Category Archives: Islamic Months

Sha`baan and the Coming of Ramadan

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By Shaykh Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahimahullah)

The phrase, ‘It’s in the air’ alludes to the general feeling or expectation of something to happen in the near future or something which is already present or prevailing.

For the Muslim who reaches the months of Rajab and Sha`baan, the presence of Ramadaan is keenly sensed and felt. There is anticipation and expectation. It is near, with each day closing the distance between us and Ramadaan. Its blessings are ‘in the air’ – so to say …just as we have fragrance permeating the atmosphere, infusing the air, whether of flowers or of Itr or other perfume.

…The stronger the perfume, the stronger the Itr, the greater the distance its scent travels – so much so, that even though we may be far, we too get a hint of something special. The same with a braai – we find the aroma being carried by the wind, over a distance.

…Then what of the sweet fragrance of Ramadaan?

It is in the air. Most definitely.

It is just that our “receivers” are not working well. …If there is a transmitter and there is transmission, but our receiver is not working, we will not pick up transmission. Similarly, if our sinuses are clogged, we will not smell the fragrance.

When it comes to the month of Sha`baan – especially from the middle of Sha`baan onwards, the excitement of the Auliya-Allah, the pious and the righteous knows no bounds and limits. They have understood the virtue and significance of Sha`baan because it heralds the coming of Ramadaan, the guest of distinction and greatness. …They have been waiting for the Mubarak month of Ramadaan, and Sha`baan signifies the final countdown to its arrival. They are enthusiastic and eager just to see and meet the month of Ramadaan, and thus we find the beautiful Masnoon dua : ‘O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha’baan and grant us life to see Ramadaan.’

Whilst they enjoy and make the most of the blessings of Sha`baan, it is unfortunate that the majority are neglectful, if not ignorant of its blessings.

Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wassallam) said, “Sha`baan is a month between Rajab and Ramadaan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of deeds is presented before the Lord of the Universe, so I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting.”

We also find in this blessed month, the night of Bara`ah: A Favour and Bounty of Allah Ta’ala Who, through this night, makes it easy for us to prepare for Ramadaan.

First, Allah Ta’ala gives us the 15th night of Sha`baan – an exclusive opportunity for Taubah, Rujoo Ilallah, Dua and other Ibaadah… and then He gives us an entire month saturated with opportunities to secure His Pleasure. He gives us Ramadaan. Alhamdulillah.

The following analogy came to my mind: That the Ibaadah of the 15th night of Sha`baan is similar to how a person does a re-paint of his house.

When a person wants to paint his house, what does he do if the old paint is flaking, if the old paint is peeling and falling off? Would he just take the new paint and apply a fresh coat on top of all the old, flaking paint? …No.

The person firsts scrapes off all the old paint. After doing this, he applies the new paint.

The night of Bara`ah is akin to scraping off the “old paint”. Allah Ta’ala gives us this blessed and auspicious night so that we scrape off all the old paint and all the dirt of malice, of greed, of pride, of anger and of other bad and evil traits, which have spoilt the beauty of our hearts and which have worn out the shine of our hearts, and through which we have lost the colour of Divine Love which coated our hearts.

…Thus, if we are not on talking terms with our family members, or have cut off ties with parents or vice versa, or have been disobedient to parents, or if there is anyone taking some kind of intoxicant, or engaging in some form of shirk, or is harbouring malice and jealousy, or engaging in any form of immorality and disobedience – then the opportunity to rid the heart of its evil, to clean it and purify it, to paint it in the dye of Allah Ta’ala’s Love, to beautify it with the Noor of sincere repentance and the Remembrance of Allah Ta’ala is presented to us in the form of the 15th night of Sha`baan.

…Very much like the scraping of the old paint … with a re-coat of fresh ‘paint’ before the month of Ramadaan. We apply the new coat so that it begins to shine in advance of Ramadaan and increases in its shine and beauty with each passing day of Ramadaan.

So Allah Ta’ala gives us this night, in preparation for the coming month of Ramadaan. And most of us are acquainted with the merits of this night: That it is a night for forgiveness of sins, a night in which Allah Ta’ala’s Mercy descends.

From our side, we should maximise on the wonderful bounties found in this night, by engaging ourselves in Ibaadah, in Dua and in Istighfaar.

There is no hard and fast rule as to what to read and how to occupy ourselves in this night. In reality, it is spending the time in diverse Ibaadah; whatever our hearts incline to – some recitation of Qur`aan Shareef and Zikrullah, together with sincere Taubah, abundant Istighfaar, and deep-hearted Dua. Sleep for a little while and try and get up for the Tahajjud Salaah and engage in Dua. …There is no reason to feel disappointed if the person is working the entire day and does not then have the capacity to remain awake for most of the night… to whatever extent, the person makes an effort in this night.

