The Virtues of The Month of al-Muharram

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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, (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) collectively, as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V. 2:2).
  • It is a sacred month

عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ الزَّمَانُ قَدِ اسْتَدَارَ كَهَيْئَتِهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ، السَّنَةُ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا، مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ، ثَلاَثَةٌ مُتَوَالِيَاتٌ ذُو الْقَعْدَةِ وَذُو الْحِجَّةِ وَالْمُحَرَّمُ، وَرَجَبُ مُضَرَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ جُمَادَى وَشَعْبَانَ ‏”‏‏

Narrated by Abû Bakrah:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said. “The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allâh created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’da, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumâdi-ath-Thaniyah and Sha’bân.”

Sahîh Bukhârî 3197

Imâm as-Sa’dî said: “They have been termed as sacred because of their additional sanctity and prohibition to fight during them.” (Taysîr al-Karîm Ar-Rahmân Fî Tafsîr Kalâm Al-Mannân)

Imâm Ibn Kathîr said: “In a small book collected by Shaykh ‘Alam ad-Dîn As-Sakhâwi, entitled, Al-Mashhur fi Asma’ Al-Ayam wash-Shuhur, he mentioned that Muharram is so named because it is a sacred month. To me, it was so named to emphasise its sacredness. This is because the Arabs would switch it around. One year they would say it was a sacred month, the following year they would say that it was not.” (Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr)


  • Sinning is graver and the multiplication of deeds is greater in these months

Imâm Ibn Kathîr said:

“Similarly, sin in general is worse during the Sacred Months.

‘Alî bin Abî Talhah narrated that Ibn ‘Abbâs said, Allâh’s statement,

﴿إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

(Verily, the number of months with Allâh…), is connected to

﴿فَلاَ تَظْلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ﴾

(so wrong not yourselves therein), “In all (twelve) months. Allâh then chose four out of these months and made them sacred, emphasizing their sanctity, making sinning in them greater, in addition to, multiplying rewards of righteous deeds during them.”

Qatâdah said about Allâh’s statement,

﴿فَلاَ تَظْلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ﴾

(so wrong not yourselves therein), “Injustice during the Sacred Months is worse and graver than injustice in other months. Verily, injustice is always wrong, but Allâh makes things graver than others as He will.” He also said, “Allâh has chosen some of His creation above others. He chose Messengers from angels and from men. He also chose His Speech above all speech, the Masâjid above other areas of the earth, Ramadân and the Sacred Months above all months, Friday above the other days and Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Decree) above all nights. Therefore, sanctify what Allâh has sanctified, for doing so is the practice of people of understanding and comprehension.”

(Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr, Sûrah At-Tawbah 9:36)


  • The best fast after Ramadân, is the fast in Muharram

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ أَفْضَلُ الصِّيَامِ بَعْدَ رَمَضَانَ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ الْمُحَرَّمُ وَأَفْضَلُ الصَّلاَةِ بَعْدَ الْفَرِيضَةِ صَلاَةُ اللَّيْلِ ‏”‏ ‏

Abû Harairah (may Allâh be pleased with him) reported:

Allâh’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “The most excellent fast after Ramadân is in Allâh’s month, al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.”

Sahîh Muslim 1163


  • The Day of ‘Âshûra [10th of al-Muharram]

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، – رضى الله عنهما – أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدِمَ الْمَدِينَةَ فَوَجَدَ الْيَهُودَ صِيَامًا يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ فَقَالَ لَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مَا هَذَا الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي تَصُومُونَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالُوا هَذَا يَوْمٌ عَظِيمٌ أَنْجَى اللَّهُ فِيهِ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ وَغَرَّقَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَقَوْمَهُ فَصَامَهُ مُوسَى شُكْرًا فَنَحْنُ نَصُومُهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ فَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ وَأَوْلَى بِمُوسَى مِنْكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَصَامَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَمَرَ بِصِيَامِهِ

Ibn ‘Abbâs reported that:

The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) arrived in Medînah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Âshûra. The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) said to them:What is the (significance) of this day that you observe fast on it? They said: It is the day of great (significance) when Allâh delivered Moses and his people, and drowned the Pharaoh and his people, and Moses observed fast out of gratitude and we also observe it. Upon this the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) said: We have more right, and we have a closer connection with Moses than you have; so Allâh’s Messenger (ﷺ) observed fast (on the day of ‘Âshûra), and gave orders that it should be observed.

Sahîh Muslim 1130

Published by أبو زكريا عيسى الألباني

BSc (Hons) Microbiology | Qur'ān | Sunnah |

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