Thursday , 18 October 2018

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Many rewards and blessings can be gained throughout the Islamic year, not only in Ramadan

Muharram-1

 

The blessed month of Muharram (lit. sanctified) is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah Almighty Says what means: {Indeed, the number of months with Allaah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allaah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them…} [Quran 9:36] Ibn Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said that thisphrase (so do not wrong yourselves during them… ) referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.
The virtue of observing supererogatory fasts during Muharram
The Messenger of Allaah, salallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.” [Muslim]
The phrase “Allaah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allaah in a genitive grammatical structure signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qaari said, “The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram.” But it is known that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this Hadeeth is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without implying that one should fast for the entire month.
It was reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast more in Sha’baan. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life. [An-Nawawi and Muslim]
Al-Izz ibn Abdus-Salaam, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said that Allaah makes certain times and placed sacred or blessed in order to encourage his servants for righteous deeds and bestow a greater reward for them. [Qawaa’id Al-Ahkaam]
 
‘Aashooraa’ in history
The tenth day of Muharram, known as ‘Aashooraa’, has a special significance. Ibn Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “The Prophet, salallaahu alayhi wa sallam, came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. He said, `What is this? They said, `This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosa fast-ed on this day.’ He said, `We have more right to Moosa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day.” [Al-Bukhaari]
The practice of fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ was known even in the days of Jaahiliyyah, before the Prophet’s Message. It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said, “The people of Jahiliyyah used to fast on that day.”
Qurtubi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “Perhaps the Quraysh used to fast on that day on the basis of some previous law, like that of Ibraheem, may Allaah exalt his mention.”
The virtues of fasting ‘Aashooraa’
Ibn Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other time than the day of ‘Aashooraa’ and the month of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhaari]
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “For fasting the day of ‘Aashoora’a, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the past year.” [Muslim]
It is recommended to fast the ninth in addition to the tenth of Muharram.
Abdullaah ibn Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with her, said, “When the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, fasted on ‘Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, `O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allaah said, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: `If I live to see the next year, ‘Insha’Allaah’, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, passed away before the next year came.” [Muslim]
If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Thul-Hijjah was thirty days—as is the usual rule—and should fast on the ninth and tenth.
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ expiates sins
Imaam an-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said that it expiates all minor sins and that “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah expiates sins for two years, and the day of ‘Aashooraa’ expiates for one year… If there are minor sins for which expiation is desired, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to the servant’s account and he will be raised in status… If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced.” [Al-Majmoo’ah al-Muhaththab]
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ when one till has days to make up from Ramadan
The jurists differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before making up the missed days from Ramadan or other obligatory fasts like for the fulfillment of a vow. The Hanafi jurists said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up for the obligatory fasts, while the Maaliki and Shaafi’ee scholars say that it is permissible but Makrooh (disliked). The Hanbali scholars say that it is Haraam (forbidden) and a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up. [Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah]
Muslims must hasten to make up any missed fasts after Ramadan, so that they will be able to fast ‘Arafah and ‘Aashooraa’ without any problem. If a person fasts ‘Arafah and ‘Aashooraa’ with the intention from the night before of making up for a missed fast, this will be good enough to make up what he has missed, for the bounty of Allaah is great.
 
Avoiding innovations on ‘Aashooraa
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, was asked about the authenticity of things that people do on ‘Aashooraa’ to seek reward, such as wearing kohl, taking a bath, wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (huboob) and so on. Some other people mark this day by grieving and mourning, not drinking, wailing and rending their garments.
His reply was: “Nothing to that effect has been reported in any sound Hadeeth from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or his Companions. None of the Imaams encouraged such things, neither the four Imaams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, nor from his Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, nor from the Taabi’een; neither in any authentic report or in a weak report; neither in the books of Saheeh, nor in as-Sunan, nor in the Musnads. No Hadeeth of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported Hadeeths like: `Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not get sick in that year’ and so on. They also reported a fabricated Hadeeth that is falsely attributed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which says, `Whoever is generous to his family on the day of Aashooraa, Allaah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.’ Reporting all of this from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is tantamount to forging lies against him.”‘
The virtues of Muharram and fasting on ‘Aashooraa’

Allaah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar (Islamic calendar which started with the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madeenah) and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah Says (what means): “Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year) so was it ordained by Allaah on the day when he created the Heaven and the Earth; of them four are Sacred – that is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein….” [Quran 9:36]