My purpose was just to highlight one or two points – the main point being that irrespective of how far we may have distanced ourselves from Allah Ta’ala, if we turn to Allah Ta’ala, we make “I’tiraaf- e- qusoor” – acknowledge our weakness, our sins…

“O my beloved Allah! Looking at my own weakness, looking at my lack of strength and energy, what else can I take support from except that You are Most Merciful?

My crying before You, my tearing before You, my repentance are what I have to offer. I do not have the kind of strength that the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu Anhum) had. I do not have that kind of strength that the Taabi’een and the Tabe Taabi’een had. I do not have that kind of Ibaadah, Zikr and Tilaawah which the righteous and the pious and the Sawliheen had, or they have.

I am of those who are extremely weak. With my “I’tiraaf- e- qusoor”, with my acknowledgement of my sins, and with my tears of repentance, I seek Your Support. Overlook my sins, overlook my shortcomings, overlook my weakness. My life has gone by in so much of disobedience to You and your Rasool (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wassallam). But this night, I am turning towards You…”

Ask Allah Ta’ala for complete forgiveness from all sins, whether major or minor sins, wherever they may have been committed, whether deliberate or unintentional. Whatever it may be, ask Allah Ta’ala for forgiveness of all sins, and sincerely promise and pledge not to return to them.

With this kind of Taubah and Istighfaar, the Light of Imaan will shine in our hearts. Thereafter, it is left to us to then preserve that Light by staying away from those sins in the future.

On the other hand, if the person is going to merely engage in lip-service Istighfaar and Taubah for the night, and continue with the same evils the very next day, how will any Noor remain in the heart? …Then, when Ramadaan does arrive, the person will be empty in his heart, and if he continues in the same direction of sins, he will not be in the right frame of spirituality to fully benefit and draw from the downpour of Noor, Rahmah and Barakah of Ramadaan.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the understanding and the ability to practise on our knowledge with Ikhlaas. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the full blessings of Sha`baan and Ramadaan.

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شعبان المعظم: فضائل و احکام

[متکلمِ اسلام حضرت مولانا محمد الیاس گھمن حفظہ اللہ]

اسلامی سال کاآغاز ماہِ محرم سے اور اختتام ماہِ ذوالحجہ پر ہوتا ہے۔ شعبان آٹھواں اسلامی مہینہ ہے جو رمضان  المقدس سے پہلے آتا ہے۔ اس مہینے کو اللہ تعالیٰٰ نے بہت فضیلت عطا فرمائی ہے، جس کی عظیم وجہ تو یہ معلوم ہوتی ہےکہ اس مہینہ میں ماہ ِرمضان کے روزوں، تراویح اور دیگر عبادات کی تیاری کا موقع ملتا ہے۔ رمضان جو اپنی برکتوں، رحمتوں اور عنایات ربانی کا موسم بہار ہے اس کی تیاری کا ماہِ شعبان سے شروع ہونا اس کی عظمت کو چار چاند لگا دیتاہے۔ گویا شعبان کو رمضان کا ”مقدمہ“ کہنا چاہیے۔

ماہ شعبان کی فضیلت:

ماہِ شعبان عظمت والا مہینہ ہے، کیونکہ آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے اس میں خصوصیت  سے خیر و برکت کی دعا فرمائی ہے۔ حضرت انس رضی اللہ عنہ فرماتے ہیں:

کَانَ رَسُوْلُ اللہِ صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اِذَا دَخَلَ رَجَبُ قَالَ: اَللّهُمَّ بَارِکْ لَنَا فِیْ رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ (مشکوۃ المصابیح:رقم الحدیث 1396)

ترجمہ: جب رمضان کا مہینہ آتا تو رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم یہ دعا فرمایا کرتے تھے: اے اللہ! ہمارے لیے رجب اور شعبان میں برکت عطا فرما اورہمیں رمضان کے مہینے تک پہنچا۔

چونکہ یہ رمضان کامقدمہ ہے، اس لیے اس میں رمضان کے استقبال کے لیے تیاری کی جاتی ہے۔ خودآپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم  نے اس مہینہ میں رمضان  کی تیاری کی ترغیب دی ہے۔ حضرت سلمان فارسی رضی اللہ عنہ سے روایت ہے، فرماتے ہیں:

خَطَبَنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي آخِرِ يَوْمٍ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَقَالَ: يا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ أَظَلَّكُمْ شَهْرٌ عَظِيمٌ مُبَارَكٌ الحدیث(صحیح ابن خزیمہ بحوالہ فضائل اعمال از شیخ الحدیث رحمہ اللہ ص472)

ترجمہ: آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نےہمیں شعبان کے مہینہ کی آخری تاریخ میں خطبہ دیااور فرمایا:اے لوگو!تم پر ایک عظمت و برکت والا مہینہ سایہ فگن ہونے والا ہے۔

پھر آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نےشبِ قدر، تراویح، مغفرت باری تعالیٰ اوررمضان میں اہتمام سےکیے جانے والے خصوصی اعمال کا تذکرہ فرمایا۔

شعبان کی فضیلت اس بات سے بھی اجاگر ہوتی ہے کہ آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم اس کے چاند اور اس کی تاریخوں کے حساب کا بھی بہت اہتمام  فرماتے تھے۔ حضرت ابو ہریرہ رضی اللہ عنہ فرماتے ہیں:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: اَحْصُوا ہِلَالَ شَعْبَانَ لِرَمَضَانَ (جامع الترمذی:رقم الحدیث687، وقال الحاکم: صحیح علی شرط مسلم ؛المستدرک علی الصحیحین: رقم الحدیث1548)

ترجمہ: شعبان کے چاند (تاریخوں) کو خوب اچھی طرح محفوظ رکھو تاکہ رمضان کا حساب ہو سکے۔

یعنی رمضان کے صحیح حساب کے لیے شعبان کا چاند اور اس کی تاریخوں کوخصوصیت سے یاد رکھا جائے۔ جب شعبان کی آخری تاریخ ہو تو رمضان کا چاند دیکھنے میں پوری کوشش کی جائے۔

ماہِ شعبان کے روزے:

آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم شعبان میں کثرت سے روزے رکھا کرتے تھے، بلکہ رمضان کے بعد جس مہینہ میں روزوں کا زیادہ ا ہتمام فرماتے تھے وہ یہی شعبان کا مہینہ ہے۔ چند احادیث پیش کی جاتی ہیں:

1: عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَصُومُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ لَا يُفْطِرُ وَيُفْطِرُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ لَا يَصُومُ فَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللّهِ صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اسْتَكْمَلَ صِيَامَ شَهْرٍ إِلَّا رَمَضَانَ وَمَا رَأَيْتُهُ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِي شَعْبَانَ (صحیح البخاری:رقم الحدیث:1969، صحیح مسلم:رقم الحدیث 1156)

ترجمہ: حضرت عائشہ رضی اللہ عنہا سے مروی ہے کہ آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم جب روزے رکھنا شروع فرماتےتو ہم کہتے کہ آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم اب روزہ رکھنا ختم نہ کریں گے اور جب کبھی آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم روزہ نہ رکھنے پہ آتے تو ہم یہ کہتے کہ آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم اب روزہ کبھی نہ رکھیں گے۔ میں نے آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کورمضان شریف کے علاوہ کسی اور مہینہ کے مکمل روزے رکھتے نہیں دیکھا اورمیں نے آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کو شعبان کے علاوہ کسی اور مہینہ میں کثرت سے روزہ رکھتے نہیں دیکھا۔

2: عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ مَا رَأَيْتُ النبي صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِى شَهْرٍ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِى شَعْبَانَ كَانَ يَصُومُہُ شَعْبَانَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً بَلْ كَانَ يَصُومُہُ كُلَّهُ ( جامع الترمذی: رقم الحدیث736،سنن النسائی: رقم الحدیث2180)

ترجمہ: حضرت عائشہ رضی اللہ عنہا سے مروی ہے کہ میں نےآنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کو کسی مہینہ میں شعبان کے مہینہ سے زیادہ روزے رکھتے نہیں دیکھا۔ آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کچھ دنوں کے علاوہ پورے شعبان کے روزے رکھتے، بلکہ آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم تو پورے شعبان کے روزے رکھا کرتے تھے۔

یہاں پورے شعبان کے روزے رکھنے سے مراد یہ ہے کہ آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم اکثر شعبان روزے رکھا کرتے تھے، کیونکہ بعض مرتبہ اکثر پر” کل“ کا اطلاق کر دیا جاتا ہے۔

3: فتاوی عالمگیریہ میں ہے: الْمَرْغُوبَاتُ من الصِّيَامِ أَنْوَاعٌ أَوَّلُهَا صَوْمُ الْمُحَرَّمِ وَالثَّانِي صَوْمُ رَجَبٍ وَالثَّالِثُ صَوْمُ شَعْبَانَ وَصَوْمُ عَاشُورَاءَ (ج1 ص202)

