Islamic month Muharram-ul-Haram is known as month of sacrifice in which many historical events of Islam occurred. Though it is mostly known because of history & story of Karbala, many other events also occurred on this holy month.
Some of the events are based on religious texts such as Quran and Hadith while other are based on historical events. Some of the most prominent things about Muharram-ul-Haram are:
1) Honorable Month:
Allah has declared the month of Muharram among the 4 honorable and sacred months of Islam, this is mentioned in Quran and further explained by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve (in a year): It was so ordained, by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu al-Qa‘dah, Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha‘baan.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari 2958)
2) Start Of Islamic Year:
When during the caliphate of Umar (ra) the issue of Islamic calendar arose, he choose the year of migration of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the first year and holy month of Muharram as the first month.
Since then the Islamic calendar was used among the Muslim world, it is still used because the religious Eid celebrations and pilgrimages all depend on this lunar calendar which starts from Muharram.
3) Martyrdom of Second Caliph of Islam:
Hazrat Umar (ra) who became the second caliph of Muslim after Caliph Abu Bakar (ra) was also martyred on 1st day of Muharram. In many parts of the Muslim world congregation are held to remember the companion of Muhammad (PBUH).
4) Event of Karbala:
Imam Hussain (ra), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was also martyred in the month of Muharram. This is the most known event of Muharram due to the sacrifice of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) family members.
The dates of 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Muharram are especially mourned by Shia Muslims because of the events which happened on these dates such as they were deprived from water, their night prayers and then the fight.
Congregations are held where they remember Imam Hussain & his followers and mourn their death. Azadari and juloos are also held in different countries of Islamic world.
Another important event of Muharram is that on this day the children of Israel were saved by Allah (swt) from Pharaoh. This is why Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prescribed Muslims to fast for two days 9th & 10th Muharram.
Scholars agree that the fasting can be done on 9 & 10 or 10 & 11 of Muharram.
6) Death of Imam Zayn al Abidin:
Imam Zain-ul-Abidin, son of Imam Hussain also died on 25th of Muharram 95 Hijri. He is considered the 4th Imam of Shia Muslims and hence he is mourned by Shia Muslims.
7) Birth & Deaths of Sufi Saints:
Many prominent Sufi saints were either born or died in the month of Muharram such as Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar who died in Muharram and his Urs is held for 6 days of the month.
Ashraf Jahangir Semnani another spiritual leader also died on 28th Muharram in India. Hazrat Amma saheb Bibi Habiba Qadri also died on 1st Muharram while Khwaja Muhammad Sirajuddin Naqshbandi was also born on 15th Muharram.