Significance of Muharram

The Islamic calendar is composed of 12 months, starting from Muharram to Zill Hijjah. It is one of the four most sacred months which are Rajab, Zill Qaddah and Zill Hijjah. Muslims believe that the significance of Muharram is due the important events that took place in it. Muharram is derived from the Arabic word Haraam حَرَام‎ which means illegal or forbidden. It has been stated in the Holy book of the Muslims to stay away from any sinful act, especially in the four sacred months of the Islamic calendar.

History of Muharram:

Before understanding the significance of Muharram you need to know about its history. The history of Muharram relates to the people of Deen e Ibrahim (Prophet Ibrahim’s religion). During the early times, it was thought to be Haraam or illegal to battle in this month because it is the month when the pilgrims return from Hajj (Pilgrimage). The battle of Karbala was fought against this tradition. The contribution for the Islamic calendar was made by the most powerful and the most just Caliph of Muslims, Umer Bin Khitaab. Muslims believe that the reason behind the origin of the Islamic year was to solve the problems and issues of dates. This is why Muharram was selected to be the first Islamic month of the Hijrah calendar.

Significance behind the history of Muharram:

Muslims believe that Muharram is the month when most of the important events took place. It was the month when the dearest grandson of the Prophet Mohammed was martyred brutally. Most people give importance to this month because because of the above event but this isn’t the reason behind the significance of Muharram. Muslims believe that its significance relates to the return of the Pilgrims from the Holy Kaaba (Pilgrimage) and is also connected to the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram).

1. Migration of the Prophet Mohammed:

The followers of the Prophet Ibrahim also fasted even in the time of Jahilliyah (ignorance). Muslims believe that Muharram gained its significance among all other months of the Islamic calendar right after the migration of the Prophet Mohammed from Makkah (city of Hejaz and the capital of Makkah Province in Saudi Arabia) to Madinah (city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia), the two cities of the Arab. The Prophet Mohammed relocated to Madinah with his trustful companions.

2. Fasting of Bani Israel (Jews):

The Significance of Muharram  also relates to the voluntary fasting. Prophet Mohammed asked the Jews about the fact behind their fast to which they answered that it is obligatory in their religion to fast on that day because it is the day when the Prophet Moses safely crossed the Red Sea along the Bani Israel and the army of Pharoah drowned. Prophet observed fast out of gratitude. The Prophet Mohammed listened to their words and told them the we Muslims are more closer to the Prophet Moses than you are, so we have more right to fast. From that day, the Prophet Mohammed used to fast on the 10th Muharram and asked the Muslims to do the same. Before the obligation on the fasts of Ramadan, fasting on the day of Ashura was compulsory for the Muslims. Not only fasting, but other voluntary prayers in Muharram also relate to its significance.

3. Birth of the World (فَيَكُونُ كُنْ):

Another significance of Muharram is that the Muslims believe that God created everything in this Universe in this month. He made the Heaven and the Hell. He blessed the Prophets with victories and had mercy on them.


Muslims believe that Muharram is no doubt, a great month for blessings and prayers and for eliminating sins from one’s life. Its significance and history is made by God Himself. Muslims strive to change themselves to align with God and the Quran (the Holy book of Muslims).