Muharram 2022: Muharram is the first month in the Islamic lunar calendar and is the second most sacred month in Islam after Ramadan.
The word Muharram means ‘not permitted’ or ‘forbidden’. This is why Muslims are not allowed to take part in activities like warfare during this month, instead, it is supposed to be a period of prayer and reflection.
Muslims believe that it was in this month that Allah saved the Children of Israel from the wicked Pharaoh. As a sign of gratitude, Prophet Musa fasted on this day—the 10th of Muharram. In 622 CE, when Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina in the month of Muharram, he learned from the Jews that they fasted on this day following the ways of Prophet Musa.
Prophet Muhammad decided to observe a two-day fast, on the 9th and 10th of Muharram, preaching the same gratitude to his followers. These are the traditional customs of Sunni Muslims.
Some historians also say that the second caliph of Islam, Umar bin al-Khattab, was martyred on the first day of Muharram. For the vast majority of Muslims, and the entire Sunni sect, Umar is a lofty figure. Despite this, there aren’t any special events that are held on that day in Muslim communities to honor his death, even though his much-celebrated life will be widely taught as part of Islamic history.
The holy month represents something different to Shi’as, Sunnis, and other sects of Islam. As the “month of God”, of Prophets, and of celebrated heroes and martyrs, Muharram continues its legacy as one of the most significant months for Muslims all around the world.