In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful
The month of Muharram has significant religious importance for Muslims, beginning with the first day, which is known as the Islamic New Year.
The first month Muharram, is a month of great reward and virtue. Muharram itself means `sacred’ and is from those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Holy Quraan.
Almighty Allah states in the Holy Quraan:
“Four of them (Zil-Qadah, Zil-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are sacred.” (Surah At-Tawbah:36)
From out of the four sacred months, Muharram has been blessed with certain specific virtues:-
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:
“The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhan is the fasting of Allah’s month of Muharram.” (Muslim)
In another Hadeeth, Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) reports: “that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said: “The one that keeps a fast in the month of Muharram will receive the reward of thirty fasts for each fast (in this sacred month). (Tabraani)
But, According to the Holy companion, Ibn Abbas Radhiallaho Anhu, when the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam migrated to Madinah, he found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa Alayhis Salaam and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously, and the Pharaoh was drowned in its water. On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam said, “We are more closely related to Musa than you.” So the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam directed the Muslims to fast on the day of Ashura. (Abu Dawood)
Although the month of Muharram is a sacred month as a whole, the 10th of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named ‘Ashurah’. It is one of the most important and blessed days of Allah in the Islamic calendar. The Hadith does not mean that the reward promised for fasts of Muharram can only be attained by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit. Therefore, one should take advantage of this opportunity. Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, the one who fasts in these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Almighty Allah. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are the most rewardable among the Nafl fasts i.e. the fasts one observes out of his own choice without being obligatory on him.
Some Ulama (scholars) are of the opinion that before the fasts of Ramadhan were made compulsory, the fast of the day of Aashora was compulsory upon the Ummah.
This is stated in a Hadeeth reported by Hazrat Aisha (Radhiyallahu-Anha):
“that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) ordered the observance of the fast of Aashora. However, when the fast of Ramadhan became compulsory, then whosoever wished, kept this fast and whosoever desired did not observe this fast.” (Bukhari)
Nevertheless the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) continued to fast this day and encouraged his Companions to do the same. According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of Ashura should be either preceeded or suceded by an additional fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam is that the Jews used to fast on the day of Ashura alone, and the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam wanted to distinguish the Islmaic-way of fasting from that of the Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to the day of Ashura.
The Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) has exhorted and encouraged his Ummah to fast on this day. He said:
“This fast is a compensation for the (minor) sins of the past year.” (Muslim)
One should also observe the fast of the 9th Muharram to safeguard his deed from resemblance with the Non-Muslims who fast only on the 10th Muharram.
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) said:
“When Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) observed the fast of the day of Aashora and ordered (his Companions) to fast, they said: `O Rasulullah! It is a day revered (glorified) by the Jews and Christians.’ Thereupon Rasulullah said: “The coming year, if Allah wills (I remain alive), I will for surely fast on the ninth (also).” (Muslim)
These Ahadeeth indicate clearly that one should fast on the ninth and tenth of Muharram. However, if one does not manage to fast on the ninth, then he/she should fast on the eleventh of Muharram instead.
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:
“Observe the fast of Aashora and oppose the Jews. Fast a day before it or a day after.” (Baihaqi)
Hence, it is important to either fast on the ninth and the tenth or the tenth and the eleventh of Muharram. To fast only on the day of Aashora is Makrooh as stated by Allamah Ibn Aabideen Shaami.
One should be generous on one’s family and dependants and spend more on them than what is normally spent.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:
“One who generously spends on his family on the day of Aashora, Allah will increase (his provision) for the whole year.” (Baihaqi)
The martyrdom of Hazrat Husayn (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) was indeed a great tragedy but Islam is not a religion of perpetual mourning. Having love for Hazrat Husayn (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) does not necessarily mean that his blessed name should be lamented upon especially when he gained the status of a Shaheed (Martyr), but instead one should convey Thawaab (reward) to him and donate on his behalf for the pleasure of Allah (on Allah’s name). May Allah guide us all upon the Straight Path and save us from every act which brings His displeasure.
Lamenting, mourning, displaying grief and beating heads is forbidden in Islam. To carry out these acts especially on this Day of Aashora is a Bid’ah (an bad innovation in Islam). To take part in them or to look at them with respect is not permissible.
Dirges (songs of mourning) should be abstained from as they have been clearly prohibited in the Ahadeeth.
Some people think that it is not good to marry in the month of Muharram.
This is also a baseless conception.
