Muharram and Its Significance - The Month of Allah
Muharram is one of the four sacred months of Allah s.w.t, called the 'Asyhurul Hurum.' It is also, Known as the first month of the Islamic calendar. This month, Muslims strive to increase their good deeds, such as reciting the Quran, giving charity, and performing extra voluntary prayers.
"Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred." (Al-Tawbah 9:36)
Muharram is known as the "Month of Allah," emphasizing its sacredness and divine significance in Islamic tradition. It is a time when Muslims honor the sanctity of this month and strive to increase their acts of worship.
"The year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession; Dhul-Qa'da, Dhul-Hijja and Al-Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which stands between Jumad and Sha'ban." (Sahih al-Bukhari 4662)
Fasting In Muharram:
Fasting is an integral part of Muharram for Muslims, as it holds immense spiritual and physical benefits and blessings.
'The most excellent fast after Ramadan is God's month. al-Muharram.' (Muslim: 1163)
The liberation of the Israelites from Pharaoh's cruelty happened on the 10th of Muharram. Muslims honor this event, rejoicing in the victory of what is right and the freedom of those who were treated unfairly.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He asked them about that. They replied, "This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Mosa fasted on this day." The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "We have more claim over Mosa than you." So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day). (Bukhari: 2004)
These hadiths highlight the importance of fasting in Muharram, recognizing it as a praiseworthy act of devotion. Muslims are encouraged to observe voluntary fasts during this sacred month, particularly on the days of Ashura, to seek blessings, emulate the practices of Prophets, and partake in the spiritual rewards associated with this observance.
Fasting on 9th and 10th Muharram
The day of Ashura is on the 10th of Muharram. Fasting of Ashura has great significance. However, It is encouraged to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram or, alternatively, the 10th and 11th.
“Fast the Day of ‘Ashura’ and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it.” (Hadith Ahmed)
According to the Hadiths, Muslims must fast on both the 9th and 10th of Muharram. If someone misses fasting on the 9th, they should not fast only on the 10th. Muslims are encouraged to fast on either the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th days of Muharram.
Virtues of Fasting On Ashura:
One of the remarkable virtues of fasting on the day of Ashura is that it can expiate sins from the previous year.
"Fasting on the Day of Ashura, I hope will expiate the sins of the previous year." (Sahih Muslim).
Notably, the Prophet (peace be upon him) held fasting on the day of Ashura in high regard. Ibn Abbas (ra) reported that the Prophet prioritized fasting on Ashura over other days, excluding the days in Ramadan.
"I never saw Allah's Messenger (saw) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of Ashura, and this month, meaning Ramadan" (Bukhari).
Fasting on the day of Ashura also connects Muslims to a significant event in history. It commemorates the day when Prophet Musa and the Children of Israel were saved from Pharaoh and his army.
This divine intervention, mentioned in the Quran, symbolizes the triumph of truth and the mercy of Allah.
So We inspired Moses: "Strike the sea with your staff," and the sea was split, each part was like a huge mountain. (Ash-Shu'ara, Verses 63)