On the twenty seventh of Rajab the Masjids will be full. People will gather to listen to talks being delivered regarding the great incident of Me'raj. After the talks are over, by and large we return home with the miracle of Me'raj and its message forgotten until the following year. Unlike us, the Sahabah (RA) and Tabi'een (those who came after the Sahaaba) never set aside any particular day for the discussion of the incident of Me'raj. Hence even the Fuqaha (jurists) of the first century differed with regard to the actual date when Me'raj occurred (see Fathul Bari-vol.7, pg.203 and Ruhul Ma'ani-vol.15, pg.6). The Sahabah (RA) and the Tabi'een (RA) had no need to set aside any particular day for this discussion. They regularly and frequently discussed the Ahadith with regard to all aspects of the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). They lived the message of Me'raj every day of their lives.
Superstition constituted an integral part of the belief system of the Pagans. Prior to the advent of Islam the Arabs were steeped in superstitious beliefs, beliefs that regulated their social, economic and political activity. Superstition created a mysterious value system that gave rise to fear, suspicion and enmity. It deprived man of rational thinking and every ailment, accident or calamity was attributed to some evil force bent on destroying their lives. The situation was further aggravated by wicked "Spiritual Doctors" who exploited the unwary masses and ran lucrative businesses treating and exorcizing the "evil forces". Even today there are people who claim to know the future and try to impress people with their "divine powers". Belief in superstition detracts from Imaan in Taqdeer and the qudrat of Allâh Ta’ala.
The Holy Qur'ân states: "No misfortune can happen on earth nor (afflict) your souls, but is recorded in a Book (long) before We bring it into existence; that is truly easy for Allâh".
Disaster and misfortune take place according to the Will and Plan of Allâh. No other force or power can direct your destiny or cause harm to you except with the permission of Allâh. Some of the superstitious beliefs that filtered down from Jahiliyyah to us are:
The Month of Safar
The month of Safar is regarded as a month of ill-fortune and bad luck. The pre-Islamic Arabs believed Safar to be a serpent that dwells in the stomach of man. It stirs to life in this month and causes various types of illnesses and diseases. Thus people are more prone to fall ill in this month. Because of the various evil omens attached to this month some Muslims regard:
Nikâh contracted in this month to be bad luck and ill-fated.
Any important business venture initiated in this month bound to collapse.
The first thirteen days of this month to be specifically evil and bad luck.
Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam condemned such superstitious beliefs in various ahadîth.
A hadîth narrated in Muslim states: "There is no (ill-fortune) in the month of Safar nor do evil spirits (exist)"
Another hadîth states: "Do not revile time (i.e. do not regard any particular day, week or month to be bad, for I (Allâh) am the (embodiment) of all time"
Soothsayers - Fortunetellers
There are certain impostors who pretend to know the future through contact with the "spirits". The Holy Qur'ân rejects the notion that anyone besides Allâh knows the future in the following verse: "Say - No one in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allâh".
The Holy Qur'ân states: "If I had knowledge of the unseen I should have had abundance of good and no evil should have touched me. Truly I am a Warner and a Giver of glad tidings to those who have faith".
Concerning the Jinn who laboured for Sulaiman alayhis salaam the Qur'ân states: "It became clear to the jinn that if they had known the unseen, they would not have continued in the humiliating punishment of their task".
Horoscopes and Astrology
The Pagan Arabs used three arrows to ascertain whether they should proceed with a task or not. The words "My Lord has commanded me" were inscribed on one arrow; "My Lord has forbidden me" inscribed on the second arrow and the third arrow was left blank. If they planned a journey, or a marriage or to raid the enemy, etc., they would go to the temple and draw out an arrow. If they drew the arrow with the positive inscription they would proceed with their plans. The negative inscription meant that they should abort their plans. A blank arrow meant that they should repeat the process till they received a clear directive. This practice is akin to modern day horoscopes, astrology, palm reading and other similar practices. Islam prohibits all such practices and considers them sinful.
The Holy Qur'ân states: "And (also forbidden) is predicting the future by means of divining arrows, for that is impiety".
Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam has stated: "If anyone acquires any knowledge of astrology, he acquires a branch of magic (which is totally forbidden)"
He also stated: "The astrologer is a diviner, the diviner is a magician and the magician is an unbeliever".
Another tradition states: "Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and believes in what he says has denied what was revealed to Mohammed".
