Muharram 2019 will mark the start of New Islamic Year 1441 Hijri. The expected Gregorian Date on 1st Muharram 1441 is 1st September, 2019 or 2nd September, 2019 depending on your location. To check Islamic date of your city: Islamic Calendar 1441
Being the first month of the Islamic New Year, Muharram holds great importance in Islam. It is one of the four sacred months in the Islamic calendar. Muharram in its literal sense means “forbidden”. Similar to the other sacred months, waging war or indulging in any kind of violence during this month is forbidden.
“The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab…” (Bukhari 3197)
Muharram holds great significance long before the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) time. Earlier on, it was obligatory to fast on the 10th of Muharram. However later, fasting was made obligatory in Ramadan only. As narrated by Hazrat Ayesha (RA):
“The people used to fast on ‘Ashura (the tenth day of the month of Muharram) before the fasting of Ramadan was made obligatory. And on that day the Kaa’ba used to be covered with a cover. When Allah made the fasting of the month of Ramadan compulsory, Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of ‘Ashura’) may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so.”(Bukhari 1592)
Centuries ago, on the 10th of Muharram, Prophet Musa (AS) performed a miracle with the help of Allah (SWT) whereby he was able to save his people from the Pharaoh by dividing the sea into two parts creating a pathway for his people to safely cross the sea, while the Pharaoh’s army drowned. Hence, the Jews used to fast on Ashura i.e. the 10th of Muharram, as thanksgiving. The Prophet (PBUH) himself fasted on this day and also ordered the Muslims to do so as he said that:
“I am closer to Moses than they." (Bukhari 3397)
The Companions observed that Jews also consider the day as special, fasting on the day. So Prophet (PBUH) announced that from next year they will fast on the 9th of Muharram so as to distinguish themselves from the Jews. Unfortunately, Prophet (PBUH) did not live to see the next year. Therefore, Muslims consider the 9th and 10th of Muharram, Days of Ashura, as significant days in the Islamic calendar and observe fast on these days.
Similar to the regular New Year, one should make resolutions at the start of the Islamic New Year to improve oneself. You can set small goals for yourself to become a better person. These goals can be both spiritual and social. You can strengthen your relationship with Allah (SWT) through regular Dhikr and Duas. You can help others out through participating in a social cause. It does not need to be a big social project. Allah (SWT) rewards every good deed. Making an effort and having the right intentions is what matters the most. It might be small in your eyes but may inspire someone else to do a good deed; creating a ripple effect of goodness and wellbeing. Thus, a tiny good deed might be of way more magnitude than you deem it to be. Verily Allah (SWT) knows the best!
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