Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The significance of Muharram and ‘Ashoora

The following is a transcript of a talk delivered on this subject:

The day of ‘Ashoora is approaching us on the tenth of the month of Muharram. This sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month for the Muslims.

It is the first month of the Hijri calendar, and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah (swt) says in Surah al-Tawbah:

“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [TMQ al-Tawbah: 36]

In this ayah, Allah says, “so wrong not yourselves therein…” means do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) said that this phrase, “so wrong not yourselves therein…” referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.
It was narrated by al-Bukhari (2958) that Abu Bakrah (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said:

“The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’ l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaadil-akir and Sha’ baan.”

In these days of Muharram the Prophet (saw) recommended for us to fast on the 9th and the 10th of this month.

Al-Bukhari narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) who said: “The Prophet (saw) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora’. 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.” [Bukhari, Hadith No: 1865].In a report narrated by Imam Muslim, that the Jews said, “This is a great day, on which Allah saved Musa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people.”Muslim also reported that, “Musa fasted on this day in thanksgiving to Allah, so we fast on this day.”
Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, "It is the day of 'Ashoora. Allah (swt) has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it." [Sahih Muslim] Abu Qatada (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (saw) said that, “the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year.” [Sahih Muslim] Abu Huraira (ra) reports that the Holy Prophet (ra) said, “after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence.” [Sahih Muslim] In addition to the keeping of the fast on the 10th of Muharram we should also aim to fast on the 9th as well as stipulated in the following ahadith:Ibn Abbas (ra) relates that when the Holy Prophet (saw) said, "If I survive till next year, I will definitely observe fast on the 9th of Muharram (as well)." [Sahih Muslim] Hakam ibn Al-Arat (ra) relates: I went to Ibn Abbas (ra). I said to him: Tell me about fasting on 'Ashura. He said, "When you seen the new moon of Muharram count the (days) and (begin to) observe fast on the 9th." I said to him: "Is it how the Messenger of Allah (saw) observed the fast?" He said, "Yes." [Sahih Muslim]

These days also remind us of the story of Musa (as) and his struggle against the Pharaoh. Allah (swt) said in Sura al-Qasas:

“These are Verses of the Book that makes (things) clear. We rehearse to you some of the story of Musa and Firawn (Pharaoh) in Truth for people who believe. Truly Firawn elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections depressing a small group among them: their sons he slew but he kept alive their females: for he was indeed a maker of mischief. And We wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed in the land to make them leaders and make them heirs. To establish a firm place for them in the land and to show Firawn and Haman and their hosts at their hands the very things against which they were taking precautions.” [TMQ 28:1-6]

Indeed brothers the story of Musa (as) is a great story that Allah (swt) related to us in the Quran.

Allah (swt) told us of how the Firawn oppressed the people, how Firawn broke the people into sections depressing a small group among them, how Firawn killed the new born sons of the people and how he ruled the people with his tyranny and oppression.

And we all know how Allah Azza wa Jal raised Musa (as) to liberate the people from this tyranny and oppression.

Allah Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem mentioned in the in Surah al-Qasas how he protected Musa (as) from his campaign of killing the children. Allah (swt) tells us of how when Musa (as) was born Allah (swt) inspired his mother to cast him into the river. Look how she obeyed this command of Allah (swt) with no resistance, imagine casting your child into the river, this is the meaning of having Tawakkal in Allah (swt).

Firawn and his wife found Musa (as), upon seeing Musa (as) Firawn’s wife felt joy and convinced Firawn not to slay him. Allah (swt) reunited Musa (as) with his mother when he would not take the milk from others, so eventually the wife of Firawn employed Musa (as)’s mother as a maid to look after him. Allah (swt) explains this beautiful story,

“And We ordained that he refused suck at first until (his sister came up and) said: "Shall I point out to you the people of a house that will nourish and bring him up for you and be sincerely attached to him?"...Thus did We restore him to his mother that her eye might be comforted that she might not grieve and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true: but most of them do not understand.” [TMQ al-Qasas: 12-13]

When Musa (as) grew up he stood against Firawn and challenged his corruption and tyranny, he led the Children of Israel (Bani Israel) against the Firawn and made them disbelieve in him and his tyranny. Firawn believed he was a god and that he had the power of life and death in his hands.

Allah Azza wa Jal said in Surah Yunus:

“Firawn was an arrogant tyrant on the earth indeed he was one of the Musrifeen (transgressors)” [TMQ 10:83]

Brothers today we have many modern day Firawn’s, many Musrifeen (transgressors) and tyrants.

Today Bush and his America is one of these modern day Pharaoh’s. We know America thinks it is the God of this world, how it bombed the Muslims in Iraq, how it bombed the Muslims in Afghanistan and Sudan in the past for no reason and how it continues to impose it’s policies all over the Islamic lands. It is the arrogant tyrant of the world today. The arrogance of these people is apparent, as one Time magazine title put it 'America Rules: Thank God’.

Brothers, America is not the only Firawn in this world today, America has many assistants in the world as Firawn had his assistants like Haman.

Today the rulers in the Muslim world are these assistants and Firawn’s who carve up the people as Firawn did and oppress them as Firawn did and kill them as Firawn did.

Today brothers although there are many tyrannical agents of Firawn and the side of Baatil (falsehood) is clear, we must realise that the side of Haq (truth) is also clear and gaining momentum. The people on the side of truth, carrying the call of liberation from the rules of man to the rule of Allah (swt), from darkness of the Firawn’s to the light of the Khilafah, even if they face all types of persecutions and hardship in the pursuit of this.
Brothers! Musa (as) liberated the Children of Israel from the Firawn, we to need to liberate the Muslim Ummah from the oppression of Capitalism. The method to achieve this is taken from the well known Hadith,

"Banu Israel used to be looked after by the Prophets; when one Prophet died, another one would succeed him, and there will be no more Prophets after me. There will be Khulafah and they will number many."

Firawn’s end came even though he believed he had all power in his hands. Indeed the time will come when America and its agents in the Muslim world will drown in the ocean of history as Firawn and his men were swallowed by the ocean and drowned.

Musa (as) and all the other Prophet’s (as) relied upon non other than Allah (swt) to fulfil their mission. Musa (as) sought help and support from his Lord, Allah (swt) says in Surah Ta-Ha ,

"Musa said: 'O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And ease my task for me; And loosen the knot (the problem) from my tongue, (i.e. remove the impairment in my speech), that they understand my speech, And appoint for me a helper from my family, Haroon, my brother; Increase my strength with him, And let him share my task (of conveying Allah's message), That we may glorify You much, And remember You much, Verily! You are of us Ever a Well-Seer” [TMQ Ta-Ha: 25-35]

Today in our pursuit of re-establishing the Khilafah to dethrone the Firawn’s of this world we must rely on Allah (swt) alone, He is As-Samee’a, Al-Mujeeb.

No comments: