What is Muharram?
Do you know what is Muharram and why it is celebrated by Muslims all over the world? It’s important to know details about the festival before you think of choosing a gift for the occasion. First and foremost, please know that it is a time of mourning and not a joyous occasion! So, we suggest you refrain from buying overly extravagant or funny gifts no matter how close the friend is to you!
The Islamic calendar begins with the holy month of Muharram. It begins after the sighting of the moon on the last day of the calendar. The term Muharram literally means banned, forbidden, unlawful or prohibited. It is considered the second holiest month after Ramadan.
The Story and Significance of Muharram
Many centuries ago, it was on the tenth day of Muharram, (Day of Ashura) that Hussein bin Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammed and his family were killed in the battle of Karbala by a merciless ruler. Since then, the month of Muharram commemorates the memory of the sacrifice and bravery of the prophet. It holds great importance especially for Shia Muslims. Muslims observe fasting during this period and abstain from any form of enjoyment. They pray in abundance and consider Muharram as a period of sacrifice.
Things about Muharram which You Must Keep in Mind
A Day of Mourning for the Muslims
Since the month commemorates the death of Imam Hussein and his sacrifice towards the community, it goes without saying that it is the period of mourning. Make sure to not go over the edge while choosing gifts or expressing your greetings for the occasion.
Shia and Sunni Muslims Observe Muharram Differently
Not all Muslims celebrate Muharram the same way. Shia Muslims consider this period to be a sorrowful occasion while Sunni Muslims treat it more like a religious festival. Both the communities fast during this time and attend special prayers.
The 10th Day of Muharram or Ashura Holds Great Importance
Although the whole month of Muharram is considered a holy month, the 10th day of the month holds the greatest significance. It is on this day, that Imam Hussein was martyred by a merciless and cruel ruler. The 10th day or the Day of Ashura holds great importance for the Muslim community.
Muslims Observe Fast During this Period and Indulge in Special Prayers
Shia Muslims observe fast to mourn the death of Imam Hussein and his family. They also refrain from attending any joyous events. Certain people also indulge in self-flagellation to pay homage to the sacrifice of the prophet. Sunni Muslims observe peaceful fasts from sunrise to sunset.
They Gather in Large Numbers and Hold Processions
The Muslim community display their affection and respect for Imam Hussein by gathering in large crowds to offer prayers. They are mostly dressed in black and flock together shouting “ya Hussein” on the streets. It is an announced public holiday in India.
Interesting Ways to Convey Muharram Greetings to Your Loved Ones
So, hope you got a gist of the matter and how important the event is for your Muslim friend. Your friend would appreciate it if you remember the day and offer your greetings. There are plenty of ways to send across your greetings on Muharram. Getting a gift and sending across greeting cards are a few ways among them.
Get This Imam Hussain Quote Wall Poster
What better way to wish someone on Muharram than getting a poster portraying a quote from the Imam himself? This wall poster is an ideal gift to get for your Muslim friend on Muharram as the quote rightly aligns with the morals and values of the occasion. This is a highly inspirational gift which would also add to the positive ambiance of the surrounding. The poster is a wonderful décor piece that will enhance the beauty of the room and will catch anybody’s attention for the beautiful detail in design and colour. The poster is printed in high definition and comes in a modern, synthetic and durable frame. This wall poster from Glowvia is available on www.amazon.in for Rs. 499.
Still wondering whether you should get this gift or not? Not sure whether a simple quote would be an appropriate gift? Like as said always, little is more. A simple and thoughtful quote from the Imam Hussein is indeed a great token of appreciation to your Muslim friend. Why? Because Hussein’s message holds great relevance even today. He stood and fought for freedom and equality and is said to have sacrificed his life for humanity.
Gift an Imported Prayer Mat
Muslims, in general, are very particular about their religious practices and rituals. It is commendable how much significance they hold for their daily prayers. It will be indeed respectful for you to get your friend a prayer mat or Janamaz, as they call it. This prayer mat is imported and of high quality. The mat comes in a brown velvety finish and is extremely smooth and soft to touch. Since this particular gift holds an inevitable religious aspect to it, we think it would be most appropriate to gift a friend on Muharram. Check out this mat on www.shiddat.com for Rs. 990.
Prayer rugs are characteristic of their design and pattern. They are traditionally taken care of in a holy manner and thus, need to be handled with great respect. They are equally important for a Muslim as the prayer itself. So, always remember to give the prayer mat in a presentable way that impresses your friend. Do not gift it shabbily and make sure that it is folded properly and packed appropriately.
Cook Muharram Speciality "Zarda" for the Loved Ones
It is voluntary for one to fast on Muharram. Nevertheless, almost all Muslims observe fast on Muharram. The dishes prepared for the fasting time are generally rich and abundantly laden with ingredients like meat, rice, spices and sugar. Muharram is the second holiest month when a majority of Muslims keep their fast. They abstain from having food in the day and break their fast after sunset. It is customary for food to be shared between friends, family and communities. It is symbolic of the unity between people and reaffirms the importance of thriving together.
