Muharram – the First Month of the Islamic Calendar – The Orchards of Love – Part Sixty Six

Muharram is the first month in the Islamic calendar and is the most sacred and blessed month from the four sacred months.

Hazrat Hasan (rahimahullah) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The most virtuous month, after the month of Ramadhaan, is the month of Muharram.” (Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif pg. 34)

The honor and sanctity of Muharram can also be gauged by the fact that in the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta’ala takes an oath on the first morning of Muharram. Allah Ta’ala says:

وَالۡفَجۡرِ ۙ﴿۱﴾

By the dawn! (Surah Fajr v. 1)

Imaam Qataadah (rahimahullah) has mentioned that in this verse, the dawn on which Allah Ta’ala takes an oath is the dawn of the first morning of the month of Muharram, as it is not only the dawn of this morning – but is the dawn of the entire year which is to follow. (Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif pg. 80)

It is reported in the Hadith that the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would learn the following dua and recite it at the beginning of a new Islamic month or new Islamic year (i.e. the beginning of Muharram):

اَللّٰهُمَّ أَدْخِلْهُ عَلَيْنَا بِالْأَمْنِ وَالْإِيمَانِ وَالسَّلَامَةِ وَالْإِسْلَامِ وَرِضْوَانٍ مِّنَ الرَّحْمٰنِ وَجِوَارٍ مِّنَ الشَّيْطَانِ

O Allah! Let it (this new month or new year) enter upon us with safety, imaan, security, Islam, the pleasure of Rahmaan (i.e. Allah Ta’ala) and protection from shaitaan. (Majma’uz Zawaa’id #17150)

Muharram – The Month of Allah Ta’ala

From all the months in the Islamic calendar, the month of Muharram is exclusively referred to in the mubaarak Ahaadith as the ‘Month of Allah Ta’ala’.

Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports, “On one occasion, I asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), ‘Which portion of the night is best, and which month is the most virtuous?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, ‘The best portion of the night is the middle portion, and the most virtuous month (after Ramadhaan) is the month of Allah Ta’ala which you call Muharram.’” (Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif pg. 34)

The Muhadditheen explain that Muharram is attributed to Allah Ta’ala to show the greatness of this month as well as the immense virtues that it contains.

The pre-Islamic Name of Muharram

Allaamah Suyooti (rahimahullah) has explained that the month of Muharram was referred to as ‘Safar-ul-Awwal’ in the era of Jaahiliyyah. After the advent of Islam, Allah Ta’ala changed the name of this month from Safar-ul-Awwal to Muharram, while the other months of the Islamic calendar continued to be called by their original names from the period of Jaahiliyyah. It is for this reason that this month is referred to as the month of Allah Ta’ala. (Ad-Deebaaj lis-Suyooti 3/252)

The virtue of the first ten days of Muharram

In regard to the month of Muharram, it should be noted that the first ten days of Muharram have more virtue than the rest of the month, just as the first ten days of Zul Hijjah have more virtue than the rest of the month of Zul Hijjah, and just as the last ten days of Ramadhaan have more virtue than the rest of the month of Ramadhaan.

Hazrat Abu Uthmaan Nahdi (rahimahullah) mentioned that there were ten days of three months that the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would show great honour and respect to (by exerting themselves in ibaadah in these periods, which were); the last ten days of Ramadhaan, the first ten days of Zul Hijjah, and the first ten days of Muharram. (Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif pg.79-80)

Wahb bin Munabbih (rahimahullah) has mentioned that Allah Ta’ala had said to Nabi Musa (alaihis salaam), “Command your people to seek My special proximity during the first ten days of Muharram (by increasing their ibaadah). On the tenth day, they should come out to Me (i.e. seeking My forgiveness), and I will then forgive them.” (Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif pg.80)

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