Moharram

Moharram marks the beginning of the new Islamic year. The month of Moharram is important for Muslims for many reasons. Along with being the harbinger of a new Islamic year, Moharram is one of the four sacred months of Islam in which warfare is forbidden. The month of Moharram is beloved by Allah, and it is called Allah's month because of the sheer number of significant events that took place in this month. From Prophet Adam's first step into heaven to the deliverance of Prophet Musa's people from the Pharaoh, significant events took place in the month of Moharram. Moharram is also associated with one of the biggest battles in Islamic History – Karbala. The battle between the grandson of our Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Hadrat Hussain (RA) and his family, and the army of Yazid ibn Mu'awiya on the 10th of Moharram in 680 AD. Bookmark our Islamic Calendar or access it by downloading our mobile application to find out when the Islamic Year begins this year. Mark your calendars for all the events this Moharram. 

Moharram 1446 AH08-July-2024

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Moharram Islamic Events

Jul08

Islamic New Year

Monday, 1 Moharram 1446 AH

1 week ago

Jul09

Arrival of Hazrat Hussain (RA) in Karbala

Tuesday, 2 Moharram 1446 AH

1 week ago

Jul12

Beginning of Uthman (RA) Khilafat

Friday, 5 Moharram 1446 AH

1 week ago

Jul14

1 week ago

Jul17

Day of Ashura

Wednesday, 10 Moharram 1446 AH

4 days ago

Jul17

4 days ago

1 day from now

Jul24

Attack of Abraha's army on Khana-e-Kaaba

Wednesday, 17 Moharram 1446 AH

2 days from now

The Significance of Moharram

"The number of months with God is twelve in accordance with God's law since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Of these, four are holy. This is the straight reckoning. So do not exceed yourselves during them, but fight the idolaters to the end as they fight you in like manner, and remember, God is with those Who preserve themselves from evil and do the right." (Surah At-Tawbah 9:36).

The names of the four months in this verse are elaborated by the Prophet of Allah in Hadith. Abu Bakr (RA) narrated that Muhammad (SAW) said: "(The division of time has turned to its original form, which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: These are in succession Dhul Qada, Dhul Hijjaand Moharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumadi-ath-Thaniyah and Sha'ban." (Sahih Bukhari 3197, Book 59, Hadith 8).

In another hadith, Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "The most virtuous fasting after the month of Ramadan is Allah's month Al-Moharram." (Jami` at-Tirmidhi Book 8 Hadith 59). It is proven by the Hadith and Quran that Moharram is a month of importance in Islam. Muslims must try to increase their ibadah in this month, seek Allah's forgiveness and goodwill, and involve themselves in acts of charity.

Key Dates of Moharram

As mentioned earlier, several events of importance to Islam took place in Moharram (also spelled Muharram). The most important events recorded in this month in chronological order are:

1st Moharram:

The first of the month of Moharram marks the beginning of a new Islamic Year based on the lunar cycle. On this date, Muhammad (SAW) migrated to Yathrib, now Madinah, from Makkah as directed by Allah to set up an Islamic state in Medina.   

2nd Moharram:

On the 2nd Moharram, Hussain Ibn Ali (RA), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, arrived on the battlefield of Karbala, where the army of Yazeed was already waiting for them.

5th Moharram:

Khilafat of Uthman bin Affan (RA) began after he was announced as the successor of Umar Ibn Khattab, the second Rashidun Caliph, after his assassination.

7th Moharram:

The army of Yazeed banned water for Imam Hussain Ibn Ali and his family in Kerbala.

10th Moharram:

The 10th Moharram, known as Ashura, or the day of Ashur, is significant in Islam for a number of reasons. Many pre-Islamic and Islamic events are said to have happened on the 10th of Moharram, and it is claimed that important Islamic events that are yet to occur will also happen on the 10th of Moharram.

These events are:

  1. The day of Ashura is most known for the battle of Karbala. On the 10th, Moharram, the beloved grandson of our beloved Prophet (SAW), was mercilessly martyred by the cruel army of Yazeed.
  2. On the 10th of Moharram, the first Prophet of Allah, Hazrat Adam (AS), was born and sent to heaven.
  3. On the day of Ashura, Allah secured Musa (AS) and His people from the army of Pharaoh after years of enslavement, and Pharaoh and his army were completely destroyed in the Red Sea.
  4. Hazrat Nuh (AS) landed His arc on Mount Judi on 10th Moharram after the flood lasted more than 6 months. He (AS) spent His day fasting to thank Allah.
  5. After asking for forgiveness for many years, Allah accepted the repentance of Hazrat Adam (AS) and Bibi Hawa (AS) on the day of Ashura.
  6. Hazrat Yunus (AS) got out of the belly on this day.
  7. Hazrat Esa (AS) was born and ascended to heaven after his crucifixion on the 10th of Moharram.
  8. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) was born on 10th of Moharram.
  9. Allah restored Hazrat Yaqub's eyesight on this day.
  10. Hazrat Idris (AS) ascended to the heavens on this day.
  11. Hazrat Ayub (AS) recovered from His illness on the 10th of Moharram.

