Recited by – Salah Alhashim
Recited by – Salah Alhashim
Muharram: The Month of AllahFrom As-Sunnah Bimonthly Islamic NewsletterThe Islamic Year initiates with a sacred month – the month of Allah: Muharram
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year) so was it ordained by Allah on the day, when he created the Heaven and the Earth; of them four are Sacred – that is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein….” [Soorah at-Tawbah (9): 36]The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The year is of twelve months, four of which are sacred; three consecutive months Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab…”[Saheeh al-Bukharee] and he said: “The best of fast after Ramadaan is in the month of Allah – ‘Muharram’ and the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer during night.” [Saheeh Muslim]The phrase ‘Allah’s month’ connecting the ‘month’ to the name of Allah is a grammatical structure, signifying the importance, status and adoration of this month with Allah. One should be very careful to avoid sins in this month because just as good deeds have a greater reward in this month, sins are in it more abominable. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) commented about the (above-mentioned) verse “…so wrong not yourselves therein….” [Soorah at-Tawbah (9): 36] saying: “It is referred to all the months, but four months were singled out and made more sacred, violation of these months is a grave sin; sins committed during these months are more serious, and good deeds during these months will be more greatly rewarded.”
THE MOST VIRTUOUS DAY OF THIS MONTH
The most virtuous day of this month is the day of Ashoorah – the tenth of Muharram. It is reported in Saheeh al-Bukharee, when Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) came to Madeenah, he saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashoorah. He said: ‘What is this?’ They said: ‘This is the day when Allah saved Moosa from drowning, so we fast on this day.’ Then he said: “We have more right to Moosa than you.” So he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) fasted on this day and advised the Muslims to do the same.Also, Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) narrated: “When Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) observed the fast of the day of Ashoorah and ordered (the Sahabah) to fast, they said: “O Messenger of Allah! It is a day revered by Jews and Christians.” Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The coming year, if Allah wills, we will fast on the ninth (also).” [Saheeh Muslim, vol: 1, p: 359]
Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) also reported: “I never saw the Prophet more keen to fast on any day other than the day of Ashoorah and any month than the month of Ramadaan.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]
The phrase ‘more keen’ of Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) indicates that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) looked forward to fast on the day of Ashoorah in order to earn the reward for doing so, he Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): “Fasting the day of Ashoorah, I hope will be an expiation of sins for the year before.” [Saheeh Muslim v: 1, p: 368]Thus, the day of Ashoorah is mercy from Allah and an opportunity for one to get his sins forgiven. It is recommended for the Muslim Ummah to fast both the tenth and the ninth of Muharram since Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) fasted the tenth and intended to fast the ninth. Another important thing to be understood here is that voluntary fasts are expiation for minor sin, as long as one completely refrains from major sins and is always cautious about minor sins. Some people who are deceived rely greatly on voluntary worships (like the day of Ashoorah or the day of Arafat) – to the extent that some of them say, fasting on Ashoorah will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of Arafat will bring extra rewards.
One should bear in mind that fasting in Ramadaan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of Arafat and Ashoorah. When the two things (performing the obligatory worships and avoiding the prohibitions) are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins. Thus, the month of Muharram is a very sacred month. However, a number of innovations have been added to it based on false beliefs, extremism and ignorance, such that special gatherings are held, mourning and wailing, tearing one’s garments and grieving. Also, from the innovations is what people commemorate in this month as a celebration, like cooking special foods, buying the provision of the year on this day, etc.