Scientists in Canada and France have created a micro-supercapacitor with the same energy density of a modern lithium-ion battery that could potentially last forever. Supercapacitors have long been eyed by scientists and industry leaders like Elon Musk as a replacement for batteries, since they can be recharged nearly infinitely without a loss of capacity. The research does have a “small” catch, though. The capacitor’s porous cathode is just a few square millimeters in size, because it’s built out of exotic materials like gold and ruthenium oxyde. If it can be scaled up, however, it may lead to capacitors with the same energy density as existing batteries, much lower charging times and longer lifespans.
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“Reviving the Islamic Spirit” convention is an attempt by the young Muslims in the West to help overcome new challenges of communication and integration.
Moon Phases Calendar
This moon phases calendar tool or moon schedule is an easy way to find out the lunar phase for any given month. Simply select a month and year, and click “Go”, and it will show you what the moon will look like for any day that month. The internal phase calculator is very accurate, but the images are approximations. Moon calculations are based on your time zone as specified by your computer.The key to the research is the 3D electrode (cathode). Normally, such electrodes are very thin, which limits their performance. However, the scientists built a 3D electrode from porous gold, vastly increasing the available surface area. When doped with Ruthenium oxide, which has excellent conductivity and rechargability, the result was “unsurpassed energy density,” according to INRS professor Daniel Guay. “For this type of application, component sizes are reduced to a few square millimeters, making it possible to use such expensive materials,” he added.
For the near future, it has the potential to replace current “micro-batteries” used for miniaturized energy storage with 1,000 times the energy density of current micro-battery tech. Such batteries could eventually end up in wearables, microcircuits and autonomous sensor networks, to name a few. We’ll probably have to wait a lot longer for instant-charging cellphones and electric cars, however.
by Steve Dent 15/10/01
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“Whoever starts a good practice in Islam he will be rewarded for it and whoever starts evil practice in Islam he will be burdened with it.” (Prophet Muhammad pbuh from Sahih Muslim)
The concomitant usage of the two terms Islam and Reform constitutes a major trope in the discourse on Islam today. Every one, from Irshad Manji to Tariq Ramadan, is a self styled reformer, seeking to reform Islam. It is really not clear what anyone really means by Islamic reform anymore. The term often says more about the political postures of those who use it than Islam or reform. Therefore any conversation that seeks to address this issue must begin by defining, and specially so, proscribing the content and scope of the term so that it may once again regain its salience.
Revival and reform are Islamic Traditions
The ideas of tajdid (renewal) and Islah (reform) are neither new nor unusual to Islamic thought. The advent of Islam – the message and mission of Prophet Muhammed pbuh – itself can be seen as a divine endeavor to revive Abrahamic monotheism and reform the then extant society and culture from jahiliyyah to Islam. This philosophy of reform and renewal is a recurrent theme in Islamic intellectual and political history. Al-Ghazzali, Ibn Taymiyyah, Abdul Wahhab, Shah Waliullah, Muhammed Abdu, Maulana Maududi, and now Abdullah Al-Naim, and Tariq Ramadan have all sought to revive and reform.
As far as Muslim intellectuals who cared about the condition of Muslim reality were concerned, they sought to revive Islam in order to reform Muslim society. But today we live in an age, when Muslims and non-Muslims are talking about reforming Islam to revive Muslim societies. While the new, reversed juxtapositioning of revival and reform, is gaining dominance the old theme of revival continues to echo in the collective Muslim consciousness. If one were permitted to use a broad brush, one could argue that those who are described as Islamists are still talking about revival, and those who are described as Islamic modernists, are pushing for Islamic reform.
Then there is the West, and its incessant demands on Muslims to change, and Islam to reform. Except for a few voices that are politically neutral that call for reform, most of Western demands are political even if the substance of their critique of Islam and Muslim realities is meaningful. Western demands range from the ridiculous (mosques without minarets) to profound (reforming Muslim conceptions of shariah to become in tune with the age of nation states and positivist legal regimes normatively concerned with human rights, equity and equality). Concerned Muslim intellectuals must engage with this critique to understand it, but not use it as the primary motivation to reconstitute our understanding of Islam or reformulate Muslim institutions. Western criticism must be treated as informative but not instructive of Muslim initiatives for reform.
