Muharram is the first month of the year, as per the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four most sacred months in Islam and holds great significance among Muslims.
Muharram literally translates to forbidden. It is the month of mourning and reflection. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad referred to this month as “Sacred Month of Allah” and thus it becomes a crucial year among the 12 lunar months of the Islamic calendar.
The Battle of Karbala
The Battle of Karbala is one of the significant events that took place in the month of Muharram. The battle was fought between a small party led by the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussein, and an army sent by the Umayyad caliph Yazid I. It took place in 690 C.E. during which Imam Hussein was martyred.
Shiite Muslims, around the world, mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and the son of Hazrat Ali. The ten days culminate in Ashura when the community takes part in mourning marches.
May Shiite Muslims participate in processions on the day of Ashura and some engage in self-flagellation to recreate the suffering experienced by Imam Hussein. Faithful also chant Ya Ali and Ya Hussain in the processions. Meanwhile, Sunni Muslims observe the day by fasting and offering prayers.