ترجمہ: مستحب روزوں کی کئی قسمیں ہیں؛ ۱: محرم کے روزے، ۲:رجب کے روزے، ۳: شعبان اور عاشوراء کے روزے۔

نصف شعبان کے بعد روزہ نہ رکھنے کی تحقیق:

جامع الترمذی میں روایت ہے:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللّهِ صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: اِذَا بَقِیَ نِصْفٌ مِّنْ شَعْبَانَ فَلَا تَصُوْمُوْا (جامع الترمذی : رقم الحدیث 738)

ترجمہ: رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے فرمایا:جب شعبان کا مہینہ آدھا رہ جائے توروزہ نہ رکھا کرو۔

اس جیسی روایت کے پیش نظر فقہاءِکرام نے پندرہ شعبان کے بعد روزہ رکھنا مکروہ قرار دیا ہے، البتہ چند صورتوں کومستثنی فرمایا ہےکہ ان میں پندرہ شعبان کے بعد روزہ رکھنے میں کوئی حرج نہیں۔وہ صورتیں یہ ہیں:

1: کسی کے ذمہ قضاءروزے ہوں یا واجب (کفارہ وغیرہ کے) روزے ہوں اور وہ انہیں ان ایام میں رکھنا چاہتا ہو۔

2: ایسا شخص جو شروع شعبان سے روزے رکھتا چلاا ٓ رہا ہو۔

3: ایسا شخص کہ جس کی عادت یہ ہےکہ مخصوص دنوں یا تاریخوں کے روزے رکھتا ہے، اب وہ دن یا تاریخ شعبان کے آخری د نوں میں آ رہی ہے تو روزہ رکھنے میں کوئی حرج نہیں بشرطیکہ ایسی کمزوری کا خطرہ نہ ہو کہ جس سےرمضان کے روزوں کا حرج ہونے کا اندیشہ ہو۔ (درس ترمذی: ج2ص579بتغیر یسیر)

نصف شعبان کے بعد روزہ کی کراہیت کی وجہ کیاہے؟ حکیم الامت حضرت مولانا محمد اشرف علی تھانوی رحمہ اللہ فرماتے ہیں:”میرا تو ذوق یہ کہتا ہےکہ رمضان شریف میں جو جاگنا ہوگااس شب کا جاگنا اس کا نمونہ ہے اور یہ صوم ایام رمضان شریف کا نمونہ ہے۔ پس دونوں نمونے رمضان کے ہیں، ان نمونوں سے اصل کی ہمت ہو جاوے گی۔ پھر اس صوم کے بعد جو صوم سے منع فرمایا اس میں حقیقت میں رمضان کی تیاری کے لیے فرمایا ہےکہ جب شعبان آدھا ہو جائے تو روزہ مت رکھو۔ مطلب یہ کہ سامان شروع کرو رمضان کا یعنی کھاؤ، پیو اور رمضان کے لیے تیار ہو جاؤ اور یہ امید رکھو کہ روزے آسان ہو جائیں گے“(خطبات حکیم الامت:خطبات حکیم الامت: ج7 ص391)

شعبان کی پندرھویں رات؛ شب براءت:

ماہ شعبان کی پندرھویں رات بہت فضیلت والی رات ہے۔ احادیث مبارکہ میں اس کے بہت سے فضائل وارد ہوئے  ہیں اور اسلاف امت بھی اس کی فضیلت کے قائل چلے آ رہے ہیں۔ اس رات کو ”شب براءت“ کہتے ہیں، اس لیے کہ اس رات لا تعداد انسان رحمت باری تعالیٰ سے جھنم سےنجات حاصل کرتے ہیں۔

شب براءت کے متعلق لوگ افراط و تفریط کا شکار ہیں۔ بعض تو وہ ہیں جو سرے سے اس کی فضیلت کے قائل ہی نہیں بلکہ اس کی فضیلت میں جو احادیث مروی ہیں انھیں موضوع و من گھڑت قرار دیتے ہیں۔جبکہ بعض فضیلت کے قائل تو ہیں لیکن اس فضیلت کے حصول میں بے شماربدعات، رسومات اور خود ساختہ امور کے مرتکب ہیں، عبادت کے نام پر ایسے منکرات سر انجام دیتے ہیں کہ الامان و الحفیظ۔

اس بارے میں معتدل نظریہ یہ ہے کہ شعبان کی اس رات کی فضیلت ثابت ہے لیکن اس کا درجہ فرض و واجب کا نہیں بلکہ محض استحباب کا ہے، سرے سےاس کی فضیلت کا انکار کرنا بھی صحیح نہیں اور اس میں کیے جانے والے اعمال و عبادات کو فرائض و واجبات  کا درجہ دینا بھی درست نہیں۔

