Muharram 2016, start date, importance and history
03/Oct Muharram 2016, start date, importance and history





Moon sighted for Muharram 2016 in Pakistan


Islamic New Year begins 2nd of October after moon sighting for Muharram 2016 in Pakistan.





Muharram Moon 2016 Sighted in Pakistan: 1st Muharram And Islamic New Year Starts on 2nd October. Muharram is the first month of Islamic calendar which runs as per the lunar calendar. It is different from the Gregorian calendar used officially around the world. The Islamic calendar is not a solar calendar which is why it shifts from year to year so the Islamic New Year is always on the first of Muharram but on different dates of the Gregorian calendar.


Muharram 2016 holidays in Pakistan






Muharram is a sacred month for Muslims across the world. The 10th of Muharram is called the Ashura. Ashura is an Arabic word which means “ten”. The 9th and 10th of Muharram 2016 fall on the 11th and 12th of October and are the public holidays in Pakistan. These days are Tuesday and Wednesday, which otherwise are working days.

Muharram 2016- Meaning






The word Muharram means “forbidden”, the name derives from haram and in this month bad acts are forbidden like bloodshed and war. Even before Islam this month stopped the Arabs from waging wars.


Significance of Muharram






Muharram is the most sacred month for Muslims except for Ramadan. Both major sects, of the Muslim community that are Shia and Sunni have great importance for this month. The Sunni Muslims observe fast on 9th and 10th of Muharram as a way of celebration because Mosses (A Prophet) was victorious over Pharaoh on this day. The Shia Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussain and Imam Hassan, the sons of Hazrat Ali throughout this month. The mourning is at peak on the Day of Ashura- The 10th of Muharram. Shias believe that the grandson of Prophet (PBUH) was martyred in Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram in 61 AH(680 AD) by Yazid.

Muharram 2016 and Karbala






The battle of Karbala was fought against the law which forbade bloodshed during this month. There was a traditional rivalry between the inhabitants on the banks of river Euphrates and Tigris. During the era of the Prophet, they prevented from any war but during the region of Hazrat Ali (son-in-law of the Prophet),  this animosity surfaced again. Ali being the Caliph had two descendants, Hassan and Hussain. Imam Hussain was the ruler of modern day Iran. The modern day Iraq had the rule of Umayyads. The Shias of Kufa, a small town in Umayyad, called Hussain for help and ensure Islamic rules. The ruler of the Kufa, Yazid, was against this action and asked for his governor, Ibn-e-Zaid to look into matter,  and take action. Hussain started his journey towards Kufa, along with his family and acquaintances, a total of 72 members. When they reached the point of Karbala, they were surrounded by Yazid’s men, tortured and murdered. The Shias of Kufa, who first called Hussain, did not come to help. Imam Hussain was murdered and beheaded on the day of 10th of Muharram. This is why the Shia community considers this a day of grief and sorrow.





Since Muharram 2016 has started the Shiites will start the mourning and continue till the 10th of Muharram 2016 which is 12th of October. The mourning includes wearing black clothes as black is the color of mourning, and attend majalis where the orators describe the events of Karbala and the atrocities relevant to it. Shias, avoid celebrating any joyous events like weddings during this time and on the day of Ashura take part in parades. Some sects also involve in self-harm like beating themselves in public with chains and knives. Free drinking spots are arranged where drinks and water are served for free in the memory of Imam Hussain and his tribe who were deprived of water during Karbala. The listening of Noha’s (poems about Karbala and its atrocities) is very common during Muharram. You can find a list of Nohay to listen in Muharram 2016 on the internet you can also play nohay online or download nohay to your computer.

Pakistan Ashoura
A Pakistani Shiite girl attends a mourning procession, a day ahead of Ashoura holiday during the holy month of Muharram, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. Shiites will mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the month of Muharram, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

The Sunni Muslims will observe fast during the 9th and 10th of Muharram 2016, which is 11th and 12th of October this year.


Muharram in the Pre-Islamic history





Before Islam, Arab was an area of tribes who constantly involved in tribal wars. Owing to the absence of one leadership, conflicts continuously turned to battles between tribes on minor things. However, the fighting was still prohibited during the month of Muharram. Any war or bloodshed was forbidden during this month even before the advent of Islam. After the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) introduced Islam in Arab, the sacred month continued to be a time where any wars were prohibited. The Karbala event was against this very rule and Yazid and his army went against the basic laws of Islam, even humanity during these days. The captives of Karbala, mostly women and Kids were taken to prisons where the marched on feet to Damascus.




