Al-Hijira or Muharram begins in the month of December in 2011. Tenth day of Muharram is observed as the Day of Ashura, meant to be fasting day for the Muslims.

According to the Muslim tradition, this day commemorates the Passover when God saved Moses and the Israelites from Pharaoh in Egypt and helped them to cross the Red Sea. To be a Muslim has great meaning.

To be a Muslim means to be a believer of One God to Whom he surrenders himself. A Muslim believes that Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him. To be a Muslim means to believe and profess what the Quran, the holy book given to humanity through Prophet Muhammad says, "In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O Muhammad), He is God, the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone".

Six great meanings of being a Muslim

1) To be a Muslim means to obey the will of God

To be a Muslim means to know the will of God and be obedient to it in everything. In order to be a faithful Muslim one has to surrender himself to God. A Muslim believes that Allah the Great (God) is the only Creator and Preserver of every living being. It does not stop with mere belief. He acknowledges the fact that it is God alone who deserves to be worshipped, and thus abstains from worshipping any other thing or being.

2) To be a Muslim means to surrender completely to God

Quran preaches total surrender to Allah. Islam teaches that only complete surrender to the Will of Allah can bring peace. The Holy Quran requires commitment to submit and surrender to God so that one can live in peace. Peace is achieved through active obedience to the revealed Commandments of God, for God is the ultimate source of all peace. It clarifies that commitment to Islam entails striving for peace through a struggle for justice, equality of opportunity, mutual caring and consideration for the rights of others, and continuous research and acquisition of knowledge for the better protection and utilization of the resources of creation.

3) A true Muslim fears Allah and keeps away sins

A true Muslim lives a pure life avoiding the sins forbidden in the Holy Quran. He fears the punishment of Allah mentioned in the Quran. Quran tells clearly about the seven major sins. Prophet Muhammad, to whom Allah dictated the Holy Quran, says, "Avoid the seven noxious things: associating anything with Allah, magic, killing one whom Allah has declared inviolate without a just case, consuming the property of an orphan, devouring usury, turning back when the army advances, and slandering chaste women who are believers but indiscreet." ( Bukhari and Muslim)

4) To be a Muslim means to execute the Five Obligations

To be a Muslim means to follow the Five Principles strictly in life. (1) He has to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Prophet Muhammad is his messenger. (2) He should offer the compulsory prayers in the congregation dutifully and perfectly. (3) He should pay Zakat and do the obligatory charity. (4) He has to perform Hajj, the Pilgrimage to Mecca. (5) He must observe fast during the month of Ramadan. These five obligations are called the Five Pillars of Islam.

5) To be a Muslim means to live a life worthy of reaching heaven

A Muslim life, if lived well, is rewarded in heaven and if the Laws of Allah are transgressed will bring punishment on the Day of Judgment. Hence he lives a life preparing himself for the ternal

6) To be a Muslim means to promote universal brotherhood

Muslims consider all human beings as brothers and sisters. Islam encourages and teaches universal brotherhood since all human beings belong to one human unit. It teaches that only through justice and following the Laws of God that people can achieve this universal brotherhood. Prophet Muhammad says, "Islam is one body and if one part of the body falls, the rest pitches into compensate."