First Muharram 2023 | Muharram Fasting Date. The First of Muharram, or the Islamic New Year, marks the beginning of the Islamic lunar calendar year. For many Muslims, it begins at the first sighting of the lunar crescent after the new Moon in the month of Muharram. The crescent Moon may be visible a day or so after the new Moon, but weather and other factors may delay the sighting.
Other Muslims use different criteria to determine the start of the calendar, such as the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), which calculates the date according to the following: The Moon must be born (become new) before sunset in Makkah, and the Moon must set after sunset. The following dates are calculated according to expected visibility.
Check also: Happy Islamic New Year Wishes
When Does the Islamic New Year Begin?
Below are the sundown dates for the Islamic New Year (First of Muharram).
|Year||First Day of the Islamic New Year (according to expected visibility)|
|2021||Monday, August 9, at sundown|
|2022||Friday, July 29, at sundown|
|2023||Tuesday, July 18, at sundown|
|2024||Sunday, July 7, at sundown|
NOTE: Our products are published for the United States and Canada; our reference source for the above dates is the United States Naval Observatory. Other countries, as well as certain denominations and groups within North America, may not use the same method to determine the date of Islamic New Year.
How Is Muharram Celebrated?
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. The community wears black clothes on the opening day of Muharram and submits prayers. Black color denotes the color of grieving. On the tenth day, Shia Muslims take out processions via streets. They walk barefoot on the roads. They sing and suppurate loudly as an act of mourning for Hussain. The same celebration is observed during the Muharram holiday 2023.
Muharram Fasting 9th & 10th
Muharram is not only the 1st month of Islamic Calendar but also called ‘The month of Allah’ and Optional (Nafil) fasting during this month are called the best fasting after the month of Ramadan. This is evident from the following Sahih Hadith:
“‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: “The best fasting after the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah, Al-Muharram.”’
Also, Muharram is one of the four sanctified months of the year. As Allah Says in Quran:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred.”
(Surah At-Taubah: 9:36)
The four months mentioned in the Ayah are the months of Dhul-Qadah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. This is evident from the words of Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) on the occasion of his last Hajj sermon:
“The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab.”
(Sahih Bukhari: 3197)
This is the reason that Muharram is one of the sacred months and these words of our Prophet (S.A.W.) confirms its sanctity.
The practice of fasting on Ashura was known even before emergence of Islam. When the Prophet (S.A.W.) arrived in Madinah at the time of migration, the Jews were observing the fast on ‘Ashura’ and they said:
“This is the day when Moses became victorious over Pharaoh,”
On that, the Prophet (S.A.W.) said to his companions (R.A.):
“You (Muslims) have more right to celebrate Moses’ victory than they have, so observe the fast on this day.”
(Sahih Bukhari: 4680)
When different Companions (R.A.) told Prophet (S.A.W.) that fasting on the day of Ashura is glorified among Jews and Christians, then Prophet (S.A.W.) encourage them by saying:
“If I live until next year, I will fast the ninth day (of Muharram) too.”
(Ibn Majah: 1736)
Unfortunately, Prophet (S.A.W.) did not live to see the next year. Therefore, Muslims consider the 9th and 10th of Muharram as significant days in the Islamic calendar and observe fast on these days. [Sahih Muslim: 1134 (a)]
In the light of the Hadith, it is more advisable but not mandatory that the fast of 10th of Muharram should be attached with another fast preferably on 9th of Muharram because Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) wanted to distinguish the Islamic way of fasting from that of Jews as they only keep fast on the 10th of Muharram. However, most scholars agree that the fast of Ashura should be observed with fasting on the 9th or 11th of Muharram.
Earlier on, it was obligatory to fast on the 10th of Muharram. However later, fasting was made obligatory in Ramadan only and fasting on 10th Muharram was made optional. As narrated by Ayesha (R.A.) that Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of ‘Ashura’) may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so.”
(Sahih Bukhari: 1592)
However, Prophet (S.A.W.) used to fast on the day of Ashura even after the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory.
When Ibn Abbas (R.A.) was asked about observing of fast on the day of Ashura, whereupon he said:
“I do not know Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) singling out any day’s fast and considering it more excellent than another, except this day (the day of Ashura) and this month, meaning the month of Ramadan.”
[Sahih Muslim: 1132 (a)]
So fasting on the day of ’Ashura’ is a confirmed Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and makes one entitled to a great reward from Allah.
According to Sahih Hadith, one of the many blessings of Allah for a person who observe fast on ‘Day of Ashura’ that his / her sins of the past year will be forgiven.
Narrated from Abu Qatada (R.A.) that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope, will expiate for the sins of the previous year.”
(Ibn Majah: 1738)
The Hadith clearly mentions the word of Prophet (S.A.W) as “I hope” which means that the person should observe the fast wholeheartedly for Allah only and seek reward from Allah only and, Inshallah, Allah almighty will reward that person with removal of his sins during the previous year.