New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Muharram, which is considered a very holy day by the Muslims, marks the beginning of the new year in Islam. According to Muslim legends, Imam Husain, Prophet Muhammad's grandson, was martyred on this day along with his family in the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD. 

Muharram is considered to be the period of recalling and mourning the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain by the community of Shia Muslims, which starts mourning from the first night of Muharram and will continue for the next 2 months and 8 days. A greater amount of importance is placed on the first ten days of the festival. On the tenth day, known as Ashura, Shia Muslims take out processions and walk barefoot on the roads and sing and suppurate loudly as an act of mourning for Hussain.

Muharram 2020 Date and Time:

This year, the month of Muharram will be starting on August 20 and will end on September 18, (dates may vary depending upon the sighting of the Moon). The 10th day, Ashura will be observed on August 29.

Muharram 2020 History and significance: 

Both Shia and Sunni Muslims across the world fast on the 10th day, Ashura, or 10th and 11th day of Muharram month. Shia Muslims also attend special prayer congregation in mosques and also in their homes. It marks the day that Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. Ashura is a major holy day and occasion for pilgrimage in Shia Muslims, as well as a recommended but non-obligatory day of fasting for Sunni Muslims.

Meanwhile, for Sunni Muslims, Ashura also marks the day that Moses and the Israelites were saved from Pharaoh by God creating a path in the Sea or Noah leaving the Ark.

Guidelines by AISPLB for this year’s processions across the country:

- The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has issued its Muharram advisory, asking people to follow all norms of social distancing, wear masks and wherever possible, take part in Muharram rituals online or via TV channels broadcasting them.

- The 14-point advisory issued by board president Maulana Syed Saim Mehdi and general secretary Maulana Yasoob Abbas said that all mosques and Imambaras with carpets and floor covers should ensure disinfecting the space before and after every majlis (sermon session).

- Clerics said that the advisory was in accordance with the guidelines by Ayatullahs from Iraq and Iran, including Grand Ayatullah Ali Al Sistani.

- Children, pregnant women and the elderly have been advised to stay at home and use online and other mediums to be part of the sermons.

- Water and food distributed among the poor as 'tabarruk', should be packed and sealed, and guidelines issued by the administration should be followed. 

Posted By: Talib Khan