The Islamic year begins with Muharram ul Haram, the first month of the Hijri Calendar. While followers of other religions spend their opening month in worthless merriment, the first month of Islam teaches us lessons of admonition, good counselling, knowledge of Allah Ta’ala, sacrifice, selflessness, patience and seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.
The tenth day of Muharram (Ashurah) has many distinctive qualities and features. Allah Ta’ala created the heavens and the earth on this blessed day. On this day He gave His infinite blessings and bounties to many of His Prophets and delivered them from the clutches of their enemies.
Allah Ta’ala created Hazrat Adam (Alaihis-Salam) in this month, pardoned him of his mistake, and Hazrat Noah’s (Alaihis-Salam) Ark landed successfully on Mount Judi, and he saved Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis-Salam) from fire and rescued Hazrat Musa (Alaihis-Salam) from Pharaoh.
On the first of Muharram offer 2 rakats Nafl prayer. In each rakat after Surah Fateha recite Surah Ikhlas 3 times. After the Salam pray to Allah Ta’ala for all your needs and desires. From the blessing of this prayer, Allah Ta’ala will appoint an angel for such a person. The angel will guide him or her to do only good deeds and prevent them in engaging in sinful acts.
On the eve of “Ashurah” offer 100 rakats Nafl. In each rakat recite Surah Ikhlas 3 times after Surah Fateha. After Salam recite first ‘Kalimah’ 100 times. Allah Ta’ala will forgive all the sins of such a person.
Dua-e-Ashurah – An insurance for a year’s Life
Hazrat Imam Zainul Abidain (Radi Allah Anhu) reports that who ever recites this dua( Dua-e- Ashurah) on the tenth of Muharram, any time after sunrise and before sunset, or listens to its recitation from someone else, Allah Ta’ala will certainly make it an insurance for a years’ life for him, by keeping death away from him. However, if one is to become the victim of death in that year, they will by some strange coincidence not remember to recite it.
Nafl Salat for the Eve of Ashurah
On the eve of Ashurah offer 4 rakats Nafl Salat as follows: In every rakat after Surah Fateha recite “Ayetul Kursi” once and Surah Ikhlas 3 times. After completing this Namaz recite Surah Ikhlas 100 times. Allah Ta’ala will purify such a person of all their sins and grant them endless bounties and blessings in paradise.
The Fast of Ashurah
On the 9th and 10th of Muharram, one should fast. If it is not possible to fast on both days, then every effort should be made to fast on the 10th day of Muharram, as there is great reward for this fast. (Muslim Shareef).
The following are some of the desirable acts one should do on the day of Ashurah:
1. To observe fast on this day.
2. To give as much charity as you can afford.
3. To perform Nafl Salat prayers.
4. To recite Surah Ikhlas 1000 times.
5. To visit and be in the company of pious Ulema.
6. To place a hand of affection on an orphan’s head.
7. To give generously to one’s relatives.
8. To put surma in one’s eyes.
9. To take a bath.
10. To cut one’s nails.
11. To visit the sick.
12. To establish friendly ties with one’s enemies.
13. To recite Dua-e- Ashurah
14. To visit the shrines of Awliyas and the graves of Muslims.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood (Radi Allah Anhu), a Companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu Alaihi wa Sallam) reports the following saying of the Messenger of Allah Ta’ala, “Whosoever prepares ample food and drink for his family on this sacred day and delights in feeding them generously, Allah Ta’ala will increase His provisions for that year and place much blessings and good therein.”
Imam Hussain (Radi Allah Anhu) and his companions were martyred on the tenth of this month.
Like any month in the Islamic Calendar there are in this first Islamic month, many anniversaries which are celebrated every where in the world.