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YEAR 2005 (1425 Hijri)

Muharram

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Literal meaning: Forbidden. It was forbidden to wage war and fight during this month. Muharram is so-called because it is sacred [harām] and as an affirmation of its sanctity.

It is regarded as one of the sacred months [Ash'hurul-Hurum].

Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam has said:

"The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhān isfasting (luring Allāh's month (ie. Muharram) " (Sahih Muslim).

Āshura:

This is the tenth day of the month of Muharram and is a day of great significance and virtue.

Occurrence of Significance:

  1. Allāh Ta'āla granted deliverance to Sayyidina Moosa Alayhis Salām and the Bani Isra'īl from the tyranny of Fir'oun.
  2. After the floods, the ark of Sayyidina Nūh Alayhis Salām settled on Mount Judi.
  3. Qiyāmah will be on a Friday, the 10th of Muharram.

 

Practices to be Observed on the Day of Āshura

1. To fast on the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th of Muharram.

a. This is a nafl fast.

b. The act of fasting is sunnah.

The Jews in Madinah fasted on the 10th Muharram because Allāh Ta'āla saved Mūsa Alayhis Salām and the Bani Isra'īl on this day from the tyranny of Fir'oun, Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was informed that they fasted on this day. He then instructed us to fast on the 9th as well. Thus this will demonstrate a shift from the practice of the Jews.

In the light of this, the fuqahā have ruled that it is makrūh to fast only on the 10th of Muharram only.

2. To spend freely on one's family.

Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said:

"He who will be generous on his family on the day of Āshura, Allāh Ta'āla will be generous on him for the entire year." (Tabrani, Baihaqi).

NOTE: It is meritorious that one spends freely on one's family, however the needy, orphans and widows should not be forgotten.

 

Rewards for Fasting on the Day of Āshura.

Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: "It is a compensation for the sins of the past year."

All minor sins of the past year will be forgiven. The major sins are forgiven only when sincere Tawbah is made.

 

To Refrain from the following in Muharram and The Day of Āshura:

  1. To incur debts so as to spend on one's family.
  2. To be wasteful and extravagant in one's spending.
  3. To make Taziah [Religious processions].
  4. To read 'Mirthiya' and 'Shahadat Nama' [obituary on the martyrdom of Husain. radhiyallahu anhu or to cry, tear one's clothes etc].
  5. To make sweet drinks with the belief that it would quench the thirst of those martyred in Karbala.
  6. To prepare khitchra [food cooked with lentils] with erroneous beliefs.
  7. To believe that a child born in the month of Muharram is prone to misfortune and likewise to believe a marriage in this month will bring ill fortune is not in accordance with Islamic beliefs.

To light fireworks.

Safar

Month of the year: Safar is the second month of the Islamic calendar.
Literal meaning: Empty. During this month the houses used to be empty and deserted because the ban on going to war in the month of Muharram came to an end and everyone proceeded towards the battlefield.
Safar also means to be yellow. When the names of the months were being given it was the season of autumn and the leaves of the trees were yellow.
Many people have erroneous beliefs regarding this month i.e. it is a month of misfortune and calamities. The teachings of Allāh Ta'āla and His beloved Rasūl sallallahu alayhi wa sallam gives us clear guidelines on such incorrect beliefs.
Allāh Ta'āla says in the Qur'ān: "No kind of calamity can occur, except by the will of Allāh". (Surah 64-Ayat 11).
These erroneous beliefs have also been condemned in the context of the following Ahādīth:
  1. There is no superstitious owl, bird, no star-promising rain, no bad omen in the month of Safar. (Sahih Muslim).
  1. There is no bad omen in the month of Safar and no Ghouls (evil spirits) (Sahih Muslim).
  1. There is no evil omen, no superstitious owl, bird and no bad omen in the month of Safar (Bukhari).

The above Ahādīth clearly refutes all incorrect beliefs and superstitions regarding the month of Safar. These incorrect beliefs flow from the pre-Islamic period of Jāhiliyyah [Days of Ignorance].

 

The Month of Safar During the Days of Ignorance

The Muhaddithīn have recorded many of the superstitions harboured by the Arabs during the Days of Ignorance. A few are mentioned below:

  1. The pre-Islamic Arabs believed Safar to be a snake which lives in the stomach of a human being and when hungry, bites the person. This is the discomfort one experiences when gripped by the pangs of hunger.

2.      Some said Safar are worms which originate in the liver and ribs due to which the colour of the person becomes yellow, a condition we know today as jaundice.

