What is Muharram?
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad and spiritual leader of the Shi'a people.
Imam Husayn's martyrdom is a sad day for all Muslims especially the Shi'a, who mourn the massacre of their "Prince of Martyrs" and his family in Karbala in 61AH/680CE.
Imam Husayn held the title of Imam, meaning spiritual leader of Islam; and he refused to swear allegiance to Yazid, the second Umayyad Caliph. He tried to travel from Medina to Kufa but was surrounded by forces loyal to Yazid in the desert at a place now known as Karbala.
Imam Husain and His Martyrdom
The month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, brings with it the memory of the sacrifice of Imam Husayn [a], the grandson of Prophet Muhammad [s], and his noble family and friends. This short text reflects the deep admiration of its author towards Imam Husayn [a] and an insight into the tragedy of Karbala, its reasons and its consequences. It is presented with the hope that it will foster the Islamic unity and the brotherly love that the author seeks in his preface.
Every day is Ashura and every land is Kerbala
In the month of Muharram 61 AH (approx. 20 October 680 AD), an event took place in Iraq at a place known as Kerbala on the bank of the river Euphrates. It seemed in those days insignificant from the historical point of view. A large army which had been mobilised by the Umayyad regime besieged a group of persons numbering less than a hundred and put them under pressure to pay allegiance to the Caliph of the time and submit to his authority.