The Importance of the Holy Month of Muharram

By Hooria Tahir | 16, Aug, 2022
The Importance of the Holy Month of Muharram

The Hijri calendar's first month, Muharram often referred to as Muharram-ul-Haram, ushers in the Islamic year. It is a very auspicious month because it is the only one to which Allah's name has been affixed; the Prophet Muhammad (saw) called it the Sacred Month of Allah.

It is one of the four sacred months, and its name makes clear how special it is. The name Muharram literally translates to forbidden, indicating that it is so holy that some deeds are prohibited during it because they would compromise its sanctity. 

The name of the month of Muharram and the name of Allah's Home, (Al-Masjid Al-Haram) derive from the same Arabic root word; both are holy places where every deed, whether good or bad, has more weight.


The four sacred months in Islam 

people doing tawaaf

Image Credit: طفاف ابوماجدالسويدي on Unsplash

Due to the historical significance of Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram, pilgrims were historically permitted to conduct the Hajj without fear of banditry or conflict.

Fighting was prohibited in Dhul-Qa'dah, when pilgrims would be traveling to conduct the Hajj, in Dhul-Hijjah, when they would be performing the Hajj in Makkah and its environs, and in Muharram, when pilgrims would be returning from the Hajj. In pre-Islamic times, the Arabs followed this ideal, and Allah affirms it in the Qur'an.

The seventh month of the Hijri calendar is Rajab. It is distinct from the others as a holy month


What makes Muharram so significant?

muharram and Allah's virtue

Image Credit: أخٌ‌في‌الله on Unsplash

’Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them…’ (Qur’an, 9:36)

Ibn Katheer (RH) explains this verse by saying, "Allah has chosen elites from His creation: from the angels He chose Messengers, from mankind He chose Messengers, from speech He chose remembrance of Him (dhikr), from places on Earth He chose the mosques, from months He chose Ramadan and the sacred months." Therefore, honor what Allah has selected because those who possess insight and wisdom revere Allah's choices. 

Muharram is remarkable as a result just by virtue of Allah's choice. During this holy month, he warns us not to wrong ourselves, which simply means to watch out for our intentions and behavior and to avoid sinning. 


How to benefit more in Muharram

guy praying in mosque

Image Credit: Masjid Pogung Dalangan on Unsplash


  • Beg for forgiveness. Since sins are more grave in Muharram, you should seek forgiveness from Allah as frequently as you can during this time. You can even repent for your mistakes by providing water to people in need.
  • Read the Quran more. It's a no-brainer that's always included on these lists, but doing it is the best way to get closer to Allah throughout this amazing month! Setting aside just 10-15 minutes per day for it is the best strategy; be disciplined and set a timer. If you make the positive habit throughout Ramadan, hopefully, you will keep your New Year's resolution.
  • Be regular with giving charity. The Islamic New Year begins with Muharram, making it the ideal opportunity to make resolutions and create healthy routines that will pay off all year long. Encourage yourself to start the new year by giving more regularly. 



man focusing on his dua

Image Credit: Rachid Oucharia on Unsplash  

A powerful beginning to the year will give us the courage to carry it on throughout in an effort to get closer to Allah. We can set our intentions for the year with positive deeds even while battling distractions. 

We get to make use of this sacred Month. Even though we may make mistakes frequently throughout the year, this is the ideal time to encourage better habits. Making the most of Muharram is made easier when we are aware of its significance.

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