Virtues of Muharram

Acts of Virtue for the Tenth of

MUHARRAM

Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“The most virtuous fasting after the month of Ramadhaan is Allah’s month of Muharram.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was asked about observing the fast on the tenth day of Muharram, and he replied, “It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year.”

We understand clearly from the Ahaadith Shareef that besides being a Sunnah to fast in Muharram, this is a greatly exhorted practice in our Deen.

It is mentioned in another Hadith where Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) instructed us to add at least one day to the fast of the 10th of Muharram, that is, we should fast on the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th of Muharram. If one fasts on all three days (i.e. 9th, 10th and 11th) then it will be most meritorious. The fast of Muharram was ordained in the Shariah before the fasts of Ramadhaan became obligatory. After the fasting of Ramadhaan became Fardh, the fasting of Muharram became optional. This fact highlights the importance of fasting in this month, specifically during these days.

SPENDING ON ONE’S FAMILY

وعن ابن مسعود، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم “من وسع على عياله في النفقة يوم عاشوراء وسع الله عليه سائر سنته”. قال سفيان: إنا قد جربناه فوجدناه كذلك

Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“He who expands on his family’s sustenance on the day of Ashura, Allah will expand on him throughout the year.”

The word used in this hadith is “nafaqah” (sustenance), which refers to basic expenses. Many of our Akaabireen have limited the expense (as mentioned in the Hadith) on this day to food.

A commentary of this hadith is also stated in Mishkaat Shareef, where Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullahi alaih) states: “We have indeed experienced this and found it likewise.” In commenting on this Hadith, it is mentioned in a Sharah (Commentary) that the word “family” in the Hadith refers to one’s immediate household, upon whom one’s expenditure is waajib. This excludes all other family members and friends. Therefore, it is not permissible, rather it is a Bid`ah, to invite others for a meal especially on the Day of Ashura.

It is further explained in this Sharah that the word, “likewise” of Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullahi alaih) refers to “expansion in food”. This further entrenches the point that the Hadith clearly refers to spending on food on one’s family and not other extra expenses. It should also be noted that this Hadith applies especially to those who live on basics throughout the year. Such people should make an extra effort to provide a nicer meal to their family on this Day – not doubtful take-out foods, but a pure home-cooked meal. As for the wealthy, they already serve the best they can afford throughout the year. They should divert their funds to feed the poor. Their reward lies in this. Wasting money on doubtful and Haraam restaurant and take-away meals on Aashura is a token of ingratitude to Allah Rabbul Izzat for the bounties He has bestowed us.

GIFTS ON AASHURA

The innovation of giving gifts to family and friends on the Day of Aashura is not only haraam, it is completely unfounded. It is a misinterpretation of the Hadith. Whilst the giving of gifts is a laudable act that warrants great reward, which is further multiplied when giving to one’s family, however, to specifically give gifts on this day is a Bid`ah. It is basically in emulation of the kuffaar-style ‘Mother’s Day’, ‘Father’s Day’, ‘Valentine’s Day’, etc. Showing one’s affection towards family members by showering them with gifts is not limited to any particular day in Islam. This can be done throughout the year! Muslims should abstain from such un-Islamic practices. Giving of gifts on the Day of Ashura and inviting all and sundry for meals will not yield any reward; on the contrary it will be sinful!

BID`AH ‘CELEBRATIONS’ OF MOURNING

Whilst the very concept of having any function of mourning is reprehensible on its own, this evil is compounded by those who hijack the 10th of Muharram as a day to ‘celebrate’ the martyrdom of great personalities and highlight the event of Karbala. These events occurred decades after the virtues of Muharram were extolled by Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Such ‘celebrations’ and functions are not only Haraam and reprehensible, they have absolutely nothing to do with the virtues of Muharram!

 

May Allah Ta`ala save us from the evil of the nafs and Shaitaan.