Religious Calendar

The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno commemorates and celebrates various Islamic Holidays and events. Please refer to our monthly calendar for more information about what events are being commemorated. The list below is organized based on the Islamic Hijri Calendar.

The Muslim New Year that starts in Muharram brings two significant events in Islamic history that are commemorated by many Muslims around the world — the establishment of the first Muslim community and the sacrifice of Imam al-Husayn.

The first is the Hijra, or the migration of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, along with his community from Mecca to Medina to establish the first and exemplary Islamic state. The Hijra marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The Prophet Muhammad’s leadership provides Muslims with the foundational principles of social and political interactions with non-Muslims along with the means by which to enhance an Islamic identity in a pluralistic society.

The Hijra is acknowledged during the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram. Additionally, during the first ten days of Muharram, millions of Muslims commemorate the sacrifice of Imam al-Husayn, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad who was a great leader in the early years of Islamic history. Imam al-Husayn exemplified Islam’s unwavering stand for human rights and opposing tyranny. The tenth day of Muharram is called Ashura, which commemorates the day of the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a).

1- Muharram محرّم

  • Ashura (9, 10 Muharram 1430): The martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn: (See Description below)
  • Martyrdom of Imam Zayn ul-Abideen (a) (25th)

2- Safar صفر

  • Birth of Imam Musa al-Kathim (a) (7th)
  • Arbaeen of Imam al-Husayn (20th)
  • Martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad (s) (28th)
  • Martyrdom of Imam Ali ar-Ridha (29th)

3- Rabi’ al-Awwal (Rabi’ I) ربيع الأول

  • Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari (8th)
  • Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (s) (12th): According to Sunni Muslims
  • Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (s) (17th): According to Shi’a Muslims
  • Birthday of Imam Ja’afar as-Sadiq (17th)

4- Rabi’ al-Thani (or Rabī’ al-Akhir) ربيع الآخر أو ربيع الثاني

  • Birth of Imam Hasan al-Askari (8th)

5- Jumada al-Awwal (Jumādā I) جمادى الاولى

  • Birth of Sayyida Zaynab (5th)
  • Birth of Imam Zayn ul-'Abideen (15th)
  • Martyrdom: Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra (13th)

6- Jumada al-Thani (or Jumādā al-Akhir) جمادى الآخر أو جمادى الثاني

  • Birth of Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra (20th)

7- Rajab رجب

  • Birthday of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (1st)
  • Martyrdom of Imam Ali al-Hadi (3rd)
  • Birth of Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (10th)
  • Birth of Imam Muhammad al-Hadi (10th)
  • Birthday: Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (13th)
  • Death of Sayyida Zaynab (15th)
  • Martyrdom of Imam Musa al-Kathim (25th)
  • Mab’ath / Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad, (27th) According to Shi’a Tradition
  • Isra’ wa al-Mi’raj (The night journey and the ascension of Prophet Muhammad) According to Sunni Tradition (27th)

8- Sha’ban شعبان

  • Birthday of Imam al-Husayn (3rd)
  • Birth of Abu al-Fadhl Abbas (4th)
  • Birth of Imam Zayn ul-'Abideen (5th)
  • Birthday of Imam al-Mahdi (15th)
  • The middle of Sha’ban (15th) The Night of Forgiveness is a special night and ICCF recommends fasting on this day.

9- Ramadan رمضان

This entire month of Ramadan is special and features several activities. Many nights of Iftar or Breaking-the-Fast are organized. Here are some major events;

  • Ramadan starts (1st)
  • *Passing of Khadija (a) (9th)
  • Birthday of Imam al-Hasan (15th)
  • First Night of Qadr (18th day/ Night of 19th) Observed by Shi’a Muslims
  • Second Night of Qadr (20th day / Night of 21st) Observed by Shi’a Muslims
  • Martyrdom of Imam Ali (21st)
  • Third Night of Qadr (22nd day / Night of 23rd) Observed by Shi’a Muslims
  • Laylat al-Qadr / Night of Power (26 day / Night of 27) Observed by Sunni Muslims

10- Shawwal شوّال

  • Eid al-Fitr (1st): The Center celebrates the day of Eid Al-Fitr with prayers at 8:00 AM and serves breakfast afterwards
  • Martyrdom of Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib (15th)

11- Dhu al-Qi’dah ذو القعدة

  • Birth of Imam Ali ar-Ridha (11th)
  • Martyrdom of Imam Muhammad al-Jawad (29th)

12- Dhu al-Hijjah ذو الحجة

  • Martyrdom of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (7th)
  • The Day of 'Arafa (9th): The day and night before Eid al-Adha are considered special. It is the most spiritual moments of Hajj as Pilgrims stand on the plight of 'Arafat asking Almighty for forgiveness. Fasting is recommended on the 9 of Dhu al-Hijja.
  • Martyrdom of Muslim ibn 'Aqil (9th)
  • Eid al-Adha (10th): The Center celebrates the day of Eid al-Adha with prayers at 8:00 AM and serves breakfast afterwards
  • Eid al-Ghadir (18th): Observed by Shi’a Muslims
  • Eid al-Mubahila (24th): Observed by Shi'a Muslims

NOTE: The Islamic Center celebrates only Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha on the same day of Eid. The rest of the holidays or events may be celebrated or commemorated at a different day during that week. Refer to the ICCF Monthly Calendar for more details.

Ashura Commemorations:

Ashura, is the 10th day of the month of Muharram, which is the first month in the Hijri Calendar. In Islamic history, Ashura, which took place on the 10th of Muharram, 61 A.H. (Oct. 10, 680), is a solemn day when Muslims commemorate the death of Imam al-Husayn (a), the third Imam and grandson of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Muslims hold various forms of public and private events to mourn the martyrdom of and to connect with the suffering and death of Imam al-Husayn. His martyrdom is widely interpreted as a symbol of the struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression.

On the night and day of Ashura, Muslims visit the tomb of Imam al-Husayn in Karbala, Iraq. In many communities spread around the globe, the mood is solemn with extensive rituals, mourning processions and speeches which culminate in performances re-enacting the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn.

Who is Imam al-Husayn?

Imam Husayn, c.626–680, third Imam in Shi’a tradition; son of Imam Ali & Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad. With the assassination of Imam Ali in 661 and the death of Imam al-Hasan in 50 AH, the caliphate passed out of Imam Ali’s family.

After the death of the Umayyad Caliph Mu'awiya, his son Yazid assumed the leadership and requested allegiance from Imam al-Husayn. Instead of clashing with Yazid in Madina, Imam Husayn migrated to Iraq but was surrounded by the army of Yazid outside of Kufa. Imam al-Husayn led an insurrection of 72 members whom were all killed on the 10th of Muharram in 61 A.H. (Oct. 10, 680), in Karbala.

How does the Islamic Center commemorate Ashura?

Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno commemorate the annual tragedy of Ashura by holding various memorial events that tells the stories of the sacrifice of Imam al-Husayn, his courageous leadership and his devotion to the preservation of Islam.

Commemoration events extends over a period of 40 days in which the Qur’an is read and reflected upon, stories are told about the leadership of his sister Lady Zaynab, especially her courageous stand in the court of Yazid after the death of Imam al-Husayn.