Muslims worldwide revere Al-Hijra/Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This holy month marks the Prophet Muhammad’s migration (Al-Hijra) from Mecca to Medina, starting the Islamic calendar.
Al-Hijra/Muharram is a season of introspection and faith renewal. It allows Muslims to reconnect with their spirituality, honour the early Muslim community, and pray for a blessed year.
This migration saved the Muslim community, started a new age, and spread Islam across the Arabian Peninsula.
Al-Hijra/Muharram is remembered for the disastrous Battle of Karbala in 680 CE. Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and his devoted followers died in this battle against the Umayyad caliphate.
Muslims, especially Shi’as, mourn Imam Hussein’s suffering and sacrifice during Muharram.
Muslims revere Ashura, the 10th of Muharram. Fasting and remembering Imam Hussein’s martyrdom are observed. Other Muslim sects fast and donate to Ashura, while Shi’a Muslims grieve and reenact the Battle of Karbala.
Ashura commemorates Imam Hussein’s righteousness, sacrifice, and resistance.
Muslim experts hold Majlis during Muharram to retell Karbala and inspire attendees. These gatherings are for spiritual reflection, communal bonding, and remembering Imam Hussein and his companions’ sacrifices.
Matam, or chest-thumping, is done in some Shi’a communities to demonstrate grief and sympathy for Imam Hussein. This practice shows empathy for Karbala’s tragedies.
Muharram mourning poetry includes Noha and Marsiya. These elegies describe Karbala and evoke sorrow and devotion. Noha and Marsiya recitals let mourners release their emotions during Muharram.
Muharram has Tazia processions. These processions carry symbolic tombs of Imam Hussein and his companions. Recitations, hymns, and chants accompany Tazia processions, decorated with vivid fabrics, flowers, and lights.
Muslims donate (Sadaqa) during Muharram. This includes giving the needy food, clothing, and money. This month’s generosity reflects Muhammad and his companions’ compassion and selflessness.
Muslims reflect during Al-Hijra/Muharram. Reflect on past mistakes, ask for pardon, and resolve to improve. Muslims try to develop their character, understanding of Islam, and relationship with Allah throughout the year.
Al-Hijra/Muharram’s message transcends religion. Karbala’s sacrifice, justice, and tenacity encourage people to fight oppression in their lives and society. Al-Hijra/Muharram promotes kindness, empathy, and morality.
Al-Hijra/Muharram shapes Islamic history. This month includes success and tragedy, from Muhammad’s journey to Karbala. Muslims worldwide commemorate previous sacrifices and seek spiritual renewal via spiritual reflection, generosity, and commemorative practices.
Al-Hijra/Muharram inspires people to live by justice, resilience, and commitment and improve their communities. Al-Hijra/Muharram is a time to learn about Islamic history, unite, and find purpose and compassion.
The Islamic lunar calendar begins with Al-Hijra/Muharram. It commemorates Muhammad’s travel from Mecca to Medina, a prominent Islamic event. Al-Hijra, the migration, established the first Islamic state and preserved the Muslim community. Muslims meditate on the sacrifices of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions during Al-Hijra/Muharram, emphasising persistence, faith, and tenacity. It is a month of new beginnings and recommitment to Islam.
Al-Hijra/Muharram commemorates the 680 CE Battle of Karbala. Imam Hussein, the grandson of Muhammad, fought the Umayyad caliphate in this battle. Imam Hussein and his followers upheld justice and fairness despite overwhelming odds, even in death. Karbala’s events were intensely emotional and transforming, especially for Shi’a Muslims. Muharram commemorates the Battle of Karbala, which teaches sacrifice, commitment, and resistance to injustice.
Muslim rites mark Al-Hijra/Muharram. On Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, they fast. Ashura commemorates Imam Hussein’s martyrdom at Karbala. Muslims also attend Majlis, when religious authorities preach about Karbala to encourage and educate the community. Muslims, especially Shi’as, carry Tazias, symbolic tombs of Imam Hussein and his companions, in processions. This month also sees funerals, elegies (Noha and Marsiya), and charity (Sadaqa). These practices encourage spirituality, unity, and introspection, connecting believers to Al-Hijra/Muharram’s history and values.
Al-Hijra/Muharram has universal lessons. It stresses fighting oppression, supporting justice, and keeping faith in adversity. Karbala teaches us the importance of forsaking comfort for the greater good and staying faithful to truth and virtue. Al-Hijra/Muharram encourages people to examine their life, discover opportunities for improvement, and recommit to compassion, empathy, and resilience. It reminds us that fairness, integrity, and lofty ideas are timeless and universal ideals that can motivate people of various backgrounds to improve society.
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