These were some important events related to our beloved Prophets. There are a few more events associated with the 10th Moharram. These are:

  • Allah created this Universe, including the earth, the seas, mountains, and everything related to it, on the day of Ashura.
  • The Day of Judgement will be on 10th Moharram.
  • The first rain ever to touch the land was poured on the day of Ashura.

16th Moharram:

On the 16th of Moharram, the Qibla was changed from Masjid Al-Aqsa to Ka'ba.

17th Moharram:

Before the time of Prophet (SAW), on 17th Moharram, Khana Kaba was attacked by Abraha's army of elephants but was destroyed. Allah has described this event in Surah Al-Fil in the last Juz of the Quran.

Fasting During Moharram

Most Muslims fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. This fast is to emulate the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, who used to fast on the 9th and 10th of Moharram or the 10th and 11th of Moharram.

A hadith reported in Sahih al-Bujhari explains the context of these fasts. Narrated Ibn `Abbas: When Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) arrived at Medina, he found the Jews observing the fast on the day of 'Ashura' (10th of Moharram). The Prophet (ﷺ) asked them (about it) and they replied, "This is the day when Moses became victorious over Pharaoh." The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to the Muslims), "We are nearer to Moses than they, so fast on this day." (Sahih al-Bukhari Book 65, Hadith 259).

When the Prophet Muhammad migrated to Medina, he observed that the Jews of Medina fasted on the days of Ashura. Upon asking, he came to know that Jews fast on the 10th of Moharram as it is the day when Musa (AS) was saved, and Allah destroyed Pharaoh and his army. To thank Allah, Musa (AS) fasted on this day, and so the Jews followed his footsteps. Listening to this, the Prophet (SAW) said, "We have more of a right to Musa than you," and he (SAW) ordered Muslims to fast on this day. (Sahih al-Muslim Book 13, Hadith 162).

To differentiate Muslims from Jews, Muhammad (SAW) recommended that Muslims fast for two days in Moharram. The fast should be kept on the day of Ashura and on the day directly before or after it. It is narrated in a hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "If I live till next (year), I will definitely observe fast on the ninth, and the narration transmitted by Abu Bakr (RA) is: "He meant the day of Ashura." (Sahih Muslim 1134b, Book 13, Hadith 173).

As narrated in the above hadith, we can see Prophet Muhammad (SAW) encouraged us to fast in the month of Moharram. But it is a fact that the Prophet (SAW) never kept fasts for the entire month except in Ramadan. It is reported by Ibn Abbas (RA) that he never saw the Prophet (SAW) more concerned about fasting on the day of Ashura than in the month of Moharram. Prophet (SAW) said that the significance of fasting on the days of Ashura serves as the means of forgiveness from previous sins. The fasting of Ashura was made obligatory in the first year of Hijirah before Ramadan was declared as the holy month with obligatory fasting.

Superstition and Misconceptions about Moharram

Many people believe that it is compulsory to fast on the day of Ashura. In reality, it was made compulsory by our Prophet (SAW) before Ramadan was made the holy month of fasting. It is narrated by Hazrat Ayesha (RA) that;

"During the pre-Islamic period of ignorance, the Quraysh used to observe fasting on the day of Ashura, and the Prophet himself used to observe fasting on it too. But when he came to Medina, he fasted on that day and ordered the Muslims to fast on it. When (the order of compulsory fasting in) Ramadan was revealed, fasting in Ramadan became an obligation, and fasting on Ashura was given up. Whoever wished to fast (on it) did so, and whoever did not wish to fast on it did not fast." (Sahih Bukhari 4504, Book 60, Hadith 31)

There are many other misconceptions and superstitions like whoever takes a bath on the day of Ashura will never get ill. This is a misconception and has no support from any authentic source. Similarly, many Muslims call Muharram the month of sadness and bad luck. They consider it a sin to celebrate happy occasions, such as weddings, in this month. It must be clarified that there is no evidence of this in the Quran or hadith. However, if Muslims are choosing to avoid arranging their happy occasions in Moharram out of respect for the martyrs of Kerbala and the extremely sad events that took place this month, that is permissible.

We encourage our Muslim brothers and sisters to increase their ibadah in Moharram, recite the Quran with translation, become regular in their salat, offer nafil salat, fast on the 9th and 10th of Moharram, and do good deeds. You may also read up on the battle of Kerbala and take inspiration from the brave family of the Prophet Muhammad, who chose to die in the way of Allah rather than allow a corrupt Caliph to misuse Islam.