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Muharram: Facts And Misconceptions

Posted by Admin on January 4, 2009

Facts About Muharram

  • Muharram is one of the four sacred Months out of twelve. The other being ZiQad,ZilHajj 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.

Facts about Ashura – 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)

All these are deviant practices which go against the basic teachings of Quran and Prophet Muhammad (saw) He said “”He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Sayyidna Husain ra before his demise advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab, ra, not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said, “My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.” (Al-Kamil, ibn Kathir vol. 4 pg. 24)

Posted in Islam, Muharram, Muslim Matters, Ramadan Fasting, Religion | 4 Comments »

Muharram And Ashoora

Posted by Admin on January 4, 2009

Presentation on Muharram

Presentation on Muharram

Muharram Pamphlet in Urdu

SACRED MUHARRAM

Muharram literally means ” Forbidden” . It is one of the four sacred months during which waging a war and fighting is not allowed.

Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah’s ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these four being sacred;That is the right reckoning .”[Surah 9 :Taubah, Verse 37- 37]

The month of Muharram is one of the four sacred months of the Islamic calender as mentioned in the hadith of our Prophet Muhammad saw narrated by Abu Bakra ra:

“The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumadi-ath-Thaniyah and Sha ban” [Bukhari Vol 004, Book 054, Hadith 419]

ALLAH’S MONTH

The Significance of Muharram can be best understood by the saying of Prophet Muhammad saw narrated by Abu Huraira ra

“The most excellent fast after Ramadan is in God’s month; al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.” [Muslim 6: 2661]

This does not mean that one has to fast the entire month but that each fast in Muharram holds a reward with Allah more than voluntary fasts in any other month. We must make the most of this important month in the light of this hadith.

FIRST MONTH OF HIJRI CALENDAR

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Hijri calendar. It is based on the migration of the Prophet Muhammad saw from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. However, the use of the Hijri calendar began in AD 639 or 17 AH during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar Farooq ra.

The governor of Yemen during his reign was Abu Musa Ashari. The letters which Umar ra, used to send to him did not bear any date. He informed umar ra about it who then decided to resolve this issue by setting up a small committee.

It was decided that the Islamic calendar will begin from the hijrat (migration) of the Muslims from Mecca to Medina. Therefore AD 622 became the 1 AH and since the decision to migrate was made right at the end of the month of Dhul-Hajj, and the first moon to rise after this was that of Muharram, thus Muharram came to be the first month of the Islamic Hijri calendar.(Fatah Al bari 334/7 Hadith 3934)

Since the basis of the Hijri calendar and Muharram being the first month of the year, was the migration of Rasool Allah (saw) therefore this month does not symbolize or glorify any historical event or any personality, but it serves as a great reminder of the sacrifices and patience of the muhajireen and their love for Allah Subhana Tala and his Rasool saw.

FASTING ON 10th MUHARRAM and 9th MUHARRAM

The entire month of Muharram is sacred and special and fasting on any day of Muharram has special rewards from Allah, but the 10th day of Muharram, called Ashura holds a more significant position than the rest of the days.

We know from a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of Ashura was obligatory for the Muslims. It was later when the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory that the fast on the day of Ashura was made optional. Narrated by Aisha ra

“The people used to fast on ‘Ashura (the tenth day of the month of Muharram) before the fasting of Ramadan was made obligatory. And on that day the Ka’ba used to be covered with a cover. When Allah made the fasting of the month of Ramadan compulsory, Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of ‘Ashura’) may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so. “[Bukhari Vol 002, Book 026, Hadith Number 662]

However, Rasul Allah saw used to fast on the day of Ashura even after fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory.Ibn ‘Abbas ra reported

“When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) fasted on the day of ‘Ashura and commanded that it should he observed as a fast, they (his Companions) said to him: Messenger of Allah, it is a day which the Jews and Christians hold in high esteem. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When the next year comes, God willing, we would observe fast on the 9th But the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) died before the advent of the next year.” [ Musim : Book 006, Hadith Number 2528]

Abdullah ibn Abbas( ra) also reported

“that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had said: If I live till the next (year), I would definitely observe fast on the 9th, and the narration transmitted by Abu Bakr is: “He meant the day of Ashura.” [ Muslim: Book 006, Hadith Number 2529

Hence, one should combine another day with the Ashura and fast on either the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th in order to distinguish the Muslim way of fasting from that of the Jews.

Atonement of Sins

Fasting on the day of Ashura expiates the sins of the previous year as told by our Prophet Muhammad (s)

"Abu Qatada al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was asked about his fasting… He was asked about fasting on the day of 'Ashura (10th of Muharram), whereupon be said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year…[Muslim: Book 06: Hadith 2603]

Posted in Muharram, Religion | 1 Comment »

 
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