The story behind these practices can be put in picture from the death of Husayn Ibn Ali (radhi allahu anhu) (the grandson of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). He was martyred by sinful and wrongdoers on the day of Ashoorah and this created a great tribulation among the people. It was because the Rafidhi group made an outwardly show of allegiance to the Ahl-e-Bayth (the Prophet’s (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) family), although inwardly they were either heretics or ignorant or disbelievers and bound by whims and desires.Another group were the Nasibi, who hated Ali (radhi allahu anhu) because of troubles and killings that had occurred between them. Both these groups were misguided.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “In (the tribe of) Thakeef, there will be a liar and an oppressor.” [Saheeh Muslim] The liar was al-Mukhtaar Ibn Abi Ubayd al-Thaqafi, who was a Rafidhi and he killed Ubayd Allah Ibn Ziyaad (the governor of Iraq), who had equipped the killers of Husayn Ibn Ali (radhi allahu anhu). This person proved to be a liar, when he claimed Prophet-hood and that Jibreel came to him with Divine revelation. As for the oppressor, he was al-Hajjaj Ibn Yoosuf al-Thaqafi, who was a Nasibi. A great fighting took place between these two groups and they both took different turns on the death of al-Husayn Ibn Ali (radhi allahu anhu) and they both went to extremes; one wailed and mourned in order to show their sorrow and the other rejoiced due to enmity and they both were wrong because of the following reasons:WHAT SHOULD ONE DO UPON HEARING THE NEWS OF DEATH?
Indeed, the death of al-Husayn Ibn Ali (radhi allahu anhu) was a tragic event in the Muslim history. However, it should be treated like any other tragedy. To commemorate a certain day or days of mourning is not sanctioned by Islam – such practices show ignorance. Islam teaches that when a disaster strikes or when one hears about a Muslim’s death, the believer should remind himself that all good and bad comes from Allah and he should bear the agony with patience and fortitude because Allah says: “Give glad tidings to al-Saabiroon (the patient ones), who when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those upon whom are as-salawat (the blessings meaning who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are guided ones.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 155-157]
And the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is reported to have said: “There is no man who suffers a calamity, and when he is remembered it, even if it is old, he says: ‘Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi raji’oon’ ‘Truly to Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return.’ Allah will give him reward equal to the reward He gave him on the day he suffered the calamity.” [Musnad Ahmad and Ibn Majah]Hussain is the narrator of this report and it is communicated by Fatima (radhi allahu anha) who herself was present at Karbala. This is how Allah honors the believers, thus if the incident of al-Husayn’s (radhi allahu anhu) death is mentioned today after such long time and the believer says: “Truly to Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return” then this would bring him reward.
But Shaytaan made the opposite attractive to those who are mislead; they grieve and wail, recite poems of grief and narrate stories filled with lies. Whatever truth there may be in these stories, they serves no purpose other than the renewal of their grief and sectarian feeling, and the stirring up of hatred and hostility among the Muslims and cause much trouble for the Ummah and also help the Kuffar by doing so.The second group, Nasibi and those who try to fight evil with evil, corruption with corruption, lies with lies and bid’ah with bid’ahs opposed the Rafidhi by fabricating reports in favor of making Ashoorah a day of celebration in order to indicate their stance. They perform special acts of worship, slaughter animals, wear kohl and henna, etc. These groups are equally misguided and guilty of inventing such practices; both of them are in error and their practices are equally undesirable. By such practices they have deprived themselves of fasting on the blessed day of Ashoorah, though fasting on this day is in agreement with the Sharee’ah. This is what Shaitaan intends that we be distracted from the right way and once he succeeds in his plan, it is immaterial for him which groups is joined by people as both ones are misguided.
Thus, both these groups go against the Sunnah, and our way is the way of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, because Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Those of you who live after my death will see many disputes. I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my rightly guided Caliphs who come after me. Hold onto it as if biting it with your teeth. Beware, of newly-innovated matters, for every innovation is a going astray.” And he said in his last sermon: “I leave behind me two things, the Qur’aan and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.”Finally, we ask Allah to grant us the ability of sincerely worshiping Him and in accordance to the Sunnah of His beloved Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).
The Month of Dhul-Hijjah
By the Grace of Allaah we have started the month of Dhul-Hijjah (the month of Hajj or Pilgrimage), in which Allaah has marked out, for both the pilgrims and the non-pilgrims, some very blessed days. So we shall mention here some of the virtues and rewardful acts that are connected to these blessed days.
