The Month of Muharram


By Shaykh Mohammed Roziur Rahman (posted November 2013)



In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.


This month is a month of great reward and virtue. ‘Muharram’ means ‘sacred’ and is from those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Qur'an (the others being Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Rajab). Muharram marks the start of the Hijra to Madinah, after several years of boycott and persecution of the early Muslims and our Noble Messenger (peace be upon him). In particular, the losses he endured just before then in terms of the deaths of his beloved wife and uncle. It is recommended to fast any of the days of Muharram. Although not obligatory, each of the fasts of the month of Muharram are the most rewardable among the optional (Nafil) fasts. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:


"The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhan is the fasting of Allah's month of Muharram." (Muslim)


"The one that keeps a fast in the month of Muharram will receive the reward of thirty fasts for each fast (in this month)."



The 10th of Muharram (Thur 14th Nov 2013) - known as ‘Ashurah Day’ - is the most sacred among all its days. It is one of the most important and blessed days of Allah in the Islamic calendar. It is believed that this was the day on which the Prophet Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously, and the Pharaoh was drowned in its water. On hearing this from the Jews, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “We are more closely related to Musa than you.” So the Prophet (peace be upon him) directed the Muslims to fast on the day of Aashurah (Abu Dawood).


Before the fasts of Ramadhan were made compulsory, the fast of the day of Ashurah was compulsory upon the Ummah. The noble wife of the Prophet, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) stated that:


"The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered the observance of the fast of Ashurah. However, when the fast of Ramadhan became compulsory, then whosoever wished kept this fast and whosoever desired did not observe this fast."



Nevertheless, the Prophet (peace be upon him) continued to fast this day and encouraged his companions to do the same.


"This fast is a compensation for the (minor) sins of the past year."



"When the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed the fast of the day of Ashurah and ordered (his companions) to fast, they said: `O Rasulullah! It is a day revered (glorified) by the Jews and Christians.' Thereupon the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘The coming year, if Allah wills (I remain alive), I will for sure fast on the ninth (also).’"



Hence, fast on the 9th and 10th, or 10th and 11th of Muharram. Not on the 10th alone.

Spend more on family and dependants than normal.


"One who generously spends on his family on the day of Ashurah, Allah will increase (his provision) for the whole year."



May Allah grant us all the ability to spend this month in His service and gain benefit from it. Ameen.


Shaykh Mohammed Roziur Rahman