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New Year – Muharram

“Allah Guides to His Light Whom He Wills.” (Surah An-Nur)

New Year – Muharram 1, 1437

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem

Tomorrow is the first of Muharram, from the year 1437 Hijri. This is an important day, because if we did not know this day, we would not know the day of Eid, the beginning of Ramadan, or the timing of Hajj.

In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallah anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said, the best fast after Ramadan, is in the month of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), Muharram; and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer (fard) is the night prayer, qiyam ul layl. [Sahih Muslim: 1163]

Muharram is the month that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) called the month of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

It is very important for us as Muslims to understand the concepts of time and the calendar.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) mentioned the months of the calendar, and highlighted the four sacred months, one of them being Muharram:

“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. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].” (Surah At-Tawbah: 36)

The importance of time can be seen in all that we do; salah (prayer) has a specific time, Hajj as a specific time and Ramadan has a specific time.

We also remember this day because during the time of the Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), there was no method of keeping track of time with a calendar. Even during the time of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) and Hadhrat Omar (radiallah anhu), there was no calendar. Here we briefly remind ourselves, that the calendar year was started at the time of Hadhrat Omar (radiallah anhu), as during his time, as Khalifah, the Muslim ummah had expanded far and wide, and as such communication and timing became of critical importance. In deciding the start of the calendar, Hadhrat Omar (radiallah anhu) consulted with the

Sahaba, who suggested that it should start from the birth or death of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam). But it was the suggestion of Imam Ali (radiallah anhu) which was accepted; his suggestion was to start the calendar at the event of the hijrah(migration) from Makkah to Madinah al Munawarah, as it signifies the success of the delivering, spreading and the acceptance of the message.

So from this we learn that the Sahaba put in a lot of effort for us, the future generations of Muslims, in putting together the calendar and other efforts they made. As such, it is important for us to remember the Sahaba, remember Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman and Ali (ridwanAllah alayhim). And most importantly, remember the event of thehijrah that defines our time, by which we measure everything; it is in the event of thehijrah that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) left everything for the sake of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

Just look at the life of Rasulullah in Makkah before, he was called Sadiq al Amin! He was the most respected amongst all strata of society, and the Quraysh. He (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) was held in such high regard that the Quraysh asked him to put the black stone in its place in the Kaaba (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

For Allah’s (subhana wa ta’ala) sake, Rasulullah gave up everything so that we could receive the message (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)!

The companions left everything for the sake of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), such that everything we have rests on their sacrifices.

We must remember the sacrifices:

Khadijah (radiallah anha) gave everything.

Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) gave all he had, and left everyone to be in Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) company on thehijrah.

Imam Ali (radiallah anhu) sacrificed all.

And the people of Madinah, who received and welcomed Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) with such fervor.

Remember them all for how they have sacrificed for this Ummah.

For us, the beginning of the year is a chance to renew our iman.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said regarding this, that there is a polish for everything that is rusted, and the polish for the heart is the remembrance of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). [Al-Bukhari]

Also, we remind our brothers and our sisters to fast the 10th of Muharram. The greatness of fasting this day is related to us by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), who when the Jews of Madinah fasted the 10th to commemorate the day Musa (alaih salam) achieved success, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) stated that he should be much more happy as he is much closer to Musa (alaih salam).

Abu Qatada (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

As we honour this day, we honour every day that is honoured by and that is close to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

The day of Ashura, is also the day that the love of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), his grandson, Syedina Imam Hussain Shaheed (alaih salam), was martyred by those awful and hateful people at Karbala. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gather us with him, and all the saliheen and shuhudah, under the shade of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

In ending, we congratulate the Ummah on the new year, and inshAllah may it be a year of khayr (blessings), rahma (mercy), forgiveness, prosperity and unity for the Ummah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), and we ask Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to make us closer to Him.

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