Muharram marks the start of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic year consists of 12 months and lasts for around 354 days depending on the lunar cycle. It is known as the month of remembrance, when many significant events in Islamic history took place.
“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)
Whilst traditions may vary between different Islamic sects, it is common to fast on the ninth and tenth day of the month following the Sunnah of the Prophet. Observing fast on the Day of Ashura is a penitence of a year of sins.
The Prophet said: “Fasting the day of Arafah I hope Allah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of Ashura I hope Allah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.” [Muslim]
“The prayer of the fasting person will not be refused.” [Al-Bayhaqi, Saheeh]
As many of us fast during Muharram, we should take this opportunity to make dua and renew our intentions for the year ahead. Muharram is a time of ends, change and new beginnings. We often are afraid of change and uncertainty but it is important to remember that Allah (SWT) is the best of planners and we should embrace the future with faith in him.
Change itself can be difficult for us to face but it is a reminder that attachment itself can be a challenge for the heart, from matters related to relationships, to money to materials things or even plans we may have for our lives. We should learn to trust in Allahs plans.
2. Charity: Giving sadaqa especially in the form of spending on the family.
3. History: Many talks and lectures around Muharram will focus on the history of Ashura, it also helps to provide context which in turn can bring you closer to Allah.
4. Acceptance: With change, acceptance is a large part of the journey. Spend time reflecting after Salah on changes that are taking place in your life or looking at concepts like Qadr and Tawaakul which help to understand that our life is in Allah’s hands.
5. Reading the Quran: If you are unable to fast, reading a transliteration of the Quran or doing Dhikr in solitude or with a group can really help you to feel the months blessings, remember any gathering for the sake of Allah will also be filled with barakah and the Angels will join you.
Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, Sakinah, or tranquillity descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.”
Lamisa is an International Relations graduate. She enjoys eating cake, drinking lemonade and ranting about important things.