Seven Kings Muslim Educational Trust

The Month of Muharram

By on Dec 7, 2015 in Articles of Faith | 0 comments

Shaykh Mawl?n? Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahull?h

Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Glorious Qur’?n,

Lo! The number of the months with All?h is twelve months by All?h’s Ordinance in the day that He created the heavens and the earth.  Four of them are sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves in them… (9:36)

The specification of these four sacred months is stated in a had?th narrated by Ab? Bakrah radhiyall?hu ‘anhu that Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

Verily time has completed its cycle and returned to its original stage as it was on the day All?h created the heavens and the earth. The year consists of twelve months, four of which are sacred.  Three of them occur consecutively; Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram, (the fourth being) Rajab of Mudar (named after the tribe of Mudar as they used to respect this month) which occurs between Jam?d?-al-?khir and Sha’b?n.

(Al-Bukh?r?)

From out of the four sacred months, Muharram has been blessed with certain specific virtues. The noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadh?n is the fasting of All?h’s Month of Muharram and the best of sal?h besides the fardh (compulsory) sal?h is the tahajjud sal?h.

(Muslim)

In another had?th, Ibn ‘Abb?s radhiyall?hu ‘anhu reports that the Messenger of All?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

He who fasts on the day of ‘Araf?t (9th Dhul Hijjah), his fast will be a compensation for the sins of two years,and one who keeps a fast in the month of Muharram will receive the reward of thirty fasts for each fast.

(At-Tabar?n?, At-Targh?b wat-Tarh?b)

The Day of ‘?sh?r? (10th Muharram)

The tenth day of the month of Muharram is known as ‘?sh?r?. It is one of the most important and blessed days in the Islamic calendar. Some ‘ulam? (scholars) are of the opinion that before the fasts of Ramadh?n, the fast of the day of ‘?sh?r? was compulsory upon the Ummah. This is stated in a had?th reported by ‘?’ishah radhiyall?hu ‘anh? that the noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam ordered the observance of the fast of ‘?sh?r?. However, when the fast of Ramadh?n became compulsory, then whosoever wished, kept this fast and whosoever desired did not observe this fast. (Al-Bukh?r?)

But the Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam, nevertheless, continued to fast this day and encouraged his companions to do the same. Ibn ‘Abb?s radhiyall?hu ‘anhu says,

I did not see Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam anxiously await the fast of any day, which he gave preference to over other days, but this day, the day of ‘?sh?r?.

(Al-Bukh?r?)

Humayd Ibn ‘Abdur Rahm?n radhiyall?hu ‘anhu narrates that he heard Mu’?wiyah ibn Ab? Sufy?n radhiyall?hu ‘anhum? on the day of ‘?sh?r?, during the year he performed Hajj, saying on the pulpit,

O the people of Mad?nah! Where are your ‘ulam?? I heard Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam saying, ‘This is the day of ‘?sh?r?. All?h has not enjoined its fasting on you, but I am fasting it. Whosoever wishes, keep (this) fast and whosoever desires do not observe (this fast).’

(Al-Bukh?r?)

In another had?th, Ibn ‘Abb?s radhiyall?hu ‘anhu narrates that the noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam came to Mad?nah and found the Jews fasting on the day of ‘?sh?r?. Hence the noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam inquired of them, “What is (the significance of) this day on which you fast?” They replied, “This is a great day. On this day All?h saved M?s? ‘alayhis sal?m and his people and drowned Fir’awn and his nation. Thus, M?s? ‘alayhis sal?m fasted on this day as a token of thanksgiving, therefore we too fast on this day.” The Messenger of All?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “We are more worthy of M?s? and nearer to him than you.” Thereafter, the noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam fasted on this day and ordered (his companions radhiyall?hu ‘anhum) that a fast be kept on this day. (Muslim)

Recommended Deeds on the Day of ‘?sh?r?

1) The noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam has exhorted and encouraged his Ummah to fast on this day. Ab? Qat?dah radhiyall?hu ‘anhu narrates that the noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam was asked regarding the fast of the day of ‘?sh?r?. The noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam replied,

“It is a compensation for the (minor) sins of the past year.”

