Muharram marks the beginning of a new year according to the Islamic calendar and is considered the second holiest month after Ramadan. Muharram, also known as Muharram-ul-Haram, is the first month of the Islamic Year or the Hijri calendar and it is known as the sacred month of Allah.

This year, Muharram started on July 31 and will end on August 28, 2022. Today, August 9, is the tenth day known as Ashura.

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Muharram begins with the sighting of the moon. On the tenth day, Sunni Muslims visit mosques to offer prayers. During Muharram, people also recite religious hymns called Nohas. Charitable acts like donations to the poor, food distribution and many other events are organized in the month of Muharram. Shia Muslims practice chest-beating with chains in public, which is also known as Latyma. They also hurt themselves with knives and sharp objects and hold mournful public processions. 


The Battle of Karbala took place in the 61st year of the Islamic calendar. The battle was fought between a small group of supporters and relatives of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussain and the military of Yazi I, the second caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate. Imam Hussain fought the battle along with his friends and family, including women and young children. But they couldn’t win the battle as they were surrounded by thousands of soldiers. The soldiers had captured Imam Hussain and his group and deprived them of water and food in the desert heat for three consecutive days. The soldiers also killed Hussain and his 6-year-old son and took the women as captives.

The significance of Muharram 

Muharram is the month in which Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina. On this day, Shia Muslims carry out processions to mourn the death of Imam Hussain in the battle of Karbala. Shia Muslims wear black and chant “Ya Ali” and “Ya Hussain”. People refrain from any kind of celebrations during Muharram. Sunni Muslims observe the Day of Ashura by fasting and offering prayers at the mosque. During this sacred month of Muharram conflicts and wars are forbidden.