Today marks the start of a new year in the Islamic Calendar of Hijrah. The first month of this year, Muharram, it is a time when many significant events took place for Muslims. As such the month provides the vision, inspiration and an opportunity for solemn reflection and renewal of spirits. This is a solemn time to commemorate the immense sacrifice and contribution of those who dedicated their lives in the service of the Creator.
Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: "The sacred month of Muharram is filled with many significant events, particularly the 10th of Muharram which is commonly known as Ashura. According to our traditions it is the day when Prophet Musa was saved from the Pharaoh. Ashura is however commemorated for the tragic massacre at Karbala, in Iraq in 61 A.H. of Imam Husain, his family and supporters. They sacrificed their lives in order to uphold the Prophet's message of truth, freedom and justice.
"Their message is important today as Muslims suffer violence, civil war and retribution: be that Bahrain, Syria, Pakistan or Burma. Moreover, while Israel escalates war in the Middle East by attacking Gazans in the last few days, the prospects for peace is further and further away."
"While we mark the months of Muharram, let us use the opportunity to forge greater unity amongst British Muslims of whatever persuasion: finding common cause and greater strength to seek the common good of all people, regardless of faith or creed."