Significance of 10 days of Muharram

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers has asked this question:

Muhharaam

Pls explain very clearly the significance of the 10 days of Muhharaam, especially the day of Ashura and what has Allah and Prophet (Saws) said about it.

 

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Answer:

 

Significance of 10 days of Muharram

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

The month of Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Hijrah calendar.  Muharram is also one of the four ‘haraam’ or sacred months as mentioned by Allah in the Holy Quran.  The other sacred months are Dhil-Qada, Dhil-Hajja and Rajab.  Even the pagans of Makkah used to respect these months before the advent of Islam, and they would not fight wars or do any hostilities in these sacred months.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 36: The fact is that the number of months ordained by Allah has been twelve since the time He created the heavens and the earth, and out of these, four are forbidden months. This is the right code of reckoning, therefore, do not wrong yourselves by violating these months.

 

It has been reported in an authentic narration that somebody asked the Prophet (saws): “Which prayer is the best after the obligatory prayers?”   He (saws) said: “Prayer during the middle of the night.”   The person asked: “Which fast is the best after the fast of Rarnadan?”   He (saws) said, “The month of Allah that you call Muharram.”

 

It has been reported in an authentic narration that when the Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of 'Ashurah’. He asked them: “What is this fast?”  They said: “A great day. Allah saved Moses and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore, Moses fasted on this day.”  The Prophet (saws) said: “We (muslims) have more of a right to Moses than you,” so he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) fasted on the day of 'Ashurah and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said: “O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.”   The Prophet (saws) said, “When the following year comes--Allah willing--we shall fast on the ninth (of Muharram also).”   The death of the Prophet came before the following year."

 

It has also been reported, amongst many other narrations, that the 10th of Muharram was the day when Adam (a.s.) and Hawwa met on this earth on the plains of Arafat.   It has also been reported that it was this day of Aashura, that the ark of Noah reached its destination or embarked on Mount Judi.   It has also been reported that Prophet Ayub (a.s.) was cured of his diseases on this day of Aashura. It has also been reported that Prophet Yunus (a.s.) was forgiven by Allah and released from the stomach of the fish on this day of Aashura.  

 

The month of Muharram and especially the day of Aashura marks a very sorry, sad, and painful day in the history of Islam. It was on this day of Aashura that the grandson of our beloved Messenger of Allah (saws), Imam Hussain ibn Ali  (r.a.) and his family were ruthlessly martyred on the fields of Karbala. This was one of the darkest days in the annuls of Islamic history, and every muslim, no matter what sect of Islam he claims to belong to, should feel pain and sorrow in his heart.  

 

But Allah and His Messenger (saws) did not allow us to do ‘matam’ or physically beat ourselves, and wail over our martyrs. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration that: “He is not a believer who wails, beats himself, and tears his clothes, when afflicted by a calamity.”   Every muslim should feel the pain and sorrow in his heart, and pray to Allah to grant all the martyrs of Karbala the highest honor in Paradise, on the Day of Judgment.

 

But to spend the day of Aashura in waling and beating ourselves is not a part of the deen of Islam.  Some sects have huge gatherings, where they recite the stories with extra ingredients, and wail and cry and beat themselves in frenzy!  These acts have absolutely no place in Islam, and are nothing but innovations.  Allah will reward the martyrs of Karbala for their deeds, and Allah will punish the murderers for their deeds, and Allah will not ask us about their deeds:

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 134: They were a people who passed away.  They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you shall have the reward of what you will earn.   And you will not be questioned as to what they did.

 

The above aayah is one of the principles of Islam. Allah will reward each and everyone for their deeds, and we will not be asked about the deeds of others.

 

Thus, it is not a part of Islam to beat ourselves and wail for any calamity that might have befallen us or on anybody we love.   Allah is sufficient to account for the good deeds as well as the bad deeds on the Day of Judgment.   But if we wail, cry and beat ourselves physically, to please some of the martyrs of Karbala, or anybody else other than Allah, hoping that these martyrs will recognize and appreciate our efforts on the Day of Judgement, then this becomes more than following an innovation; it becomes ‘shirk’, and ‘shirk’ is an abomination of a sin!   

 

And Allah Alone Knows Best, and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

May Allah guide us to the Straight Path of Islam.

 

May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam, 

 

 

Burhan

 

 

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