What’s So Special About Muharram?

January 16, 2008

1) It is the first month of the Hijri calendar.

2) It is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]

Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: ‘The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of: Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.’ (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).

3) The 10th of Muharram is the ‘day of Ashura’ as fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ does expiate for the past year, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘For fasting the day of ‘Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for (the sins committed in) the year that went before.’ (Narrated by Muslim, 1162.) This is by the bounty that Allaah bestows upon us, whereby fasting one day expiates for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of great bounty.

  • Fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ does expiate for the past year, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.” Narrated by Muslim, 1162. This is by the bounty that Allaah bestows upon us, whereby fasting one day expiates for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of great bounty.

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to be very keen to make sure he fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’ because of its great status.It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I never saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so keen to make sure he fasted any day and preferring it over another except this day, the day of ‘Ashoora’, and this month – meaning Ramadaan. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1867.

    What is meant by being keen to make sure he fasted it is so as to earn its reward.
     

  •  With regard to the reason why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’ and urged the people to do likewise is mentioned in the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (1865) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora’. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa fasted on this day.” He said, “We have closer to Moosa than you.” So he fasted on this day and told the people to fast. The words “this is a good day” – according to a version narrated by Muslim, “This is a great day when Allaah saved Moosa and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people.”

    The words “so Moosa fasted on this day” – Muslim added in his report: “In gratitude to Allaah, so that is we fast on this day.”

    According to another version narrated by al-Bukhaari, “So we fast it out of respect for it.”

    The words “and told the people to fast” – according to another version narrated by al-Bukhaari, “He said to his companions, ‘You are closer to Moosa than them, so fast this day.”

  •  The expiation of sins that is achieved by fasting ‘Ashoora’ refers to minor sins; with regard to major sins, they need separate repentance. Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah expiates for all minor sins, in other words this brings forgiveness for all sins except for major sins. Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah is an expiation for two years, and the day of ‘Ashoora is an expiation for one year, and if a person’s Ameen coincides with the Ameen of the angels, his previous sins will be forgiven… Each of the things mentioned may bring expiation. If he does something that expiates for minor sins he will be expiated, and if there are no minor or major sins, it will be recorded for him as good deeds and he will rise in status thereby… If there is one or more major sins and no minor sins, we hope that it will reduce his major sins” (Al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part 6).

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The expiation of purification, prayer, and fasting Ramadaan, ‘Arafah and ‘Ashoora’ applies to minor sins only. Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5.

4) Sins in this month are more serious, and good deeds bring greater reward.

It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: Allaah’s words (interpretation of the meaning):’so wrong not yourselves therein…’referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

5) Virtues of observing Nafl (voluntary fasts)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah (sa) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’ (reported by Muslim, 1982).

Note:  If one intends to fast on the 10th of Muharram, it is also recommended to fast on the 9th of Muharram as well as Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The scholars among our companions and others said that there are several reasons for recommending fasting on the ninth day (Tasoo’a’):

  1. The intention behind it is to be different from the Jews who limit their fasting to the tenth day. This was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas.
  2. The intention was to join the fast of ‘Ashoora’ to another day, just as it is not allowed to fast on a Friday on its own [but it is allowed if one fasts the day before or the day after as well].
  3. The idea is to be on the safe side and make sure one is fasting on the tenth, in case the moon sighting was not accurate and what people think is the ninth is actually the tenth.

The strongest of these reasons is in order to be different from the People of the Book. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade resembling the People of the Book in many ahaadeeth. For example, he said concerning ‘Ashoora’: “If I live until next year I will certainly fast the ninth.” Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 6.

Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on the hadeeth “If I live until next year I will certainly fast the ninth”:His concern to fast the ninth may be understood as meaning that he would not limit himself to that, rather that he would add it to the tenth, either to be on the safe side, or to be different from the Jews and Christians, which is more likely to be correct; this is what may be understood from some of the reports narrated by Muslim.” [From Fath al-Baari, 4/245.]

Insh’Allah, according to many calenders (and it is recommended to follow the calender in your community), the 10th of Muharram will be this Friday, January 18th, 2008 so it is insha’Allah recommended to fast both Thursday and Friday this week.

(Sources: http://www.islamqa.com, http://www.islamictube.net, and http://justquraan.wordpress.com)

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8 Responses to “What’s So Special About Muharram?”

  1. admin Says:

    A’Salaamualaikum,
    Jazakamullahu khairan, ThankYou for your support.
    JQ

  2. amal Says:

    asalam alaykum , thanks for that !


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  6. Muhammed Ashraf Says:

    Assalaam aleikum,

    Thanks a lot for the nice information.

  7. Jamilah Says:

    Thx for info ><


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