icon
icon
article hero

Celebrating Muharram: Essential Duas And Sunnah Acts For The Start Of The Islamic New Year

AvatarName

Shasha Dania  •  Aug 19, 2020

icon

[Updated 6 August 2021] The 1st day of Muharram marks the start of the Islamic new year according to the Islamic calendar. Known as Awal Muharram, it is the beginning of one of the four sacred months and is a blessed month for Muslims to do even more good deeds and acts of worship to strengthen their faith and connection to Allah. This year, it begins after Maghrib (sunset) on 19 August 2020! Here are some duas and acts of sunnah you can perform during Muharram to mark this holy month. 😊
Dua for the end of the year
Doa Akhir Tahun is the dua said to mark the end of the Islamic year. As Muharram begins after Maghrib on 30 Zulhijjah, this dua should be read 3 times before Maghrib begins.
Credit: Muslim SG on Facebook Arabic text and transliteration:

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ Bismillāh-hir-rahmāni-rahīm

الحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ العَالَمِينَ، وَالصَّلاَةُ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّـدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ Alhamdulillāhi Robbil 'ālamīn, wassolātu wassalāmu 'alā sayyidinā Muhammad, wa 'alā ālihī wasohbihi ajma’īn

اَللَّهُمَّ مَا عَمِلْنَا فِى هَذِهِ السَّنَةِ مِمَّا نَهَيْتَنَا عَنْهُ فَلَمْ نَتُبْ مِنْهُ، وَلَمْ تَرْضَهُ وَلَمْ تَنْسَهُ Allāhuma mā 'amilnā fī hazihis- sanati mimmā nahaitanā 'anhu falam natub minhu, walam tardhohu walam tansahu

 وَحَلمْتَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِك عَلَى عُقُوبَتِنَا، وَدَعَوتَنَا إِلَى التَّوْبَةِ مِنْهُ بَعْدَ جَرَاءَتِنَا عَلَى مَعْصِيَتِكَ، فَإِنَّنَا نَسْتَغْفِرُكَ wa-halumta alainā ba’-da qudro-tika 'alā uqūbatinā, wa da'autanā ilat-taubati minhu ba’da jarā-atinā ‘alā ma’siyatik, fa-innanā nastaghfiruk

 فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا، وَمَا عَمِلْنَا فِيهَا مِمَّا تَرْضَاهُ، وَوَعَدْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ الثَّوَابَ faghfirlanā, wa-mā 'amilnā fī-ha mimmā tar-dhohu, wa wa’ad-tanā 'alaihi thawāb, 

.فَنَسْأَلُكَ اللَّهُمَّ يَا كَرِيمُ يَا ذَا الجَلاَلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ أَنْ تَتَقَبَّـلَهُ مِنَّا وَلا تَقْطَعْ رَجَاءَنَا مِنْكَ يَا كَرِيمُ fanas-alukallāh-humma ya kareem ya zhal-jalāli wal-ikrom an tataqobbalahū minnā walā taqta’ rajā-anā minka ya kareem

.رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِى الأَخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ  النَّارِ Robbana ‘atina fid-dunya hasanah wa fil-akhirati hasanah wa-qina ‘azaban-nār

وَصَلَّى اللهُ وَسلَّمَ عَلَى سَيـِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ وَالحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ العَالَمِينَ Wa sallāllohu wasallam ‘alā sayyidinā Muhammad wa ‘alā ālihi wa sohbihi ajma’īn walhamdu-lillahi robbil ‘ālameen

(x3)

English translation:

In the name of Allah The Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate.

 All praises be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and Companions. O Allah, for all the prohibited deeds that we have acted upon this year, of which we have yet to repent from and which You do not consent nor forget them. Yet You remained Merciful despite Your authority to punish us, and even inspired us to repent after doing these sins in insolence. So we seek forgiveness from You, so please forgive us. And for what we have done of which You are consent of, and which You have promised to reward us for, we ask from You, O Allah the most Gracious, the Most Glorious and Most Honourable, to accept our actions, and do not dash our hopes, O Most Gracious. 

O our Lord, grant us goodness in this world and goodness in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the hellfire. Peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and Companions. Praise be to Allah Lord of all the worlds.

Dua for the start of the year
Once Maghrib arrives in the evening, it's officially a new Islamic year! Doa Awal Muharram is the dua said to mark the start of the Islamic year. This dua should be read 3 times after Maghrib on 30 Zulhijjah.
Credit: Muslim SG Arabic text and transliteration:

الحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ العَالَمِينَ، وَالصَّلاَةُ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّـدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ Alhamdulillāhi Robbil 'ālamīn, wassolātu wassalāmu 'alā sayyidinā Muhammad, wa 'alā ālihī wasohbihi ajma’īn

 اَللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الأَبَدِيُّ القَدِيمُ الأَوَّلُ وَعَلَى فَضْلِكَ العَظِيمِ وَجُودِكَ المُعَوَّلِ، وَهَذَا عَامٌ جَدِيدٌ قَدْ أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْنَا، Allahumma antal-Abadiyyul-Qodīmul-Awwal, wa 'ala fadhlikal-Azhim wa jūdikal mu-awwal, wa haza 'āmun jadidun qod aqbala ‘alainā

 ,نَسْئَـلُكَ العِصْمَةَ فِيهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ وَأَوْلِيَاءِهِ وَجُنُودِهِ Nas’alukal ‘ismata fīhi minassyaitān-nirrojīm wa awliyā-ihi wa junūdih, 

  .وَالعَوْنَ عَلَى هَذِهِ النَّفْسِ اللأَمَّارَةِ بِالسُّوءِ، وَالاِشْتِغَالِ بِمَا يُقَرِّبُنَا إِلَيْكَ زُلْفَى، يَا ذَاالجَلاَلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ wal ‘auna 'alā hazihin-nafsil ammārati bissū’, Wal-ishtigholi bimā yuqorribunā ilaika zulfa. Ya zhal-jalāli wal-ikrom.

وَصَلَّى اللهُ وَسلَّمَ عَلَى سَيـِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ وَالحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ العَالَمِينَ Wa sollallāhu wasallama ‘alā sayyidinā Muhammad wa ‘alā ālihi wa sohbihi ‘ajma’īn wal-hamdu lillāhi robbil ‘ālamīn

(x3)

English translation:

In the name of Allah The Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate.

All praises be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and Companions.

O Allah, You are The Everlasting, The Pre-Eternal, the First, to Your great blessings and generosity we rely upon, and this new year has arrived upon us, We seek from You protection from the cursed devil, his allies and forces. And we seek from You assistance to repel against the baser self’s urge to sin, And to immerse us with which that brings us closer to You. Peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and Companions. And praise be to Allah Lord of all the worlds.

Sunnah acts for the month of Muharram
 On top of reciting these duas, you can also perform some sunnah acts during this sacred month to gain more favour. 😊 These acts are simple to do, so you can work them into your daily routine. 
1. Fast during Muharram It is said that the Prophet himself declared Muharram to be the second best month to fast in, after Ramadan. Try to fast during this month, especially on 10 Muharram also known as the Day of Ashura. The Prophet encouraged fasting on 9, 10, and 11 Muharram and it said that fasting on the Day of Ashura expiates your sins from the previous year. 😮 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are also considered by some scholars to be the best days to fast in this month.
2. Recite Ayat ul-Kursi Ayat ul-Kursi (Verse 255, Surah Al-Baqarah) is a treasured dua for Muslims as it is said to reaffirm the greatness of Allah, ward off evil spirits, and protect the reciter. Some scholars believe that it should be recited 360 times during 1 Muharram before Doa Awal Muharram, to create a barrier against evil spirits for the next year.
3. Perform Qiyamullail Qiyamullail can be translated to 'night vigil' and refers to some part of the night between Isyak and Fajr during which you worship Allah. Acts of worship including prayers, reciting the Quran, reciting dhikr, or any other acts are all considered Qiyamullail. We might associate Qiyamullail with Ramadan, but it can actually be performed at any time of year. So there's no better time to start than during Muharram! 😊 It's said to be best to perform Qiyamullail on the night before 10 Muharram as it is the night with the most help and blessings from Allah.
4. Give charity Charity and giving to others is a value treasured by Muslims year-round, but did you know you can get a year's worth of rewards by doing charity on 10 Muharram? Doing charity on this day is said to give you the rewards as if you had done charity for a whole year! As the new year (even if it falls in the middle of our 'regular' year 😄) is a good time for taking stock of your actions and making new resolutions, we hope that this upcoming year will bring you clarity and growth in all areas of your life!