Sabahat Anwar discusses the significance of the 11th, 12th, and 1st months of the Islamic calendar.
Dhul-Qadah – the 11th month
- The 2nd among the 3 months of Hajj.
- The 1st among the four sacred months (Ashhurul Hurum). The others are Dhul- Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab.
Meaning: Qada means ‘to rest’. Since the Arabs regarded this month as sacred, they would stop fighting and stay at home, when it started. No specific Ibadat is prescribed for this month.
- 5 AH – battle of Khandaq (trench or Ahzab).
- 6 AH – truce of Hudaibiyah and Bayt-e-Rizwan (oath of allegiance).
- 7 AH – the Prophet (sa) and Sahabahs returned to Makkah to perform Umrah.
Dhul-Hijjah – the 12th month
Meaning: month of ‘Hajj’ (the pilgrimage), the fifth pillar of Islam. Since Hajj is performed during the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, these days are considered better than other days of the year.
Virtues and activities of these 10 days:
- Allah swears an oath by them, “By the dawn; by the ten nights.” (Al-Fajr 89:1-2) This indicates the importance of these days.
- Do good deeds and repent sincerely. “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days. So during this time, recite Tahleel (La ilaha illa Allah), Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), and Tahmeed (Alhumdulillah) frequently.” (Ahmad)
- Extra reward for fasting. “To observe a fast on any of these days is equivalent to fasting throughout the year, to actively engage in prayer and worship throughout any of these nights holds such rewarding values, leveling with Laylatul-Qadr.” (At-Tirmidhi)
- Narrated Abu Hurairah (rta), Allah’s messenger (sa) also said: “An Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) is an expiation for sins committed between it and the next, but an accepted Hajj will receive no less a reward than Paradise.” (Agreed upon)
- 2 AH – Fatimah (rta) married the fourth Caliph Ali.
- 10 AH – Last revelation, farewell Hajj, and deliverance of the “Last Sermon” by the Prophet (sa).
- 21 AH – Conquest of Egypt by the army sent by Umar (rta).
- 23 AH – Umar (rta) martyred.
- 35 AH – Uthman (rta) martyred.
Muharram – the 1st month
Muharram (sacred) was so named, since it was forbidden to fight during it.
Muharram is the 3rd of the 4 sacred months.
10th Muharram (Ashura) is a day of great significance.
- Allah liberated Musa (as) and Bani Israel from Firawn’s tyranny.
- Nuh’s (as) ark settled on Mount Judi after the Great Flood.
- Qiyamah (Day of Judgement) will occur.
- Fast on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th of Muharram. Although it is a Nafl fast, the Prophet (sa) practiced it. The Jews in Madinah fasted on Ashura to commemorate Musa’s and Bani Israel’s liberation. To differentiate from them, we should fast an additional day – before or after the 10th. “The best of fasts, apart from Ramadan, is fasting during Allah’s month Muharram.” (Muslim)
- Spend on one’s family. “He who will be generous to his family on the day of Ashura, Allah will be generous to him for the entire year.” (Baihaqi). The orphans, the needy, relatives, and widows should not be forgotten!
- Practicing Jahiliyyah (ignorance) activities, such as superstitions, extravagance, and Bidat (innovations) in any month, have been condemned by the Prophet (sa).