for Muharram

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): [6]

AH First day (CE / AD)Last day (CE / AD)
143714 October 201512 November 2015
14382 October 201631 October 2016
143921 September 201720 October 2017
144011 September 20189 October 2018
144131 August 201929 September 2019
144220 August 202017 September 2020
Muharram dates between 2015 and 2020

Incidents occurred during this month

Scenes in the Tajiya procession at the Muharram festival Scenes in the procession at the Mohurrum festival.jpg
Scenes in the Tajiya procession at the Muharram festival

Hadith

Shia Muslims take out a Ta'ziya procession on Ashura in Barabanki, India, January 2009. Muharram (Ta'ziya) procession Barabanki India (Jan 2009).jpg
Shia Muslims take out a Ta'ziya procession on Ashura in Barabanki, India, January 2009.

In Islamic eschatology:

See also

Related Research Articles

Karbala Place in Iraq

Karbala, also Kerbala, is a city in central Iraq, located about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Baghdad, and a few dozen miles east of Lake Milh. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 700,000 people (2015).

Ashura

Yom Ashura or Ashura is the tenth day of Muḥarram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. For the majority of Shia Muslims Ashura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram, and commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH. Sunni Muslims have the same accounts of these events, but ceremonial mourning did not become a custom - although poems, eulogizing and recounting the events were and continue to be common. Mourning for the incident began almost immediately after the Battle of Karbala. Popular elegies were written by poets to commemorate the Battle of Karbala during the Umayyad and Abbasid era, and the earliest public mourning rituals occurred in 963 CE during the Buyid dynasty. In Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Ashura has become a national holiday, and many ethnic and religious communities participate in it.

Arbaeen

Arba'een, Chehlom is a Shia Muslim religious observance that occurs forty days after the Day of Ashura. It commemorates the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, who was killed on the 10th day of the month of Muharram. Imam Husayn ibn Ali and 72 of his companions were killed by Yazid's army in the Battle of Karbala in 61 AH.

Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar. The lexical definition of Rajaba is "to respect", of which Rajab is a derivative. This month is regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which battles are prohibited. The pre-Islamic Arabs also considered warfare blasphemous during the four months.

Shawwāl is the tenth month of the lunar based Islamic calendar. Shawwāl means to 'lift or carry'; so named because a female camel normally would be carrying a fetus at this time of year.

Zaynab bint Ali Sahaba


Sayyidah Zaynab bint ʿAli was the daughter of the first Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah bint Muhammad. The Islamic Nabi Muhammad was her maternal grandfather, and thus she is a member of his Bayt. Therefore, she is often revered not only for her admirable characteristics and actions, but also for her membership in, and continuation of, the biological line of Muhammad. Like other members of her family she became a great figure of sacrifice, strength, and piety in Islam – in the Sunni and Shia sects of the religion. Zaynab married ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far, and had three sons and two daughters with him. When her brother, Imam Al-Husain, stood up against Yazid ibn Mu‘awiyah in 680 CE, Zaynab accompanied him. She played an important role in protecting the life of her nephew, Imam ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn, and because of her sacrifice and heroism, she became known as the "Heroine of Karbala". Zaynab died in 681 CE, and her Masjid is located in Damascus, Syria.

Abdullah Ali al-Asghar ibn Al-Husayn, or simply Ali Asghar, was the youngest child of Al-Husayn and Rubab bint Imra’ al-Qays. He was killed during the Battle of Karbala, and is commemorated in shia as the "personified quintessence of the innocent victim."

Ṣafar is the second month of the lunar based Islamic calendar. The Arabic word ṣafar means "empty", corresponding to the pre-Islamic Arabian time period when people’s houses were empty, as they were out gathering food. Ṣafar also means "whistling of the wind", as this was likely a windy time of year. Most of the Islamic months are named according to weather conditions of the time; however, since the calendar is lunar, the months shift about 11 days every year, meaning that the seasons do not necessarily correspond to the name of the month.

Rabīʿ al-Awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, many Muslims celebrate Mawlid - the birthday of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Although the exact date is unknown, Sunni Muslims believe the date of birth of Muhammad to have been on the twelfth of this month, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe him to have been born on the dawn of the seventeenth day. Muhammad himself never celebrated the mawlid, instead encouraged Muslims to fast on Mondays of every week due to his birthday being “on a Monday”. The name Rabī‘ al-awwal means the first [month] or beginning of spring, referring to its position in the pre-Islamic Arabian calendar.

Jumādā al-Awwal, also known as Jumādā al-Ūlā or Jumada Ⅰ, is the fifth month of the 12 lunar months in the Islamic calendar. The month spans 29 or 30 days.

Hussainiya ceremonial gathering hall in Shia Islam

A ḥosayniya or hussainiya, also known as an ashurkhana, imambargah, or imambara, is a congregation hall for Twelver Shia Muslim commemoration ceremonies, especially those associated with the Mourning of Muharram. The name comes from Husayn ibn Ali, the third of the Twelve Imams and the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Husayn was killed at the Battle of Karbala on 10 October 680 CE during the reign of Umayyad Caliph Yazid I. The Shia commemorate his martyrdom every year on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram. There are also other ceremonies which are held during the year in hussainiyas, including religious commemorations unrelated to Ashura.

Tasua

Tasu'a is the ninth day of Muharram and the day before Ashura. Several events occurred on this day, including: Shemr's entrance to Karbala, the granting of safe conduct for the children of Umm ul-Banin, preparation for war; and Husayn ibn Ali and his companions were besieged by the enemy. The day is attributed to Abbas ibn Ali because of his actions as commander in the army of Husayn ibn Ali.

Muharram in Bahrain

The Islamic month of Muharram is a period of mourning in Shia Islam and commemorates the death of Imam Hussain, the third Imam, and his companions at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Processions called Azadari are held to commemorate and remember the events that took place, these are often organised by congregation halls known as Hussainia. Mourning climaxes on the tenth day of Muharram, Ashura. The mourning is sometimes referred to as the Remembrance of Muharram.

<i>Lohoof</i> Shia book

Lohoof is a book by Sayyed Ibn Tawus, a Shia jurist, theologian, and historian. It is kind of Maqtal al-Husayn, narrating the Battle of Karbala, the death of Husayn ibn Ali, and subsequent events.

References

  1. The others are Dhu al-Qi'dah, Dhu al-Hijjah and Rajab, The Islamic Calendar
  2. 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."
  3. "Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance". iqrasense.com. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  4. "ZIYAARAT ASHOORA IMP". www.duas.org.
  5. "Muharram". 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  6. Gent, R.H. van. "The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia". www.staff.science.uu.nl.
  7. Sahih Bukhari 003.031.222-225 Archived November 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. Allama Majlisi. Bihar al-Anwar . 46. pp. 152–154.
  9. Al-Haakim, Naim ibn Hammad, Kitab Al-Fitan

Further reading