Islamic New Year: Date, history, significance and all you need to know

The first month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muharram holds special significance for Muslims around the world. Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic New Year. However, the date of Muharram varies each year in the Gregorian calendar because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. The exact date is determined by the sighting of the new moon.

Historical Significance:

Muharram is a month of great historical significance for Muslims. It commemorates several important events, the most prominent being the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE. During this battle, Imam Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and loyal companions were martyred by the forces of the ruling caliphate. This event is considered as a symbol of sacrifice, courage, and standing up for justice in the face of oppression.

Mourning and Remembrance:

Muharram is observed by Shia Muslims in India and across the world. Shia Muslims who mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali and his companions through various rituals and gatherings. These rituals include processions, recitation of elegies (Marsiya), recounting the events of martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq and delivering sermons.


The 10th day of Muharram, known as Ashura, holds special significance. Shia Muslims observe the day as a day of mourning and reflection on the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali and his followers.

Sacred month in the Islamic calendar:

Muharram is a sacred month in the Islamic calendar, observed with deep reverence by Muslims worldwide. It serves as a time for reflection, self-evaluation, and spiritual renewal. The commemoration of Imam Hussain ibn Ali`s martyrdom in Karbala is at the heart of Muharram`s significance. It symbolizes the struggle against injustice and tyranny, reminding believers of the values of sacrifice, bravery, and unwavering commitment to truth. Muharram`s rituals foster a sense of community and unity among Muslims, as they come together to mourn.

Universal Messages:

Muharram carries universal messages of sacrifice, resilience, and the pursuit of justice that resonate with people of different faiths and beliefs. The story of Karbala inspires Muslims to uphold truth and justice, even in the face of adversity, and promotes compassion, unity, and empathy among individuals.

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