Awal Muharram dates for 2012 & 2013
Year Date Day State 2012 15 November Thursday National 2013 5 November Tuesday National
What is Awal Muharram?
Awal Muharram (also called Maal Hijrah) celebrates the beginning of the Islamic new year, and is also the beginning of ten days of rememberance for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, who was killed in the battle of Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram.
Muharram, derived from the word haram which means sinful, is a month considered most sacred of all besides the month of Ramadan. During this time, Muslims are forbidden to fight; hence, a time of mourning and peace.
This first month of the Islamic year coincides with the migration of Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina in 622 A.D and is therefore, considered a time for self-evaluation and a starting point for change.
This event is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. The Shia Muslims (Shi’ite) spend the day mourning—some even to the extent of flogging themselves—to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali. The Sunni Muslims fast and celebrate the day according to the Sunnah of Mohammed which is in honour of Moses’ recue of the people of Israel from Pharaoh.
On the 10th day of Muharram most Muslims start fasting when the sun rises and do not eat until later in the evening. Muslims cook sweet rice, also known as Bubur Asyura and share them among family members and friends during their break fast. It is also during this time that Muslims gather in mosques to usher in the new Hijri year.
At the same time, various religious activities will be carried out such as spiritual singing, religious activities and the recitation of Koranic verses. Since special prayers and sermons are conducted in public halls and mosques, areas around mosques might be congested in the evenings and at night.
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