Omens and Charms
The same prohibiton applies to hanging charms, beads and amulets, in the belief that they will protect the bearer from evil spirits, bad luck or the evil eye.
The Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated: "May Allâh not fulfill the hopes of the one who wears a charm; may Allâh not protect the one who hangs seashells (used as a charm in those days)". (Ahmed)
Another narration stated; "Whoever wears a charm will be left to rely on it". (Tirmidhi)
Abdullah bin Masûd radhiallahu anhu once saw his wife wearing a knotted thread around her neck. He pulled at it and broke it saying, "The family of Abdullah is free from associating anything with Allâh for which He has sent no authority". He then said: "I heard the Messenger of Allâh sallallahu alayhi wasallam say " Incantations, amulets and spells are shirk".
Drawing evil omens from a black cat, the number thirteen, a pregnant woman, using a knife at the time of an eclipse, etc., is no more than weird superstition. The disbelievers frequently attacked the Prophets saying "Indeed we augur an evil omen from you", The messengers would reply: "Your auguring of evil omens is with yourselves". This implied that, the cause of your evil omens lies in your attitude which stems from superstition, disbelief and stubbornness.
Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated: "He is not of us who seeks evil omens or for whom evil omens are sought ….." (Tabraani). Another tradition states: "No one is free from three things: suspicion, auguring evil omens and envy. Thus if you have a suspicion, do not pursue it, if you augur an evil omen, do not turn you back, and if you are envious do not transgress". (Tabraani)
Sihar - Magic - Jadu
Practicing magic is tantamount to kufr in Islam. Just as it is haraam for Muslims to consult with diviners or fortune tellers, it is likewise haram for them to seek the help of magicians, sangomas, witch-doctors etc.
Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam disowned such person saying: "Anyone who goes to a diviner, a practitioner of magic or a soothsayer, asking something and believing in it, denies what was revealed to Mohammed".
Another tradition states: "The alcoholic, the believer in magic and the one who breaks ties of kinship will not enter Jannat". (Ibn Hibban)
"Sufis who treat people as cheap profit making commodities and call towards themselves rather than towards Allâh and ask them to respect and love them, instead of loving Allâh, were, infact the robbers, the liars, traders in religion, cheaters and thugs." (Shah Wali-Allâh)
Hazrat Umar Abdul Aziz (known as Umar, the second) states: "I advise you to observe piety and fear Allâh, to maintain a balanced life by obeying the commandments of Allâh and following the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. I also admonish you against innovation introduced by the ‘Ahle - Bidat’ and advise you to detach yourselves from them ….". (Abu Dawood)
Islam is not a religion based on superstitious dogma. To attribute every ailment, calamity and hardship to "evil spirits" is to be a defeatist. We ultimately become the victims of suspicion, hatred and fear. We become blind to our own weaknesses and shortcomings and simply attribute all our ills to some external forces.
If we ourselves have set our garden on fire with our own hands, why do we complain against the enemy. No one is our enemy except our ownselves. Fie upon us that we proved to be the enemies of our ownselves.
Beginning of the Ashur-ul-Hajj
Shawwal is the first of the three months named as "Ashhur al-Hajj" (i.e. the months of Hajj). Although the major acts of Hajj are normally performed in the first ten days of Zulhijjah,
Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
Rajab is the 7th month of the Islamic Lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Eid ul Adha is not simply an occasion of festivity. On this Day we recall the unwavering faith, conviction and sacrifice of Nabî Ibrahim whom the Qur'ân describes in the following words:
The First Ten Days of Dhu’l- Hijjah, the Most Special Season of Worship
Praise be to Allah Who has created Time and has made some times better than others, some months and days and nights better than others, when rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy towards His slaves. This encourages them to do more righteous deeds and makes them more eager to worship Him, so that the Muslim renews his efforts to gain a greater share of reward, prepare himself for death and supply himself in readiness for the Day of Judgement.
“And who could be of better faith than he who surrenders his whole being unto Allâh and is a doer of good and follows the creed of Ibrahim who turned away from all that is false – And Allâh chose Ibrahim as His friend.” (4:125)
Allah Ta'ala's blessings and favours are showered upon His servants at all times. However, on certain occasions the mercy, barakah and forgiveness of Allah Ta'ala are showered upon us to an even greater extent. One such occasion is the "Fifteenth night of Sha'baan". It is up to us to take advantage of these occasions and earn the forgiveness of Allah Ta'ala.
