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1st Month in the Islamic Calendar : Muharram

     Contrary to popular belief, Muharram is not a particular day, but
       the name of a month that marks the beginning of the year according
       to the Islamic calendar. Muharram is one of four months that have
       been designated as holy according to the Islamic calendar, the other
       three being – Dhul-Qa’adah, Dhul-Hijjah and Rajab. 


                               Fasting in the month of Muharram

       Fasting is advocated in the month of Muharram. The Prophet (Salla
       Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi Sallam) is believed to have said: “The
       best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of
       Muharram.” Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not
       obligatory, yet one who fasts in these days out of his own will is
       entitled to a great reward by Allah Almighty. Fasting on the tenth
       day of Muharram, called Ashura, is particularly important, as it
       supposed to lead to great rewards. A person does not have to fast
       for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month
       has merit. It is recommended to fast at least two days .... the ninth
       and tenth of Muharram.

Mausoleum of Imam Husayn
                                              (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)
                                                            Kerbala, Iraq.

                                    Muharram – an auspicious time 

        The month of Muharram is also associated with many auspicious
        events in Islamic history. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) created the
        heavens and the earth on this blessed day. On this day He give His
        infinite blessings and bounties to many of His Prophets (may Allah
        bless them) and delivered them from the clutches of their enemies.

        Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) created Hadrat Adam (alaihi asalam)
        in this month and pardoned him of his mistake. Hadrat Noah’s Ark
        landed successfully on Mount Judi during this time centuries ago.
        God is also said to have saved Hadrat Ibrahim (alaihi asalam) from
        fire and rescued Hadrat Musa from the Pharaoh during the month of

        You must be wondering what else there is to remember then?  The
        tenth day of Muharram or Ashura is of supreme importance for all
        Muslims as they remember the martyrdom anniversary of Hadrat
        Imam Hussain (Radi Allahu tala anhu), the beloved grandson of
        the Most Noble & Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala
        'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam). 

                                               The tragedy at Karbala

        In the month of Muharram many centuries ago, (approximately
        October 20th 680 A.D.), an event took place in Iraq at a place
        known as Karbala on the bank of the river Euphrates.

        A large army, which had been mobilised by the Umayyad regime,
        besieged a group of persons numbering less than a hundred and
        put them under pressure to pay allegiance to the Caliph of the time
        and submit to his authority. The Caliph was a man much taken with
        earthly pleasures that deviated from the Islamic way of life. The
        small group resisted and a severe battle took place in which they
        were all killed. The leader of the small band of men who were
        martyred in Karbala was none other than Imam Husain (Radi
        Allahu tala anhu), the grandson of the Most Beloved Prophet
        (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam).

        Imam Husain’s (Radi Allahu tala anhu) martyrdom at Kerbala
        represents a conscious confrontation with anti-Islamic forces and
        a courageous resistance for a sacred cause. The tragedy was that
        the one who stood up to defend Islam was cut down in so cruel a
        manner. It is for this reason that the death of Imam Husain (Radi
        Allahu tala anhu) is remembered annually in the Muslim world.


The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)


Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu) relates: I heard the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) say: "It is the day of ‘Ashura. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it." [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Qatada (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu) relates that the Beloved Nabi (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Huraira (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu) reports that the Beloved Nabi (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) said that after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence. [Sahih Muslim]

Alhamdulillah, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) has blessed us to see another year. The first month of this year is Muharram. In this month is an excellent day—the day of ‘Ashura—which falls on the 10th of Muharram. The Most Beloved Nabi (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) recommended that we fast on this day, by his Sunnah. He also indicated how we should observe the fast of ‘Ashura.

Hakam ibn Al-Arat  (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu) relates: I went to Ibn Abbas  (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu)… I said to him: Tell me about fasting on ‘Ashura. He said, "When you seen the new moon of Muharram count the (days) and (begin to) observe fast on the 9th." I said to him: "Is it how the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) observed the fast?" He said, "Yes." [Sahih Muslim]

Hadrat Ibn Abbas (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu) relates that when the Beloved Nabi (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) said: "If I survive till next year, I will definitely observe fast on the 9th of Muharram (as well)." [Sahih Muslim]

(Note: What the Beloved Nabi (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) meant was that he would also fast on the 9th as well as the 10th to which he was accustomed. We also should try fasting on the 9th and the 10th of Muharram.)