‘Arba’atun Hurum – The Four Sacred Months 

[By Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Usmani (rahimahullah)]

“Surely, the number of months according to Allah is twelve (as written) in the Book of Allah on the day He created the heavens and the Earth, of which there are Four Sacred Months. That is the right faith. So, do not wrong yourself therein…” [Surah Taubah: 36]

In the present verse, mentioned there is another bad custom prevailing in Arabia since its age of ignorance – which Muslims have been instructed to abstain from. That bad custom relates to a chain of happenings. Details go back to the distant past since when a year was accepted as having twelve months by the religious codes of all past prophets. Out of these twelve months, four were considered sacred, therefore, worthy of great reverence. They were three consecutive months of Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram, and the month of Rajab.

All religious codes of past prophets agree that every act of worship during these four months is more reward-worthy – and should someone commit a sin during these months, the curse and punishment resulting from it is also more blameworthy. Under these past religious codes, fighting and killing was prohibited during these months.

Since the Arabs of Makkah al-Mukarramah are the progeny of Sayyidina Ibrahim (alayhissalaam) through Sayyidina Isma’il (alayhissalaam), they all professed belief in Sayyidina Ibrahim (alayhissalaam) as a prophet and messenger of Allah and claimed to follow his Shari’ah. However, as fighting, killing and hunting was also prohibited during these four sacred months among the followers of the Ibrahimi community, the people of the Arab age of ignorance found the implementation of this injunction extremely hard. The reason was that, during the pagan period, fighting and killing had become the only vocation for them. Therefore, in order to make this restriction somewhat easy on them, they spun out all sorts of excuses to satisfy their self-serving motives. Whenever they needed to fight during one of the sacred months, or whenever a sacred month approached while they were already fighting, then, they would say: This year, this month is not sacred. The next month will be the sacred one. For example, when Muharram arrived, they would say that ‘this year, the month of Muharram is not sacred, instead of that, the month of Safar will be sacred’. And if they had some other exigency, they would say, ‘this year, the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal will be sacred;’ or say, ‘this year the month of Safar has come earlier and Muharram will come later.’ Thus, in one stroke, they made the month of Muharram as the month of Safar! In short, they would somehow complete the count of four month during one year, but would not bother to retain the order and signification of what was divinely determined. It was up to them to give any name to any month, call it Dhu al-Hijjah or call it Ramadhan or make one come earlier and make the other come later. If another emergency came, for example, when they would remain engaged in fighting for a period as long as ten months leaving only two months to the year, then, on this occasion, they would increase the number of months in a year saying, ‘this year will be of fourteen months.’ In this way, they would make the remaining four months the sacred months.

In short, they did show their reverence for the Ibrahimi faith atleast by doing it during four months of the year when they would abstain from fighting and killing. But, they did not observe the order of the months in a year according to which four of them were fixed as the sacred months. This was what they juggled with seeking interpretations to suit their needs or fancies.

The outcome was that, during those days, it had become difficult to determine as to which month was Ramadhan or Shawwal, or Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah or Rajab. When Makkah al-Mukarramah was conquered in the 8th year of Hijrah and the Holy Prophet ﷺ sent Sayyidina Abi Bakr to make the proclamation of withdrawal from disbelievers and Mushriks at the Hajj season of Hijrah year 9, this month was, according to the genuine calculation, the month of Dhu al-Hijjah. But, according to the same old custom of the Jahiliyyah, this month was declared to be that of Dhu al-Qa’dah – and, that year, according to them, not Dhu al-Hijjah, but Dhu al-Qa’dah was fixed to be the month of Hajj. Then came the Hijrah year 10 which was the year the Holy Prophet went for his last Hajj. As nature would have it, this brought about a unique arrangement when the genuine month was that of Dhu al-Hijjah and, according to the arbitrary reckoning of the people of Jahiliyyah too, that turned out to be Dhu al-Hijjah itself.  Therefore, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said in his address at Mina: “Time has come back to its position Allah had set the day He created the heavens and the Earth”. It means that the month, the real month of Dhu al- Hijjah, turned out to be the same month of Dhu al-Hijjah that year, even in the sight of the people of Jahiliyyah.

This was a window to the custom of Jahiliyyah, a custom that changed the number, the order and the specification of months in a year, even made deletions and alterations at will. The activity of making a few changes here and there may appear to be small and innocuous. A month is a month, call it by any name, it remains a month. But, things were not that simple in the given situation. These changes disturbed the implementation of Islamic laws connected with a particular month or a specific date in it. They also affected duties fixed for the beginning or the end of the year – such as, the injunctions of Hajj during the ten days of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, fasting during the ten days of Muharram and the rules of Zakah at the end of the year. As a direct result of this practice, hundreds of Islamic laws were distorted making their compliance useless. In these two verses of the Holy Qur’an, Muslims have been instructed to remain on guard against the evil in this pagan custom.