Reform and Revival is Necessary
The only reason why Muslims need to contemplate reform is if there is a normative dissatisfaction with Muslim reality. The purpose of reform therefore will be to restore justice, virtue, and compassion to Muslim conditions. The normative ill health could be a consequence of unhealthy institutional practices (institutions like state, judiciary, university, civil society), thereby necessitating societal reform, or because of an intellectual decline. Intellectual decline that Muslim societies can face is either a decline in its ability to understand and translate the Islamic message from its sources into meaningful and salutary practice, or a decline in the processes of epistemology — knowledge retention, production and dissemination. This would necessitate a reform in the existing dysfunctional epistemological regimes and revival and rejuvenation of the spirit of Ijtihad.
In the light of contemporary Muslim realities, without delving too much into empirical discussion, I submit that neither the normative realities of the Muslim world are healthy nor is the intellectual condition of the Ummah comforting. We live in an age of sickness. The Muslim World is unhealthy in body, spirit and mind. We need to revive and reform left, right and center.
What Can We Do?
What I mean by reform is simple. I am calling for a critical re-visitation of Islamic sources and Islamic intellectual heritage. I am also calling for a renewed appreciation of the tremendous intellectual diversity in Islamic thought and a recognition that the development and dissemination of Islamic thought has suffered a truncated history as a consequence of global political developments, the most prominent of which have been the decline of Muslim society and the impact of colonial domination.
To actually talk of Islamic reform or revival in a global sense is a bit far fetched in this age and time when diversities of culture, nationality and intellectual predilections are so vast. There are over a billion and a half Muslims in literally millions of communities all over and there is no single politburo of Islam, like the Vatican is for the Catholics, where doctrinal reforms can be made, legitimized, codified and even enforced. The difficulty that the Pope is having with his agenda of tolerance is indicative of the difficulty even when such a centralized authority does exist.
What then can we do? We need to adopt split strategic. As Muslim we develop a global consciousness that revival and reform are necessary. Many Islamic movements have already impressed upon the fact that revival is necessary but only modernist Muslims like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Abduh have called for reforms. The acceptance that reform is necessary will create the space for Muslim thinkers to think critically and reevaluate our heritage. There will be more opportunities for scholars to think and write freely. At the moment many Muslim scholars are afraid literally for their lives. The case of Javed Ghamidi of Pakistan is an illustrative example. He had to flee Pakistan in order to continue his work.
But actual reforms can and must take place locally. Local communities must do what is best for their spiritually and socio-political well being and act accordingly. We already see such reforms all across the Muslim world. We need more serious, more rapid and more systemic reforms than the episodic and occasionally ones we are currently experiencing. This article was first published in the Turkey Agenda.
Allah(swt), Thou art the eternal God, this is the beginning of another new year; I, therefore, request Thee, in this hour, to keep off Satan (Shaytan), to give me control over my “self” inclined to sin and deviation, so that it brings me near Thee,
O Compassionate! O the Owner of majesty and kindness! O Supporter of him who has no supporter! O Provider of him who has no provision! O He who watches over him who has no protection! O He who comes to help him who has no hope of help! O Reliance for him who has no one to lean upon! O Treasure of him who has nothing in the purse! O He who knows well how to put to test and trial! O the Ultimate Hope! O the Strength of the weak! O the Rescuer of the drowning! O He who saves from destruction! O He who bestows bounties! O He who shows courtesy and treats with benevolence! O he who treats with kindness and generosity! O He who does favours!
Thou art he before whom prostrate in adoration the blackness of the night and the brightness of the day, the moonlight of the moon, the sunlight of the sun, the ripple of the water, the trunks of the trees! O Allah, There is no associate with Thee!
►01 : Muhammad [SAW] Intro: Ready
►02 : Before Prophethood: Ready
►03 : Revelation And Reaction: Ready
►04 : Migration To Abyssinia: Ready
►05 : Islam Of Hamza And Umar: 12/NOV/2015
►06 : Year Of Sorrow: 26/NOV/2015
►07 : The Night Journey: 10/DEC/2015
►08 : Preparing For Yathrib: 17/DEC/2015
►09 : Hijra To Madina: 31/DEC/2015
O Allah make us generous, good and high-minded, more than that which they can imagine or speculate, cover and escort us with that which they know not, and do not (even) associate us with that which they say. Sufficient is Allah (for me), there is no god save He, on Him I rely, and He is the Lord of the Great Arsh.
We believe that all is from our Lord, and do not say (this) save those who have sincere hearts and intelligent minds. Our Lord! Cause not our hearts to stray after Thou has guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Thy Presence. Verily Thou art the Bestower.