العَالَمِيْن Praise be to Allah, the Exalted and the Lord of the Universe. It is His blessings that we are approaching المُحَرَّم (Al-Muharram), the first month of the Islamic (Hijri) year 1442. This is a reminder that 1441 years ago Prophet Mohammad, SAW took the dangerous but under the guidance of Allah SWT journey from Mecca to Madina for improving the chance of Islam’s success, join already migrated Muslims from Mecca to Madina, the eager Muslims of Madina, and to avoid the severe persecutions of the Meccan’s. The Islamic New Year is expected to start on August 20, 2020. The Muslims need to celebrate this New Year Day on Muharram 1, as or better than the New Year’s Day on January 1.

The month of Muharram (1), is one of the four sacred months of Islamic calendar year that are mentioned in the Quran, along with Rajab (7), Dhu al-Qi'dah (11), and Dhu al-Hijjah (12) respectively. During these sacred months, warfare is forbidden. Before Islam, even the Quraish and Arabs also forbade warfare during these months.

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, as most other religious calendars are. The lunar calendar months are either 29 or 30 days based on moonsighting whereas the solar calendar months are 30 or 31 days fixed. This creates 10 to 11 days difference between the two calendars each year. Due to this reason Muharram, Ramadan, Dhul al-Hijjah and other Islamic months migrate 10 to 11 days earlier each year giving the benefit to the Muslims to observe their obligations in each season of the year over a period of 35 to 36 years.

The 10th (Ashura) of Muharram has two significances. First, the Prophet SAW used to fast on this day even in Mecca. But when he arrived in Madina, he learnt that the Jews also fasted this day celebrating and following Prophet Musa ASWS because Allah SWT saved him and his community from Pharaoh and his persecution. Second, Husain RAA, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad was surrounded and martyred by army of Yazid during his journey from Madina to Kufah. This incidence has high significance in both Sunni and Shia community.

The Alim Foundation Inc., NMS, August 11, 2020

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