Wishing to All Muslims,
Salam Maal Hijrah
1st Muharram 1434H (15th November 2012)
Hope this New Year will better than Last Year... Amin~
The Islamic (Hijiri) calendar is very similar to the Gregorian calendar that we usually used and referred to in our daily lives (such as the month of January, February, etc). As Muslims, we should also take note on the months of Islam. The Hijiri calendar consists of 12 months in years (with 354 or 355 days) which are as follows:
Muḥarram — المحرّم, "forbidden" — so called because it was unlawful (haram) to fight during this month.  However, this prohibition is terminated after the opening of Mecca. (Al Baqarah 91). Muharram is the second most sacred Muslim month and includes the Day of Ashura.
Ṣafar — صفر, "void" — supposedly named because pagan Arabs looted during this month and left the houses empty.
Rabīʿ I (Rabīʿ al-Awwal) — ربيع الأوّل, "the first spring".
Rabīʿ II (Rabīʿ ath-Thānī or Rabīʿ al-Ākhir) — ربيع الثاني or ربيع الآخر, "the second (or last) spring".
Jumādā I (Jumādā al-Ūlā) — جمادى الأولى, "the first month of parched land". Often considered the pre-Islamic "summer".
Jumādā II (Jumādā ath-Thāniya or Jumādā al-Ākhira) — جمادى الثانية or جمادى الآخرة, "the second (or last) month of parched land".
Rajab — رجب, "respect" or "honor". This is another sacred month in which fighting was traditionally forbidden.
Shaʿbān — شعبان, "scattered", marking the time of year when Arab tribes dispersed to find water.
Ramaḍān — رمضان, "scorched". Ramadan is the most venerated month of the Hijri calendar during which Muslims must fast between dawn and sunset.
Shawwāl — شوّال, "raised", as she-camels begin to raise their tails during this time of the year, after giving birth.
Dhū al-Qaʿda — ذو القعدة, "the one of truce". Dhu al-Qa'da was another month during which war was banned.
Dhū al-Ḥijja — ذو الحجّة, "the one of pilgrimage", referring to the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj.
Muharram is the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says, "The number of the months according to Allah is twelve (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified." These four months, according to the authentic traditions, are Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Quran are unanimous on this point, because the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, in his sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, declared: "One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab." The specific mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity.
In the month of Muharram Muslims encouraged fasting on the day-to-day. The Prophet SAW said: "Fasting for most major fast after Ramadan is the month of Muharram Allah" (Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim). In addition we are strongly encouraged to fast on 'Ashura of Muharram in 10 as has been recorded by Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim in their Sahih.
As a sacred month, it’s best to increase in doing good deeds such as fasting and sadaqah! And by sacred, it signifies the importance, status and adoration of this month by Allah! In fact, good deeds done during these months will be more greatly rewarded insyallah. :)
Although Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named 'Ashurah'. The day of ‘Asyura is greatly related to the story concerning Prophet Musa A.S, where he was saved by Allah by his enemies and Firaun at the Red Sea. When Prophet Musa (a.s) was cornered by Firaun and his army, he asked Allah to help him escape.
To fast on the day of ‘Asyura is the highlight in the month of Muharram. According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of 'Ashura' should either be preceded or followed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th.
The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by Rasulullah S.A.W, is that the Jews used to fast on the day of Ashura alone, and Rasulullah S.A.W, wanted to distinguish the Muslim way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of 'Ashura'.
Some traditions signify another feature of the day of 'Ashura. According to these traditions, one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days.