Having said that, we think cooking and sharing a Muharram specialty dish with your friend would be an interesting way to express your wishes for the season. So, you have no idea about cooking a Muharram special dish? We have got your back here! Take a look at this sweet dish called Zarda, typically prepared on Muharram.
Zarda, is a traditional sweet prepared by Muslims on all special occasions, especially on the 10th day of Muharram, Ashura. Zarda is said to have originated from Pakistan but is being prepared by people all over the world now.
- 4 cups uncooked white rice
- ¼ tsp orange food color
- 10 pods of whole cardamom
- 4 cups white sugar
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Raisins, walnuts, almonds (1 tbsp each)
- 2 tsp orange zest (grated)
- 8-10 cups water
- Soak the rice in water for at least an hour and keep aside.
- Bring water to boil in a large pot.
- Now, add the food color and half of the cardamom pods to this.
- Add in the soaked rice and cook until tender. This takes around 20 mins on medium heat.
- Next, heat a large skillet and fry the remaining cardamom pods in oil. Stir in the cooked and drained rice and sugar.
- Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the nuts, heavy cream and orange zest.
- Serve warm. This muharram special sweet is sure to capture your friend’s heart. In fact, he/she would definitely appreciate your effort in making this dish for them.
Bonus Idea: Make a DIY Card with Muharram Quotes
Well, if you are more of a crafty person then it’s a good idea to get a DIY card for your friend. You can opt to make a handmade card with beautiful Muharram quotes of your choice. Gifting a handmade card surely shows your commitment to the relationship. Such a card will make the receiver feel special and realize how much you care for them. We say you should put in your best efforts and get a card done on your own.
Not Sure of Muharram Quotes? Here Are a Few Ideas.
Following are the quotes which you can add to your cards:
- May all the praises and thanks be to the almighty Allah. To whom belongs all that is in heaven & on the earth. Have a blessed Muharram 2019!
- Let Us Believe in The Messenger of Allah. Pray to Follow the Light Which Has Been Sent Down with Him. Muharram wishes
- May the almighty Allah shower you profusely with bravery, love, happiness, wisdom, health, patience and cleanliness. Muharram wishes to you!
- May Allah bless you on this Muharram - the first holy month of the Islamic calendar and one of the four sacred months of the year
Create Customised Greeting Cards Online
Well, it’s a different situation altogether if you aren’t a crafty person at all! The task might seem tedious; so, we have an alternative that you can choose instead. Check out www.printland.com and create a greeting card on your own for prices as cheap as Rs. 129 per card. Customize your card with the best Muharram greetings. This website prints your greeting card and delivers it to the person whom you wish to send to. Isn’t that convenient or not!?
This website www.createcustomwishes.com even allows you to create your online greeting cards for free! So, get going and work on your online greeting card to send to your friends and loved ones. On this site, there are many Muharram based templates for you to choose from. Feel free to add text or quotes of your choice, name or images to make an excellent online card!
Tips for Choosing the Right Greeting or a Wish for Muharram
Now, we understand if you are still not sure about the quotes or wishes that you want to include in the cards. There are quite a lot of greeting lines and images that you can choose for your card. Run a quick search on Google for a Muharram greeting and you will find plenty of quotes and images that you could select. The internet is flooded with greeting wishes for every other occasion and festival. So, how to choose the best greeting wishes for an occasion?
There are some things that you need to look into while choosing a greeting or wish for Muharram. Almost the same applies while selecting quotes for any other festival too.
- Decide how you want to send across the wish. You can choose to send a greeting card (even an online card), SMS, email or even simply make a phone call.
- Most importantly, understand that Muharram is a sorrowful occasion. Try to keep a low-key on the expressions and be as formal as possible. This is especially applicable while wishing colleagues at work and distant friends (even family!).
- Always avoid humor or jokes in the greeting.
- There are contradictions on whether to wish someone a “happy” muharram or not. It is however acceptable in India. Nevertheless, you can opt to replace the term “happy muharram” with “muharram Mubarak”, if you may wish.
- Try to add a personalized touch to the greeting, rather than sending across a generic image or quote.
- Some words that people like to see in greetings and wishes are ‘blessings’, ‘gratitude’, ‘health’, ‘peace’ and ‘remembrance’. Try if you can include them in your greeting.
Recommended Websites for Muharram Greetings
Now that you know what you need to look out for, we suggest you check out these websites to get some creative inspiration while choosing Muharram greetings. www.askideas.com has a plenty of greetings and images on Muharram that you may want to choose. www.freshquotes.com also has quite a few quotes on Muharram. If you are looking for a video greeting on Muharram, then we recommend you check out video sites like this one on www.youtube.com
Add a Personalised Touch to Muharram Greetings in 2019 through these Methods
India is a country of many cultures and traditions. There are people of different faiths residing here. It is the bonhomie between these communities that adds to the vibrancy of India. So, wish your Muslim friends this year on Muharram with these thoughtful ideas and let togetherness flourish.