Allah Ta`ala expresses his bounty over His creation by favouring some over others. Allah Ta`ala has bestowed His favours on man by preferring him over the creation. Allah Ta`ala says: ‘’And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with the best things(Tayyibat), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preference.‘’(17:70) Allah Ta`ala created the earth and preferred the land of Makkah. And Allah Ta`ala created time and created the moon and the sun for a reference of time. He set two calendars, the solar and the lunar calendar. And Allah Ta`ala preferred the lunar calendar:’’ Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah 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.’’(9:36) Nowhere in the Qur-aan you would find the names of the four sacred months mentioned here. It is only in ahadiths that we can find the names if these 4 months. The beloved prophet SAW said: ‘’..the four sacred months are: the three consecutives are Zil Qa`dah, Zil Hijjah, Muharram and then Rajab.’’(Bukhari)
THE SACREDNESS OF THESE FOUR MONTHS:
Because sanctity of a place or a time increases its value, then it increases the gravity of sins or disrespect committed by that place or during that time. That is why Allah Ta`ala stresses in the above ayah that during these 4 sacred months ‘’..wrong not yourselves therein.’’(9:36) And the beloved prophet SAW delivering the Khutbah in Hajj explained the last definition of the sanctity of these 4 sacred months:
فَإِنَّ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ وَأَعْرَاضَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ حَرَامٌ كَحُرْمَةِ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا فِي شَهْرِكُمْ هَذَا فِي بَلَدِكُمْ هَذَا لِيُبَلِّغ الشَّاهِدُ الْغَائِبَ
‘’Your blood, your wealth and your dignities are all sacred, like this day is sacred(10th of Zil Hijjah), like this month is sacred(Zil Hijjah) and this city is sacred(Makkah).’’(Bukhari)
So the sanctity of these months calls us to be more careful in hurting someone with the tongue, with the hands or to take someone`s possessions. Although these are always haraam, but the sacred months brings more importance of avoiding the sins of causing harm to anyone. Some sahabas used to fast all the sacred months.
THE MONTHS OF HIJRI CALENDAR.
Know that our Ramadhaan and Eids depends on moon sightings of our lunar calendar. It is not the Hilaal committee`s responsibility to sight the moon. But it is the responsibility of all of us to look at the horizon on each 29th day of our month. At least a group of responsible brothers of every area should look at the moon every 29th day of the Hijri month. And when they found it, then they should inform the Hilaal committee.
Know that our calendar is a symbol of our deen and many Ahkaam(injunctions) are based on it. Hijri means based on the historic emigration of Rasouloullah SAW and sahabas that they left Makkah for Madinah Munawwarah. Today how many of us schedule our year that at least 40 days of it be in the Hijrah or in the path of Allah? Hazrat Umar r.a. instituted the calendar on Hijrah or Hijri because that was core initiative for the expansion of the Islamic values throughout the world.
Learn our months by heart: MUHARRAM, SAFAR, RABI`UL AWAL, RABI`UL AKHIR, JAMADUL AWAL, JAMADUL AKHIR, RAJAB, SHA`BAAN, RAMADHAAN, SHAWAAL, ZUL QA`DAH AND ZUL HIJJAH.
THIS YEAR STARTING 1439 HIJRI.
Do lots of istighfaar since the beloved prophet SAW used to do istighfaar on every ending. Ending of salaah, ending of the night and ending of prophecy.
THE FASTS OF MUHARRAM
It is reported under the authority of Muslim that the best fasts after those of Ramadhaan are the fasts of Muharram.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَفْضَلُ الصِّيَامِ بَعْدَ رَمَضَانَ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ الْمُحَرَّمُ وَأَفْضَلُ الصَّلَاةِ بَعْدَ الْفَرِيضَةِ صَلَاةُ اللَّيْلِ
The beloved prophet SAW said: ‘’The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadhaan are the fasts of the MONTH OF ALLAH: MUHARRAM.’’(Muslim)
عَنْ النُّعْمَانِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ عَنْ عَلِيٍّ قَالَ سَأَلَهُ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ أَيُّ شَهْرٍ تَأْمُرُنِي أَنْ أَصُومَ بَعْدَ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ قَالَ لَهُ مَا سَمِعْتُ أَحَدًا يَسْأَلُ عَنْ هَذَا إِلَّا رَجُلًا سَمِعْتُهُ يَسْأَلُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَأَنَا قَاعِدٌ عِنْدَهُ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَيُّ شَهْرٍ تَأْمُرُنِي أَنْ أَصُومَ بَعْدَ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ قَالَ إِنْ كُنْتَ صَائِمًا بَعْدَ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ فَصُمْ الْمُحَرَّمَ فَإِنَّهُ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ فِيهِ يَوْمٌ تَابَ فِيهِ عَلَى قَوْمٍ وَيَتُوبُ فِيهِ عَلَى قَوْمٍ آخَرِينَ
The beloved also said: ‘’If you want to fast a whole month other than the month of Ramadhaan, then fast the whole month of Muharram. Because it is the MONTH OF ALLAH. There is a day in it when Allah accepted some people`s repentance and He was being graceful on some other people.’’(Tirmizi)
So the month of Muharram is the month of Allah Ta`ala and a sacred month. It is a month that brought victories to the prophets and hence not a ‘’mournful month’’ as some muslims believe. Although we are sad of the martyrdom of Hazrat Hussein r.a. that occurred during that month, but we have no right to talk on the subject to initiate sensitivities.
This month contain no bad omens. It is wrong to avoid Muharram for Nikahs and walimas. In fact this month is rich of victories of Muslims.