When is Muharram? Muharram Dates, Legends, Celebrations, Rituals
Al-Hijra or Muharram 2009 starts on Friday, 18th of December for 29 days till Friday, 15th of January.
Al-Hijra or Muharram 2010 starts on Tuesday, 7th of December for 29 days till Tuesday, 4th of January.
Al-Hijra or Muharram 2011 starts on Saturday, 26th of November for 29 days till Saturday, 24th of December.
Al-Hijra or Muharram 2012 starts on Thursday, 15th of November for 29 days till Thursday, 13th of December.
Al-Hijra or Muharram 2013 starts on Tuesday, 5th of November for 29 days till Tuesday, 3rd of December.
Muharram is not any particular day, but beginning of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four months which is considered to be holy. The other are Dhul-Qa’adah, Dhul-Hijjah as well as Rajab.
Legend of Muharam
This is an auspicious occasion in Islamic history. On this day, Allah is considered to have created the heavens and the earth on this day. He blessed many of the His prophets with bounties and saved them from the clutches of the enemies.
Allah is considered to have created Hazrat Adam during this month and pardoned him for any of his mistakes he has committed. Hazrat Noah’s Ark reached successfully Mount Judi during this period many centuries ago. God is supposed to have saved Hazrat Ibrahim from the fire. He also rescued Hazrat Musa from the clutches of Pharaoah in the month of Muharram.
The legend also holds that during the month of Muharram many centuries ago, approximately October 20th 680 A.D., an incident took place at Kerbala on the banks of the river Euphrates.
A large army belonging to the Ummayyad regime caught hold of a group of persons and forced them to pay allegiance to the Caliph, who was indulging in earthly pleasures. He had deviated from the path of Islamic life. The group of men refused to pay allegiance to him. They were all killed in a battle. The leader of the group was Imam Hussain, who happens to be the grandson of “Holy Prophet”.
Imam Hussain’s martyrdom is a cause to fight anti-Islamic forces. After all, he was cruelly killed and this was a good reason to mourn his death.
Celebration of Muharram
Taziyas are taken out in processions and the rites of mourning are performed with great passion. The taziyas are buried in the local burial ground( Karbala). This is how the Shias celebrate. The Sunnis demonstrate their feelings less and focus on the redemptive quality of the martyrdom.
Ritual of Muharram
Devotees fast in the month of Muharram. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad has said that the best fasting after Ramadan is in the month of Muharram. The fasts during Muharram are not compulsory, but those who do fast out of their own will are rewarded by the Almighty. Fasting done on the tenth day of Muharram is known as Ashura. It will result in great rewards.
On Ashura, the Muslims participate in a procession Carrying a colorfully decorated taziyas (bamboo as well as paper replica of the tomb of the martyr), which is embellished with mica and gilt. Colorful replica of the Imam Hussain’s tomb is also carried in a procession and then buried in an imitation of Karbala.
Muharram is an auspicious occasion for the Muslims. Shias and Sunnis celebrate it in a different manner, but it is considered to be a sacred event.