An effort in f a c i l i t a t i o n

Muharram: Do’s and Don’ts

Dear sisters and brothers, Assalamu Alaikum. Bismillah..

Owing to its relevance and importance, the following is presented here:

 * Muharram is one of the four sacred Months out of twelve. The other three months being Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Rajab. These four months have been sacred since the creation of universe – as told by Allah in the Qur’an in Surah Taubah.
* Muharram is a sacred month NOT because the grandson of Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم  was martyred in this month. It is sacred because Allah made it sacred along with three other months and told us about it in the Quran.

Facts about Aashurah – The 10th of Muharram:

* Fasting on the 10th Muharram, i.e. Aashura, was obligatory on the Muslims before the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory.
* Fasting on the 10th of Muharram expiates the sins of the previous year.
* Prophet Musa عليه السلام and the Bani Israel were saved from the Pharaoh by the parting of the sea on 10th Muharram.
* Prophet Musa عليه السلام as a sign of gratitude to Allah used to fast on the day of Aashura and Jews did the same.
* Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم on hearing the fast of Musa عليه السلام also ordered the Muslims to fast on this day and himself did the same.
* Prophet Muhammad  صلّى الله عليه وسلّم decided to fast on 9th Muharram as well to differentiate from the Jews but he passed away before he could do so.

Misconceptions about Aashura:

* This is the day Prophet Adam عليه السلام was created
* This is the day when Allah accepted the repentance of Adam
* This is the day when Ibrahim عليه السلام was born.
* This is the day the Qiyamah (doomsday) will occur.

* Whoever takes bath on the day of Aashura will never get ill.
* Muharram is an evil or unlucky month (due to the battle of Karbala)
* Marriages should not be held in Muharram.

All of the above are misconceptions based on unauthentic traditions. This misconception can be easily removed by the fact that on the exact same day Hussain  رضي الله عنه was martyred, hundreds of years ago Prophet Musa عليه السلام and his followers were saved from Pharaoh. The day can not be lucky and unlucky at the same time.

Historical Facts about Muharram:

* Caliph Umar al Farooq رضي الله عنه succumbed to his injuries and attained Martyrdom on the 1st of Muharram, 23 AH (After Hijri)
* Grandson of Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم Hussain ibn Ali رضي الله عنه  along with most of his family members was martyred in the desert of Karbala in Iraq on the 10th of Muharram.

Authentic Ibadah (Worship) of Muharram:

* Fasting in Muharram (any day)
* Fasting on 10th Muharram and combining it with the fast of 9th Muharram to distinguish from the Jews.

Innovations and things to avoid in Muharram:

* Preparing special dishes in Muharram.
* Holding lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain رضي الله عنه

* Cursing the companions.

All these are deviant practices which go against the basic teachings of Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم  He said “He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Sayyidina Hussain رضي الله عنه before his demise advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab رضي الله عنها not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said, “My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.” (Al-Kamil, ibn Kathir vol. 4 pg. 24)

It is evident from this advice of Sayyidina Hussain رضي الله عنه that this type of mourning is condemned even by the blessed person for the memory of whom these mourning ceremonies are held. Every Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the teachings of the Holy Prophet, صلّى الله عليه وسلّم and his beloved grand child Sayyidina Hussain, رضي الله عنه

To read another good article on Muharram click here

November 25, 2011 - Posted by | Islamic Months | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Jazaakallaah khayran!

    Comment by Abu Fouzaan Qaasim | November 25, 2011 | Reply

    • Wa Iyyaaka, Ya Akhee.

      Comment by MuQeet | November 25, 2011 | Reply

  2. Salaam
    You wrote: * Preparing special dishes in Muharram.
    Does this include the ashuraa porridge(like the one eaten by Prophet Nuh (as) aboard his ark) cooked on 9 or 10 muharram for the iftar of the people who fast on that day?

    Comment by Suhailah | November 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Wa alaikumus salam. There is no authenticity in preparing the special dish of ‘ashura porridge’ or any other dish whatsoever.

      Comment by MuQeet | November 26, 2011 | Reply

      • I found this hadith,
        On the authority of Sufyan ibn Huyaynah from Ja‘far Al-Ahmar from Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Al-Muntashir, who was one of the best Hadith narrators at his time, that he was informed that: Anyone who gives generously to his family on the Day of ‘Ashura’, Allah will give him generously the rest of the year.
        Although some scholars consider this hadith to be weak, others like Imam Bayhaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable. Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali relates from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) that he did consider some basis for them. He also quotes Sufyan ibn Uyayna (Allah have mercy on him) as saying, “I have practiced this [spending on the family] for fifty or sixty years, and have found nothing but good in it.” (Lata’if al-Ma’arif P 64)
        Moreover, scholars have generally agreed on the permissibility of acting upon weak narrations for virtuous actions, as long as they are not fabricated (mawdu’).
        However, this practice should not be considered as firmly established from the Sunna, and thus, one should avoid attaching extra significance to it.
        I summarised this from http://www.muftisays.com/blog/Seifeddine-M/2276_01-12-2011/charity-and-spending-on-one%92s-family-on-ashura-.html and http://alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=154&PageNo=1&BookID=10

        So maybe this explains the tradition to cook the ashura porridge on the day of ashura and give it out to ones family, even distant relatives.
        The mosques here too distribute free porridge on this day.
        They may have acted upon this hadith:
        Narrated on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`As that he said: Anyone who fasts on the Day of ‘Ashura’ it is as if they fasted the entire year. And, anyone who gives Sadaqah on this day it is as if they have given it during the whole year. (Recorded by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma’arif from Abu Musa al-Madini)

        Anyway, providing iftaar for people fasting on any day is virtuous and greatly rewarded.

