The Islamic New Year

December 17, 2009

In less than one week, we will begin the New Year according to the Islamic calender.  We will embark on 1431 A.H. (after hijra).  The Islamic calender has twelve months as “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year) – so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth…” (Translation of the Meaning of the Quran, 9:36).

The months are: Muharram, Safar, Rabi Awal, Rabi Thani, Jumada Awal, Jumada Thani, Rajab, Shaban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhul Qiadah, and Dhul Hijjah.

Out of the twelve months, four are considered sacred as the Final Sermon of Rasoolullah (SAW) included the statement, “With Allah the months are twelve; four of them are holy; three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumaada and Sha’ban.” 

This makes the sacred months Muharram (1), Rajab (7), Dhul Qiadah (11), and Dhul Hijjah (12).  With the new year begining and with Muharram being the first month and one of the sacred months, I thought it’d be nice to share the following article on the virtues of the month of Muharram as written by Mufti Taqi Usmani:

Facts About Muharram

  • Muharram is one of the four sacred Months out of twelve. The other being Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah,and Rajab.
  • These four months have been sacred since the creation of universe – as told by Allah Subhana Watala in the Quran.
  • After Ramadan, fasting in the month of Muharram is most rewardable.
  • Muharram is a sacred month NOT because the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (saw) was martyred in this month. It is sacred because Allah made it sacred along with three other months and told us about it in the Quran.

Facts about Ashurah – The 10th of Muharram

  • Fasting on the 10th Muharram i.e. Ashura was obligatory on the Muslims before the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory.
  • Fasting on the 10th of Muharram expiates the sins of the previous year.
  • Musa (as) and the Bani Israel were saved from the Pharaoh by the parting of the sea on 10th Muharram.
  • Prophet Musa (as) as a sign of gratitute to Allah used to fast on the day of Ashura and Jews did the same.
  • Prophet Muhammad (saw) on hearing the fast of Musa (as) also ordered the Muslims to fast on this day and himself did the same.
  • Prophet Muhammad (saw) decided to fast on 9th Muharram as well to differentiate from the Jews but he passed away before he could do so.

Misconceptions about Ashura

  • This is the day Prophet Adam (as) was created
  • This is the day when Allah accepted the repentance of Adam (as)
  • This is the day when Ibrahim (as) was born.
  • This is the day the Qayamat (doomsday) will occur. (From hadiths we know Qayamat will occur on a friday, but does not specify which month)
  • Whoever baths of Ashura will never get ill.
  • Muharram is an evil or unlucky month (due to the battle of Karbala)
  • Marriages should not be held in Muharram.

All of the above are misconceptions based on unauthentic traditions. This misconception can be easily removed by the fact that on the exact same day Husain (ra) was martyred, years ago Prophet Musa as and his followers were saved from Pharaoh, which is why Prophet Muhammad saw observed the fast on Ashura and ordered the Muslims to do the same. The day can not be lucky or unlucky at the same time.

Historical Facts about Muharram

  • Companion Umar Farooq (ra) succumbed to his injuries and attained Martyrdom on the 1st of Muharram, 23 AH (After Hijri)
  • Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (saw) Hussain ibn Ali (ra) along with most of his family members was martyred in the desert of Kerbala in Iraq on the 10th of Muharram.

Authentic Ibadaat (Worship) of Muharram

  • Fasting in Muharram (any day)
  • Fasting on 10th Muharram and combining it with the fast of 9th Muharram to distinguish from the Jews.

Innovations and things to avoid in Muharram

  • Preparing special dishes meals in Muharram.
  • Holding lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidna Husain (ra)
  • Cursing the companions.
  • Wearing black clothes and starving and refusing to drink in memory of Husain (ra)

Source: http://www.albalagh.net
Related: What’s So Special About Muharram?

Therefore, O Muslim, make the intention to fast the day of Ashoora (10th of Muharram) and the day before it (the 9th) if you are able to do so.

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