Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar.
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 MuharraAnniversariesm 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.
Some Muslims fast during this day, because it is recorded in the hadith (citation needed) that Musa (Moses) and his people obtained a victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh on the 10th day of Muharram; accordingly Islamic prophet Muhammad asked Muslims to fast on this day, and also a day extra either before or after, so that they are not similar to Jews (since, according to him, Jews used to fast for one day due to the same reason, and many practices recorded in the hadith are specifically performed to avoid any apparent similarity to those of contemporary neighbouring Jews and Christians). Many Muslims cook something sweet like sweet rice and distribute it throughout their family and circle of friends to eat when breaking their fast.
Sunni Muslims also fast during Muharram for the first ten days of Muharram, or just the tenth day, or on both the ninth and tenth days; the exact term depending on the individual.
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).”
(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
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
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 enemies
– 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 Pharoah
– The Birth of Hadrat Ibrahim (Alayhi Asallam)
10th – Martyrdom of Imam Hussain at Karbala
11th – Ghiyarwee Sharif ; Hadrat Shaykh Abd’al-Qadir al-Jilani
13th – Urs ; Mufti-e-Azam Had Mustafa Raza Khan Bareilly Sh.
20th – Wissal ; Hadrat Bilal
25th – Birth ; Hadrat Imam Hassan
26th – Urs ; Hadrat Tajul Awliya, Baba Tajuddin, Nagpur Shareef