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When is Muharram 2023
Muharram 2023 will mark the start of the New Islamic Year 1445 Hijri. The expected Gregorian Date of 1st Muharram 2023 is Tuesday, July 18th, or Wednesday, July 19th, 2023 depending on your location and sighting of the Moon of Muharram 1445.
Significance of Muharram
Muharram is not only the 1st month of the Islamic Calendar which marks the New Islamic Year but also one of the four sanctified months of the year. As Allah Says in Quran:
“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.”
“The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qadah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab.”
These words of our Prophet (S.A.W.) confirm the sanctity of the month of Muharram.
The specific mention of these four months does
not mean that other Islamic months have no sanctity; in fact, each Islamic month
has its own sacredness and we all know that Ramadan is admittedly the most
sanctified month in the year. But Allah Almighty has chosen a particular
time for His special blessings and these four months are among those particular
times in which a Muslim can get the maximum of Allah’s blessings.
The word ‘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. (Ref: Surah At-Taubah 9:5)
History of Hijri Calendar
Before the Hijri calendar came into use, Muslims used ‘Am Al-Fil’ (the year in which the Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) was born), to demarcate date and time. But second Caliph Umar ibn Khattab (R.A.) established a new calendar and, after many suggestions from Companions (R.A.), he announced that the year in which the Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) migrated would mark the beginning of the Hijri calendar. The calendar would begin with the month of Muharram and end with the month of Dhul Hijjah. Consequently, 622 AD [the year of the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) migration] became the first year in the Hijri Calendar.
Fasting during Muharram
Muharram holds great significance long before the Prophet Mohammad’s (S.A.W.) time. Earlier on, it was obligatory to fast on the 10th of Muharram. However, later, fasting was made obligatory in Ramadan only, and fasting on 10th Muharram was made optional. As narrated by Ayesha (R.A.) that Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of ‘Ashura’) may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so.”
But remember one thing that fasts during the month of Muharram is the most rewarded ones among the optional (Nafil) fasts in the light of following Hadith:
‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: “The best fasting after the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah, Al-Muharram.”’
The hadith does not mean that the award of Muharram’s fasts can be achieved only by fasting the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has its own merits. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity and fast as much as one can during this blessed month.
10 Muharram (Ashura)
Ashura is the 10th day of Muharram and is the most sacred day among all its days. When the Prophet (S.A.W.) came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of Ashura and directed the Muslims to keep fast on this day. But when the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory, the fasting on this day was made optional. However, according to many authentic Hadiths, fasting on the day of Ashura is a confirmed Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).
Learn more about “Why Fast on Ashura”
The Companions (R.A.) observed that Jews also consider the 10th Muharram as a special day and they keep fast on this day. So Prophet (S.A.W.) announced that from next year, they will fast on the 9th of Muharram as well so as to distinguish themselves from the Jews. Unfortunately, Prophet (S.A.W.) did not live to see the next year. Therefore, Muslims consider the 9th and 10th of Muharram as significant days in the Islamic calendar and observe fast on these days. [Sahih Muslim: 1134 (a)]
Superstition & Misconceptions about Muharram
Although many Muslims are aware of the innovations in Islam, there are some superstitions and misconceptions about the month of Muharram and the day of Ashura that have managed to find their way into the minds of some Muslims. Some very common misconceptions and superstitions are:
About the month of Muharram
1- Unfortunately, many Muslims still believe Muharram is an evil or unlucky month due to the incident of Karbala. We know that it was an unfortunate event but remember one thing that according to Sahih Muslim: 1163 (a) and Tirmidhi: 438, this is Allah’s month. How can Allah’s month be evil and unlucky for His servants? On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Husain (R.A.) that his martyrdom took place on the day of Ahsura.
2- Similarly, due to the same fact, many Muslims don’t get married (Nikkah) during this month which is, again, totally wrong and misguiding.
Learn more about the life of "Hussain Ibn Ali (R.A.)"
About the Day of Ashura
1- Prophet Adam (A.S.) was created by Allah on this day.
2- Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) was born on 10th of Muharram.
3- Prophet Adam’s (A.S.) repentance was accepted by Allah on this day.
4- Day of Judgement will take place on Friday, 10th of Muharram.
5- Whoever takes bath on 10th of Muharram will never get ill.
6- One who puts kohl in his eyes on this day will not suffer from any eye disease.
7- Some people say that it is Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal on this particular day and then distribute it.
Nothing has been reported in any Saheeh Hadith from the Prophet (S.A.W.) or from his Companions (R.A.) about any of the above-mentioned incidents. Even, none of the four Imams encouraged or recommended such things. Not even a single reliable Islamic Scholar has narrated anything like this. So all these are just myths and have nothing to do with Islam or Shariah. So all these things should be avoided during Muharram and should not be followed by any Muslim.
Learn more about “The Day of Ashura”
Muharram is an important and holy month for every Muslim and with all of its complexity, it will always be a month of deep reflection for Muslims across the world.
Similar to the regular New Year, one should make resolutions at the start of the Islamic New Year to improve oneself as a better Muslim. You can set small goals for yourself to become a better person and moreover a better Muslim. These goals can be both spiritual and social. You can strengthen your relationship with Allah through regular Dhikr and Duas and helping other fellows Muslims. And Allah rewards every good deed.
Please visit IslamicFinder’s page about “Ashura 2023”