"Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein"
Muharram is one of these four sanctified months, with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. Muharram is so called because it is a sacred month and to confirm its sanctity one can read the Allaah's words "so wrong not yourselves therein" mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
Muharram is not a festival in the celebratory sense as it mourns the Karbala tragedy when Imam Husain, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the early days of Islamic history. It is observed in different ways in various parts of India.
Profusely decorated taziyas (bamboo and paper replicas of the martyr's tomb), embellished with gilt and mica are carried through city streets. Mourners beat their breasts lamenting and grieving over the murder, accompanied by drum beats. Wrestlers and dancers enact scenes depicting the battle at Karbala and at each step young men beat their breasts crying "Husain! Husain!" in collective sorrow.
This tragedy is observed with great passion in Lucknow, in particular, as it is the centre of Shia culture and religious activities, and accordingly a large number of taziyas and the alams (standards of Hazrat Imam Hussain's army) are taken out all over the city. In places other than Lucknow, the taziyas are taken out and buried in the local burial ground known as the Karbala.
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."
Top Indian Festivals