The month of Muharram is a great and blessed month. It is the first month of the Hijri year and is one of the sacred months concerning which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred, (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” [Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36]. It was narrated from Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “… The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu al-Qa‘dah, Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha‘baan.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2958). Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (muharram) month; this further emphasizes its sanctity.
The words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning): “so wrong not yourselves therein” [Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36] mean: (do not wrong yourselves) in these sacred months, because doing so is a greater sin than at other times. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said, concerning the words of Allah “so wrong not yourselves therein” [Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36]: (The command not to wrong yourself) applies in all months, then Allah singled out four months and made them sacred, and emphasised their sanctity, and He made sin during these months more grave, and He made righteous deeds and the reward thereof greater. Qataadah said, concerning the words “so wrong not yourselves therein”: Wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and incurs a greater burden of sin than in other months. Wrongdoing is a serious matter in any circumstances, but Allah makes whatever He wills of His commands carry more weight. And he said: Allah has chosen elites from His creation: from among the angels He chose Messengers, from among mankind He chose Messengers, from among speech He chose remembrance of Him (dhikr), from among spaces on earth He chose the mosques, from among the months He chose Ramadan and the sacred months.