In the first verse (36), it is said: “surely, the number of months with Allah is twelve”. Here, the word: ‘iddah appears in the sense of number and shuhur is the plural of shahr which means month. The sense of the verse is that the number of months, in the sight of Allah, is set as twelve. No one has the right to decrease or increase it.

Then, by placing the phrase: (fi kitabullah: as written in the Book  of Allah), it was stressed that this numerical setting of the months stood recorded in the Preserved Tablet (al-lawh al-mahfuz) since eternity. Then, by saying: “on the day He created the heavens and the Earth”, it was indicated that the Divine decree was, though, promulgated in eternity, but this order and setting of the months came into being when the heavens and the Earth were created.

After that, it was said: “of which there are Four Sacred Months”. It means that, out of these twelve months, four are sacred. They have been called: hurum (sanctified ones) in the sense that fighting and killing is prohibited during these month, and also in the sense that these months are blessed and it is obligatory to hold them in due esteem and that acts of worship during these become more reward worthy. The first injunction out of the two was abrogated in the Shari’ah of Islam. But, the second one, that of increased reverence, esteem and devotion to ‘Ibadah during this period still remains operative in Islam.

In his address (Khutbah) of the Day of Sacrifice (Yaumu’n-Nahr, a term used for ‘Eidul-Adha) during the Last Hajj (Hajjatul-Wada’), the Holy Prophet ﷺ explained these months by saying: ‘Three months are consecutive – Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram and one month is that of Rajab.’  But, there were two sayings of the Arabs regarding the month of Rajab. Some tribes used to call the month we know as Ramadhan the month of Rajab while, as seen by the tribe of Mudar, Rajab was the month which comes in between Jumada ath- Thani and Sha’ban. Therefore, the Holy Prophet ﷺ, by mentioning this month as ‘Rajab Mudar’ – also made it clear that it means the month of Rajab which is in between Jumada ath-Thani and Sha’ban.

Thereafter appears the statement: “That is the right faith”. It means that keeping the setting and serial order of months, specially the injunctions pertaining to the Four Sacred Months, according to the very original decree of Allah Almighty is the right faith to hold. Making any changes, alterations, additions or deletions therein is a sign of crookedness in comprehension and temperament.

The next sentence: “So, do not wrong yourselves therein” means: ‘Do not become unjust to your own selves either by acting against the compliance-worthy injunctions pertaining to these months, or by not observing proper respect for them, or by falling short in devoting yourselves to ‘Ibadah therein.

In his Ahkam al-Qur’an, Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas has said: The hint given here is that these blessed months have an exclusive characteristic of their own. Whoever devotes to ‘Ibadah during these is awarded with the ability and encouragement to engage in it during the rest of the months. Similarly, a person who makes the necessary effort to stay safe from sins and other bad deeds during these months finds that remaining safe from these evils during the rest of the months of a year has become easier on him. Therefore, not making the best out of these months is a terrible loss.

Du’a for Rajab

[Compiled from Various Sources]

Rajab, being the seventh month of the Islamic calendar is a stepping stone to the auspicious months of Sha’baan and Ramadhan. Rajab is from the Ashurul Hurum (Sacred Months), where the rewards of virtuous deeds are increased. When the moon of Rajab was sighted Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would recite the following du’a.

image

This du’a should be recited regularly in the month of Rajab and Sha’baan. In preparation for Ramadhan, the relevance of Rajab maybe understood as the month to sow seeds (good actions), Sha’baan is the month in which we should water those seeds (with tears of remorse) and Ramadhan is the month in which we real the harvest.

Whilst the arrival of Ramadhan is certain, no person is guaranteed reaching Ramadhan. Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would express his eagerness to be blessed with the month of Ramadhan from Rajab. We should therefore become more inclined towards virtuous deeds and ibadat in these months.

May Allah Ta’ala privilege us with witnessing Ramadhan and grant us the ability to spend it in a manner that is most pleasing to Him, Aameen.

Authenticity of the Rajab Du’a

This hadith is classified as weak but suitable for practice.

To say that this du’a is baseless is [to] exaggerate.

‘Allāmah Nawawi رحمه الله said the chain is slightly weak (al-Adhkār, hadith #549).

Hafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله says this narration is suitable to prove the merit of reciting this du’a -“istihbab” (Latā’if, pg.172).

‘Allāmah Muhammad Tahir al-Fatani رحمه الله declares it weak and suitable to practice in this instance (Tadhkirat al-Mawdū’āt, pg.117).

