The month of Muharram - The Hijra new year
Written by: SK. Younis Salih
Translated by Dr. Faheem Bukhatwa
02 Al-Muhurram 1429
Thanks be to Allah Lord of the worlds. And peace and prayers be upon the most honorable of all messengers,
Allah assigned special privileges to the day of Friday and the day of Arafa, the days of (Tashreeq) or the three Eid days after Hajj, the day of Eid 10th of Del-Hejjah, The last ten days of Ramadan, the night of Qadr (the night the Quran was descended from the heavens) in the month of Ramadan and the special Haram or sanctified months. This month that starts today is the month of “Muharram”. It is also one of the four Muslim forbidden or sacred or haram months. Those Haram or sanctified months are: 11 Thul-Qada, 12 thul-Hejjah, 01 Al-Muharram, and 07 Rajab.
Many Muslims’ historic events took place in the month of Muharram, amongst them: the tear up of the article boycotting Muslims issued by Quraish, the sending of the messages by the messenger ppbu to the kings and rulers of the big empires at the time. In addition, the approval of the Muslim’s Hijry dates calendar, the battle of Kadissiyah and the prophet (PPBU) going for Khaiber. They all happened during the month of Al-Muharram.
After the Hijrah or migration of the prophet (PPBU) to the city of Madinah, he entered into a treaty with the Jews. They did not adhere to it, they broke the promises they made; and betrayed the agreement they signed with the prophet. They inflicted suffering upon Muslims in contrary to the treaty. So the prophet (PPBU) cancelled the treaty and decided to face up the Jews. They kept plotting against Islam and entered into several treaties with Gatafan clan into a united front to face Muslims despite the treaties which clearly prevented both sides from doing so.
In the month of Muharram of the 7th year after Hijrah a Muslim army of 1400 fighters including 200 nights led by the prophet himself headed to Khaiber. The Jewish armies assembled in the city of Khaiber and took their positions inside the highly fortified castles, and the Muslim army surrounded it.
Outside Khaiber the army stopped and the prophet made this duaa’ or prayer:
Lord of the seven heavens and what they cover,
And lord of the seven earths and what they contained,
And lord of all Satans and whom they misguided,
We ask you the good in this town and the best of its people, and the best of what’s in it.
We ask you to protect us from the evil in this town and evil of its people and the worst of what’s in it.
At night the messenger (PPBU) told his companions that the next day he will give the leadership of the army to a man who loves Allah and who is loved by Allah. All were wondering who the lucky one who is being loved by Allah. At dawn prayer they all assembled except Ali the cousin of the prophet who had a skin rash; and he was sick and was unable to make to Fajr (dawn) prayer. He was the one, selected by the prophet (PPBU) and he gave him the leadership.
The prophet’s instructions were: “Call them to Islam, Tell them what’s in it, By Allah, if through you Allah will guide to Islam one of them is better to you than all you may gain winning a fight”.
The Jews had a man whom they called Marhab. He was a very big and strong and heavy man. He was known amongst the Jews to equal a hundred men. He dared the Muslim army for a man-to-man fight. Ali Ben-Talib came out from the Muslim side and the fight started. It only took a few seconds when Marhab fell off his horse awkwardly and he broke his neck.
Ali called them to Islam, they refused and the fight took place. Muslims took over the highly fortified castles one after the other.
They made an offer instead of having to leave the land. They offered to work the land and pay half the produce to the Muslims who accepted. This arrangement or agreement continued until the time they attempted to poison the prophet (PPBU). His companion at the meal Beshr ben-al-Bara (ÈÔÑ ÅÈä ÇáÈÑÇÁ) died from poisoning.
The prophet (PPBU) recommended fasting on the tenth day of the month of al-Muharram which is the day of Ashooraa’. When he came to Madina on his migration from Mekkah he found that Jews fast that day. When he asked them the reason why they fast, they told him that this is a good day; it is the day Allah save the children of Israel from their enemy Pharos. Prophet Moses used to fast this day. The Prophet Muhammad (PPBU) said: “I am more deserving (or more entitled) to Moses than they are.” He did fast this day and he ordered Muslims to do so. The scholars differ: some recommend fasting three days: 9th, 10th and 11th of Muharram, some recommend two days: 9th and 10th and some recommend to fast the 10th day alone.
The inhabitants of the city of Al-Medina that received and supported the messenger (PPBU) when he immigrated from Mekkah in the very early years of Islam.
