Some might ask, if Muharram is the first month in the Islamic lunar calendar, why don’t we celebrate the new year. In Western Society, they celebrate New Years Eve. Persians, Afghans and other nationalities celebrate Nawrooz, so why don’t we celebrate First of Muharram.
As Muslims, we know that we should be more inclined to observe dates and events relevant and dear to us and our religion.
Unfortunately, in today’s society, we are very much influenced by modernisation and the colour of our faith and identity is gradually fading away and being taken over.
These events that are so popular in today’s society are not really a part of our Islamic culture. Look at all the wonderful events we have as Muslims, and we don’t observe them or even know of them.
Nonetheless, let’s deal with the question at hand.
Firstly, we know the Prophetic Migration did not occur on the First of Muharram, but rather on the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, but Muharram was suggested as the first Lunar month.
Secondly, Muharram is one of the 4 Sacred Months in Islam. It’s a month where warfare is forbidden. That’s why its also known as Muharram ul-Haram. But in this sacred month, the holiest of blood was spilt. The blood of the Grandson of the Prophet of Islam, Imam Husain.
It was not just a simple murder, but a massacre. A tragedy like no other. So, how can we celebrate or be happy?
Muharram is when we renew our sadness. It’s when we remember the Tragedy of Karbala`.
We remember when the Son of Fatimah was slaughtered.
We don’t do it, not only because it’s not a part of our Islamic culture, but also because we commence our mourning season, commemorating the martyrdom of Rayhanatal-Rasul, Sibt al-Nabi,
We start the new Lunar Year by giving our condolences to Rasulullah, and expressing our disassociation to what his own ummah did to his grandson.
We take the new year as a time of reflect, but not through celebrating. By mourning. We adorn ourselves and our houses with Black. We participate in rituals of ‘azaa. We relive the Tragedy of Karbala. We prepare ourselves to commemorate the Day of Ashura`.
Muharram is the month of grief and sorrow. It is the time to remind ourselves to stand up to oppression.
It is the time to spread the message of Imam Husain to the world.
It is the time to share the Islam of Ahlul Bayt to everyone around us.
As the beautiful hadith says; For the killing of Imam Husain, there is a flame in the hearts of the believers that will never be extinguished.