The real meaning of the word 'Muharram' means forbidden and sinful. The festival of Muharram is in the first month of the Islamic calendar . Of all the four sacred months, Muharram is the second most pious month after Ramazan. The festival of Muharram is observed all across the world by the Muslim commnity.
The history of Muharram
Muharram is observed specifically on the 10th day of this holy month, where the Shia community mourn the sacrifice of Imam Hussein, the son of Hazrat Ali and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
It is believed that some fourteen centuries ago on the day of Ashura , the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussain, and his little son, were brutally killed by a ruler in the Battle of Karbala .
The humble army of Imam Hussain's comprised of his friends and family, which included women and young children. But they were besieged by the heavily-armed army of the enemy. It is said that at the end of the battle, the Hussain and his group was captured and tortured. They were deprived of water and food in the desert for three days. Later, the cruel soldiers brutally killed Hussain and his 6-year-old son and held the women hostage.
The 10th day of Muharram is also remembered as the day when Allah saved the children of Israel from Pharaoh.
Significance of Muharram:
Muslims all around the world mourn in the month of Muharram to honour the sacrifice of innocent lives. This month of Muharram is extremely sacred for the Muslim community. Shia Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussein and his family on this day of sorrow. They even refrain from all joyous events.
How do people observe Muharram?
The mourning starts on the 1st day and lasts for 10 days when Imam Hussein died. People don black clothes, observes fasts and flagellate themselves with sharp objects on Muharram. Some people even break the fast in the afternoon after paying respect to Imam Hussein by beating themselves with chains in public and holding public processions. Many Muslims even take out a procession by chanting " Ya Hussain ", wailing loudly.