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Islamic History (11 Sep 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

What Is The Significance of The Month of Muharram, Ashura And Martyrdom of Imam Hussain?

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam

11 September 2019

Muharram is the first month of Islamic calendar. The Arabic word ‘Moharram’ means “sacred, barred, forbidden, unlawful, etc”. It is one of the four sacred months (i.e. Rajab, Dhu al-Qa'dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram) in which warfare and bloodshed was strictly forbidden.

‘Ashura’ which literally means “the tenth day” of Muharram is believed to be among the most sacred of days. A number of significant prophetic events took place on this day. On this day, Allah Almighty accepted the repentance and plea of Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him) for forgiveness, saved Hazrat Jonah (peace be upon him) from the abdomen of the fish, Hazrat Abraham from Nimrod’s fire, blessed Hazrat Solomon with his kingdom and rescued Hazrat Moses and the Israelites from Pharaoh by creating a path in the sea.

According to Hadith traditions, the Jews also fasted on the day of Ashura (the tenth day of Muharram). It is narrated by Hazrat Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He asked? “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allah rescued the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moses (peace be upon him) fasted on this day. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “We have more claim over Moses (Moses) than you”. Then he fasted on the day and asked his people to fast”. Sahih Bukhari Book 31 Hadith 222, Book 55 Hadith 609, and Book 58 Hadith 279/ Sahih Muslim Book 6 Hadith 2518, 2519, 2520)

The fasting of the day of Ashura was obligatory (fard) in the beginning. But later in the second year of Hijrah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared this fasting voluntary (nafl) after the command of Allah came that Muslims should fast the whole month of Ramazan. This means that whoever wishes to fast on the day of Ashura, may fast and whoever does not wish to fast, he will not be blamed for that.

It is reported that Hazrat Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say that we should fast on two days: the ninth and tenth of Muharram to distinguish ourselves from the Jewish community” (At-Tirmidhi). Ibn Abbas also quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, “If I live next year, I shall also fast on the ninth day (of Muharram in addition to the day of Ashura)” (reported by Musnad Ahmad). This is why the Muslims fast either for two days or three days consecutively.

It is the day of Ashura when the biggest tragedy in Islamic history occurred. This tragedy resulted in the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (May Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of our Prophet (peace be upon him) and the son of his daughter, along with most of the members of his family and their supporters.

In April 680 AD (i.e. 61 Hijri) Yazid proclaimed himself as the caliphate of Islam. The overwhelming majority of Muslims including numerous companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were shocked and refused to accept Yazid. Yazid demanded the true spiritual leader Hazrat Imam Hussain to endorse him for legitimacy. But Imam Hussain rightfully refused to accept the corrupt, tyrant Yazid and his reign of terror. Then the army of Yazid besieged Hazrat Imam Hussain along with his children, infants and supporters in Karbala, deprived them of food and water for days and mercilessly massacred them there.

The martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain brings to our memory his values of patience, courage, justice and sincerity to the Deen of Islam. His martyrdom brings tears into our eyes, the tears which have no sound. But at the same time we hail our beloved Imam Hussain as the hero of Islam by valuing his righteousness. To sum up, we should quote some Urdu and Persian couplets,

Someone said in Urdu,

Qatl-e-Hussain Asl Me Marg-e-Yazid Hai

Islam Zinda Hota Hai Har Karbala K Baad

This couplet means that the Killing of Imam Hussain is actually the death of Yazid and that Islam attains its restoration after every Karbala.

Hazrat Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz praised Imam Hussain in his poetry,

Shah Ast Hussain, Baadshah Ast Hussain

Deen Ast Hussain, Deen Panah Ast Hussain

Sardad Na Daad Dast Dar Dast-e-Yazid

Haqqa Ki Bina-e- La Ilaha Ast Hussain

This implies that Hussain is King, Hussain himself is “Religion”, Hussain is the one who gave shelter to the Religion, Hussain preferred to give his head but not his hand to Yazeed. There is no doubt that Hussain is the foundation of the Religion. 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-history/kaniz-fatma,-new-age-islam/what-is-the-significance-of-the-month-of-muharram,-ashura-and-martyrdom-of-imam-hussain?/d/119716

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