Adhan - The call to prayer.
Ansar (or Al-Ansar):
Assalam Alaikum - The Islamic greeting, literately means: Peace be with you. Used when approaching or leaving. When used during approaching it will be like saying: I bring no harm to you . and when said during leaving somebody it will mean: No harm will come to you after I leave.
is a verse of the Koran. It also means a miracle or a sign from God.
Aya (or Ayah):
is a mountain outside the city of Mecca that represents the climax of the Hajj worship. All doing Hajj must stay at this location on the same day.
Arafa (or Arafah or Arafat):
Badr - The place of the first significant battle between the Muslims and the pagans of the Quraish. It is located in Saudi Arabia.
Caliph - A Muslim ruler. See: (Khalifa)
Dajjal - Antichrist or the False Massiah.
Dawah - The proliferation of Islamic teachings through word and deed.
Deen (Din) - Religion or way of life.
talking to Allah; praising him and asking him for help.
Duaa: a prayer in the form of
Fatwa - Legal verdict given based on the Qur'an (Koran) and the Sunnah which are the recorded sayings and deeds of Muhammad.
Ferdose: is the highest level of the all the gardens of Eden or paradise.
Fiqh - Religious law.
Hadeeth: is something reported that the messenger have said. It includes all the speeches and ceremonies he gave. It is usually narrated or told by one of his companions. There is a list of hadeeths approximately 14000 that are reported and checked to be genuine. No more hadeeths are acceptably added to this list.
Hajar - The Black Stone set into the corner of the Ka'aba in Mecca. It is said to be a stone from Heaven.
Hajj - The pilgrimage to Mecca which takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar. One of the five pillars of Islam.
Hasana or hasanas: is the reward for a good deed. a hasana is a point or a merit for a good deed.
Hadith - The sayings and not deeds of the prophet Muhammad recorded by his followers. Considered authoritative and perfect.
Hajj: is the worship of pilgrimage.
Hijra (or Hejrah): the event of the immigration of the messenger from Mekkah to Madina. This event marks the start of the Islamic calendar. the Islamic calendar has 12 months based on the lunar cycle, each is 29.5 days. Hijra is also used as a name for the Islamic dating system.
Ibadah - Worship. All the words and deeds with which Allah is pleased. These deeds could be prayer and charity.
Iblis - (Ibleese): On of Satan's names.
Ibn (Ebn): the son of. Used by Arabs as part of an individual's name. Example: Ali whose father is Omar or the son of Omar, would be called: Ali Ibn Omar.
Imam (or Emam)- The leader for a prayer. In the Shiaa sect, an Imam is the individual who has the religious authority.
Iman: belief or faith
Injil (Enjeel) - The Bible. The book inspired to Jesus for the Christians.
Islam - Submission, the religion of all the prophets of Allah culminating in Muhammad.
Jannah - The heavenly garden, Paradise. The place of the faithful in the afterlife.
Jihad: is striving in the line of Allah in many forms. Includes a very wide scope varying from improving oneself to fighting a defensive war in protection of Allah's word. The greatest Jihad is the fight one's self against temptations. It also means "holy war."
Jinn - Supernatural, invisible beings race of beings, below angels. They were made from fire. Like humans, there amongst them are the faithful and the non beleivers and Jinn shall be judged on Judgment Day.
Ka'aba: A cube shaped building in Mecca containing a stone laid there by Abraham and Ishmael. Some say Ka'aba was first built by Adam, and some say by Abraham. It is the holiest place for Muslims. It is where all Muslims face in their daily prayers. Ka'aba also makes a major part of the pilgrimage in a ritual known as Tawaf.
Khalifa: is the Muslim ruler. Head of the Islamic empire. Exact translation: "Successor".
Khutbah - A sermon given in a Mosque, usually on Friday.
Kufr - Denial or Disbelief. A term Muslims use for anyone who denies existence of Allah or the prophecy of Muhammed.
Koran - Also spelled Qur'an. The holy book of Islam revealed to Muhammad by Allah through the Archangel Gabriel. Koran literally means "the recital." It is the final revelation of Allah given to the prophet Muhammad. It consists of 114 surahs (or chapters.)
Madinah - (Medinah): A city in the Arabian peninsula (in the country known now as Saudi Arabia). A city where the messenger had to immigrate to. Then it was called Yathrib.
