|Blog - Islam In Focus|
With the sighting of the new moon the Islamic New Year is ushered in. The first month Muharram, is a month of great reward and virtue. Muharram itself means ‘sacred’ and is from those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Holy Qur’an.
"... four of them (Dhul-Qa`dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are sacred." (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:36)
The Day of `Ashura (10 Muharram)
Although the month of Muharram is a sacred month as a whole, the 10th of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is termed `Ashura. It is one of the most important and blessed days in the Islamic calendar.
According to Ibn Abbas (RA), when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) migrated to Madinah, he found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said it was the day on which Prophet Musa (pbuh) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously, and Fir`awn (Pharaoh) was drowned in its water. On hearing this from the Jews, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “We are more closely related to Musa than you.”
So the Prophet (pbuh) directed the Muslims to fast on the day of `Ashura, and that it be preceded or succeeded by an additional fast.
Recommended deeds on the day of `Ashura
The Prophet (pbuh) has exhorted and encouraged his Ummah (followers) to fast on this day. He said: "This fast is a compensation for the (minor) sins of the past year." (Sahih Muslim)
One should also observe the fast of the 9th or 11th of Muharram to safeguard his deed from resemblance with the Jews who fast only on the 10th of Muharram.
One should be generous toward one's family and dependants and spend more on them than what is normally spent. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "One who generously spends on his family on the day of `Ashura, Allah will increase (his provision) for the whole year." (Bayhaqi)
These are the only actions supported by Ahadith (traditions of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh).
Let us observe this great day according to the ways of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions (Sahabah RA), and refrain from all innovations which deprive us of the blessings from Almighty Allah, amin.
- Adapted from www.inter-islam.org/Miscellaneous/muharramreyaz.htm.
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Last Updated (Friday, 10 December 2010 22:58)