All praise is to Allah. We thank Him, depend on Him and ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and our wrongdoings. Whoever Allah guides, no one can misguide. And whoever Allah misguides, there is no guide for them. And I testify that there is no one worthy of worship except God alone, Who Has no partner. And I also testify that Mohammad is His servant, messenger and friend. He delivered the trust, gave advice to the Ummah (community) and left us on the bright path, its night like its daytime, only those who are destroyed deviate from it. Peace and blessings on the Prophet, his family, his friends, and those who follow their way until the Day of Judgment. May Allah be pleased with them all. Allah Almighty says, “O those who believe, be God-conscious as He deserves and do not die except in the state of Islam, the state of Submission.” O Servants of Allah, I advise you and my sinful self to be God-conscious, to be obedient, to follow His commandments and to fear Him. So be obedient to God and His Messenger so that you may have mercy bestowed on you. Know that God-consciousness is the identifier of believers and this is God’s advice to you and I.
Allah Almighty says, “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year) so is ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. So wrong not yourselves” (9:36). Muslims all over the world welcome a new Hijri year and hope fills everybody that the situation of the Ummah gets better, that the Ummah finds a way to get out of the problems that it finds itself in in modern days. The Hijra (Migration) and the Sacred Months carry many lessons and board hopes on the individual and communal level. We ask Allah Almighty to make this upcoming Hijri year a new year that is dominated by the wise, the intelligent and the truthful of his creation. We ask Allah that security and safety dominates in all corners of the earth, to allow mercy, care and love to be between His creation and His beloved ones. Verily he is All-Hearing, All-Responsive.
O Servants of Allah, please know that the Messenger (pbuh) was born in the month of Rabi’ Elawal, he migrated to Madina in Rabi’ Elawal and passed away in Rabi’ Elawal. The average asker will ask, then why didn’t the year begin with Rabi’ Elawal? The answer is that when Omar, Othman and Ali, May God be pleased with them, looked into the history of Islam and what they accomplished to the time of Omar bin Khatab, May God be pleased with him, they found that Dhu ElHijja is the completion of each Muslim’s faith, so the considered it the last month of the year, while the first was considered to be Muharram. They considered that the Hijra (migration to Madina) was the beginning of goodness and victory for Muslims, where they transitioned from humiliation to splendor, from a few to many, from weakness to strength, from separation to unity, from hatred to love and brotherhood/sisterhood for the sake of God. This is why the year is called a Hijri year.
When Allah Almighty says, “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve” the twelve mentioned are; Muharram, Safr, Rabi’ Elawal, Rabi’ Elakhar, Jamada Elawal, Jamada Elokhra, Rajab, Sha’ban, Ramadan, Shawal, Dhu Elqa’da and Dhu ElHijja. As Muslims we must know these months. These are lunar months based on the different phases of the moon. These are the Arab Months that Muslims have based their fasting, their Hajj, their Eids and the rest of their appointments and rituals. The total numbers of days in these months are 355 days. Conventional solar months based on the sun’s orbit have a total of 365 days and a quarter. The difference between these two systems is 10 days. Because of this, one will find that the lunar year will move throughout the solar year, putting Hajj and Fasting in the wintertime at times and in the summertime at other times. Allah Almighty says, “And the sun runs its course for a period determined for it: that is the decree of the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing. And as for the moon, We have ordained for it stages till it becomes again as an old dry palm branch” (36:38-39).
So Allah Almighty has decreed the day that heavens and the earth were created that the year will be 12 months, and that four of these months are Sacred, they are: Rajab by itself, and Dhu Elqa’da, Dhu Hijja and Muharram in series. These months were known as Sacred Months amongst the pre-Islamic Arabs, who used to consider them great and forbade fighting and oppression during these months, even if one met the killer of his father, child or brother. When Islam came, it simply increased its sacredness and greatness. During these months, good deeds are doubled in reward and sins during these months are greater than others. Therefore, it is not permissible to violate the sacredness of these months. This is a matter that has been decreed.
Al-Qortobi once said, “Allah Almighty has placed these months and named them with their unique names the day the heavens and earth was created. This is what has been brought down in God’s revelations.” Oh Muslims Brothers and Sisters, Muharram is one of the Sacred Months. Al-Qortobi has also said, “God has distinguished the Sacred Months and mentioned them. He prohibited in them oppression as an honor for them, even though oppression is prohibited at all times.” Know that oppression is prohibited at all times, but here, it is an extra emphasis on this prohibition. Allah Almighty says, “And do not oppress yourselves” Al-Qashiri said: “Oppression towards the self is to allow for your desires to control you to the point that it leads you to destinations of destruction”
So it is incumbent upon us, O Brothers and Sisters, to take advantage of the days and nights of these months, by performing the good deeds of fasting the days and praying throughout the night, to increase charity, to bring hearts together, to resolve disputes and to instill brotherhood/sisterhood and love between people. Annasai has narrated that Abi Thar, may God be pleased with him, had said, “I asked the Messenger of God, which night is the best? And which month is the best? He said, “The best of the night is the middle of it and the best of the months is the month of God that you call Muharram” And in this month is the day of Ashora, but this subject needs its own Khotba, Inshallah. I ask God for forgiveness from me, for you, for my parents and for the rest of the Muslims.
Originally Composed by: Sheikh Watheq | Translated by: Ehab T