Happy Muharram 2018 : The festival of Muharram marks the first month of the Islamic calendar. On the first day of Muharram, the Islamic New year is celebrated, which is considered a very holy celebration. Although it marks the first Islamic month, the tenth day of Muharram is also known for being a period of mourning where the Shia Muslim community commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the son of Hazrat Ali and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar calendar, or the Gregorian one, which is referred to in most western countries.
Let us all embrace each other in this holy day to mark the first month of the year and to mourn the sacrifice of our Lord. Here’s all you need to know about Muharram, its history, story and significance.
The history of Muharram:
Some fourteen centuries ago on the day of Ashura, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussain and his little son, were mercilessly killed by a cruel and oppressive ruler in the Battle of Karbala . Although Imam Hussain was slain in the battle, his message of kindness, justice and equality lives on among people who love him, and hence, that is his real victory.
The story of Muharram:
The real story behind the mourning of Muharram is a very tragic one. On the 10th day of Muharram, also called Ashura, in the 61st year of the Islamic calendar, the fierce Battle of Karbala took place. The battle was fought between a small group of supporters and relatives of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussain, and a much larger military of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph.
Imam Hussain’s humble army comprised of only his friends and family, including women and young children. But they were surrounded by a heavily-armed enemy army of thousands. They captured Hussain and his group and deprived them of water and food in the desert heat for three successive days. The cruel soldiers brutally killed Hussain and his 6-year-old son and took the women with them as captives.
It is a very emotional story and Muslims honour the sacrifice of the innocent lives by observing a mourning period in the month of Muharram.