Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Calendar and considered as the sacred month the year according to the Muslims. The tenth day of the Muharram is the day of most significance which is celebrated with huge enthusiasm by the people of different factions of the Muslim community for various reasons. The tenth day of the Muharram is of great importance, celebrated by the Shia Muslims in order to mourn the death of Hussain Ibn Ali whereas by the Sunni Muslims in order observe the victory of Moses over Egyptian Pharaoh.
The real story behind the mourning of Muharram is a very tragic one. On the 10th day of Muharram, also called Ashura, in the 61st year of the Islamic calendar, the fierce Battle of Karbala took place. The battle was fought between a small group of supporters and relatives of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussain, and a much larger military of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph.
Imam Hussain’s humble army comprised of only his friends and family, including women and young children. But they were surrounded by a heavily-armed enemy army of thousands. They captured Hussain and his group and deprived them of water and food in the desert heat for three successive days. The cruel soldiers brutally killed Hussain and his 6-year-old son and took the women with them as captives.
It is a very emotional story and Muslims honour the sacrifice of the innocent lives by observing a mourning period in the month of Muharram.
Many Muslims opt to fast on the day of Ashura, as well as on other days in the month of Muharram, to show thankfulness. Some gather at mosques to cry over Hussein’s death and to remember the importance of what the Prophet’s family did for justice, while others perform public rituals that include chest-beating, self-flagellation with chains and forehead-cutting