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Muḥarram 1433 Ḥijrī – The Islamic New Year and the Fasts of the Day of ʿĀshūra

The ending of the month of Dhū’l-Ḥijja marks the sighting of the new moon of the month of Muḥarram al-Ḥarām – the first month of the Islamic New Year and one of the four sacred months.  Thus, also begins the 1433rd year after the Ḥijra of our Noble Prophet (saw) – a remarkable event that changed the course of history generally, and Islam especially.

Four months were ordained as sacrosanct in Islam in order to establish safety of passage for pilgrims during their Ḥajj.  The four months consist of two months prior to Dhū’l-Ḥijja, the month of Dhū’l-Ḥijja and the month of Muḥarram, following the Ḥajj.

It is common that many people celebrate the general New Year with prayers and voluntary devotional practices, and it is thus noteworthy that the Islamic New Year should be ushered in with even more fervent prayers and voluntary devotional practices such as the giving of ṣadaqa, etc.  It marks the anniversary of the migration of the Holy Prophet (saw) from Makka to Madīna and as such marks the greatest event that sparked a revolution in the Arabian peninsula which was to shape the course of Islam for the future.  The importance of the Hijra is immense and one that must be remembered and revived in the hearts of Muslims.

This month, whose very name indicates a warning or a prophecy in the ultimate eternal knowledge of Allāh, according to Ḥaḍrat Khalīfatul Masīḥ al-Rābiʿ (rḥ), has much significance for all Muslims.  Although it is commonly known for the grieving practices of the Shīʿa – and although their practices may have reached one extreme, the significance of the month should not be affected by this amongst those Muslims who revere and love the family of the Holy Prophet (saw) as they are obligated to do.

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