Significance of Muharram


Muharram ushers in the Islamic new year and is a month of great reward and virtue. Muharram itself means `sacred’ and is from those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Holy Quran.

Abu Qatada (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year and Abu Huraira (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said that after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence.

The Prophet (s) encouraged us to fast during Muharram, especially on the 9th and 10th. The Prophet (s) himself fasted on the 10th, the day of Ashura, and had fully intended to fast the following year on the 9th, but he passed away before he could.


The 10th of Muharram is also a day of great historical significance and the day on which Allah (swt)*:


  • accepted the repentance of Hazrat Adam (as) after his exile from Paradise
  • saved Hazrat Nuh (as) and his companions in the Ark
  • extinguished the fire in which Hazrat Ibrahim (as) was thrown by Nimrod
  • spoke directly to Hazrat Musa (as) and gave him the Commandments and saved him and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people
  • forgave Hazrat Dawud (as)
  • restored the kingdom of Hazrat Sulaiman (as)
  • restored Hazrat Ayyub (as) to health (from leprosy)
  • reunited Hazrat Yusuf (as) with his father Hazrat Yaqub (as)
  • took Hazrat Yunus (as) out from the belly of the fish
  • raised Hazrat Isa (as) to Jannah
  • made the Prophet’s (saw) grandson, Imam Hussain (ra), a Martyr

Battle of Karbala (10th Muharram):

Abbas bin Ali (ra) said to the Kufans:

‘you are torturing young children and infants from the family of the Prophet (saw), not allowing them even a single drop of water so that they would die of hunger and thirst.’**

*Mentioned by scholars as the specialties of that day in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani. **Excerpts taken from: Excellence of Muharram & Imam-e-Hussain (ra).


It is said*:


  • Worship Allah (swt) as much as you can on Ashura
  • Whoever clothes a naked person Allah (swt) will release him from a painful punishment.
  • Whoever visits a sick person, Allah (set) will grant him a reward that will not be decreased.
  • Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person or gives water to a thirsty person, Allah (swt) will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil.

*Mentioned by scholars as the specialties of that day in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani.

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