Muharram is the one of the four sacred months for the Muslims across the globe. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad completed his journey from Mecca to Medina during this month.
Historical Significance of Muharram
Muharram is the one of the four sacred months for the Muslims across the globe, considered to be the second most pious month after Ramadan or Ramzan. Representing the virtue of sacrifice, Muslims reflect and offer prayers during the period. As the Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle, the English date of Muharram and Ashura vary every year. This year, Ashura is observed on August 30, 2020.
It is believed that Prophet Muhammad completed his journey from Mecca to Medina during this month. The month of Muharram marks a period of intense grief. The observence of Muharram as a mark of mourning the death of Hazrat Imam Hussain, also known to many as the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
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It is also believed that it was in the month of Muharram when Hussain Ibn Ali and his family and followers were tortured and killed by the army of Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala, which took place in 680 AD. It is said that it was after the death of Imam Hussain that the Muslim community was divided into Shia and Sunni sects.
To observe mourning on the loss, many Muslims observe partial fasts. The members of the Shia community usually wear black clothes. The mourning period starts from the first night of Muharram and goes on for ten consecutive nights. The Shia Muslims see Ashura as the day to mourn the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) at the battle of Karbala.
On the other hand, the Sunni Muslims consider Ashura as the day when Moses (Prophet Musa) fasted to show his gratitude for the freedom Allah gave to Israelites from the hands of the Pharaoh of Egypt. According to religious texts, Musa decided to fast for two days, the 9th and 10th day of the first month of Al Hijri or Islamic New Year. When Prophet Mohammad travelled to Madina from Mecca in 622 CE, he found out from the Jews that they had started fasting on the same days by following the steps shown by Prophet Musa.
Muharram in Kashmir
Shia community of Kashmir is an integral part of Kashmiriyat and Kashmir’s culture and history is incomplete without acknowledging and praising the contribution of various artisans, painters, scholars and poets of Kashmir’s immensely talented Shia community, who have richly contributed in the development of Kashmir’s rich artistic heritage.
How can Muharram and the Day of Ashura be misused against our sacred land of Hindustan, when Indians and Hindus have shed their own blood in the battle of Karbala to fight against the evility of Yazid ?
Imam Hussain (AS) the dear and beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhommed (pbuh) is a leading light of humanity, whose inspiring story of martyrdom in the battle of Karbala for upholding the principles of justice, virtue and truth has (and continues to) inspire not just the Muslim community but the entire human kind.
Many eminent people from our country like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr Radha Krishan have paid rich tribute to the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (AS) and held him an ideal, whose footsteps, everyone regardless of his or her faith must follow to lead a life of truthfulness and virtue.
India has a special connection with the legacy of Imam Hussain (AS) and the battle of Karbala, as Rahab Sidh Dutta from among the clan of Hindu Mohyal Brahmin community of Punjab ( also called Hussaini Brahmins) fought alongside Imam Hussain (AS) in the battle of Karbala and sacrificed his life for the cause of Imam Hussain (AS).
It is really unfortunate that few misguided youth from Kashmir’s brave and honorable Shia community are misusing the holy period of Muharram to indulge in violent and anti-national activities.
How can Muharram and the Day of Ashura be misused against our sacred land of Hindustan, when Indians and Hindus have shed their own blood in the battle of Karbala to fight against the evility of Yazid ? Sar-zamen-e-Hindustan and Imam Hussain (AS) have sacred ties of blood that goes back in history to establish peaceful coexistence , mutual respect and unified progressive power.