Importance of Muharram - Islamic New Year 1443



Assalamu Alaikum Brothers and Sisters, 

We have commenced the new year 1443. We are in the month of Muharram. Which is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Why is this month called Muharram? Indeed the number of months in the eyes of Allah [SWT] is 12. The day that he created the heavens and the earth. From among them there are four that are haram. Haram meaning prohibited. The prophet [SAW] explains that the prohibition of commencing war, killing things or causing harm, destruction etc. These are sacred months.

  1. Muharram

  2. Rajab

  3. Dhul Khaida

  4. Dhul Hijjah

If someone were to attack you during these months. You're allowed to defend yourself and to attack back. But you're not allowed to commence any form of disturbance or warfare. Be alert and be awake more than other months. Make sure that you are at peace. Not only with Allah [SWT], but even with others. Make sure you go out of your way to achieve that. May Allah [SWT] make it easy. 

Similarly Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. People generally look at resolutions. They ask themselves, what should I be doing! It's the new year, It's the end of the previous year, etc. My brothers and sisters, as Muslims were supposed to be making resolutions every night. We're supposed to be renewing our vows with Allah [SWT] every night. We're supposed to be seeking forgiveness every night. We're taught to make sure when we go to bed. We make peace with Allah [SWT]. 

There is a supplication that you and I are supposed to be reading before going to bed every night. Part of it, ask: “Oh Allah, if you take my soul away in my sleep. Then have mercy on it. If you send it back, then protect me in the same way that you protect the slaves of yours”. 

From this supplication we do recognize. We should be recognizing. We have no guarantee of waking up the following morning. We should be making peace with Allah [SWT] every single day. Seek forgiveness. Promise Allah [SWT] you're going to be a better person. Never give up. If you've fallen into sin again and again, you need to go back to Allah [SWT] again and again. May Allah [SWT] grant us a beautiful return to him. [Ameen]

People sometimes only specify resolutions for the end of the year. That's not something that should be once a year. It should be as I explained very often. Similarly we also need to understand that the years are clicking. They are clicking away. May Allah [SWT] grant us understanding. 

We're becoming closer to the day we're going to be meeting with Allah [SWT]. We're excited that the years are passing. But we should also be equally concerned if not more about what we have done to present to Allah [SWT]. The day that he takes us away. What have I done? What have you done to present to Allah [SWT]? 

Be conscious of the almighty. Develop the correct relationship with Allah [SWT] and each one of you should be looking into what you have prepared to hand in tomorrow. Tomorrow meaning, when you meet with Allah [SWT], what are you going to give him? All your deeds you've done. Good news to those who are going to give a lot of repentance or Tawba. Turning back to Allah [SWT] seeking forgiveness from Allah [SWT]. If you have a lot of that on your slate and you're going to be presenting that to Allah [SWT]. Good news to you. May Allah [SWT] forgive us and grant us goodness. 

My brothers and sisters, the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. We need to realize it has a certain value. The Prophet [SAW] towards the end of his life used to fast a lot in the month of Muharram. So while we do have the fasting of the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. We do have the compulsory fasting of Ramadan. The Dhul-hijjah fasts are not compulsory. But they hold great value. The fast of Arafah holds great value. The fasts of Muharram also hold great value with the tenth of Muharram being the peak of these fasts. 

So what exactly happened on the 10th of Muharram. When the Prophet [SWT] came to Madina Munawara. He found that the Jewish community used to fast on the tenth of Muharram. When he inquired about it, he was told this is the day that the Prophet Musa [AS] was saved from the Pharaoh. The day that Allah [SWT] caused the Pharaoh to die. 

If you take a look at my brothers and sisters, it was something very interesting. The Prophet [SAW] made a comment immediately. He says we should be following or we should be more happy about the saving of the Prophet Musa [AS] than the Jews. He's obviously a prophet of Islam. He's obviously one of the great five prophets that Allah [SWT] mentions in the Quran. He says we should be fasting as well. 

In order to be slightly different. We're encouraged to fast for two days. The ninth and the tenth. So the tenth holds great value. The Prophet [SAW] says: “Whoever fasts on the tenth, perhaps their sins of this year would be forgiven”.  Which means, the sins of the previous year would be forgiven. Here referring to the minor sins. They are forgiven. 

So let's try our best to fast on the tenth and to add the ninth in order to be slightly different. So on the tenth we should be fasting. The ninth we should add it because that was the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad [SAW]. If for some reason you can only fast the tenth. It's fine. May Allah [SWT] grant us the ability to fast both on the ninth and the tenth. May Allah [SWT] make it easy for every single one of us. 

However this depicts the victory of the oppressed over the oppressor. It also depicts the defeat of the oppressor. No matter how powerful he thinks he is. So we should be pondering for a moment. We should be thanking Allah [SWT]. We should have hope in Allah [SWt]. If someone has wronged you, they've oppressed you, they've blackmailed you, they've usurped your wealth, they keep on harassing you. Whatever else they may be doing. Remember triumph will come, Remember they will be defeated, remember Allah [SWT] is not oblivious of what is happening. He knows and he is going to deal with the matter decisively. 

Musa [AS] and his people struggled for a long time. But a day came when much to their disbelief the Pharaoh was defeated and he was defeated by water. Subhanallah. Allah [SWT] used water to drown him. He was so strong, so powerful. He was defeated. So those who are oppressed. Don't worry. The day will come. It is coming and it's very near. When you will see victory by the will of Allah [SWT]. Keep going. Don't give up. Don't lose hope in the mercy of Allah [SWT]. 

Those who are oppressors, if you are harming others, you are not going to get away with it. You need to seek forgiveness and make amends before a day comes, similar to the day of Firoun, the day of Qaroon, the day of Haman. Those were the people who thought they would never ever see any bad day, difficult day or a day of punishment. 

But they were punished in such a way that their examples are given to this day. So remember may commence if you are doing wrong to someone whether it is in your family, whether it is your circle of friends, whether it is your circle of acquaintances or just a strange person. No matter what it is if you are doing wrong. Remember you may get away for a little while but Allah [SWT] is definitely not oblivious of it. 

He is going to come and give triumph to those whom you have oppressed. May Allah [SWT] grant us triumph over the oppressor. May Allah [SWT] defeat the oppressor. May Allah [SWT] grant goodness to all those who are struggling across the globe. So it is the season of triumph over the oppressor. Don't lose hope my brothers and sisters and let's fast in order to celebrate the successes that the Prophet [SAW] spoke about. 

[Narrations From Mufti Menk]


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