3.      According to some, the month of Safar flanked by Muharram and Rablul Awwal is full of calamities and misfortune.

With the advent of Islam and the teachings of Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhl wa sallam, all evil and incorrect beliefs common in pre-Islamic times were discarded.

Incorrect Beliefs:

Today too, there are some Muslims who hold incorrect beliefs regarding the month of Safar.

1.

A nikāh performed in this month would not be successful.

 

Sayyidina Ali radhiyallahu anhu married Sayyiditina Fatima radhiyallahu anha, (the daughter of Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in the latter days of Safar 2 A.H.

2.

This month is full of misfortune and calamities.

3.

To commence any important venture, business etc. during this month will bring bad luck.

4.

The first to the thirteenth of Safar is ill-fortune and evil.

5.

The person who distributes food or money on the 13th of Safar wiII be saved from its ill-fortune.

6.

To celebrate the last Wednesday of Safar and regard it as a holiday.

What to do:

1.

To shun all types of erroneous beliefs regarding the blessed month of Safar.

2.

To understand that the most unfortunate person is he who disobeys Allāh Ta'āla's commandments e.g. does not perform the five daily salaah etc. It is narrated in a hadīth that Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: "Pray, 0 Allah! Cause not anyone of us to be a wretched destitute." He then asked: "Do you know who is a wretched destitute?" Upon the request of the Sahabah radhiyallahu anhum he replied, "A wretched destitute is he who neglects his salāt. " (Hadīth).

3.

We should understand that all conditions which befalls us, good or bad, favourable, or unfavourable are from Allāh Ta'āla, (as a result of our actions). Allāh Ta'āla says: " Whatever misfortune befalls you, it is due to the things your hands have wrought, and He forgives many a sin." (Surah 42 - Verse 30).

This can also be confirmed by the following Hadīth:

Sayyidina Jabir radhiyallahu anhu has said that, "I have heard Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam saying, the descending of illness and evil superstition befalling in the month of Safar is untrue." (Muslim)

Rabi 'al Awwal

Month of the Year: Rabi 'al Awwal is the third month of the Islamic Calendar

The Literal Meaning: Rabi means 'Spring'. When the names were being given, this month, Rabi 'al Awwal, and the month tha followed saw the end of Spring and thus name Rabi 'al Akhir.

Significance of the Month: Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), a mercy of all mankind was born in this month. He migrated from Makkah Mukarramah to Madinah Munawwarah and departed from this world 63 year later.

BIRTH

Place

Makkah Mukarramah

Time

Subh Sādiq [dawn]

Day

Monday

Date

8th or 12th

Month

Rabi 'al Awwal

Year

570 CE

Age at Nubuwwat

17 Ramadhān

Companion during Hijrat

Abu Bakr Radhiallahu anhu

 

 

DEMISE

Place

Home of Ayesha Radhiyallahu anha
Madinah Munawwarah

Time

Between Chast and Zawāl

Day

Monday

Month

Rabi 'al Awwal

Year

11 AH

Age at the time of Death

63 years

Buried

In the home of Sayyiditina Ayesha Radhiyallahu anha

Rabial Akhir

Month of the year : Rabial Ākhir is the fourth (4th) month of the Islamic calendar. This month is also called Rabiath Thani. When it was named it denoted the end of spring.

No specific ibadāt or duty has been prescribed by the Sharī'ah during this month, However, one should try to fast on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month since this was the sunnah of our beloved Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. These are known as the fasts of Ayām-e-Bīdh. They are the middle days of every lunar month.

It was also a practice of Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam to fast of Mondays and Thursdays.

Jumādal Ūlā

Month of year:  Fifth month of the lunar calendar

Literal meaning:  Jumad means freezing, Whilst naming the months, this month occured in the season when the water freezes so it was Jumadal Ula. The month that followed occured towards the end of this season thus it was named Jumādal Ākhir.

Jumādal Ūkh

Month of year: Jumādal Ukhra is the sixth month of the Islamic Calendar

Literal meaning: This month followed Jumādal Ūla and occured towards the end of the season when water freeezes, thus it was named Jumādal Ukhrā.

No specific ibadāt has been prescribed by the Shari'ah during this month. However, one should try to observe the fasts of Ayām-e-Bīdh, which are the middle days of every lunar month.

Rajab

Month of the year: Rajab is the 7th month of the Islamic calendar.

The meaning of Rajab: The word Rajab means to respect. The Arabs respected this month tremendously and it was named Rajab. Rajab is a name of a river in Jannah. Its water is whiter than milk and extremely sweet. Those who fast in this month will be honoured to drink from it.