Muharram 2016 security in Pakistan


Muharram 2016 security PAKISTAN
Pakistani security personal patrolling during a Muharram procession in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. A Pakistani police official says a suicide bomber has exploded himself in a Shiites mourners’ procession in southwestern city of Jaccobabad killing several and injuring many others. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)




As Muharram 2016 begins, the security measures around Pakistan are taken into consideration. As per the report from the news, Peshawar has high-security levels for Muharram. Despite the fact that it is the most sacred month in Islam, there are several threats to both communities at this time. Mostly Shia community fears the threat of suicide attacks and firing during the assemblies (majalis) and parades of Muharram. The federal police are more active and the provincial security forces in Punjab stay more alert due to high chances of an attack. The government of Pakistan takes preventive measures involving much budget to avoid any unpleasant event. Several clergymen are banned from places to avoid hate speech. The road blocks are ensured at entry places to cities and high level of security personal are assigned to Imam Bargahs (the worshipping places for Shia community)

This is a sad reality of our country and we all need to think about it. Whether we are a Shia or a Sunni we need to respect each other’s sect and give them the liberty to practice their religious rituals. Most agencies and inner reports show that is neither the Sunni community nor the Shia, who are responsible for these attacks and atrocities rather external forces and paid terrorists are involved for increasing the tension between two sects. As a Pakistani, we need to remember that the purpose of the country was to create a place where all Muslims can practice their religious rights and even minorities were given a complete chance to live their lives as they wished. The amount of hurdles that the government and other associated parties have to go through due to security reasons during Muharram 2016 is large. Telecom industry and several other businesses, face huge losses due to the banning of network.






What higher authorities need to consider is the fact that before the 1990’s there were hardly any violent acts or hate speeches for the Shia community. We need to figure out what gave rise to this tension and hatred amongst else wise peace loving people. The intelligence agencies and security forces need to work closely above all differences to ensure the root cause of the hate is identified and dealt with. Even if external forces and terrorist groups are involved, what are we doing to stop it or improve it. The first radical step to take would be to ban all the hate speech and violent literature available easily in the market and on the internet. The government and agencies need to work on a long-term plan to ensure we all can live in peace and create a society where everyone has the right to live and practice what he wishes. Despite religious difference and beliefs we all struggled hard for this country and we all deserve to live peacefully.










If you are reading it, whether you are a Shia or Sunni, or belong to any other sect or religion, please ensure this Muharram 2016 that you do your part to put a stop to violence and hatred amongst these major groups of the country. Please share your experiences and help others learn what they can do to create a peaceful environment for all.


Until then, love and be Loved


Dania Khan
Running a household with 2 kids and an office with 20 more ;) Avid reader, passionate writer, traveler, parent and not a very good friend.

6 thoughts on “Muharram 2016, start date, importance and history”

  1. Very well-defined piece of writing Dania. A comprehensive and thought provoking effort to describe maah e Muharram. All we need that our people could understand each other’s religious liberty and respect. We should strongly condemn every single act of violence. This kind of writings can help us to make a lovely and respected bond between all sects. Very good effort indeed.

    1. Thanks Sir, it is indeed a pleasure that a person like you is appreciating this little effort, And yes, even though words and time limited my piece but the basic message I want to convey is that we all should be more flexible and accepting whether its a religious minority in our country, people across border or yet anyone practicing his right to live, believe and love.

  2. A very good article indeed. Now is the time to put all the differencies aside and stand together as one muslim Ummah. The countries who faught world wars have lifted the boumdaries (europe) and even they have introduced a single currency i.e euro. But muslims all over the world are divided. And ome more thing regarding the article. You shouldnt be mentioning shia or sunni. Both of these sects and all the muslims observe fast, avoid all kind of celebrations. So instead of mentioning Shia or should write Muslims

    1. Thanks brother, for reading and appreciating. Your thoughts are welcomed, however, many of my friends from other countries and nationalities wanted to know about Ashura and Muharram, which is why I mentioned the stance of both sects. I completely agree with you though

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