The Historical Significance of ‘Ashura

Hadrat Ibn Abbas (Radi Allahu ta'ala 'anhu) reports that the Beloved Nabi (Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) arrived in Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura… They said: "It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Hadrat Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Sayyadina Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it." The Beloved Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) responded: "We have more right, and we have closer connection with Sayyadina Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) than you have"; so Allah’s Beloved Messenger (Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam) observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

‘Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day: Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyadina Adam ('Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise; Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) saved Sayyadina Nuh ('Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyadina Ibrahim ('Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) spoke directly to Sayyadina Musa ('Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyadina Ayyub ('Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy); Sayyadina Yusuf ('Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub ('Alaihis-Salaam); Sayyadina Yunus ('Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of israel was delivered from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day the kingdom of Sulaiman ('Alaihis-Salaam) was restored; Sayyadina Isa ('Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah; and Sayyadina al-Husayn  (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu) (the Beloved Nabi’s, Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam, grandson) achieved the honour of Martyrdom.

Worship Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) as much as you can on ‘Ashura. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) will grant him a reward that will not be decreased. Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person or gives water to a thirsty man, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And who ever takes a Ghusl on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and indolence. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) will be generous to him throughout this year. And whoever applies Kuhl to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again, Insha’Allah al-Aziz

O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds and gain their reward on ‘Ashura. Make the new year one of unity, cooperation and success for Muslims in this city and around the world. Ameen. 

Key dates and Important Anniversaries of Muharram

  1st    - Islamic New Year,

  1st    - Wissal Shaykh Abul Hassan Ali Bukhari, Baghdad Shareef 

  1st    - Birth ; Hadrat Umar Farooq, 

  1st    - Birth ; Hadrat Shahabuddin Suharwardi

  2nd   - Urs ;  Pir Jamal Shah Bin Murtaza 

  2nd   - Wissal Hadrat Khwaja Ma'roof Kirki, Baghdad Shareef 

  4th   -  Wissal Hadrat Khwaja Hassan Basri 

  5th    - Urs ;  Hadrat Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar 

  6th   -  Chatti Shareef, Khawaja Gharib-e-Nawaz, Ajmer Shareef

  8th    - Wissal ; Hadrat Imam Zayn al-Abideen Medina Munawwara

  8th    - Urs ;  Hadrat Mawlana Hashmat Ali Khan, Pilibit Shareef  

  9th    - Shab-e-Ashura Amal 

 10th   - Yaum-e-Ashura Amal 

 10th   - Allah Ta'ala Created the Heavens and Earth. 

           - On this Very Day would be the Day of Qiyyamah (Judgement).

           - Allah swt gave his infinite blessings and bounties to many
             of his Prophets and delivered them from the clutches of the

           - Ship of Hadrat Noah came to rest on Mount Al-Judi.

           - Hadrat Ayyub (Alayhi Asallam) was delivered from distress.

           - Hadrat Yunus (Alayhi Asallam) was cast onto the shore
             after being swallowed by a fish for 40 days .

           - Hadrat Moosa (Alayhi Asallam) got victory over the 

           - The Birth of  Hadrat Ibrahim (Alayhi Asallam)

 10th   - Martyrdom of Imam Hussain at Karbala 

 10th   - Hadrat Sayyadi Shah Barkatullah Ishki, Mahrehah Shareef 

 11th   - Urs ;  Pir Rahmat Shah Saheb, Gojarkhan, Rawalpindi.
 11th   - Ghiyarwee Sharif ; Hadrat Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani 

 13th   - Urs ;  Mufti-e-Azam Had Mustafa Raza Khan Bareilly Sh. 

 19th   - Wissal Hadrat Sayyad Ahmad al-Jilani, Baghdad Shareef

 20th   - Wissal ;  Hadrat Bilal

 20th   - Wissal ; Hadrat Shah Waliyullah Dhelvi

 21st   - Wissal ; Mawlana Muhammad Nazir al-Akram Sahib Naeemi 

 21st   - Urs ;  Hadrat Zinda Pir,Ghamkhol Shareef,

 25th   - Birth ; Hadrat Imam Hassan 

 26th   - Urs ; Hadrat Tajul Awliya, Baba Tajuddin, Nagpur Shareef

 28th   - Urs; Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir,Kicchocha Shareef.

     Ridwanallahi ta'ala m'ajmaim

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