        It was narrated that Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.”

        Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 807; Ibn Maajah, 1746. Classed as saheeh by Ibn Hibaan, 8/216 and by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 6415.

        As most people fast on the day of Ashura, distributing free porridge on that day is like the distribution of free porridge in Ramadan.
        The problem is, it has been done for here decades that some people label it waajib or they consider it as tradition, like me.
        Alhamdulillah brother for this article as it prompted me to start researching about this ‘tradition’.
        And JazakAllah Khayra brother for inspiring me to have a blog as having a blog and also meeting other wonderful bloggers and their blogs has opened my mind and granted me maturity in thought.
        If you look at my previous comment, you can see the immaturity of my thoughts. Alhamdulillah, having a blog has made me think and guided me in researching for authentic Islamic materials:)
        JazakAllah and Wassalam
        By the way, feedback on the authenticity of my own ‘inferences’ above taken from various sources is greatly appreciated:)
        BarakAllahu Feek!

        Comment by Suhailah | November 16, 2012 | Reply

        • Assalamu Alaikum, sister for your research and the urge to understand Islam in a better way. Alhamdulillah

          Jazakallah Khayr for your comment and the appreciation. All Praise belongs to Allah alone!
          The Alifta website reference is very clear, I feel.

          I go by the conclusion which clearly says:
          “In reference to giving Sadaqah (voluntary charity) on that day, there is the Hadith of `Abdullah ibn `Amr that was previously mentioned in the statements of Al-Hafizh ibn Rajab and it is Mawquf (words or deeds narrated from a Companion of the Prophet that are not attributed to the Prophet). It was reported from him by Abu Musa Al-Madiny; however, Al-Hafizh ibn Rajab (may Allah be merciful to him) did not mention anything about its Isnad. But, most of the narrators from whom Abu Musa Al-Madiny transmitted were ranked as weak and unauthentic narrators. Therefore, it is not permissible to act upon such a Hadith unless it is proven to be authentically reported from `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`As (may Allah be pleased with them both). In case this is proven, it is to be considered Marfu‘ since such a statement cannot be issued as a personal opinion.”

          May Allah bless you with His choicest blessings both in this world and in the Hereafter. Aameen.

          Comment by MuQeet | November 16, 2012 | Reply

  3. Ok, I read your other post. You should have written that “it is not sunnah to prepare special dishes on that day”, however, it is permissible. The way you wrote it made me think that it is just an innovation and we should avoid doing it.
    No offence…Salaam

    Comment by Suhailah | November 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Sister, the other post tells about the special dishes prepared on the day of ashura. This post tells about the special dishes prepared in the whole month by some people. Whether it is one day or for the whole month, in both cases it is against the Sunnah.
      I respect your comment and yes, sister, there is no offence. We are trying to learn Islam in a better way. Thank you for your comments. Jazakillah Khayr. Vassalam.

      Comment by MuQeet | November 26, 2011 | Reply

  4. Brilliant post anyway!

    Comment by Suhailah | November 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Wa Iyyaaka, dear sister. Please keep sending your comments. It makes me think. Vassalam.

      Comment by MuQeet | November 26, 2011 | Reply

  5. Jazak Allah Khair my brother .

    Comment by islamicgleams | December 7, 2011 | Reply

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  7. assalam alaikum, can you please quote the hadith or verse about the * Caliph Umar al Farooq succumbed to his injuries and attained Martyrdom on the 1st of Muharram, 23 AH (After Hijri) *
    thank you.

    Comment by andleeb | October 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullah.
      Hadith or verse??
      In this case you have to look into his biography, the books on history.

      Comment by MuQeet | October 16, 2015 | Reply

  8. Bro. MuQeet salaam alaikum! an atheist posted this question to me:
    Reading the hadith by Ibn Abbas. It does strike me as unusual that your Prophet was unaware of ‘Jewish History’ . Allah’s final Prophet, the Seal of Prophethood. The Prophet who is to deliver Allah’s message and lead makind into a new age. And He is unaware of the history of the Jews and incorporates their ideas into his religion. Doesnt seem right to me.

    your insightful reply will help me to narrate to him in an appropriate way. Jazakallah.

    Comment by Akram | October 21, 2015 | Reply

    • Wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullah.
      Which hadeeth of Ibn Abbas (R.A) you are talking about?

      Comment by MuQeet | October 21, 2015 | Reply

      • Assalam alaikum,

        Isn’t it obvious as to which Hadith he is referring to. He wants to know about the Ashura Fast derived from the Jews History.

        Comment by Muzzamil Fakara | October 12, 2016 | Reply

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