DOING GOOD DEEDS IN GENERAL:
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best and most virtuous days of the year. They are the days in which Allaah the Mighty and Majestic – most loves the doing of good deeds. About this the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The best days in the world are the ten days.” 
Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Indeed, its days are the most excellent of all the days with Allaah. And it has been confirmed in Saheehul-Bukhaaree (2/382), from Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa) who said, that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There ore no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these (ten) days.” He was then asked, ‘Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah?’ So he replied, “Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah, except for a person who goes out with his self and his wealth, and comes back with nothing.” And it is these ten days that Allaah has taken an oath by in His Book, by His saying,
“By the Dawn and by the Ten Nights.” [Sooratul-Fajr 89:1-2]
This is why it is recommended to increase in making takbeer (saying Allaahu akbar), tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha illallaah) and tamheed (saying Alhamdulillaah) during these days …”
The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There are no days that are greater with Allaah, and in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days. So increase in making tasbeeh (saying Subhaanallaah), tamheed, tahleel and takbeer, during them.”
FASTING THE DAY OF ’ARAFAH:
The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of ’Arafah, since it is on this day that the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of ’Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. It is mustahabb (highly recommended) for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day, since the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was asked about fasting on the day of ’Arafah, so he said, “It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.”  Likewise, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘There is no day on which Allaah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ’Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” 
Imaam at-Tirmidhee (d.275H) – rahimahullaah – said, “The People of Knowledge consider it recommended to fast on the day of ’Arafah, except for those at ’Arafah.” 
SLAUGHTERING ON THE DAY OF AN-NAHR AND ’EEDUL-ADHAA OR THE FOLLOWING THREE DAYS:
The tenth day of Dhul-Hiijah is known as the day of an-Nahr (slaughtering), since it marks the ending of the major rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage), and commemorates the bounty and mercy of Allaah – the Most High – in that He gave His beloved Prophet Ibraaheem – ’alayhis-salaam – a ram to sacrifice in place of his firstborn son Ismaa’eel – ’alayhis-salaam. And out of the ten best days of the year, it is the day of an-Nahr which is the most excellent day of the year with Allaah.
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said, “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Friday, by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. And some of them said that it is the day of ’Arafah. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The most excellent days with Allaah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Minaa).” ” 
The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The greatest day of the Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” 
The day of an-Nahr is also known as ’Eedul-Adhaa (the Festivity of Sacrifice) and is one of the two major festivals that Allaah has granted to this Ummah. Anas (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said, ‘The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came to al-Madeenah and the people of al-Madeenah had – since the times of jaahiliyyah (Pre-lslaamic Ignorance) – two days which they marked out for play and amusement. So the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘I came to you, and you had two days of play and amusement in the times of jaahiliyyah. But Allaah has replaced them with something better for you: The day of al-Adhaa (sacrificing) and the day of al-Fitr (ending the Fast).” 
The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) also said, “The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashreeq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of ’Eed (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” 
’Eedul-Adhaa, is a day in which the Muslims slaughter a camel, cow, sheep or goat, in commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibraaheem – ’alayis-salaam. And this sacrifice is an obligation upon all those who have the means to do so – according to the most correct opinion of the Scholars.  The basis of this is the Prophet’s (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “One who has the ability to sacrifice, but chooses not to do so, should not approach our place of (’Eed) Prayer.”  And his (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “Whosoever sacrificed before the Prayer, then let him do so again. But whosoever has not sacrificed, then let him sacrifice.”  So this order refers to those who have the ability to do so – and Allaah knows best.
As regards those who intends to sacrifice – normally the head of the household – then they are prohibited from cutting their hair or nails, starting from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah up until after the sacrifice. Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When the ten days start, and one of you intends to sacrifice, then let him not cut his hair or his nails.” 
GLORIFYING ALLAAH WITH THE TAKBEER:
From the day of ’Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), up until the ’Asr Prayer on the thirteen day, are days in which the takbeeraat (saying Allaahu Akbar) should be said. Imaam al-Khattaabee (d.456H) – rahimahullaah – said, “The wisdom behind saying the takbeeraat in these days is that in the times of jaahiliyyah (pre-lslaamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their tawaagheet (false objects of worship). So the takbeeraat were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allaah alone, and by mentioning only His – the Mighty and Majestic – Name.” 
Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah – rahimahullaah – said, “All praise be to Allaah. The most correct saying concerning the takbeer – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imaams were upon – is to begin making the takbeer from Fajr (dawn) on the day of ’Arafah, up until the last day of at-Tashreeq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” 
Ibn Abee Shaybah relates, “That ’Alee (radiyallaahu ’anhu) used to make the takbeer beginning after the Fajr Prayer on the day of ’Arafah, up until after the ’Asr Prayer on the last day of at-Tashreeq.” 
As regards the actual wording of the takbeeraat, then nothing authentic has been related from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). However, certain wordings have been authentically related from a group of Companions. From them:
Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ’anhu) would say, “Allaah is great, Allaah is great. None has the right to be worshipped except Him. And Allaah is great, Allaah is great. And to Him belongs all praise. [Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Laa ilaahaa illallaah, wallaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar wa lillaahil-hamd.]” 
Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said, “Allaah is great, Allaah is great, Allaah is great, and to Allaah belongs all praise. Allaah is greater and Sublime. Allaah is greater to what He has guided us to. [Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa lillaahil-hamd. Allaahu akbar wa ajalla. Allaahu akbar ’alaa maa hadaanaa.]” 
Unfortunately, many Muslims have neglected the takbeer established from our Salaf (Pious Predecessors) and have instead resorted to additions which have no basis at all.
Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr (d.856H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Indeed, additions have been invented upon this day, which have no basis at all.” 
And may Allaah have mercy upon the one who said,
“Every good is in following the Salaf; And every evil is in the innovations of the late-comers.”
And all praise is for Allaah, Lord of the worlds. And may Allaah extol and send the choicest blessings of peace upon our Leader, Muhammad, and upon his Family, his Companions, and all those who follow them.
 Saheeh: Related by al-Bazzaar (1/234). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 1133).
 Refer to Zaadul-Ma’aad (1/56).
 Saheeh: Related by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (3/110/1) It was authenticated by al-Mundharee in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (2/24).
 Related by Muslim (no. 1162), from Aboo Qataadah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).
 Related by Muslim (no. 1348), from ’Aa‘ishah (radiyallaahu ’anhaa).
 Refer to Jaami’ut-Tirmidhee (3/377).
 Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 1765), from ’Abdullaah Ibn Qart (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Irwaa‘ul-Ghaleel (no. 2018).
 Refer to Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (25/288).
 Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 1945), from Ibn ’Umar (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in al-lrwaa‘ (no. 1101).
 Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (3/103).it was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Bulooghul-Maraam (no. 398).
 Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (no. 1945), from ’Uqbah Ibn ’Aamir (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 8192).
 As explained by Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (23/162-164).
 Hasan: Related by Ibn Maajah (no. 3123), from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Takhreej Mushkilatul-Fiqr (no. 398).
 Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 5562) and Muslim (no. 1960), from Jundub Ibn ’Abdullaah al-Bajalee (radiyallaahu ’anhu).
 Related by Muslim (no. 1977), from Umm Salamah (radiyallaahu ’anhaa).
 Quoted from Fathul-Baaree (21/586).
 Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (24/220). However, what seems more correct is not to restrict the takbeeraat to being just after every Prayer, as al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr pointed out in Fathul-Baaree (21/587).
 Related by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf (2/1/2). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in al-lrwaa‘ (31/125).
 Related by Ibn Abee Shaybah with an authentic chain of narration
 Related by al-Bayhaqee (3/315) with an authentic chain of narration.
 Fathul-Baaree (2/536).
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: The Prophet said, “Amongst the trees, there is a tree, the leaves of which do not fall and is like a Muslim. Tell me the name of that tree.” Everybody started thinking about the trees of the desert areas. And I thought of the date-palm tree. The others then asked, “Please inform us what is that tree, O Allah’s Apostle?” He replied, “It is the date-palm tree.” –Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 59
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