the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of
the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says, "The
number of the months according to Allah is twelve months (mentioned) in the Book
of Allah on the day in which He created heavens and the earth. Among these
(twelve months) there are four sanctified".
months, according to the authentic traditions are the months of Zulqadah,
Zulhijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Quran are
unanimous on this point, because the Holy Prophet
in his sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, has declared:
year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of
them are in sequence; Zulqadah, Zulhijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab."
mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity,
because the month of Ramadan is admittedly the most sanctified month in the
year. But these four months were specifically termed as sanctified months for
the simple reason that their sanctity was accepted even by the pagans of Makkah.
every month, out of the twelve, is originally equal to the other, and there is
no inherent sanctity, which may be attributed to one of them in comparison to
other months. When Allah Almighty chooses a particular time for His special
blessings, then it acquires sanctity out of His grace.
sanctity of these four months was recognized right from the days of Sayyidina
Ibrahim. Since the Pagans of Makkah attributed themselves to Sayyidina
Ibrahim they observed the sanctity of these four months and despite their
frequent tribal battles, they held it unlawful to fight in these months.
Shariah of our Holy Prophet
the sanctity of these
months was upheld and the Holy Quran referred to them as the "sanctified
The month of
Muharram has certain other characteristics peculiar to it, which are specified
during the month
best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram."
fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet, the one who fasts in
these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Allah
Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of
Muharram are most reward-able ones among the Nafl fasts i.e. the fasts one
observes out of his own choice without being obligatory on him.
does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only
by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has
merit. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.
day of Ashurah
month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of
Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named Ashurah.
the Holy companion Ibn Abbas. The Holy Prophet , when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram.
They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses) and
his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in
this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet
"We are more closely related to Musa than you" and directed the
Muslims to fast on the day of Ashurah. (Abu Dawood)
It is also
reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on
the day of Ashurah was obligatory for the Muslims.
It was later
that the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of ''Ashurah
was made optional. Sayyidah Aishah has said:
the Holy Prophet
came to Madinah, he fasted on the
day of Ashurahh and directed the people to fast it. But when the fasts of
Ramadan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadan
and the obligatory nature of the fast of Ashurah
was abandoned. One can fast on this day, if he so wills, or can avoid fasting,
if he so wills."
used to fast on the day of Ashurah
even after the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory.
Masud reports that the Holy Prophet
preferred the fast of Ashurah to the fast of other days and preferred the fast
of Ramadhan to the fast of Ashurahh. (Bukhari and Muslim)
In short, it
is established through a number of authentic hadith that fasting on the day
of Ashurah is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet
makes one entitled to a great reward.
another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of Ashurah should either be prefixed or suffixed by another
fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th an 10th of Muharram or the
10th and 11th of it. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned
by the Holy Prophet
is that the Jews used to fast
on the day of Ashurah alone, and
the Holy Prophet
wanted to distinguish the
Islamic-way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to
add another fast to that of Ashurah.
traditions signify another feature of the day of Ashurah.
these traditions one should be more generous to his family by providing more
food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not
very authentic according to the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like
Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.
mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashurah.
there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to Ashurah that have
managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support of
authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these:
This is the
day in which Adam was created.
This is the
day in which Ibrahim was born.
This is the
day in which Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Ibrahim.
This is the
day on which the Qiyamah (dooms-day) will take place.
bath in the day of Ashurah will never get ill.
All these and
other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and
the traditions referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.
take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal in the day of Ashurah.
This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.
people attribute the sanctity of Ashurah to the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of
Sayyidina Husain is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet,
the sanctity of Ashurah cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason
that the sanctity of 'Ashurah was established during the days of the Holy
much earlier than the birth of Sayyidna Husain.
contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidna Husain that his martyrdom took
place on the day of Ashurah.
misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky
month, for Sayyidna Husain was killed in it. It is for this misconception that
people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again
a baseless concept which is contrary to the express teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Such superstitions have been totally negated by the Holy Prophet
. If the death of an eminent person in a particular
day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day,
free from this bad luck, out of 365 days of the whole year, because each and
every day has a history of the demise of some eminent person. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet
have made us free from such superstitious beliefs, and they
should deserve no attention.
practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mourning
ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidna Husain.
earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history,
but the Holy Prophet
has forbidden us from holding
the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of Jahiliyyah
(Ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased relatives or friends through loud
lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests.
The Holy Prophet
stopped the Muslims from doing
all this and directed them to observe patience by saying "Inna lillaahi wa
innaa ilayhi raaji oon". A number of authentic hadith are available on
To quote only
one of them:
not from our group who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and cries in the
manner of the people of jahiliyyah."
authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is
absolutely impermissible. Even Sayyidna Husain shortly before his demise,
had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab not to mourn over his death
in this manner. He said:
sister, I swear upon you that you, in case I die, shall not tear your clothes,
nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death".
It is evident
from this advice of Sayyidna Husain that this type of mourning is
condemned even by the blessed person for the memory of whom these mourning
ceremonies are held. Every Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the
teachings of the Holy Prophet
and his beloved
grand child Sayyidina Husain.
Blessings of Muharram
It is the
first month of the Islamic Calendar.
of the word:- The word "Muharram" means "Forbidden." Even
before Islam, this month was always known as a scared month in which all
unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood.
A blessing of
Muharram:- There are many bounties of this month, especially the tenth of
Two of the
many virtues of the 10th of Muharram:-
On this day
he who spends more lavishly for the sake of his family members, Allah Taala
will bestow blessing upon the sustenance of the following year.
has related that the Prophet
has reported to have
said, It is my thought that by fasting on
the 10th of Muharram Allah Taala will pardon the sins of the past
Events of Muharram
Hussain was martyred in this month.
Tirmizi & Haakim has narrated from Anas that the following verse:
may forgive thee of thy sins that which is past and that which
is to come." (Al-Fath) was revealed on the 10th of Muharram.
went to defeat Bani Muhaarin and Bani
Tha'laba (Tribes of Bani Gatfan) in the year 4 A.H. (Asahhus-siyar)