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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:06 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Al-Hijra / Muharram in 2009 will start on Friday, the 18th of December and will continue for 29 days until Friday, the 15th of January.

Note that in the Muslim calander, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Al-Hijra / Muharram on the sunset of Thursday, the 17th of December.

Although Al-Hijra / Muharram is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Al-Hijra / Muharram moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year. The date of Al-Hijra / Muharram may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.

The dates provided here are based on the dates adopted by the Fiqh Council of North America for the celebration of Al-Hijra / Muharram. Note that these dates are based on astronomical calculations to affirm each date, and not on the actual sighting of the moon with the naked eyes. This approach is accepted by many, but is still being hotly debated.

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Muharram (Arabic: محرم) It is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Instead of joyous celebration, Muslims mark the beginning of the New Year by taking up the black attire of sorrow and participate in mourning gatherings in which the sacrifices of Husayn and his companions are commemorated.It is one of the four months of the year in which fighting is prohibited. Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.

Muharram is so called because it was unlawful to fight during this month; the word is derived from the word ‘haram’ meaning forbidden. It is held to be the most sacred of all the months, excluding Ramadan.It is the same month when Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, was brutally massacred in Karbala alongside his family and friends in the year 680 CE/61 AH.

Their martyrdom is a sad day for all Muslims, especially the Shi’a, who hold mourning ceremonies to recall the righteous virtues for which the valiant martyrs stood and the grave calamities that they thus had to bear. The commemoration of this brutal massacre (Battle of Karbala) begins on the first day of Muharram and reaches its climax on the 10th of Muharram, the day of the battle, known as Ashurah and continues for 40 days or 69 days.

What is Ashura ?
Ashura (عاشوراء transliteration: ‘Āshūrā’, Ashura, Ashoura, and other spellings) It is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram but not the Islamic month. It is also called Yaumu-l ‘Ashurah, or simply Ashura meaning, ‘the tenth day’.

It is well-known because of historical significance and mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680). It is a day of speeches, public processions, and great grief. Men and women chant and weep, mourning Husayn, his family, and his followers. Speeches emphasize the importance of the values for which Husayn sacrificed himself, his family, and his followers. For centuries Shi’a pilgrims flocked here during Muharram, a practice which was severely limited under the regime of Saddam Hussein
What is Karbala ?

Karbala (Arabic: كربلاء; BGN: Al-Karbalā’; also spelled Karbala al-Muqaddasah) is a city in Iraq, located about 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Baghdad at 32.61°N, 44.08°E.
In the time of Husayn ibn Ali’s life, the place was also known as al-Ghadiriyah, Naynawa, and Shathi’ul-Furaat.The city’s association with Shīˤa Islām have made it a centre of religious instruction as well as worship; it has more than 100 mosques and 23 religious schools, of which possibly the most famous is that of Ibn Fahid, constructed some 440 years ago.

Karbala’s prominence in Shīˤī is the result of the Battle of Karbala, fought on the site of the modern city on October 10, 680.Both Husayn and his half-brother ˤAbbās ibn ˤAlī were buried by the local Banī Asad tribe at what later became known as the Mashhad Al-Husayn. Later on city grew up around the tombs. Husayn’s tomb (View Larger Map) is a place of pilgrimage for many Shīˤa Muslims, especially on the anniversary of the battle, the Day of Āshūrā.
On January 19, 2008, 2 million Iraqi Shia pilgrims marched through Karbala city, Iraq to celebrate Ashura. Shi’a Muslims consider Karbala to be one of their holiest cities after Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem and Najaf. The city is best known as the location of the Battle of Karbala.

I am not a Shia but my community observe 10 days of mourning and prayers .

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:50 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Christmas for me in egypt was an even longer celebration than here in the UK because as you know we celebrate Christmas here on the 25th Dec but in Egypt the coptic christians celebrate on the 7th Jan so used to enjoy two celebrations especially as one of my favourite places to go to was run by christians :) :)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:01 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Kool ,last time me and my family was out there we was invited to a lovely dinner by a Coptic family was a wonderful time .Love to do that again and exstend the compliment if i can do so .

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