Abu Bakrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months ofThul-Qa’dah,Thul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” [Al-Bukhaari]
Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (Muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.
Allaah’s Words (which mean)so wrong not yourselves therein….”, mean: do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allaah be pleased with him said that this phrase so wrong not yourselves therein….”  referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.
Qutaadah may Allaah be pleased with him said concerning the same phrase that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful than wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He wills. Allaah has chosen certain ones of His creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from within speech the remembrance of Him. He chose from upon the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylat Al-Qadr, so venerate that which Allaah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allaah has told us to venerate. [Tafseer of Ibn Katheer]
The Virtue of observing more voluntary fasts during Muharram
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’” [Muslim]
The phrase “Allaah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allaah in a genitive grammatical structure signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qaari may Allaah have mercy on him said: “The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram.” But it was proven that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this Hadeeth (Prophetic narration) is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast the entire month.
It was reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast more in Sha’baan. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life, before he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam was able to fast during this month.
Allaah chooses whatever times and places He wills
Al-‘Izz Ibn ‘Abd As-Salaam, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or religious/spiritual. With regard to the latter, this is because Allaah bestows His generosity on His slaves at those times or in those places by giving a greater reward for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, the virtue of which is due to Allaah’s generosity and kindness towards His slaves on that day…”
‘Aashooraa’ in history
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, came to Madeenah and found the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘What is this?’ They (Jews) said: ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosa (Moses may Allaah exalt his mention) fasted on this day.’ He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘We have more right to Moosa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” [Al-Bukhaari]
The practice of fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ was known even in the days of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period), before the Prophet’s sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam mission. It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: “The people of Jaahiliyyah used to fast on that day…”
Al-Qurtubi may Allaah have mercy on him said: “Perhaps Quraysh used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Ibraaheem (Abraham may Allaah exalt his mention).”
It was also reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast on ‘Aashooraa’ in Makkah, before he migrated to Madeenah. When he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam migrated to Madeenah, he found the Jews celebrating this day, so he asked them why, and they replied as described in the Hadeeth quoted above. He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam commanded the Muslims to be different from the Jews, who took it as a festival.
Apparently the motive for commanding the Muslims to fast on this day was the desire to be different from the Jews, so that the Muslims would fast when the Jews did not, because people do not fast on a day of celebration.
Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ was a gradual step in the process of introducing fasting as a prescribed obligation in Islam. Fasting appeared in three forms. When the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, came to Madeenah, he told the Muslims to fast on three days of every month and on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, then Allaah made fasting obligatory in the verse (which means): O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting …” [Quran 2:183]
The obligation was transferred from the fast of ‘Aashooraa’ to the fast of Ramadan, and this is one of the proofs in the field of Usool Al-Fiqh (Judicial fundamentals) that it is possible to abrogate a lighter duty in favour of a heavier duty.
The virtues of fasting ‘Aashooraa’
Ibn ‘Abbaas,  may Allaah be pleased with them , said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Aashooraa’, and this month, meaning Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhaari]
The meaning of his being keen was that he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam intended to fast on that day in the hope of earning the reward for doing so.
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “For fasting the day of ‘Aashooraa’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” [Muslim]

Which day is ‘Aashooraa’?