Tawhīd: Isrā' and Mi'rāj

Isrā' literally means a journey by night and Mi'rāj literally means an elevator, i.e. an instrument which lifts something up. But, in Islam, Isrā' refers to a miraculous night journey made by the last Prophet sallallāhu alayhi wa salām from Makkah to Jerusalem and Mi'rāj refers to the 'ourney of Nabi sallallāhu alayhi wa salām from Jerusalem, up and out of the universe, through the seven heavens, and into the direct presence of Allāh Ta'āla.

Mi'rāj

it took place approximately 1 year before Hijri. Jibraīl alayhis salām approached and awoke Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām while he was sleeping.

Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām was taken to Haram, to the Ka'bah and was prepared for a journey, unique and remarkable in the history of the world.

In the Hatīm, Jibraīl and Mika'īl alayhis salām slit Rasūlullahs sallallāhu alayhi wa salām chest, removed and cleansed his heart with the pure waters of Zam-Zam, poured hikmah [wisdom] and imān [faith] from a golden vessel into it, repositioned it, leaving Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām strengthened and equipped for the commencing journey.

Awaiting then at the edge of the mosque was the majestic Al-Buraq, a white winged beast, larger than a donkey, smaller than a mule. The Buraq was to transport Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām to the seven heavens.

With each stride stretched as far as the eye can see, Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām mounted Al-Buraq, sped northwards with Jibraīl alayhis salām to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On reaching, Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām dismounted, tied the Buraq to a hitching post used previously by all Prophets, entered the mosque. On Jibraīl alayhis salām's indication led the congregation of all the Ambiyā alayhimus salām, among whom were Ibrahim, Mūsa, and Isa alayhimus salām. This, by the order of Allāh Taāla was a means of proving that Rasūlullah sallailahu alayhi wa salām was the leader.

Then Jibraīl alayhis salām brought Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām three vessels, containing wine, milk, and honey. Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām looked at them and chose the milk. Jibraīl alayhis salām said, "Praise be to Allāh, who has guided you to tile Fitrah [natural disposition]."

From there Jibraīl alayhis salām led Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām to the first Heaven, and knocked on the gate and the gatekeeper asked, "Who is it?" After receiving Jibraīls alayhis salām reply he, asked, "Who is accompanying you?" It is Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa salām to which he further questioned, "Has he been invited?" Jibraīl alayhis salām said, "Yes." He said, "Then welcome to him, welcome." The inhabitants of Heaven welcomed him joyfully.

At the first heaven they saw a man sitting with a multitude of people. The people on his right caused laughter, and on his left caused grief. The man said, "Welcome to the righteous Prophet and the righteous son. "Rasūullah sallallahu alayhi wa salām returned the greeting and asked, "Who is this?" Jibraīl answered, "This is Adam, and the multitudes on his right are the souls of his descendants who are people of paradise, and on his left are those people of hell." These groups were such whom were the cause of his laughing and weeping.

They then reached the second Heaven, the gatekeeper with Jibra'īl alayhis salām and met Isa and Yahya alayhis salām. Similarly the same occurred on each of the Heavens. On the third he met Yusuf alayhis salām, on the fourth, Idris alayhis salām, on the fifth, Harūn alayhis salām, the sixth, Mūsa alayhis salām and climbing a ladder to get to each Heaven higher up.

On the sixth Heaven Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām made his way higher, Mūsa alayhis salām wept. In reply to Rasūlullahs sallallāhu alayhi wa salām concern, he said, "I weep because of a young man sent after me, whose Ummah will enter Paradise in greater numbers than mine."

It must be kept in mind that Mūsa alayhis salām did not weep out of envy, Allāh forbid, but out of sorrow for those from amongst his Ummah who were disobedient.

Onwards from there, they made their way to the seventh Heaven and met Ibrahim alayhis salām who was leaning on Bait-ul-Mamūr [the much frequented house], a building parallel with the Kabah and directly above it in the Heavens. Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām inquired about it and Jibraīl informed him of the 70,000 angels who pray and perform Tawāf by it daily, then make way for another 70,000 angels and not one from any of them is given the chance to return till the Day of Qiyamah.

Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa salām was taken to see Paradise and Hell. He viewed Paradise's bounties whose domes were pearls and earth pungent musk, and Jahannams severeties. He also reached the point where he heard the 'Pen of Predicament' writing away.

Then Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām was taken to the Lote tree [Sidratul Muntaha].

This is the place where anything, which comes up from earth stops there and is taken from there and anything which comes down from the regions stops there.

It was at this point that Jibraīl alayhis salām appeared manifest in his original form before Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām.

Jibraīl alayhis salām remained alongside and guided Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa salām till the Lote tree beyond which none may pass, or go further.

Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām said, "Youre telling me now to go forth alone when youve remained with me from the Hatīm till the 7th Heaven, even till the Sidratul Muntaha [the Lote tree], so why are you leaving me now'?"

Jibraīl alayhis salām said, "Oh Prophet sallallāhu alayhi wa salām, if I move from this but even as much as one wing, because of the Radiance of Allāh's Nūr [light] all my 600 wings will burn and wither away. This is your excellency and great merit that you are going ahead."

So Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām went forth. Allāh Taāla blessed him with his nearness until he was very close.

THE SECRET OF THIS VEIL IS UNTOLD AND UNTOLD IT SHALL REMAIN

It is said that Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām was given three gifts upon this occasion:

  1. The ending ayahs of Surah Baqarah.
  2. The good news of salvation to those of his Ummah who do not attest polytheism.
  3. The compulsory 5 times salāh.

With these he made his way back down, and met Mūsa alayhis salām who questioned him, "What ordinance did you receive from that select place of audience?"

On hearing about the order of 50 times salāh, Mūsa alayhis salām advised, "I have experienced a lot with Bani Israīl. Your Ummah will not be able to fulfil this. You must return and make a request."

Rasūlullah sallallahu alayhi wa salām returned and requested, "Oh my Lord, my Ummah is weak in body and mind, pray lighten our load."

The order was, "Ten salāh have been made less," So he returned, but Mūsa alayhis salām questioned him again and advised him to request once more. This happened repeatedly till at last all that remained were 5 salāhs. Regarding these Allāh Taāla said: "They are 5 prayers but they are equal in reward to fifty, for my word does not change."

He returned to Mūsa alayhis salām who advised, "Go back to your Lord, by Allāh I urged Bani Israīl to do less than that and even then they failed."

Yet this time Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām said, "I feel ashamed to go before my Lord again, and for disputing with Him."

Mūsa (alayhis salām) said, "Then go down in the name of Allāh."

Thus, this was the end of a miraculous and fruitful journey, by the time Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām returned to Masjid-e-Haram Fajr had dawned.

The significance of the night of Mi'rāj

The miraculous night journey of Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām provided him with additional proof to show to people that he had been sent by Allāh Taāla. It would not have been possible to prove his prophethood to people by describing his trip into the heavens as it was something none had ever experienced before. It would have only sounded like a dream or some far-fetched story. But some of them had then been to Jerusalem and so accurate was Rasūlullahs sallallāhu alayhi wa salām description of the Masjid Al-Aqsa and its surroundings in detail that would confirm his claims. Besides he also provided a description of a caravan and lost camel and all this proved beyond doubt that he was a Nabi of Allāh Taāla.

Lessons learnt from Mi'rāj

1.     Salāh: The greatest pillar of Islam. Salāh was the first act of worship, which Allāh made compulsory on Muslims and it was the only one, which He ordered in Makkah. All the other pillars of Islam were made obligatory in Madinah, after the Hijrah. This pillar is so important that Allāh Taāla chose to ordain it when He spoke directly to Rasūlullah (sallallāhu alayhi wa salām) in the heavens.

2.     To make a firm commitment not to miss a single salāh in one's life.

  1. The Mi'rāj of a believer is one's salāt five times daily. In this way one can be in contact with Allāh Taāla.
  2. Not to delay in the performing of the salāh.
  3. Males must read all their salāh with jamāt.

Fasting

Learned scholars say it was not the practice of Rasūlullah sallallāhu alayhi wa salām to fast on the 27th of Rajab.

Duā:

Allahuma bārik lanā fiy Rajab wa ballaghinā ilā Ramadhān

["O Allāh bless us in the month of Rajab and Shabān and let us see the month of Ramadhān."]

SHA'BAAN

Sha'baan

Sha'baan is the eighth month of the Islamic Calendar.

Literal meaning: Sha'baan means to spread and distribute. During this month blessings descend and the provisions and sustenance of man is distributed.

Beginning of Sha'baan

Blessings are initiated and progressively escalate so that by mid-Sha'baan the blessings have reached a considerable amount and finally these blessings reach their peak by the end of Ramadhaan.

What is Sha'baan ?

Sha'baan is the month that comes between Rajab and Ramadhaan. There are many virtuous days with which Allah Ta'aala has blessed His Nabi's sallallahu alayhi wasallam Ummah. He has promised us great reward for each and every virtuous deed, even if it be as small as removing something from a pathway that may trouble others.

Yet, look at the ignorance of the Muslims. We let things slip through our fingers not realising that time is lost forever ! Each breath of a man is a step nearer to his death, nearer to the time of reckoning before his Creator, on the Day of Resurrection.

