https://www.khutbah.info/virtue-of-muharram-and-ashura/ All praise is due to Allah Who selects by His Mercy whom He wills and chooses from His creation what He wishes. There is no adjusting of His judgment and no turning away His decree. He is not asked about what He does and people will be asked. Glory be to Him, He has made in the alteration of the days and nights a lesson for the believers and in the succession of the days a sign for those who reflect. Seasons of obedience hardly end until they are followed by others. And opportunities for goodness barely finish until others appear. And soon we will bid farewell to the Hijri year which was concluded with a sacred month containing a great rite- Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam. Likewise, we will greet the new year starting with a sacred month, the month of Muharram, the Sacred Month of Allah. The month of Muharram is named the Month of Allah, while all months for Allah. The scholar Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said that the Prophet ﷺ named Muharram the Month of Allah, and attributing the month to Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime, indicates its honor and virtue. For Allah Almighty does not attribute to himself except the select of His creation. Just as He attributed Muhammad, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other prophets to His servitude. And He attributed to himself His house (the Kabaa) and His she-camel (sent to Thamud).
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ ,نَحْمَدُهُ ,وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ , وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ – آل عمران:102
Al Imran 102 : O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.
All praise is due to Allah Who selects by His Mercy whom He wills and chooses from His creation what He wishes. There is no adjusting of His judgment and no turning away His decree. He is not asked about what He does and people will be asked. Glory be to Him, He has made in the alteration of the days and nights a lesson for the believers and in the succession of the days a sign for those who reflect.
Seasons of obedience hardly end until they are followed by others. And opportunities for goodness barely finish until others appear. And soon we will bid farewell to the Hijri year which was concluded with a sacred month containing a great rite- Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam. Likewise, we will greet the new year starting with a sacred month, the month of Muharram, the Sacred Month of Allah.
The month of Muharram is named the Month of Allah, while all months for Allah. The scholar Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said that the Prophet ﷺ named Muharram the Month of Allah, and attributing the month to Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime, indicates its honor and virtue. For Allah Almighty does not attribute to himself except the select of His creation. Just as He attributed Muhammad, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other prophets to His servitude. And He attributed to himself His house (the Kabaa) and His she-camel (sent to Thamud).
Muharram is from the sacred months and comes at the beginning of them. Al Hassan Al Basree said that Allah Almighty opened the year with a sacred month, that is Muharram and concluded the year with a sacred month that is Dhul Hijjah. And there is no month after Ramadan greater in the sight of Allah than Muharram.
And the sacred months are greater in the sight of Allah than other months. For this reason, He the Almighty prohibited wrongdoing in them. Allah said:
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ-التَّوْبَةِ: 36
At Tawbah (9) 36: Indeed, the number of months with Allāh is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allāh [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion [i.e., way], so do not wrong yourselves during them.
Al Qurtubi said in his interpretation of the Quran that Allah selected the sacred months for mention and prohibited wrongdoing in them, even though it is prohibited at all times, in order honor them.
The sin in the sacred months is more grave than in other months. And the righteous deeds in the sacred months have a greater reward. Qatadah said that injustice during the sacred months is a greater sin than injustice in other months. And even though injustice in all months is grave, Allah magnifies from His matter as He wills.
According to Ibn Rajab and other scholars, it is among the best months after Ramadan. And it is recommended to fast during it. And the virtue of fasting in it comes after the virtue of fasting Ramadan. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
أَفْضَلُ الصِّيَامِ بَعْدَ رَمَضَانَ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ الْمُحَرَّمُ، وَأَفْضَلُ الصَّلَاةِ بَعْدَ الْفَرِيضَةِ صَلَاةُ اللَّيْلِ-رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ 1163
The best fasting after the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah, Al-Muharram, and the best prayer is prayer at night.[Muslim 1163b]
This hadith clearly states that Muharram is the best month for voluntary fasting. Al-Qurtubi said: the fasting of Muharram is the best fasting, because it is the beginning of the year and it is opened with fasting, which is the best of deeds.
And based on this hadith, the best deed that a Muslim can perform in the month of Muharram is fasting. So a Muslim should do a lot of voluntary fasting during it. And let us remember that fasting has virtues and great reward with Allah – the Mighty and Sublime. Sahl bin Sa’ad narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:
إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ بَابًا يُقَالُ لَهُ: الرَّيَّانُ، يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ الصَّائِمُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، لَا يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُهُمْ، يُقَالُ: أَيْنَ الصَّائِمُونَ؟! فَيَقُومُونَ لَا يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُهُمْ، فَإِذَا دَخَلُوا أُغْلِقَ فَلَمْ يَدْخُلْ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ .
In Paradise there is a gate which is called Rayyan through which only those who fasted will enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else will enter through it. It will be called out, where are those who used to fast? So they will proceed towards it and no one will enter it except them. When the last of them will have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through it. [Bukhari 1896, Muslim 1152]
And Abu Saeed Al Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ يَصُومُ يَوْمًا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِلا بَاعَدَ اللَّهُ بِذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَجْهَهُ عَنْ النَّارِ سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفًا .
