Lunar Hijri Months
Muḥarram al-Ḥarām (Arabic: محرم الحرام) is the first month of Hijri calendar and one of the four Haram months in Islam and Pre-Islamic Arabian culture. It is called "Muharram" (forbidden) because fighting is forbidden in this month. The importance of this month for Shi'a is because the event of 'Ashura' and the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions took place in this month. Every year, Shi'a commemorates the martyrdom of their Imam in this month by holding mourning sessions.
Month of Mourning
After martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) in this month, Muharram turned to the month of mourning for Shi'a. From the earlier years after Imam's martyrdom, the following infallible Imams (a) and Shi'a held mourning sessions in this month. For instance, Imam al-Rida (a) said, "When the month of Muharram arrived, no one would see my father laughing. Grief and sorrow was apparent on his face to the day of 'Ashura'. That day ('Ashura') was the day of his grief, sorrow and weeping. He said, 'Today is the day that Husayn (a) was martyred.'"
- In this month and especially in the first ten days, devotees of the Prophet's household (a) should be sad in their heart and their appearance. They also should leave some Halal enjoyments, especially in 9th, 10th and 11th of this month, like someone who is bereaved. In the first ten days, they should remember their Imam (a) by reading Ziyarat al-'Ashura'.
1- Eve of the first day
- Performing 100 Rak'as of prayer.
- Performing 2 Rak'as of prayer; reciting Sura al-Hamd and Sura al-An'am in the first Rak'a, and Sura al-Hamd and Sura Yasin in the second.
- Performing 2 Rak'as of prayer; reciting in each Rak'a Sura al-Hamd and 11 times Sura al-Tawhid.
2- The first day:
- Performing 2 Rak'as of prayer followed by the reported supplication.
3- Eve of the 10th day
- Performing 100 Rak'as of prayer; in each Rak'a Sura al-Hamd and 3 times Sura al-Tawhid, and saying a short Dhikr after finishing 100 Rak'as.
- Performing 4 Rak'as of prayer at the end of the night, in each Rak'a after reciting Sura al-Hamd, Ayat al-Kursi, Sura al-Tawhid, Sura al-Falaq and Sura al-Nas; ten times each. After finishing the 4 Rak'as, reciting Sura al-Tawhid for 100 times.
3- The 10th day (the day of 'Ashura)
- Mourning for Imam al-Husayn (a)
- Reading Ziyarat al-'Ashura
- Reading Ziyarat al-Warith
- Greeting other Mu'mins (faithfuls) with, "May Allah make our reward and your reward great, for our grief for Husayn, peace be on him. May He place us and you among those who avenge his blood with His representative, the guided Imam [Imam al-Mahdi] from the household of Muhammad, peace be on them."
- Repeating, "O, God! Curse the murderers of al-Husayn - Peace be upon him" for one thousand times.
4- The 21st day: - Fasting
- Arrival of Imam al-Husayn (a) in Karbala (Muharram 2, 61)
- Martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions in the Event of 'Ashura' (Muharram 10, 61)
- Martyrdom of Imam al-Sajjad (a) (according to a report) (Muharram 12, 94). The other reports say his was martyred on Muharram 25, 95.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from محرم الحرام in Farsi Wikishia.