What and When is Muharram 2018
What is Muharram?
There are 12 months in the Islamic, or Hijri, calendar – but we tend to know more about some months than we do about others. For example, everybody knows that we fast in Ramadan, and lots know about the sacrifice of Dhul Hijjah. Muharram, however, seems to be a bit less well-known.
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It’s the Muslim version of January so, for many, it marks the beginning of something new. It’s often referred to as the Islamic New Year, in the same way you’d talk about the Gregorian or Chinese New Year.
When is Muharram 2018?
Muharram 2018 begins on the 11th September. Muharram fasting should happen on 19th September for the 9th Dhul Hijjah, and 20th September for the Day of Ashura.
What is Muharram's spiritual significance?
Allah (SWT) divided the year into seasons. Some of these seasons are more sacred, spiritually, than others. The nights of Ramadan and the days of Dhul Hijjah, for instance, are clearly stated to be superior to other days and nights of the year. We know from the Quran that Muharram is one of the four sacred months. In it, the reward of our good deeds is multiplied and any wrongdoing is more serious.
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months [in a year], so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred [i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months]. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…”
Surah At-Tawbah [9:36]
The scholars say that one benefit of having sacred months throughout the year is that, during these time periods, we’re motivated to worship Allah (SWT) even more than usual. Imaan (faith) goes up and down like a yoyo – and Allah (SWT) knows that more than anyone. So sometimes we need a bit of push to remind us to do better and to be better – and there’s no better motivator than knowing that, during these months, even the smallest of deeds will be multiplied in reward.
For Shia Muslims, the Day of Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (ra), the grandson of the Prophet (saw), his companions and other members of the holy Prophet’s (saw) family at the battle of Karbala. Imam Hussain (ra) also witnessed his six-month-old child die in his arms trying to get water. It’s a day of mourning marked by public expressions of grief that, for some communities, involves reciting poetry, wearing black, and re-enacting Hussain’s (RA) martyrdom.
Why do we fast in Muharram?
Muslims usually fast in Muharram for up two days of the month. One of these days is the 10th, the other is usually the 9th.
The 10th day of Muharram is also known as the Day of Ashura (or Ashoora) - the day that Allah (SWT) saved Musa (or Moses AS) and the Children of Israel from the greatest tyrant to ever walk the earth: Pharaoh. As a sign of gratitude, Prophet Musa (AS) used to fast on this day. In honour of his freedom and worship, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told the Muslims to fast too.
The Messenger (SAW) also made it clear that he intended to fast on the ninth of Ashura as well (Sahih Muslim) but he passed away before he could. We believe this was in order to differentiate Muslims from other religious groups who also fast on the Day of Ashura, as well as potentially being a safety net in case the moon sighting is incorrect.
Many Muslims also fast on this day to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of the Prophet (saw), his companions and other members of the holy Prophet’s (saw) family at the battle of Karbala.
Fasting the Day of Ashura offers an unmissable opportunity for spiritual redemption. Allah (SWT) promises that anyone who fasts this day will be rewarded by having his sins from the past year wiped clean. That’s one day for the price of 365. How generous is Allah (SWT)!
Donate a Well this Muharram
In commemoration of the tragic events at Karballa, and all those who were martyred without water for us during Muharram and on the day of Ashura, we ask you to give others the gift of water. Mark this blessed month of remembrance by building a well in the name of the Prophet (saw), Fatimah (as), Prophet Musa (as), Hazrat Ali (as), Imam Hussan (as) or Imam Hussain (as) and keep the spirit of their selflessness alive. Your well will provide entire communities with clean water. It will literally save lives.
Our life-changing wells provide clean drinking water, safe water for cooking, enough supplies for crops and animals as well as better health and hygiene. But it doesn’t stop there.
Women and girls in the developing world walk tens of miles every day, for thousands of hours every year just to collect and carry water. A well would help free them from poverty and change lives for good with more time to work, more time to go to school and more time to look after their families.
MONDAY 10 SEP 2018