There is no worshipper who fasts a day in the cause of Allah, but Allah, the most high, will separate (a distance of) seventy autumns (years) between his face and the fire in return for that day. [Sunan an-Nasa’i 2251]
And Umaamah Al Baahelee, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ: مُرْنِي بِأَمْرٍ يَنْفَعُنِي اللَّهُ بِهِ، قَالَ: عَلَيْكَ بِالصِّيَامِ؛ فَإِنَّهُ لا مِثْلَ لَهُ
Oh Messenger of Allah, tell me of something by which Allah will benefit me. He said: take to fasting, for there is nothing like it. [Sunan an-Nasa’i 2221]
أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin. So seek forgives from Him, Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ, وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ , وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَاْ إِلَهَ إِلَّاْ اَللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَاْشَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ
All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, and I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
Ashura is the tenth day of the month of Muharram. It is the day that Allah gave victory to the truth and the believers, Musa and his people, and defeated falsehood and the disbelievers, Pharaoh and his people. And this victory is still a matter of consideration and appreciation. So it is ordained for us to fast that day out of gratefulness that Allah inherits the earth and what is on it to His righteous servants. As Allah Almighty said:
وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ كَمَا ٱسۡتَخۡلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ
An Nur (24) 55: Allāh has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them
And Allah said:
وَلَقَدۡ كَتَبۡنَا فِي ٱلزَّبُورِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ٱلذِّكۡرِ أَنَّ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ ٱلصَّٰلِحُونَ
Al Anbya (21) 105: And We have already written in the book [of Psalms] after the [previous] mention that the land is inherited by My righteous servants.
Also, there is great reward and goodness in fasting this day. For it expiates the minor sins of the previous year and not the major sins. As for the major sins, they require repentance and determination to not return to them. Abu Qatadah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
وَصِيَامُ يَوْمِ عَاشُورَاءَ، أَحْتَسِبُ عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ .
And fasting the day of Ashura, I anticipate that Allah will forgive (the sins of) the year before it. [Sunan Ibn Majah 1738]
And the Prophet ﷺ was keen to fast the day of Ashura. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
مَا رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ -صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- يَتَحَرَّى صِيَامَ يَوْمٍ فَضَّلَهُ عَلَى غَيْرِهِ إِلَّا هَذَا الْيَوْمَ، يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ، وَهَذَا الشَّهْرَ؛ يَعْنِي شَهْرَ رَمَضَانَ
I never saw the Prophet ﷺ seeking to fast on a day that he favored more than another except this day, the day of Ashura, and this month, meaning the month of Ramadan.[Sahih al-Bukhari 2006]
The scholars have agreed that fasting the day of Ashura is recommended and not mandatory from what Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet ﷺ fasted it and commanded fasting it until Ramadan was mandated. Then Ramadan was mandatory and Ashura was recommended.
Also, it is recommended to fast the ninth and tenth of Muharram. Ibn Abbas reported that when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ fasted on the day of Ashura and commanded fasting, they (the companions) said to him:
يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ يَوْمٌ تُعَظِّمُهُ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى . فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ فَإِذَا كَانَ الْعَامُ الْمُقْبِلُ – إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ – صُمْنَا الْيَوْمَ التَّاسِعَ ” . قَالَ فَلَمْ يَأْتِ الْعَامُ الْمُقْبِلُ حَتَّى تُوُفِّيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Oh Messenger of Allah, it is a day revered by the Jews and Christians. Then the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: when the next year comes, Allah willing, we will fast on the ninth (in addition to Ashura). He said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺhad passed before the start of the next year. [Muslim 1134a]
Also, the Prophet ﷺ said:
لئن بقيت إلى قابل لأصومن التاسع
If I live until next year, I will fast the ninth day (of Muharram).[Muslim 1134b]
Moreover, some scholars have recommended fasting the 9th, 10th and 11th. Ibn Taymiyyah cited in his book Iqtida Sirat Al Mutaqeem that the Imam Ahmad said: whoever aims to fast Ashura should fast the 9th and the 10th except if there is uncertainty about the months so he should fast three days (9th, 10th and 11th). And Ibn Sireen is of that opinion.
And Ibn Qayim in his book Zad Al Ma’ad indicated that there are three ranks of fasting Ashura. The first rank is to fast the 9th, 10th, and 11th and this is the best rank. And the second rank is to fast the 9th and the 10th. And the third rank is to fast only the 10th.
We ask Allah Almighty to help us in making the most of Muharram in performing righteous deeds and to distance us from the misdeeds. Indeed Allah is All Hearing Answering.
هَذَا وَصَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى نَبِيِّكُم كَمَا أَمَرَكُمْ بِذلِكَ رَبُّكُمْ , فَقَالَ
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon your Prophet as your Lord commanded:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Al Ahzaab (33) 56: Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنا فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنا فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنا فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لنا فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنا شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لَنا خَيْرًا
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good
عِبَادَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
Click here to download a ready to deliver Khutbah transcript in pdf format