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Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year. It is held to be the holiest month, Ramadan coming after. The word “Muharram” means “forbidden”. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.
The tenth day of Muharram is the Day of Ashura, which to Shia Muslims is part of the Mourning of Muharram. Sunni Muslims fast during this day, because it is recorded in the hadith that Musa (Moses) and his people obtained a victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh on the 10th day of Muharram; accordingly Muhammad asked Muslims to fast on this day that is Ashura and on a day before that is 9th (called Tasu’a). Shia Muslims mourn the death of Imam Hussein (as )and his family, respecting the sacrifice of the martyrs by praying in abundance and refraining from all joyous events.