Muharram,What Does it mean to Me?
What does Muharram mean to you ? I Remember that When I was a child ,the concept that I had about Muharram was that it was a Day of ” huge processions full with tazias, (replicas of the tomb of Husain RA) . The Men used to buy toy swords for the boys and used to take them to the procession and the girls used to climb to the roof of the house to watch the Procession . Women used to Prepare special sweets and dishes and People would line streets with streamers and lamps .
When I used to ask Why We Observe Muharram ? No One could answer me what Muharram was all about because they didn’t really had a clear information about Muharram and they mixed the Shias and Sunni Aqeedah .People would reply that since they commemorated the martyrdom of Imam Hussain RA, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad SAW so they took part in these Procession out of Respect .
Strangely Not all Muslims Know that chest-thumping, flagellating crowds and many other practices done in Muharram are bid’ahs(innovations) that have no basis in the Qur’an or Sunnah . Morever self flagellation is a Practice of SHIA Muslims .It is reported in al-Saheeh that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “he is not one of us who strikes his cheeks, rends his garments and prays with the prayer of Jaahiliyyah.” And he said: “I have nothing to do with those who strike [their cheeks], shave [their heads] and rend [their garments].”
Our behavior during this month should be like the behavior of the Sahabah, not one of mourning, neither one of celebration. Rather, we should value Muharram as one of Allaah’s sacred months in which we should strive to do good deeds and be extra careful of sinning. We should try and fast as much as we can in this month, especially the 9th and 10th. We should not be superstitious about it (or for anything else, for that matter) and if someone wants to get married during it, they may.
This is because Muharram is one of the four months that are SACRED in the eyes of Allah.
“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve (in a year): It was so ordained, by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]
These four months, according to the Prophet (pbuh) are Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. (Bukhaari).
Last Year I wrote a detailed Post Educate Yourself on Muharram and Ashura . It is very important that as a Responsible Muslim We educate ourself about Muharram and how it means different things to SHIA and Sunni. (Don’t understand me WRONG , What I mean to say is know your aqeedah ).
Muharram is a month of serious reflections .
We should realize that We are witnessing a Sacred Month and Should act upon it . The Month of Muharram is a Blessed Month . It is one of the Sacred Symbols of Allah swt and we should respect it.
Based on the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (saws), Sunni Muslims celebrate Ashura as the day when Prophet Moses (Moosa) fasted on that day because Allah saved the Israelites from their enemy in Egypt. One of the many Ahadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) that attests to that is in Bukhari that states:
Narrated by al-Bukhari (1865) from Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: The Prophet (saws) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashoora. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa fasted on this day.” He (the Prophet Muhammad) said, “We are closer to Moosa (Prophet Moses) than you.”
So Prophet Muhammad fasted on this day in Muharram and told the people to fast.
In this month of Muharram we are reminded of the great sacrifices made for the Deen of Islam. Rasulullah SAW and his companions had to leave their beloved Makkah Mukarramah, their homes, and even their families and that too after a long and trying period of immense persecution, torture and trials. The month of Muharram delivers us to the days of Rasulullah (SAW) and we see the many trials and difficulties that the Beloved of Allah Ta’ala underwent. As we turn the pages of history, we see the three solid years of ostracism which were so patiently endured, despite the extreme and severe conditions, where food and drink and other necessities of life were cut off from the Muslims.
Reflecting over that period of struggle we learn that if we say that we believe and that we have submitted, then we too will face different challenges, tests and trials,toil and struggle, and sacrifices will have to be rendered for this Imaan and for this beautiful Deen of Islam.The Hijrah of the Sahabah-e-Kiraam was such an amazing and remarkable expression of sincere love, with most of them leaving behind and sacrificing everything for Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (SAW) to establish this Deen of Islam.As for us : Our Hijrah is to give up sins. Sins which should not even be in our lives! Rasulullah (SAW) said: “And a (true) emigrant is he who abandons all wrongs and sins.”
Scholars say that The shahadat of Hazrat Husain RA was indeed a very tragic incident – the grandson of Rasulullah (SAW)was martyred at Karbala on this day of Aashura. Due to the greatness of the day, we say that Allah Ta’ala multiplied his rewards. Beating the chest, injuring oneself, stabbing oneself, and mourning in an extreme manner is not Islam.
We ask Allah Ta’ala to elevate those pious souls, grant them higher stages and we send sawaab for them, but what is done in the name of Imam Husain RA gives a very wrong impression of Islam. In fact, it has nothing to do with Islam. The different schools of thought (mazaahib) do not accept such behaviour. It is not permissible to participate or even watch such processions.
We take another lesson from the incident of Karbala: Despite being on the plains of Karbala in such a threatening and dangerous circumstance, not one Salaah was missed. Moreover, Hazrat Husain RA still continued reading Qur`aan Sharief and still maintained the purdah of his family, and despite all the hardships faced, remained a rock of patience. SubhanAllah. …Our condition is a far cry. A wedding, party, or a sports match and we miss Salaah upon Salaah; together with compromising on so many other aspects of Deen.
Some Virtues of Muharram(Opportunities for Us)
Muharram is a Month to avoid Wrong Deeds and Sins
Muharram is one of the Sacred Months of Allah swt .Due to its sacredness, any bad deeds done during the sacred months are WORSE than in other months. Qutaadah said concerning the ayah (so wrong not yourselves therein…) that “Wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He wants….” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)
2. Muharram is Month to do Lots of Good Deeds
Good deeds during this month bring a greater reward than in other months.Ibn ‘Abbaas said in the tafseer for the above Ayah, that good deeds done during the four sacred months bring a greater reward. (Ibn Katheer)
3. Muharram is Month to FAST
Fasting during the month of Muharram has special meaning and the Prophet (pbuh) has highly encouraged it.
Abu Hurayrah said:“The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’” (Muslim).
Regarding Fasting on the Day of ‘Aashooraa(10th Muharram) Ibn ‘Abbaas said:
“The Prophet (pbuh) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosa fasted on this day.’ He (pbuh) said, ‘We have more right to Moosa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” (Bukhaari)
4. It is an Opportunity to Seek forgiveness of Sins of Previous Year
If one fasts on the 10th of Muharram, Allaah will forgive the sins of the previous year.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “For fasting the day of ‘Aashooraa’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” (Muslim)
5.In it has Reward of Following the Sunnah
Ibn ‘Abbaas said:
“I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Aashooraa’.” (Bukhaari).
When the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) fasted on ‘Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said, ‘If I live to see the next year, insha Allaah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) passed away before the next year came.” (Muslim).
Some Reminders for this Month –
– 9th Muharram – Day before Ashura (Tasu’a’)
– 10th Muharram – Ashura
– 11th Muharram – Day after Ashura
– 12th Muharram – Sunnah day of fasting
– 13th Muharram – First of the white days of fasting (ayaam ul beed)
– 14th Muharram – white day of fasting
– 15th Muharram – white of fasting
Let us make this month of Muharram the stepping stone to obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (SAW).…Where there is a will, there’s a way. Where there is a sincere effort in the right direction, we will find the assistance of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala grant us correct understanding of Deen and the taufeeq to practise on our knowledge.
N.B : The above article is inspired from the talk of maoulana Yunus Patel sahab .