With the sighting of the new moon the Islamic New Year is ushered in. The first month Muharram, is a month of great reward and virtue. Muharram itself means `sacred' and is from those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Holy Quraan. Almighty Allah states in the Holy Quraan:
"Four of them ( Zil-Qadah, Zil-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are sacred."
From out of the four sacred months, Muharram has been blessed with certain specific virtues:- The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:
"The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhan is the fasting of Allah's month of Muharram."(Hadith-Muslim)
"The one that keeps a fast in the month of Muharram will receive the reward of thirty fasts for each fast (in this sacred month)."(Hadith:Tabraani)
Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, the one who fasts in these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Almighty Allah.
The Day of Aashora (10th Muharram)
Although the month of Muharram is a sacred month as a whole, the 10th of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named 'Ashurah'. It is one of the most important and blessed days of Allah in the Islamic calendar.
The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) has exhorted and encouraged his Ummah to fast on this day. He said:
"This fast[Aahura] is a compensation for the (minor) sins of the past year." (Hadith:Muslim)
"Observe the fast of Aashora and oppose the Jews. Fast a day before it or a day after."(Hadith:Baihaqi)
Hence, it is important to either fast on the ninth and the tenth or the tenth and the eleventh of Muharram. To fast only on the day of Aashora is Makrooh(undesirable).
One should be generous on one's family and dependants and spend more on them than what is normally spent.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:
"One who generously spends on his family on the day of Aashora, Allah will increase (his provision) for the whole year." (Hadith:Baihaqi)
These are the actions supported by Ahadeeth. Let us observe this great day according to the ways of Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) and the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu-Anhum), and refrain from all innovations which deprive us of the blessings from Almighty Allah.
May Allah guide us all upon the Straight Path and save us from every act which brings His displeasure.