Last updated on July 26th, 2023 at 01:12 pm

Muharram 2023 is set to begin on July 19, 2023, in most countries; however, it will fall on different dates in different countries according to moon sightings. The first date of Muharram marks the start of the Lunar Calendar. Depending on the predictions of moon sighting, the following are the tentative dates for the start of Muharram 2023.

Muharram 2023 in Pakistan July 19, 2023
Muharram 2023 in India July 19, 2023
Muharram 2023 in the UK July 18, 2023
Muharram 2023 in Turkey July 18, 2023
Muharram 2023 in the USA July18, 2023
Muharram 2023 in UAE July18, 2023
Muharram 2023 in Australia July18, 2023
Muharram 2023 in Iran July18, 2023
Muharram 2023 in Saudi Arabia July 18, 2023


What is the Significance of Muharram?

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Calendar and one of the most significant months in Islamic history. Muharram translates to ‘forbidden,’ and it is among the 4 months mentioned in the Holy Quran in which warfare is forbidden.

The Holy Prophet (ﷺ) referred to Muharram al-Haram as the sacred month of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى). Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى)‎in the Holy Quran as a month in which certain actions are to be avoided as they violate the sanctity of this month.

Indeed, the number of months ordained by Allah is twelve—in Allah’s Record since the day He created the heavens and the earth—of which four are sacred. That is the Right Way. So do not wrong one another during these months. And together, fight the polytheists as they fight against you together. And know that Allah is with those mindful of Him(Quran,9:36).

During the month of Muharram, Muslims are to avoid any wrongdoing and engaging in unlawful actions as well as keep their heart free of any ill intent. Among the many virtues of Muharram, Muslims are to seek the mercy of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى)‎and benefit from this scared month by fasting, reading the Quran, and giving sadaqah, etc.

Important Dates In Muharram

1st Muharram

1st Muharram simply doesn’t mark the first day of the month but also the start of the new Islamic or lunar year. Each year, the month of Muharram sets the tone for the rest of the year to follow in terms of the moon sighting dates for other months. 1st Muharram 2023 is likely to be on July 19 for most countries.

9th Muharram

On the 9thof Muharram, Ibn Sa’ad advanced against Imam Hussain and threatened him and his family to submit to the orders of Yazid. The troops besieged the camps of the family of Imam Hussain to pressure him into surrendering. 9th Muharram 680 CE to 9th Muharram 2023, the sacrifices and the bravery of Imam Hussain and his family are revered by Muslims all across the globe.

10th Muharram – The Day of Ashura

The 10th of Muharram, the Day of Ashura, is one of the most significant days in Islamic history. The well-remembered event on this day is the battle of Karbala and the Martyrdom of Hussain Ibn Ali, the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)and his companions.

In 680 AD and 61 AH (After Hijri), Hussain Ibn Ali and his companions gave their lives on the path of justice and truth. On this day, all male family members of the Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) family borne of Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Fatima Binte Muhammad (ﷺ) save Ali ibn Hussain ibn Ali were martyred.

The battle was a turning point for Islam, as the sacrifice of the Prophet’s family members revitalized the Muslims and made it possible to overthrow Yazid bin Muawiya who was the ruler of the Muslims and was straying them from the path of Islam.

Although Yazid’s army was larger than the clan of Imam Hussain, He fought till the end by enduring and sacrificing all that he had in the way of Allah. Yazid had ordered his oppressive forces to bring the Imam alive or dead. The heavily equipped army showed no mercy to Imam Hussain and his family, leaving the males martyred and capturing the women of his family as hostages.The month of Muharram marks tragic events and honors the sacrifices and grievances of the martyrs of Karbala.

Apart from the battle of Kerbala, many other Islamic events occurred on the 10th of Muharram, marking this day as one of the most important in Islamic history. Here are the events:

  • Prophet Adam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) was created by Allah on this day.
  • Prophet Ibrahim (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) was born on the 10th of Muharram.
  • Prophet Adam’s (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ)repentance was accepted by Allah on this day.
  • The day of Judgement will take place on Friday, the 10th of Muharram.

Fasting in Muharram

Fasting on the 10th of Muharram is a sunnah. According to a hadith that has been reported in almost all notable hadith books, including al-Bukhari and al-Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)declared that he would fast on the 10th of Muharram to celebrate the deliverance of Musa (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and his companions from the Pharaoh. Ibn Abbas reported:

When the Prophet () arrived at Medina, the Jews were observing the fast on ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram), and they said, “This is the day when Moses became victorious over Pharaoh,” On that, the Prophet () said to his companions, “You (Muslims) have more right to celebrate Moses’ victory than they have, so observe the fast on this day.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 4680)

To differentiate from the Jews, Prophet Muhammad used to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. Muslims today are also advised to fast on two days, either the 9th or 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th of Muharram.

Abdullah b ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had said:

If I live till the next (year), I would definitely observe fast on the 9th, and the narration transmitted by Abu Bakr is:” He meant the day of Ashura.”

The fasts in Muharram are a Sunnah and are optional; they are not fardh (obligatory) fasts.The wife of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) Aisha (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهَا) narrates that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ)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)

Superstition & Misconceptions about Muharram

Due to the lack of information, a lot of people have certain misconceptions and superstitions regarding the month of Muharram. From wearing Kohl to prevent disease to sacrificing animals, it is important that one takes their due time and is well informed.

One of the misconceptions that people have is that sacrificing animals during Muharram will earn those rewards. No Hadith or tradition reports it. Among the four imams, this practice was not followed by any and neither of them recommended such an act.

Many people believe in the superstition regarding Muharram that wearing Kohl on the eyes on the Day of Ashura will not be inflicted any disease of the eyes. There are no reports on this either from the life of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) and his companions.

Another common misconception that people have regarding Muharram is that it is an unlucky month or evil. Intrinsically no month is evil or unlucky. To think of Muharram as unlucky would be too wrong as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى)‎has stated in the Quran that Muharram is a sacred month.

Conclusion for When is Muharram 2023?

Muharram is a month of remembrance and commemoration of the tragedy of Karbala, the bravery of Imam Hussain, and his unwavering fight against the injustices of Yazid. This day each year and the coming Muharram 2023 holds great spiritual and historical significance that is relevant to current times. While it teaches us valuable lessons and principles of righteousness, Muharram is a month that is significant beyond its religious context. It holds teachings for all Muslims regardless of their sect and background.


Can we say muharram mubarak?

Although the new Islamic year begins in Muharram, the month of Muharram commemorates the tragic events of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), and his family. Therefore, it may seem in bad taste to say Muharram Mubarak. However, there is no harm in saying a dua to wish someone a Happy New Year. The dua is:

اللَّهُمَّ أَدْخِلْهُ عَلَيْنَا بِالْأَمْنِ وَالْإِيمَانِ، وَالسَّلَامَةِ وَالْإِسْلَامِ، وَجِوَارٍ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ وَرِضْوَانٍ مِنَ الرَّحْمَنِ

“O Allah, bring this (year) upon us with security and faith, safety and Islam, protection from Shaytaan and with Your Pleasure.”

Can I fast only on the 10th Muharram?

Fasting only on the 10th of Muharram is allowed, and one can do so if they wish, but it is recommended that Muslims fast both on two days, either the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th of Muharram.

What is forbidden in Muharram?

Warfare is forbidden in the month of Muharram. Moreover, it is best to avoid public displays of joy or celebrate festivities during Muharram.

Is the 10th Muharram a holiday?

The holiday of the 10th Muharram is dependent on the country you live in. If you are based in a country that identifies to be an Islamic state, both the 9th and 10th Muharram are public holidays.