Muharram is the first month of Islaamic calendar. The holy month of muharram is of great gravity to the people of Islam as it marks to the beginning of the first month according to the Islamic calendar. It is also commemorated to remember the brutal assisination of hazrat imam hussain ali and his supporters at the battle of karbala. It is the period of mourning to shia’s. They drape themselves to black in order to mourn over the death of holy prophet grandson. The tenth day of muharram is called ashura which is the highest significance and has the most gravity among muslim sects.
Ashura , a day of remembrance is an Arabic word which means the‘tenth’.. in Islaam it is specifically used for the tenth day of Muharram. The name Muharram itself means ‘scared’ and is sanctified month as a whole, yet the tenth day of Muharram is considered the most sacred and pious to muslims. Muharram is consider a pious month and is of great significance to Muslims. Ashura is given its name, because it is believed that Allah almighty bequeath his ten prophets ten kinds of bounties on this special day. Islamic lunar calendar marks the beginning of the newyear by sighting of the moon of the Muharram. It is consider the first month of Islamic calendar.
Ashura is a great time of fasting and contemplation of inner thoughts, a great source of thoughts. Fasting on this day eases the sins of an entire year, the holy Prophet (SAW) said:I hope that Allah will accept it as an expitation for the year that went before. Traditonally , ashura commemorates two events: The day Noah left the ark and the day when MUSA was saved by Allah Almighty by Egyptians.
Muslims marks this day of great gravity because of various reasons, Arabic society celebrates this day as they believe that it was the day on which prophet Abraham was born. In Islam , it is not obligatory to fast on ashura ,it is not it is “Sunnah” of holy Prophet , he fasted and recommended fasting, but not in way the Jews did.
Another reason for celebration of ashura in Islaam is that it is the day when HUSSYAN, the blessed grandson of prophet Muhammad and the master of youth and heaven was martyrized. It is also believed that, the Kabba , the most scared mosque was build.
The Hadith of prophets (PUBH), points about two facts, firstly they say Muharram is the month of Allah and secondly fasting in Muharram is next to fasting in Ramzan.
There is a famous legend regarding Ashura.
When prophet (PUBH) migrated to MADINA with his disciples, there he found out that on this day the Jews of Medinah fasted on the tenth of the day of Muharram. Jews said that holy prophet Musa and his followers crossed the red sea miraculously ,on this day sea was split in various path ways for Musa and his people, thus granting victory over tyrant Firwan, hearing this holy Prophet said,” we are more closely related to Musa than you and directed muslims to fast on the day of ashura .
For ‘SHIA’ muslims it is a day for great public expressions of mourning . they express their sorrow by castigating themselves on the back with chains, this they believe connect them to Hussayn’s suffering and death as an aid to salvation on the day of judgement.
For ‘Sunni’ Islam fasting is obligatory, they include it by going to religious hearings, and performing charities.

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