(Muslim)

Note: It must be borne in mind that wherever a promise of forgiveness of sins is made upon the fulfilment of some action, it is only the minor sins that are forgiven. The major sins are not forgiven without true tawbah (repentance).

2) One should also observe the fast of the 9th or 11th Muharram. Ibn ‘Abb?s radhiyall?hu ‘anhu said, “When Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam observed the fast of the day of ‘?sh?r? and ordered (his companions radhiyall?hu ‘anhum) to fast, they said,

‘O Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam! It is a day revered by the Jews and Christians.’  Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said, ‘The coming year, if All?h wills, we will fast on the ninth (also).’

(Muslim)

The noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam thereafter encouraged his companions radhiyall?hu ‘anhum to also fast on the 9th or 11th Muharram. He sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

Should I live until the coming year, I will definitely fast on the ninth (also).

(Muslim)

In another narration the noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

… Fast a day before it or a day after.

(Al-Bayhaq?)

‘All?mah Ibn ‘?bid?n Ash-Sh?m? rahimahull?h has mentioned that to fast only on the day of ‘?sh?r? is al-makr?h at-tanz?h?.

3) One should be generous to one’s family and dependants and spend more on them than is normally spent. Ab? Hurayrah radhiyall?hu ‘anhu reports that Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

One who generously spends on his family on the day of ‘?sh?r?,  All?h will increase (his provision) for the whole year.

(Al-Bayhaq?, At-Targh?b wat-Tarh?b)

This had?th is not very authentic according to the science of had?th. However, scholars of had?th like Al-Bayhaq? and Ibn Hibb?n rahimahumall?h have accepted it as reliable. These are the only actions supported by ah?d?th.

Acts to Refrain from

1) It is absolutely clear that the significance of the day of ‘?sh?r? is from the time of the noble Prophet sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam. However, many people regard this day as the day of mourning the martyrdom of Husayn radhiyall?hu ‘anhu. The martyrdom of Husayn radhiyall?hu ‘anhu was indeed a great tragedy, but Islam is not a religion of perpetual mourning. Ab? Sa’?d radhiyall?hu ‘anhu relates that Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam has cursed mourners and those who listen to them. (Ab? D?w?d)

The pages of Islamic History are filled with the blood of the martyrs. Should we begin to mourn the martyrdom of the Sah?bah radhiyall?hu ‘anhum alone, every other day would be a day of mourning. Thus, to attribute the significance of ‘?sh?r? to the martyrdom of Husayn radhiyall?hu ‘anhu is baseless. Therefore, the host of baseless customs with regard to his martyrdom — mourning, lamenting and displaying grief — must be discarded. If mourning were permissible, then the day of the demise of Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam would have been more worthy for mourning and lamenting.

2) The following misconceptions with regard to ‘?sh?r? are baseless:

• This is the day in which ?dam ‘alayhis sal?m was created.
• This is the day in which Ibr?h?m ‘alayhis sal?m was born.
• This is the day on which Qiy?mah will take place.
• Whoever has a bath on the day of ‘?sh?r? will never get ill.

3) Some regard the tenth of Muharram as a day of ‘?d. They indulge in adornment, applying surmah (collyrium), wearing new clothes, spending lavishly and cooking a particular type of meal which is not generally prepared. All these actions are regarded as sunnah according to their belief, whereas no authentic narration sanctioning and permitting such actions can be found.

4) Another misconception is that the month of Muharram is an unlucky month; hence marriage ceremonies should be avoided in this month. This concept is again contrary to the teachings of Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam.

Let us observe this great day according to the way of Ras?lull?h sallall?hu ‘alayhi wasallam and the Sah?bah radhiyall?hu ‘anhum and refrain from all innovations which deprive us of the blessings from All?h ta’?l?. May All?h ta’?l? guide us all upon the Straight Path and save us from every act which brings His Displeasure. ?m?n

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