Muharram 2023: Muharram is one of the most important festivals celebrated by India’s Muslim minority because it marks the start of the Islamic New Year. It is the first month of the Islamic calendar and the second holiest of Islam’s four sacred months (the first being Ramadan). Muharram 2023 celebrations will begin with the sighting of the new moon on the final day of the Islamic calendar and will last ten days. The 10th of Muharram, known as the Day of Ashura, is significant for many Muslim sects for various reasons. In 2023, the 10th of Muharram will fall on July 29th (Saturday).
Muharram 2023 History and Significance
Shia and Sunni Muslims regard the Day of Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, as the most important of all days. Shia Muslims mark it as a day of grief to honor the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussayn Ibn Ali. Legend has it that Imam Hussayn once objected to the legitimacy of the caliph Yazid and revolted against him. On the day of Ashura in 680 AD, this resulted in the Battle of Karbala, the beheading of the revolutionary leader, and the imprisonment of his family. Sunni Muslims believe that on the 10th of Muharram, the religious leader Moses led Israel through the Red Sea and defeated the Egyptian Pharaoh and his army of war chariots. There is another belief that Adam and Eve were created by God on the 10th day of this holy month.
Key Dates in Muharram
- 1st Muharram: The New Islamic Year 1445 Hijri will begin on the 1st of Muharram or Mohharam in 2023. The Gregorian date of 1st Muharram 2023 is likely to be Wednesday, July 19th, or Thursday, July 20th, 2023, depending on the position and sighting of the Muharram 1445 Moon. Muharram is also one of the year’s four holy months.
- 10th Muharram(Ashura): Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram and the most sacred day of the month. On the 10th of Muharram, Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) is said to have been born. The Day of Ashura also remembers Allah’s deliverance of the Prophet Musa (AS) and the Children of Israel from the Pharaoh and his army. It is also the anniversary of Imam Hussain’s (AS) martyrdom in the Battle of Karbala.
Observances during Muharram
During the month of Muharram, Muslims participate in various observances and practices to honor its significance:
- Fasting: Many Muslims observe a fast on the ninth and tenth days of Muharram, particularly on Ashura. Fasting on this day is said to have enormous blessings and acts as an act of sympathy with Imam Husayn’s sufferings.
- Reflection and Repentance: Muharram is a time for self-reflection, seeking forgiveness for past errors, and committing to living a righteous life.
- Majlis: Muslims frequently assemble in religious gatherings known as “Majlis” to honor Imam Husayn’s sacrifices and to benefit from the teachings of Karbala. Scholars preach and elegies are recited, creating a sense of togetherness and shared grief.
- Charity and Kindness: During Muharram, Muslims are encouraged to help those in need while also upholding the virtues of compassion and empathy.
As Muharram 2023 approaches, Muslims around the world will observe this holy month with reverence and study. It’s a moment to flash back Imam Husayn’s offerings, contemplate on the generalities of justice and righteousness, and establish collaborative connections. Muslims seek to strengthen their faith and gain alleviation from the eternal principles of Karbala through fasting, commemoration meetings, and charitable gestures. May the month of Muharram 2023 bring peace, harmony, and blessings to the whole Muslim ummah and the entire world.
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