Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Islamic New Year 1434

Alhamdulillah the new Islamic Hijri year 1434 is here . The first month of Hijri year is named Muharram. This is one of the sacred months of Islam. According to hadith, this month is named as the month of Allah Subhana wa ta'ala. I always get quite excited at the beginning of a year as I feel it's a great opportunity to renew our intention to please our Rabb and do more worship, at least plan to do more worship inshAllah. Couple of years ago, I came across a beautiful dua I read in a journal published by Zaytuna institute ( Seasons). I love doing the dua at the start of a year. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala accept the dua from us. The dua is given below:
"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful and God bless our Master Muhammad and his family and grant them peace. O Allah, whatever actions I have committed this past year which have not pleased You, which I may have forgotten though You do not forget, while You are forbearing with me though fully capable of punishing me, while You called me to relent and atone even after my audaciousness before You - O Allah, I surely seek Your forgiveness for that, so forgive me! O Allah, and as for my actions that have pleased You and for which recompense and forgiveness has been promised, please accept them from me. And do not dash my hopes in You, O Generous, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. And Allah, the Exalted, bless our Master Muhammad and his family and companions and grant them peace."
As Muharram is one of the sacred months, it is recommended to fast any time during this month. There is a great post written by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani that I love reading. You can have a look to get some idea of what actions you can perform during this great month.
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Duties of the Month of Muharram

1. It is the best of months for general voluntary fasts, after Ramadan.
2. It is especially recommended to fast the 10th of Muharram (known as the Day of `Ashura), with a day before it or after it. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Kasanis al-Badai`]
3. It is also virtuous to give in charity on this day.
Extracts from Ibn Rajabs Lataif al-Ma`arif, regarding the month of Muharram:
The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram and Its First Ten Days
Muslim reported from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said , "The best of fasts after the month of Ramadan are in the Month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer." [Muslim, 1163]
This refers to general voluntary fasts according to Imam Ibn Rajab (Allah have mercy on him): These are best in the month of Muharram, just as the best general voluntary prayer is night prayer.
The virtue and honor of this month can be attested to by the fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) called it, the Month of Allah.  (Shahr Allah) Such ascription is only made by Allah to the most special of His creation, such as the ascription of the Prophets Muhammad, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ya`qub, and others to his slavehood (Allah's peace and blessings be on them all), and His ascription of the House (Ka`ba) and the camel to himself.
Given that Allah ascribed fasting, between all spiritual works, to Himself [saying, "It is Mine"] it was suitable that this month, which is also ascribed to Allah, be selected for this particular form of worship.
Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord. This is why Allah Mighty and Exalted says, [in the divine hadith (hadith qudsi)], " Every action of the son of Adam is his, except for fasting. It is Mine, and it is I who reward it." [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra]
 
The Day of `Ashura: The Tenth of Muharram
It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) that he was asked about fasting the Day of `Ashura [10th of Muharram]. He said, "I did not see the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fast a day while more avid to seek its virtue than this day,  meaning the Day of `Ashura." [Bukhari (2006), and Muslim (1132)].
The Day of `Ashura has great virtue, and tremendous sanctity (hurma). The virtue of fasting it was known among the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Both Prophet Nuh and Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) fasted it.
The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to fast this day even in Mecca, though he had not yet ordered others to do so, as mentioned in both Bukhari and Muslim. [Bukhari (2002), Muslim (1125)]
When he migrated to Medina, and found the People of the Book fasting this day and venerating it, he ordered the Muslims to fast it, and encouraged it so much that even the children would fast it.
It has been reported in both Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), that, "When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) reached Medina, he found the Jews fasting the Day of `Ashura, so he asked them, "What is this day you are fasting?" They said, "This is a tremendous day. Allah saved Musa and his people on this day and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted it out of thanks, so we fast it too." The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, "And we are more deserving of Musa than you are." So he fasted this day, and ordered that it be fasted. [Bukhari (2004) and Muslim (1130)]
At the end of his life, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) made the determination not to fast this day alone, but with another day [either before or after it], in order to be different from the People of the Book.
It has been reported in the Sahih of Imam Muslim (Allah have mercy on him), also from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that, "When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fasted the Day of `Ashura and ordered his companions to fast it, they said, O Messenger of Allah! This is a day that the Jews and Christians venerate. So the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, "When next year comes if Allah wills, we will fast the Ninth [of Muharram with it]." But the next year did not come before the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) passed away. [Muslim (1134), Abu Dawud (2445)]
And it is reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him), from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Fast the Day of `Ashura and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it." [Ahmad]
Giving in Charity on the Day of `Ashura
It has been reported from Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be pleased with him), that "Whoever fasts `Ashura, it is as if he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year."
Mourning on the 10th of Muharram is an Innovation
As for the mourning and grieving of the Shia' on this day because of the martyrdom of Sayyiduna Husayn ibn Ali (Allah be pleased with him and his father), this is of the actions of those whose actions in this life are misguided while they think that they are doing well. Neither Allah Most High nor His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace) commanded us to mourn on the days of the tribulations of the Prophets, or their deaths, let alone anyone else.
[ The fuqaha have mentioned that it is an innovation to consider Muharram a month of mourning. It is not disliked to marry in this month. It is a highly reprehensible innovation to participate in the rituals of the Shia' in mourning the death of Husayn (Allah be pleased with him).]
 
Some of the Virtues of the Day of `Ashura
It is a day in which Allah forgave an entire people. Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to a man, "If you want to fast a month after Ramadan, then fast Muharram, for it has a day in which Allah forgave an entire people, and He turns to others in repentance in." [Tirmidhi (841)]
And Allah alone gives success.
Source: http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?ID=779
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There is also great talks on the month of Muharram. Do listen inshAllah and please keep us in your precious duas. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala forgive us, shower His Mercy on us and bless us with jannatul ferdous and the amazing opportunity to see Him, ameen!
Sheikh Bilal Ismail: Month of Muharram and the day of Ashura

The Month of Muharram - By Sheikh Shady Al-Suleiman

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