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Muharram is the first of the four sacred months in the Islamic calendar. It is considered the holiest month for Muslims, following Ramadan. Like all Muslim holidays, Muharram or New Year, moves from year to year based on the lunar calendar.
See the fact file below for more information on the Muharram or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Muharram worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Etymology and Background
- The Arabic term Muharram means forbidden. It is one of the four sacred months mentioned by Allah in the Quran along with Rajab, Dhu al-Qi’dah and Dhu al-Hijjah. These four months are considered sacred because it was during these months that Allah told of the creation of the universe in the Quran.
- It was also during Muharram when the first moon was sighted after the Prophet’s migration to Medina.
- Regarding the sacred months, Allah says in the Quran:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve months in the register of Allah 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.”
- The tenth day of Muharram is the Day of Ashura. For modern Shia Muslims, it is a month of remembrance and mourning. Ashura literally means “tenth” in Arabic. Shias remember Ashura to commemorate the murder of Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad.
- For the Shiites, the first night of Muharram until the day of Ashura mark the days in which Imam Hussein and his followers were killed by the army of Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala. The remaining survivors were captured and brought to Damascus.
- According to Muslim scriptures, the death of Prophet Muhammad divided the Muslim world. Muhammad’s descendant Yazid ruled incorrectly. Hussein was the third Shiite imam and second son of Ali. The prophet’s cousin refused to swear allegiance to Yazid. Hussein was killed and his martyrdom is regarded as sacred.
- Since 680 A.D., the death of Hussein became the most vital communal ritual for Shiites.
- According to Ibn Abbas, it was during Ashura when the holy prophet migrated to Medina and found the Jews were fasting during this day to commemorate the day when Musa (Moses) parted the Red Sea to help them escape slavery in Egypt.
- Some common misconceptions about Ashura include that it was the day of Adam’s creation, the birth of Ibrahim (Abraham), an unlucky month due to the Battle of Karbala, and the time for doomsday.
- Among the traditional Ibadaat or worship during Muharram is fasting. Fasting during Muharram was also obligatory but was later made optional after Ramadan. To distinguish itself from Jewish fasting, Muslims combined 9th and 10th Muharram.
- Since Muharram is a month of mourning, different forms of grief and penance are practiced by various sects. Shia Muslims wear black and refrain from wearing jewelry as a symbol of mourning over the martyrdom of Imam Hussain.
- Some participate in processions and lashing oneself. They are provided with fresh drinks and simple food like rice pudding and sherbet made of milk.
- For the last 500 years, the tragedy of Karbala is performed in India. An imagined representation of the tomb of Imam Hussein is carried in the procession.
- The start of the New Year also means a month of non-violence in the Muslim world. Muslims are not allowed to wage war or involve themselves in any form of violence.
- The majority of Muslims attend prayer sessions in mosques and spend time with their family during this time. Most Muslim households cook special dishes on the 10th day of Muharram or the last day of the fast. The most common ingredients used are coconut, cream, sugar and spices in preparing traditional food like meat, rice, pudding and kebab.
- The customary way of serving Muharram food is through sharing. Food is served in large quantities suitable for family and communal meals. Among the special dishes are zarda rice, sooji halwa, Muharram ka sharbat, chicken haleem, chickpeas pulao, poha kheer and egg biryani.
Common Islamic Terms Related to Muharram
- Adam was the first man and considered the first prophet of Allah.
- Ali is the first imam, cousin, and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad.
- Allah is revered as the god of Islam.
- Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram and the day when Imam Hussein was killed in Karbala.
- Hajj is a form of Islamic pilgrimage.
- Haram are unlawful acts in Islam while Halal are objects permissible to use or consume.
- Hijra is the day when the holy prophet left Mecca for Medina.
- An imam is an Islamic leader seen as a descendant of Muhammad.
- Karbala is the holy city in modern Iraq where Imam Hussein was killed.
- Mecca is the holy city in Arabia where Muslims are bound to take hajj or pilgrimage.
- A Muslim is a person who believes in Allah and follows Islam.
- Shi’a is a follower (Shiite) of the twelve Imams while Sunnis adhere with the first three caliphs.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Muharram across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Muharram worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Muharram which is the first of the four sacred months in the Islamic calendar. It is considered the holiest month for Muslims, following Ramadan. Like all Muslim holidays, Muharram or New Year, moves from year to year based on the lunar calendar.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Muharram Facts
- Month of Muharram
- Islamic Holidays
- Building Vocab
- What’s the Difference?
- 10th Day of Muharram
- Picture Notes
- The Muslim World
- Islamic Months
- Web Mapping
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Link will appear as Muharram Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 26, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.