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What Is Muharram?

What Is Muharram?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Sacred Month: Muharram is one of the four sacred months in Islam, emphasizing peace, reflection, and increased worship.
  2. Significant Events: The 10th day, known as Ashura, marks the salvation of Moses and the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, carrying immense historical and religious significance.
  3. Spiritual Practices: Muslims engage in fasting, increased worship, charity, and self-reflection during Muharram to seek blessings and forgiveness.


Story-Muharram is the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar and holds significant religious importance for Muslims. It is considered one of the four sacred months in Islam during which warfare is forbidden. Muharram is also associated with several historical and religious events, particularly for Shia Muslims.


Significance of Muharram

  1. Sacred Month:

  • Quranic Mention: Muharram is mentioned in the Quran as one of the sacred months during which fighting is prohibited. The sanctity of this month is emphasized in Surah At-Tawbah (9:36), where Allah says, "Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred."
  • Peace and Reflection: It is a time for Muslims to seek peace, engage in self-reflection, and increase their worship and good deeds.
  1. Ashura:
  • Day of Ashura: The 10th day of Muharram, known as Ashura, is particularly significant. It commemorates the day Allah saved Moses (Musa) and the Israelites from Pharaoh by parting the Red Sea. To show gratitude, Moses fasted on this day.
  • Prophet Muhammad’s Practice: Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) recommended fasting on the day of Ashura and said it expiates the sins of the past year. He also suggested fasting on the 9th or the 11th of Muharram along with the 10th to distinguish the Islamic practice from that of the Jews.
  1. Martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali:
  • Historical Event: For Shia Muslims, Muharram is a period of mourning to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), who was killed in the Battle of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram in 680 CE..
  • Significance of Karbala: Husayn’s stand against the Umayyad caliph Yazid is seen as a symbol of the struggle against tyranny and injustice. Shia Muslims observe this event with processions, reenactments, and rituals of mourning.

What to Do During Muharram

  1. Fasting:

  • Ashura Fast: It is highly recommended to fast on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram). To distinguish from Jewish traditions, fasting on the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th is encouraged.
  • General Fasting: Some Muslims choose to fast additional days in Muharram to seek extra blessings and forgiveness.
  1. Increased Worship:
  • Prayer and Quran Recitation: Engage in extra prayers (nawafil) and recitation of the Quran.
  • Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah): Increase the practice of dhikr and other forms of worship.
  1. Charity and Good Deeds:
  • Helping Others: Acts of charity and helping those in need are particularly meritorious during this sacred month.
  • Community Service: Participate in community service activities and support local initiatives.
  1. Reflection and Repentance:
  • Introspection: Use this time for self-reflection and repentance. Evaluate your actions and seek to improve your relationship with Allah.
  • Forgiveness: Ask for forgiveness from Allah and strive to rectify any wrongs done to others.


Muharram is a month of great significance and offers an opportunity for Muslims to deepen their faith, seek forgiveness, and engage in good deeds. Whether through fasting, increased worship, or acts of charity, it is a time to reflect on one's spiritual journey and strive for greater piety and righteousness.


For a comprehensive collection of Islamic products to support your spiritual journey, visit our all products page.

Learn more about the historical and religious importance of teachings from the Quran by reading our detailed articles on the blog.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the significance of Muharram in the Islamic calendar?

A: Muharram is the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar and one of the four sacred months during which warfare is prohibited. It holds religious importance, especially the 10th day, known as Ashura.

Q: Why is the Day of Ashura important?

A: Ashura commemorates the day Allah saved Moses and the Israelites from Pharaoh. Prophet Muhammad recommended fasting on this day, as it expiates the sins of the past year. For Shia Muslims, it also marks the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala.

Q: How do Muslims observe Muharram?

A: Muslims observe Muharram by fasting, particularly on the 10th day (Ashura) and optionally on the 9th and 11th days. They also engage in increased worship, charity, and self-reflection.

Q: What is the historical significance of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali?

A: The martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala is a significant event for Shia Muslims. It symbolizes the struggle against tyranny and injustice and is commemorated with mourning rituals and processions.

Q: What activities are encouraged during Muharram?

A: During Muharram, Muslims are encouraged to fast, increase their prayers and Quran recitation, engage in Dhikr, perform acts of charity, participate in community service, and seek self-reflection and repentance.