The virtues of the month of Muharram, an esteemed period in the Islamic calendar, are deeply rooted in divine origins and historical significance. This month, marked as the commencement of the Islamic lunar year, holds a unique place in the hearts of Muslims. The Quran, in Surah At-Tawbah (9:36), declares the sanctity of Muharram, making it one of the four sacred months. This article delves into the profound virtues and practices associated with Muharram, shedding light on its unparalleled significance in Islamic history and spiritual life.

Discovering the Virtues of the Month of Muharram: An Overview

Islamic tradition teaches that the division of the year into twelve months is a divine decree, not a human construct. Allah, in His wisdom, established this structure when He created the heavens and the earth. The Quran, in the translation of Kanz al-Iman, states, “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-Tawbah, 9:36). This verse emphasizes the special status of Muharram as one of the sacred months.

The Virtues of the Month of Muharram: Divine Origins

Historically, Muharram has been a time of peace and cessation of hostilities, even in the pre-Islamic era. The term ‘Muharram‘ itself, meaning ‘forbidden,’ signifies the prohibition of warfare during this month. Islam upheld this tradition, enhancing the month’s sanctity. The Prophet Muhammad (صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم) further augmented the greatness of Muharram through his teachings.

Embracing Peace and Reflection: The Virtues of Muharram

Fasting during Muharram, especially on the day of Ashura, is greatly encouraged. The Prophet (صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم) said, as narrated in Al-Mu’jam Al-Saghir, “The fast of every day of Muharram is equivalent to the fast of one month” (Vol. 2, p.71). This hadith highlights the exceptional rewards of fasting in this month. Furthermore, it is narrated by Abu Hurairah (رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ) that the Prophet (صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم) considered the fasts of Muharram second only to Ramadan (Sahih Muslim, Book of Fasting, 1163).

The Importance of Fasting: A Key Virtue of Muharram

Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, is particularly significant. It is the day when Allah granted victory to Moses (علیہ السلام) and the Israelites over Pharaoh. Upon witnessing the Jews fasting on Ashura in Medina, the Prophet (صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم) remarked that Muslims have more right to Moses and fasted on this day (Sahih Muslim, Book of Fasting, 1130).

Virtues of the Month of Ashura

Ashura’s Role in the Virtues of the Month of Muharram:

Numerous events, believed to have occurred on Ashura, enhance its significance:

  • Forgiveness of Adam’s (علیہ السلام) mistake
  • Creation of the heavens, earth, throne (Arsh), and the Kursi
  • Birth and deliverance of Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) from fire
  • Moses (موسیٰ علیہ السلام) and his nation’s salvation from Pharaoh
  • Birth and ascension of Jesus (عیسٰی علیہ السلام)
  • Elevation of Idris (علیہ السلام)
  • Noah’s (نوح علیہ السلام) ark resting on Mount Judi
  • Solomon (سلیمان علیہ السلام) being granted a magnificent kingdom
  • Jonah’s (یونس علیہ السلام) release from the whale
  • Restoration of Jacob’s (یعقوب علیہ السلام) sight
  • Joseph’s (یوسف علیہ السلام) rescue from the well
  • Alleviation of Job’s (ایوب علیہ السلام) suffering
  • The first rain on earth

Understanding Ashura: Core Virtues of the Month of Muharram

The Prophet (صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم) not only observed the fast of Ashura himself but also encouraged others to do so (Sahih Bukhari, Book of Fasting, 2004). Abu Qatadah (رضی اللہ عنہ) narrated that the Prophet (صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم) believed the fast of Ashura expiates the sins of the previous year (Sahih Muslim, Book of Fasting, 1162).

Muharram’s Spiritual Blessings: A Month Filled with Virtues

Muharram is also a time to seek Allah’s bounty in sustenance. A hadith in Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat suggests that providing generously in one’s home on Ashura ensures prosperity throughout the year (Vol. 6, p.432).


The virtues of the month of Muharram are manifold, encompassing historical, spiritual, and practical dimensions. This sacred month offers a unique opportunity for Muslims to deepen their faith, seek spiritual elevation, and reflect on the profound lessons of Islamic history. As we observe Muharram and fast on Ashura, let us strive to internalize the values and teachings it embodies. May Allah bless us with the ability to fully appreciate and benefit from the virtues of the month of Muharram. Ameen.


Q: What makes Muharram special in Islam?

A: Muharram is one of the four sacred months in Islam, marked by its historical significance and spiritual opportunities, particularly the fast of Ashura.

Q: How is fasting during Muharram rewarded?

A: Fasting in Muharram, especially on Ashura, is highly meritorious, with each day’s fast equated to a month’s fasting.

Q: What significant events does Ashura associate with?

A: Ashura associates with numerous events, including prophets like Moses’ victories and Adam’s forgiveness.

Q: What is the importance of Ashura’s fast in Islam?

A: The fast of Ashura is believed to expiate the sins of the previous year and is highly recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم).

Q: How can Muslims benefit from Muharram?

A: Muslims can benefit from Muharram by fasting, reflecting on Islamic history, and seeking spiritual growth and blessings.

Dawat e Islami