Magazine

Dec 14, 2010

Muharram and Ashura

Muharram and Ashura

[caption id="attachment_1" align="alignnone" width="990" caption="01. Afghan Shi'ite Muslim men flagellate themselves during a Muharram procession in Kabul December 12, 2010. Ashura, which falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram, commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who was killed in the 7th century battle of Kerbala. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood"]Muharram[/caption] Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year in which fighting is prohibited. Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar. Muharram is so called because it is unlawful to fight during this month, the word is derived from the word haram, meaning "forbidden". It is held to be the most sacred of all the months, excluding Ramadan. Some Muslims fast during these days. The tenth day of Muharram is called Yaumu-l 'Ashurah, which is known by Shia Muslims as 'the day of grief'. On this day the death of Imam Huessein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, is mourned. He was killed in the 7th century battle of Kerbala. Warning: some images contain graphic scenes. UPDATE: extra images added 17 Dec. 2010

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