Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Bismillah In the Name of Allah (The Most Merciful)
Alhamdulillah the new Hijri month has just started . The month of Muharram is a very special month. Some hadith mentions that it is named as the month of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Today is 9th of Muharram. Tomorrow is the day of Ashoora, 10th of Muharram. A very important day for us Muslims. InshAllah we will be fasting today and tomorrow. And some people will fast tomorrow and the day after tomorrow to follow the sunnah of our beloved Messenger Muhammad sallallahu alaihe wa sallam. When he (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) moved to the city of Yathrib (Medina) , he saw the Jews of Medina fasting on the day of Ashoora. The Jews used to fast to celebrate the victory of Musa (Moses) Alaihis salam over the Pharoah with the Help of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Our prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that Musa Alaihis saalam is more beloved to us so we will also fast on this day but to be different from the Jews we are recommended to fast one extra day, either the day before (9th of Muharram) or the day after (11th of Muharram). He also told us that this is indeed a special fast with great reward.
Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was asked about observing As-Saum (the fast) on the tenth day of Muharram, and he replied, "It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year."
Sahih Muslim Vol. 3, The Book of Fasting, Hadith no. 2427
Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of 'Ashoora', and this month, meaning Ramadhan." [Reported by al-Bukhari, 1867]
The Prophet said: “Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) 70 years.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
The story of Musa alaihes salam is a fascinating story mentioned so many times in the Qur'an. There are also so many hadith about this great prophet of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Because of his advise, we pray 5 times a day and still are promised to get reward of 50 raka' by the grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. He alaihis salam had a super-tough people to manage, the Bani Israel , the children of Israel. He knew what a hard job it was to convey the divine message. He never seen us, but he loves us so much and care so much. That's actually one of the amazing fact about our prophets ( starting from our father Adam aalaihis salam to Muhammad sallallahu alaihe salam). I hope that one day I can meet all the prophets bi'idnillahi ta'ala.
As the day of Ashoora is near, it is also very timely to learn about the history of the massacre of Karbala, the brutal murder of our beloved prophet's grand son Husayn radiallahu anhu and lots of other innocent people. Lots of us are totally ignorant about this incident. Knowing the history of our Ummah is really crucial to understand our own existence and how to live our lives as good Muslims. The whole Qur'an is full of history. And the purpose is not to 'entertain' us but to educate us and prepare us as better Muslims who in return can hope to gain mercy of our Creator Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and live in eternal bliss after death. There is an excellent talk done by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi on this topic of Karbala, produced by Al-Maghrib institute. Do listen and take notes inshAllah ans spread the link.
Knowledge is power, or I should say, it's life! Without the proper knowledge we can never understand and love our beautiful faith. Only through seeking knowledge we can follow our faith with conviction. It's also very important for us as parents to educate our children with the proper knowledge of our faith. Our children love stories (and the horrible history series). I tell them stories of the prophets based on the Qura'n on a regular basis. And we discuss about it on a regular basis. I keep reiterating to them that these are not fairy stories, these are our history and there is a lot to learn from our history. Alhamdulillah they do think about it and love discussing about all sorts of issues. As parents, we must have patience and ability to deal with their inquisitive minds. Just listening to them makes me wonder how close they are to the fitra. Children teach us so much about the faith and life in general i.e how to live life with contentment and happiness.
To celebrate the day of Ashoora and the month of Muharram as a family, we are doing story sessions after school about prophet Musa alaihis salam. They actually want to fast, mashAllah. I told them they can fast half a day inshAllah. When we learn about Musa alaihis salam, we are not just learning about him. We are also learning about his great mother who had so much tawakkul on Allah to leave her baby in basket in the river, his sister who was so clever to approach the Queen and suggest her mother as a potential nurse for baby Musa, his loving foster mother, Queen Aasiya ( one of the greatest women in our faith), his supporting brother and prophet Harun (Aaron), prophet Shu'aib alaihis salam and his intelligent daughters, cruelty of Pharaoh, the bravery of the magicians in the palace of Pharaoh, characteristics of children of Israel (Bani Israel) and so on. So much to think and learn inshAllah! Let us study the chapters of the Qur'an which deals with Musa alahis salam and ponder upon them and derive some lessons to follow in our own life, bi'idnilillah ta'ala. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala accept our fasts and all the ibadah we are doing to sincerely please Him, only Him, ameen!