It should be noted that weak hadiths that have du’as can be implemented.

(Mustadrak Hakim beginning of the chapter on Du’as, and Natā’ij al-Afkārof Hafiz Ibn Hajar, vol.5, pg.291)

Note: The narration states that this du’a be recited at the beginning of Rajab.

Hafiz Ibn Rajab رحمه الله says this narration is suitable to prove the merit of reciting this du’a -“istihbab” (Latā’if, pg.172). To declare this du’a as baseless is [to] exaggerate. [See last portion of this article for more information regarding its grading.]

8 POINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE SACRED MONTH OF MUHARRAM

[Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng]

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

1. Why is this month sacred?

Alhamdulillah, we thank Allah Ta’ala for blessing us with the opportunity of opening another new year of the Islamic Calendar. The month of Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Calendar and is one of the four sacred months. A true believer is one who is ceaselessly searching for a means to atone his wrongs and to gain closeness to his Sustainer, to achieve the esteemed and elite favor and pleasure of his Creator. The true believer is he who respects and holds sacred what Allah, Most High has decreed as sacred. Allah, Most High announces in the Holy Qur’an,

“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” [Surah At-Tawbah 9:36].

The sacredness of Muharram is expounded in this hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Bakr Radiallahu anhu that the Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: 

“Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth; the year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession: Dhul-Qa`da, Dhul-Hijja and Al-Muharram, and (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar (named after the tribe of Mudar as they used to respect this month) which stands between Jumad (ath-Thani) and Sha`ban.”

It was also narrated that Abu Hurayrah Radiallahu anhu said that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The best fast after Ramadan is in the month of Allah, Muharram.”

2. How do we show reverence to the sacredness of this month?

Follow the Sunnah

The path leading to gaining proximity to Allah is based on our deeds. Our deeds must be in conformance to the Sunnah practice of the beloved of Allah, His final messenger Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Allah, Most High addresses His beloved in the Holy Qur’an that,

“Say (oh Muhammad to your people), if you love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins.”

Allah, Most High further instructs him that, 

“Say, obey Allah and the Messenger, then if they turn away verily Allah does not love the non-believers.”

Do not follow your nafs

The sanctity of this month and deeds which give practical expression to its sanctity have been explicated to us in numerous unambiguous narrations of the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. It is now upon us to express our love to The Almighty and His beloved Messenger by ensuring that our deeds are in strict conformity to the Sunnah. We should seek sufficient knowledge and counsel from the Ulama to ensure that our deeds are not polluted by our base desires and that we don’t end up wasting our time and efforts by falling into the trap of Shaytaan, succeeding in nothing but to promote a trend flavored with Islam but which is irreconcilable with the Sunnah.

3. The 10th of Muharram

Amongst the days of Muharram, the most sacred day is the day of Aashuraa’ which falls on the 10th of Muharram.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said,

“Fasting the day of `Ashura’ (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year.”

Also, fasting the 9th of Muharram is highly recommended by the Sunnah. Imam At-Tirmidhi reported that Ibn `Abbas (Radiallahu Anhu) used to say:

“We should fast on two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram to distinguish ourselves from the Jewish community.”

Mu`awiyyah ibn Abi Sufyan reported that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) say:

“Concerning the day of `Ashura’, it is not obligatory upon you to fast on it as I do. Whoever wishes may fast and whoever does not wish to is not obliged to do so.”

According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of ‘Ashura’ should either be preceded or followed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th.

4. Giving charity

As far as general charity is concerned, it has been reported from the Companion Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As (Radiallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said,

“Whoever fasts on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), it is as though he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity on this day, it is like the charity of an entire year.”

5. Spending on one’s family

As for spending and being generous on one’s family, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“He who expands on his family in the matter of nafqah (house expenses) on the day of Aashuraa’, Allah will expand on him throughout the remaining part of the year.”

In the aforementioned Hadith the term ‘was-sa-ah’ derived from the root word tausee’, has been translated as ‘expand’. The words ‘lavish’ and ‘generous’ do not convey appropriately its meaning. In the context of this Hadith, the term means: spending more than usual on your dependants. In other words, a bit lavishly, with greater generosity but without waste. The authorities of the Shariah, (the Akaabir Senior Ulama) have restricted the lavish expenditure of this day to food. We are required to spend a bit more on food and provide delicious dishes for the family on this day.

6. The joy of a truly obedient believer

For a true believer, one who aspires to taste the sweetness of Imaan, to taste the sweetness of his faith and his love for Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam, the joy of the day of Aashuraa’ comes from enjoying it in a manner conforming to the Sunnah. The joy does not come from satisfying his base desires. The joy does not come from interpreting the Sunnah and to succumb it to the trend of exchanging of gifts, emulating the manner of how gifts are exchanged by the People of the Book (Yahood and Nasaaraa), upon whom, in the opening Surah of the Holy Quran, Allah The All Powerful has declared His anger upon. We recite it in every prayer beseeching the All Mighty to guide us to the straight path, and not the path of those upon whom His anger is.

