The month of Allah Muharram is a great and blessed month. It is the first month of the Hijri year and is one of the sacred months concerning which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred, (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein”
[Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36].
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said, concerning the words of Allah “so wrong not yourselves therein” [Soorat at-Tawbah 9:36]: (The command not to wrong yourself) applies in all months, then Allah singled out four months and made them sacred, and emphasised their sanctity, and He made sin during these months more grave, and He made righteous deeds and the reward thereof greater.
👉Qatadah said: Allah has chosen elites from His creation: from among the angels He chose Messengers, from among mankind He chose Messengers, from among speech He chose remembrance of Him (dhikr), from among spaces on earth He chose the mosques, from among the months He chose Ramadan and the sacred months, from among days He chose Friday (Jumu‘ah), and from among nights He chose Laylat al-Qadr.
So venerate that which has been chosen by Allah, for people of understanding and wisdom respect that which has been chosen by Allah. (End quote Ibn Khatir)
1. *Fasting on Tasu’a (9th) and Ashura (10th)*
“I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Ashura’, and this month, meaning Ramadhan.”Reported by Al-Bukhari, 1867
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “For fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” [Reported by Muslim, 1976]
☆ *Why fast Tasu’a*
Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased withu them both) said: “When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fasted on ‘Ashura’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘If I live to see the next year, in sha Allah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away before the next year came.” [Reported by Muslim, 1916]
👉An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
📚”The scholars – our companions and others – mentioned several reasons why it is mustahabb to fast on Tasu’a’:
🖊The intention behind it is to be different from the Jews, who only venerate the tenth day.
🖊This opinion was reported from Ibn ‘Abbas …
🖊The intention is to add another day’s fast to ‘Ashura’. This is akin to the prohibition on fasting a Friday by itself, as was mentioned by al-Khattabi and others.
🖊To be on the safe side and make sure that one fasts on the tenth, in case there is some error in sighting the crescent moon at the beginning of Muharram and the ninth is in fact the tenth.”
2. *Fasting on other days of the month*
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The best fast after Ramadan is in the month of Allah Muharram.”
One should therefore try to fast alot of nawafil fasts seeking reward in this holy month. The one already given to fasting twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) as the prophet (saw) used to can make it thrice a week, while others can try to cultivate the sunnah or try to fast once every week (4 times a month) at least fast on the white days (13th, 14th and 15th) as also recommended by the prophet (saw).
3. *Refraining from bad deeds and increasing in good deeds*
Engaging in bad deeds at any time of the year is sinful and a righteous believer should always try to refrain from it. But muharram being a holy month, sins committed in it are more gravious as mentioned by our righteous predecessors.
So an extra effort should be made to desist from sinful acts while increasing in the performance of good deeds-Nawafil prayers, charity, saying words of praise, teaching and reminding one’s sister or brother about the deen e.t.c since alhamdulillah, they too, incur a greater reward from Allah (swt).
With excerpts from islamqa.com
O Allah (swt), make us of the doers of good this month and accept it from us, ameen thumma ameen.