Masjid - A center for Muslim activity. It is referred to as a mosque.
Masiah - A sin, or a sinful act
Mecca or Makkah: is the holiest city for Muslims. It contains the Ka'aba mosque with the famous black cubical shape. Mecca is the birth place of the messenger (PPBU).
Mosque - A Muslim house of worship.
Muhajir - (Muhajireen) Immigrant, one who leaves his home town due to lack of religious freedom. It was first used to describe early Muslims immigrating from Mecca to Median and Ethiopia.
Muhammad - the final messenger and prophet of God whose message abrogated all previous revelations. He received the Koran through the angel Gabriel over a 23 year period. Born in Mecca and died in Medina at the age of 63. His full name: Muhammad ibn Abd-Allah
Muslim - One who holds faith to the religion of Islam.
Nafilah: a voluntary prayer other than the five obligatory prayers; performed at any time.
Nasara - Christians. Nasrani: A Christian individual. Nasraniah: Christianity.
Ommah: is the Arabic word for a nation. It usually refers to the Islamic nation unless otherwise specified.
Paradise - Another word for heaven. A garden of bliss, fruits, rivers and all forms of pleasures imaginable and imaginable. No suffering, disease or death. Service is provided by angels. All live in it an ever lasting youthful life. Promised by Almighty Allah to all faithful, true Jews, true Christians and True Muslims. Paradise is one of two places every person will go to, either Paradise or Hellfire.
PPBU (P.B.U.H.) : Peace and Prayers Be Upon him. A statement Muslims use any time they mention the name of the messenger or make a reference to him.
Qadar - Fate. Preordainment is the teaching that all things, good and bad, are preordained to occur.
Qadr - (night of Qadr): The night when the first revelation of the Koran took place. Most likely it happened during one of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. Or when the Koran was brought down to the nearest heaven in one go, and from there it was brought down in bits and few verses at a time over a period of 23 years. This night is considered the holiest night for Muslims with tremendous advantages.
Qibla - The direction which Muslims turn for daily prayers, towards Mecca.
Quraish - An ancient Arab tribe to which the messenger Muhammad belonged.
Ramadan - The ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is the month of the fast. The holiest month in the Muslim colander.
Salat - Prayers. Generally it covers all forms of worship, but more specifically refers to the Muslim rituals which is performed to worship Allah five times daily.
Shiaa: A sect of Islam that teaches that a religion leader (Imam) should be the political ruler and must be direct descendants of the messenger (PPBU). Therefore, disapproving of all Muslim leaders who ruled After the messenger (PPBU) except Ali, the messenger's grandson.
Shirk - Associating another god with Allah. Or associating anyone or anything with Allah. Or using anyone or anything as a medium to Allah. The opposite of Monotheism or Tawheed.
Siam or Soam- Fasting
Sunni: is a the title of those Muslims who are suppose to be following the life style of the messenger. This differentiates them from the Shiaa of Iran.
Sunna (Sunnah): Is how the Messenger PPBU lived, what he did or said. It includes the way he dressed, ate, drank, prayed, interacted with other people and fought. Basically, sunnah is the life style of the messenger PPBU. It is considered the second source of legislation in Islamic laws and it is considered to be an important reference to be used for concluding arguments and disputes. It is also a title give to the main stream Muslims who make 90% if all Muslims.
Surah - A chapter of the Koran.
Tawaf: part of the pilgrimage (Hajj) ritual. It involves walking round the Ka'aba Mosque in anti-clock wise direction a number of seven circles.
Tauhid - Tawheed - Monotheism, in Islam is the teaching that there is only one God who alone is worthy of worship. The first requirement of becoming a Muslim. It is included in the testimony of faith for new Muslims when declaring that God is one: (No God but Allah)
Taqwah - Proper fear and veneration of Allah. A divine spark that enables the person to understand God.
Taurat: The old Testaments and scriptures of Mosa.
Ummah - the word means: a Nation. Usually refers to the Islamic nation unless otherwise stated.
Umrah - (Amrah): A mini hajj. A Minor form of pilgrimage to Mecca. Unlike Hajj which can only be done on the 12th month of the Islamic year, Umrah can be performed at any time.
Wathoo (wadoo): a washing up ritual done by Muslims before each of the five daily prayers known as ablution.
Zaboor - The Psalms
Zakat - The third pillar of Islam. Alms giving, charity that is given to the poor.
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