Muharram and Aashura
MUHARRAM is the first month of the Islamic, Hijrah calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which Allah Ta'ala says, 'The number of months in the sight of Allah are twelve (in a year) - So ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; Of them four are sacred: That is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves therein.' (Surah Taubah).
The four months, according to authentic Ahaadith, are the months of Zul-Qa`dah, Zul Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. The sanctity of these four months was observed in the Shari'ah of all the Ambiyaa (AS).
'Allah Ta'ala made them (i.e. the four months) sacred and increased their sanctity. Hence declared a sin therein more severe and increased the virtue of good deeds and (also) the reward thereof.' (Ibn Katheer).
The Ulama have stated that the actions performed in these months have an effect on what a person does in the remaining months of the year.
THE MONTH OF MUHARRAM
The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhaan is the fast during Allah's month of Muharram and the best of Salaats besides the Fardh (obligatory Salaat) is the Tahajjud Salaah (performed after midnight). (Sahih Muslim).
THE DAY OF AASHURA (10th OF MUHARRAM)
The tenth of Muharram, known as the day of Aashura, is a very significant day in the Islamic calendar. Nabi (SA) has exhorted the Ummah to fast on this day. Hadhrat Aaisha (RA) reports that Nabi (SAW) ordered the observance of the fast of Aashura. However, when the fast of Ramadhaan became compulsory, Nabi (SAW) left the fast of Aashura (i.e. the compulsion). Thereafter, whosoever desired kept this fast and whosoever desired, (not to keep it) did not observe this fast'. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1).
Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (RA) says, 'I did not see Rasulullah (SAW) anxiously await the fast of any day, which he gave preference to over other days, but this day (of Aashura) and the month of Ramadhaan (Sahih Bukhaari, Vol. 1).
VIRTUE OF THE FAST OF AASHURA
With regard to the blessing of this fast, Nabi (SAW) was asked regarding it's virtue. He answered, 'It is a compensation for the sins of the past year.' i.e. the sins of one year that has just gone by will be forgiven. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1).
Note: Only minor sins are forgiven. For the forgiveness of major sins, Towbah is a prerequisite.
THE FAST OF AASHURA
Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (RA) narrates that when Nabi (SAW) came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of Aashura, he inquired, 'What is the significance of this day on which you fast?' They replied, 'This is the day Allah saved Nabi Moosa (AS) and his followers and drowned Fir'oun and his army, thus Moosa (AS) fasted on this day as a token of thanksgiving. Therefore we too fast on this day.' (Sahih Muslim, Vol 1).
Rasulullah (SAW) said, 'We are more worthy of Moosa (AS) and nearer to him that you.' Thereafter, he fasted on this day and ordered the Sahaabah to fast on this day. (Sahih Muslim, Vol.
Rasulullah (SAW) is reported to have said, 'Observe the fast of Aashura and oppose (the way of) the Jews. Fast a day before it (also) or a day after it.' (Baihaqi, Vol 4)
Hence, one should fast for two days: Either the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th. To fast only on the 10th of Muharram is MAKROOH (reprehensible) and bears semblance to the Jews.
GENEROSITY TO ONE'S FAMILY
Besides fasting on the day of Aashura, being generous to one's family and spending more than what is normally spent on food, etc. is an act of great merit. It is mentioned in a Hadith, 'He who will be generous to his family on the day of Aashura, Allah will be generous to him for the entire year.'
The day of Aashura is regarded by many people as the day of mourning the martyrdom of Sayyidina Hussain (RA). To attribute the significance of Aashura to Sayyiduna Hussain (RA)'s martyrdom is totally baseless because the sanctity of Aashura is proven, beyond doubt, from the time of Rasulullah (SAW), whilst Sayyiduna Hussain (RA) was martyred fifty years after Nabi (SAW) left this earthly abode. The fact that the martyrdom of Sayyiduna Hussain (RA) occurred on the Day of Aashura has absolutely no bearing on the significance of this day nor is the sanctity of this day derived from this event. On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidina Hussain (RA) that he was martyred on the Day of Aashura.
RESPECT WHAT ALLAH HAS HONOURED, FOR VERILY TO HONOUR THINGS DUE TO VIRTUE WHICH ALLAH HAS ACCORDED THEM IS AMONG THE TRAITS OF THE INTELLIGENT.