Ibn Qudaamah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “‘Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram..”. It was what was reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, commanded us to fast ‘Aashooraa’, the tenth day of Muharram.’ [At-Tirmithi] ‘Ataa’ reported that he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Fast the ninth and the tenth, and do not be like the Jews.’ If this is understood, we can say on this basis that it is likable to fast on the ninth and the tenth, for that reason. This is what Ahmad said, and it is the opinion of Ishaaq.”
It is likable to fast Taasoo’aa’ with ‘Aashooraa’
‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with them , said: “When the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam,  fasted on ‘Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘If I live until the next year, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, passed away before the next year came.” [Muslim]
Al-Shaafi’i and other scholars may Allaah have mercy on them said: “It is likable to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth.”
On this basis, it may be said that there are varying degrees of fasting ‘Aashooraa’, the least of which is to fast only on the tenth, and the best of which is to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.
The reason why it is likable to fast on Taasoo’aa’
An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “The scholars – our companions and others – mentioned several reasons why it is likable to fast on Taasoo’aa’:
–   The intention behind it is to be different from the Jews, who only venerate the tenth day. This opinion was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allaah be pleased with him.
– The intention is to add another day’s fast to ‘Aashooraa’. This is akin to the prohibition on fasting a Friday by itself, as was mentioned by Al-Khattaabi may Allaah have mercy on him and others.
– To be on the safe side and make sure that one fasts on the tenth, in case there is some error in sighting the crescent moon at the beginning of Muharram and the ninth is in fact the tenth.”
The strongest of these reasons is being different from the People of the Book. Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, forbade imitating the People of the Book in many Ahaadeeth (narrations), for example, his words concerning ‘Aashooraa’: ‘If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day.’” [Al-Fataawa Al-Kubra]
Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in his commentary on the Hadeeth: “If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day”: “What he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam meant by fasting on the ninth day was probably not that he would limit himself to that day, but would add it to the tenth, either to be on the safe side or to be different from the Jews and Christians, which is more likely. This is also what we can understand from some of the reports narrated by Muslim may Allaah have mercy on him.”
Ruling on fasting only on the day of ‘Aashooraa’
Ibn Taymiyyah may Allaah have mercy on him said: “Fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ is expiation for a year, and it is not disliked to fast only that day…”
Ibn Hajar may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “There is nothing wrong with fasting only on ‘Aashooraa’.”
Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ even if it is a Saturday or a Friday
At-Tahaawi, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, allowed us to fast on ‘Aashooraa’ and urged us to do so. He did not say that if it falls on a Saturday we should not fast. This is evidence that all days of the week are included in this. In our view – and Allaah knows best – it could be the case that even if this is true (that it is not allowed to fast on Saturdays), it is so that we do not venerate this day and refrain from food, drink and intercourse, as the Jews do. As for the one who fasts on a Saturday without intending to venerate it, and does not do so because the Jews regard it as blessed, then this is not disliked…” [Mushkil Al-Aathaar]
Al-Bahooti, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “It is disliked to deliberately single out a Saturday for fasting, because of the Hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah Ibn Bishr, who reported from his sister: ‘Do not fast on Saturdays except in the case of obligatory fasts’ [Ahmad]
What should be done if there is confusion about the beginning of the month?
Ahmad may Allaah have mercy on him said: “If there is confusion about the beginning of the month, one should fast for three days, to be sure of fasting on the ninth and tenth days.”
If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Thul-Hijjah was thirty days – as is the usual rule – and should fast on the ninth and tenth. Whoever wants to be sure of fasting the ninth as well should fast the eighth, ninth and tenth (then if Thul-Hijjah was twenty-nine days, he can be sure of having fasted Taasoo’aa’ and ‘Aashooraa’).
But given that fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ is likable rather than obligatory, people are not commanded to look for the crescent of the new moon of Muharram as they are to do in the case of Ramadan and Shawwaal.
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ – for what does it offer expiation?
Imaam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “It expiates for all minor sins, i.e., it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins.” Then he said: “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah (ninth day of Thul-Hijjah) expiates for two years, and the day of ‘Aashooraa’ expiates for one year. If when a person says ‘Aameen’ it coincides with the ‘Aameen’ of the angels, he will be forgiven all his previous sins… Each one of the things that we have mentioned will bring expiation. If there are minor sins for which expiation is needed, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to his account and he will be raised in status… If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced.”

Not relying too much on the reward for fasting

Some people rely too much on things like fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ or the day of ‘Arafah, to the extent that some of them say: “Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of ‘Arafah will bring extra rewards.”
Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of ‘Arafah and ‘Aashooraa’, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins.
Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed, he remembers it and relies on it. This is like the one who seeks Allaah’s forgiveness with his tongue (i.e., by words only), and glorifies Allaah by saying “Subhaanallaah” one hundred times a day, then he backbites Muslims and slanders their honor, and speaks all day long about things that are not pleasing to Allaah. This person is always thinking about the virtues of making Thikr (remembering of Allaah) but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, tell lies and slander others, or commit other sins of the tongue. They are completely deceived.” [Al-Mawsoo’ah Al-Fiqhiyyah]
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ when one still has days to make up from Ramadan
Muslim scholars differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before a person has made up days that he or she did not fast in Ramadan. The Hanafis said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up days from Ramadan, and it is not disliked to do so, because the missed days do not have to be made up straight away. The Maalikis and Shaafi’is said that it is permissible but is disliked, because it means that one is delaying something obligatory.
The Hanbalis said that it is Haraam (forbidden) to observe a voluntary fast before making up any fasts missed in Ramadan, and that a voluntary fast in such cases does not count, even if there is plenty of time to make up the obligatory fast. So a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up.
Bid’ahs (innovations) common on ‘Aashooraa’
Ibn Taymiyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, was asked about the things that people do on ‘Aashooraa’, such as wearing kohl, taking a bath (Ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains, showing happiness and so on. Was any of this reported from the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, in an authentic narration, or not? If nothing to that effect was reported in an authentic Hadeeth, is doing these things Bid’ah or not? Is there any basis for what some groups do, such as grieving and mourning, going without anything to drink, eulogizing and wailing, reciting in a crazy manner, and rending their garments?
His reply was: ‘Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any authentic narration from the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, or from his Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them. None of the Imaams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four Imaams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, nor from the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, or the Taabi’een (companions’ successors, may Allaah have mercy upon them); neither in any authentic report or in a weak report; neither in the books of Saheeh, nor in An-Sunan or in the Musnads. No Hadeeth of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported narrations like the one which says: “Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not get sick in that year,” and so on. They also reported a fabricated narration that is falsely attributed to the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, which says: “Whoever is generous to his family on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, Allaah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.” Attributing such fallacies to the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, is a grave sin.’
We ask Allaah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, to make us live in Islam and die in a state of faith. May He help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. We ask Him to help us to remember Him and be thankful to Him, to worship Him properly and to accept our good deeds. May He make us of those who are pious and fear Him.  Aameen.
(source islamweb.net)