The month of Muharram is the start of the Islamic calendar. This month is one of the four blessed months and 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”. This month carries rewards and the virtues and the ‘Muharram’ itself means ‘sacred’. There is saying in the Holy Quran that,
“Four of them (Zil-Qadah, Zil-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are sacred.” (Surah At-Tawbah:36)
Facts About The Month Of Muharram
1. Just like Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Rajab, the month of Muharram is one of the four sacred months out of twelve.
2. These four months have been sacred since the creation of the universe – as told by Allah in the Qur’an in Surah Taubah.
3. After Ramadan, fasting in the month of Muharram is most rewardable.
4. Muharram is a sacred month because Allah made it sacred along with three other months and told us about it in the Quran.
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; therefore be not unjust to yourselves regarding them.” [Surah 9:At-Taubah, Verse 36]
Prophet Muhammad (saw) informed us about the four sacred months in the following narration:
“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…” [Bukhari Vol 004, Book 054, Hadith 419]
Fasting During The Month Of Muharram
The Holy Prophet said,
“The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram.”
Narrated by Mother of the Believers 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 02, Book 026, Hadith Number 662]
“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]
Historical Facts About Muharram
1. Musa (as) and the Bani Israel were saved from the Pharaoh by the parting of the sea on 10th Muharram.
2. One of the historical facts about the month of Muharram is the Prophet Musa (AS) used to fast on the day of Ashura and Jews did the same.
3. On hearing this, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ordered all the Muslims to fast on this day and himself did the same.
4. 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.
Ibn e Abbas (RA) narrated: “When the Prophet came to Medina, he found (the Jews) fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ (i.e. 10th of Muharram). They used to say: “This is a great day on which Allah saved Moses and drowned the folk of Pharaoh. Moses observed the fast on this day, as a sign of gratitude to Allah.” The Prophet said, “I am closer to Moses than they.” So, he observed the fast (on that day) and ordered the Muslims to fast on it. [Bukhari: Vol 4, Book 055, Hadith Number 609]
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 be 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.” [Muslim: Book 006, Hadith Number 2529]
May Allah forgive us and accept our prayers. Ameen!