Every day Allah Ta'aala through His love and mercy has allocated a specific time in which those who call unto Him are answered. He has set aside certain days in which mercy has no limits, to those who plead for it. From amongst the special times and days is the month of Sha'baan, in which each deed acted upon, is rewarded more generously by Allah Ta'aala than compared to any other day.

Why is Sha'baan important ?

In a Hadeeth Sayyidina Usamah radhiallahu anhu reports that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "There is a month between Rajab and Ramadhaan called Sha'baan, people are very ignorant towards this month, even though the reward of each deed is greater within it and the deeds are presented to Allah Ta'aala." (Imam Baihaqi reports this hadeeth in his kitaab Shuab-ul-Imaan).

It has been narrated by Sayyidina Anas radhiallahu that upon the arrival of Rajab, Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to recite,

"OAllah! bless us abundantly in Rajab and Sha'baan and deliver us safely unto Ramadhaan."

It has also been stated in the kitaab 'Daylami' that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam proclaimed, "Sha'baan is my month." In another hadeeth Sayyiditina Aa'isha radhiallahu anha narrates that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam preferred to observe the fasts of Sha'baan thus uniting them with the fasts of Ramadhaan. From the above Ahaadeeth we learn the significance of Sha'baan and Rasoolullah's sallallahu alayhi wasallam attachment to this blessed month.

This month should be spent preparing for Ramadhaan, by dong virtuous deeds, so that in Ramadhaan we undertake even more virtuous deeds. By then hopefully our religious duties would become habitual.

Events of Sha'baan

1. 'Laila-tul-Baraa'at' (Night of forgiveness), the fifteenth night of Sha'baan.

2. 'Qibla', the direction to face in Salaat, was once again reverted to the Kabah in Makkah (after facing Bait-ul-Muqaddas in Jerusalem for a short period of time). This took place two years after Hijrah on the 15th of Sha'baan.

3. Fasting in the blessed month of Ramadhaan was made compulsory two years after Hijrah on the 25th of Sha'baan

What to do on Laylatul Baraa'ah (I5th night of Sha'baan)

As much time as possible should be spent in nafl salaah and reciting of the Qur'aan. It is reported that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said to Sayyidltina Ayesha radhiyallahu anha, "On this night read this dua and teach it to others too, for Jibra'eel alayhis salaam has taught this dua to me"

 

I seek protection in Your forgiveness from Your wrath, and I seek shelter in Your pleasure from your displeasure, and I seek safety with You from You. Glory be to You. I cannot fully praise You, as You have praised Yourself

Virtue of the 15th night of Sha'baan

Allah Ta'ala descends to the lower heaven and turns with special mercy and forgiveness towards those who repent and seek forgiveness. Unlike any other night, wherein Allah Ta'ala descends during the latter part of the night, on the 15th night of Sha'baan, Allah Ta'ala descends to the lower heaven from sunset onwards.

Authenticity

Allamah ibn Taymlyyah, a prominent scholar dedicated to refute innovations, states "So many Ahadeeth and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Sha'baan, that one is compelled to accept that this night does possess some virtue".

Unfortunate People

It is understood from the Ahadeeth that even on this night, some servants of Allah Ta'ala are deprived of His forgiveness.

They are as follows:

1 . Idolators

2. Consumers of alcohol

3, Those who disobey their parents

4. Those who commit adultery and murder

5. Those who sever family ties

6. Those who harbour enmity against others

7 Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis etc. below their ankles.

We can thus gauge the severity of these sins and the need to abstain from them as they are so grave that even on an occasion when Allah Ta'ala's mercy comes to the fore, they still poise an obstacle to our forgiveness.

Shawwal

 

Month of the Year: Shawwal is the tenth month of the Islamic Calendar

 

Literal Meaning: Shawwal means to be light and vigorous. During this month the Arabs used to be active and hunt a lot, giving this month its name.

The first day of this month marks the end of Ramadhān and is also the day of "Eid-ul-Fitr".

It is the beginning of Ash'hurul Haj (the months of Haj are Shawwal, Dhul Qa'dah and the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

Dhul Qa'dah

Dhul Qa'dah is the elevent month of the Islamic Calendar. It is a month amongst the months of Hajj. It is the first among the four sacred months (Ash'hurul Hurum).

Literal Meaning: Qa'dah means to rest. The Arabs used to stop fighting when this month set in and stayed home. This is from among the sacred months.

However, no specific rules are prescribed for this month, except for those persons performing Hajj and are in the Sacred City of Makkah Mukkaramah and are required to follow the Rules of Hajj.

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