The federal government has officially declared public holidays on the 9th and 10th of Muharram (July 28 and 29) in observance of Ashura.
In a recent notification issued by the Cabinet Division, it was stated, “It is for general information that the Prime Minister is pleased to declare 28th to 29th July, 2023 (Friday & Saturday) as public holidays on the occasion of Ashura (9th & 10th Moharram 1445 AH).”
The new Islamic year, 1445 AH, will commence this evening (July 20) with the marking of the first day of Muharram. This means that Youm-e-Ashura, the day of Ashura, will be observed on July 29 (Saturday).
As a measure to ensure the peaceful observance of the Ashura days, the Government of Sindh has imposed a ban on pillion riding on Muharram 9 and 10 under Section 144 of the CrPC.
Furthermore, the federal government has approved the deployment of armed forces across the country to maintain security during the holy month of Muharram.
In Saudi Arabia, the Supreme Court has announced the start of the Islamic year on July 19.
Ashura is a significant occasion for Muslims worldwide, particularly for Shia Muslims, who commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. The day holds deep religious and historical importance, and observances vary from country to country.
During the holy month of Muharram, Muslims engage in various religious activities, including processions, prayers, and fasting. The government’s decision to grant public holidays on Muharram 9 and 10 will allow citizens to participate fully in these solemn and spiritually significant events.
These public holidays also offer an opportunity for families and communities to come together, reflect, and pay their respects during this sacred time.
As the country observes Ashura and the new Islamic year, it is essential to remember the significance of this occasion and respect the sentiments of those celebrating. Let us use this time to promote unity, understanding, and peace among all citizens.