Muharram, the sacred month. Much has been said and known about this month. It is the time when Musa (a.s) was shown mercy from Allah. A time when the Red Sea parted to make way for him as Fir’aun’s army approached. It is a month which commemorates faith and teaches us that the fate of evil is defeat.
Here are a few Qur’anic lessons about Muharram:
1. Muharram is one of the four sacred months which Allah has mentioned through authentic Hadith- Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab.
And then Allah asks us in the Quran to refrain from sinning in the sacred months because a sin during this time is worse than a sin committed at other times of the year.
“…of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein … “Al-Qur’an 9:36”
The least we can do as Muslims is to analyze our bad habits and make an action plan to break them – one by one. That way, we are not just improving our life, but also obeying the command of our Lord.
- Observe voluntary fasts
The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised us to observe voluntary fasts in the month of Muharram because it is the second best month to fast after Ramadan. When we make voluntary fasts, we succumb our will to the pleasure of Allah and discipline our souls with the remembrance of Allah.
- Fast on Ashura
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musa fasted on this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Musa than you,’so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” [Reported by al-Bukhari, 1865]
…so we fast on this day to venerate it.” [Al-Bukhari]
Key takeaway? Fasting on Ashura is reviving a sunnah. It is a lesson in itself . It reminds us that if we have unwavering faith in Allah, He will make a way out for us – like he did for Musa. (a.s)
Besides, the fast we observe on Ashura is an expiation for the year that went before.
- Refraining from Biddah which revolves around Ashura
Ibn Taymiyyah was asked about customs which people observe from Ashura. These include wearing kohl, taking a ghusl, applying henna, cooking grains (hubub) and so on. His reply was loud and clear: “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing such has been reported in any sahih hadith from the Prophet (peace be upon him) or from his Companions. None of the Imams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things.
- Allah does not let the believers down
He made for Musa (a.s), He will make way for us if we place our trust in Him. The Qur’an is proof for that.