7. Is ‘Shopping for Aashura’ part of the Sunnah?

The Deen of Islam has become a means of commercial interest. Do not labor under the misconception that to roam the shopping mall with the intention of procuring gifts to exchange with family members on the day of Aashuraa’ is something which finds its source in the Sunnah of our beloved Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. This is contrary to the essence of Islam and its teachings.

8. Extra opportunity for the wealthy

For the affluent amongst us it is exceptionally meritorious to spend in charity and benefit the underprivileged, deprived and downtrodden.

Let it not be that we blindly pursue in our mundane activities without pondering over the sanctity of this sacred month. Who will be more deprived and destitute than us if we do not discharge our deeds in the Sunnah manner and thereby divest ourselves of its significance and blessings and its myriad of treasures, virtues and wealth in this world and in the hereafter.

Six Fasts of Shawwaal

[Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng]

HOW TO GET THE REWARD OF FASTING FOR THE WHOLE YEAR!!!

The Month of Shawwal begins with one of the most auspicious days – Eid ul Fitr. Eid ul Fitr is a day of great ibaadah and a day of immense happiness.

The month of Shawwal is further enhanced by the six voluntary fasts which can be kept within it.

Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reports that: “Whoever completes the fasts of Ramadan and then follows it with the six fasts of Shawwal, it will carry the thawaab (reward) of fasting for the whole year.” (Muslim)

Scholars have commented on the six fasts stating that every good deed is multiplied by ten, therefore the reward of 30 days of Ramadan amounts to the reward of 300 days of fasting.

The six fasts of Shawwal amounts to the rewards of 60 more days, hence raising the aggregate reward to 360 – a whole year’s reward of fasting!

This hadith has described the great thawab of six fasts of this month. Therefore, the Muslims should take this opportunity of acquiring such an enormous reward from Allah. It is more preferable to start these fasts from the 2nd of Shawwaal and keep fasting up to the 7th of it. However, if, they are kept in other days, it is hoped that the requirement of the above hadith may also be fulfilled.

The Islamic Month of Rabi’ul Thani

[Mufti Muhammad Taqi’ Usmani d.b]

This month is also called “Rabi ul-‘Aakhir”. No specific function or worship has been prescribed by the Shariah in this month. However, some people take the 11th of this month as the anniversary of Shaykh ‘Adb al Qadir al-Jilani (rahmatullah alayh), the great sufi and one of the most pious persons of our history. On these assumption, these people cook some special types of meals and distribute them among their acquaintants. Some of them believe that this practice  pleases the soul of the Shaykh and he will help us in fulfilling our worldly needs or in reaching our mundane or spiritual goals.

This practice is totally baseless for a number of reasons:

Firstly, it is not historically proved with certainity that the Shaykh (rahmatullah alayh), died on the 11th of this month. Some historians claim that he died on 9th and some of them hold that he died on 17th.

Secondly, even if it is proved that he had died on 11th of this month, the observations of anniversaries is not revognised by the Shariah, as we have explained it with more details in a separate post on Rabi al Awwal.

Thirdly, if the practice is based on the belief that the soul of the Shaykh will be pleased by it and help us in our worldly affairs, it is totally an erroneous idea and may amount to shirk.

Fourthly, even if these acts are performed for the purpose of Isal al thawaab only, there is no reason why a specific date is fixed for this purpose, and why the people not observing it are blamed and reproached.

Fifthly, the Isal al thawaab can be conceived where an ‘Ibaadah (act of worship) is done like Sadaqah, but here in this practice normally the meal is distributed among the well-off relatives or friends and not among the poor. It means that there is no intention to perform an ‘Ibaadah.

Sixthly, if some mundane benefits are sought by this practice, no thawaab is supposed to be achieved . How can it be an act of Isaal al-thawaab?

In short, looked at from any angle, this custom does not fit in the recognised principles of Shariah. Therefore, it should be abandoned in any case.

It must be remembered, however, that what we have said does not mean that one cannot make an Isal al-thawaab to the Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. In fact the Isaal al-Thawaab is a recognized practice in Shariah. It becomes more commendable if it is done in favour of a pious person, like Shaykh ‘Abd al Qadir al-Jilani. But it should not be restricted to a particular date or a particular act. A Muslim can make Isaal al-Thawaab to the Shaykh any day and through any act of worship like salah, fasting, charity etc.