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Muharram November 24 - 2012
 
Muharram commemorates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammed who was killed in the Battle of Karbala in AD 680. The prophet's son-in-law Ali, and Ali's elder son Hassan, are also remembered during this period as having suffered and died for righteous causes This festival starts at the 1st day of Muharram and lasts for 10 days until 10th of Muharram and is observed by the Shia community of Muslims.
 
As Muharram, the first month of the Muslim year, approaches, they put on black clothes, as black is regarded as a color of mourning. Majalis (assemblies) are held every day during the first nine days .On the 10th day of Muharram, large processions are formed and the devoted followers parade the streets holding banners and carrying models of the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his people, who fell at Karbala. They show their grief and sorrow by inflicting wounds on their own bodies with sharp metal tied to chain with which they scourge themselves.
 
The word muharram also means respect. The first ten days of the month are observed as a period of mourning. After the death of the Prophet Mohammed, the Quran was considered the final word. The Prophet had named no successor. One faction of his followers believed that succession should remain within Mohammed's family, while another disagreed. After a long dispute, Abu Bakr, a loyal follower of Mohammed, was elected his successor. His reign was peaceful, as was that of his successors.
 
 
However, during the reign of Ali, the Prophet's son-in-law, there was opposition from the masses. Ali was assassinated and his elder son Hassan was poisoned. His younger son Hussain, his family and his troops, were tortured and killed, and Hussain's head was severed and presented to the king.

The killing of Hussain happened on the tenth day of month of Muharram, and the event was called Ashura. It is now observed as a day for public ex-pression of grief. These circumstances divided the Muslim community into the Shias and the Sunnis. The Shias consider Ali, Hassan and Hussain the rightful successors of Prophet Mohammed and mourn their death during Muharram.

Importance Of Fasting

Fasting in the month of Muharram is highly desired, especially on the tenth day, 'Ashura. The Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported, as saying when asked which prayer is better after obligatory prayer: "Prayer in the middle of the night." He was asked again which fast is better after Ramadan. He said: "In the month that is called Al-Muharram."

 
 
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