Assalamu alaikum, With the endless grace of Allah SWT, I chose to follow the Islam set by the blessed Imams (AS) after years of learning about the faith. My first Muharram is approaching and I am nervous because I have not participated in Majlis with other Muslims before. Do you have any advice you could give me to prepare me for the approaching holy month? Jazakallah.
Wa aleikum asalaam!
Alhamdulilah! This is so exciting. The first Muharram experience is both confirming of our Love for Ahlulbayt (as) and also humbling to being among the shia mourning for the loss of Hussain and his family (as)
The experience itself will depend on whether the majlis (lecture) is in English or Arabic, the country(ies) the community is comprised of and the set up of the first ten nights,
Most likely there will be a lecture, some kind of grieving period after the lecturer recites the musaib (the story of the night) and food, plus Quran recitation and supplications.
Duas.org has all the ziyaraat and dua that can be said for each night, as well as different mourning practices.
There will probably be matam, which is the hitting of the chest, head or face. The first night is a good night to observe, ask questions, and see how the next 9 nights will be arranged.
My best advice is to go with an open mind, and partner up with someone or go with someone who can guide you through the nights. Let them know it’s your first Muharram with the community and I’m sure someone will help you through it.
Read Ziyarat Ashura, Waritha, and Nudba, those are the most common things recited during these nights. If you have Miftah Al Jinan that can also help guide you through the nights.
I personally remember crying for no reason during it, being kind of confused, and feeling somewhat lost at the end because the night just ends and I went home with a sense of loss and emptiness. This wasn’t because I felt let down from the center or anything, but because I had never felt such pain and emotional loss for someone like I did during my first Muharram.
Inshallah we will be posting everyday talking about each of the first ten nights, as well as posting our experiences of being in the mosque during these nights.
If you have specific questions about what happens, please feel free to ask us.