Islamic Calender

I mentioned on the occasion of 'Ashura' in Masjid-e-Noor, Manchester, that my master, Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Muhajir al-Madani, Rahmatullah Alayhi once asked us attendants on this date, 'Today is the day of 'Ashura' – How much of a reward have you sent for the martyrs of Karbala?' We remained quiet as we never seemed to avail ourselves of this opportunity.

Never do we free ourselves for such things. Indeed, our tongues make declarations, but we are very far from putting them into practice. We are distant from the exalted being of Allah Most High, just as we are from recognising the rights of the Master of Both Worlds. Likewise we are not any closer to knowing and recognising the magnificence of the Holy Qur'an.

The Practice Of Shaykh Zakariyya Rahmatullah Alayhi, From 1st Muharram To 10th Muharram

Seeing the brooding silence of his attendants, the Shaykh began to weep and said, “I have been completing a Qur'an a day for the martyrs of Karbala since 1st Muharram.”

Through speeches classifying a lot of practices as a religious innovation (bid'ah) and through promoting deep repugnance and extreme despise for such practices, we have lost many things and Ashura one of them. Ashura, the day on which Sayyiduna Husayn Radiallahu anhu was martyred, was in fact blessed even prior to his martyrdom. But we will probably deem remembering him, talking about him and sending him rewards as an act of religious innovation on this day.

Read more: How Much Reward Did We Send (Esale Al-Thawab) To The Martyrs Of Karbala On The Day Of “Ashura”

Abu Sa’iyd Khudri Radiallahu anhu reports that Rasulullah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasalam once performed i’itikaaf for the first ten days of Ramadhaan. Thereafter, he made i’itikaaf in a Turkish tent (inside the Musjid) for the middle ten days. Thereafter, he raised his head out of the tent and said, “Verily, in search of Laylatul Qadr did I perform i’itikaaf for the first ten days, then for the middle ten days. Then someone (an angel) came and told me, ‘It is in the last ten days. Whosoever has made i’itikaaf with me should continue for the last ten days.’ I had been shown that night and then made to forget, which it how it shall be. I saw myself making sajda to Allah  with my forehead on mud the next morning. Look for Laylatul Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadhaan; look for it among the odd nights.”

Abu Sa’iyd Radiallahu anhu says; “That same night it rained. The roof on the Musjid leaked. I looked at Rasulullah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasalam eyes and forehead and there were remains of water and mud. This was on the morning of the 21st after performing sujood in muddy clay”. (Reported in Mishkaat)

Rasullullah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasalam said, “The person performing I’itikaaf remains free from sins, and he is given the same reward as those who do good deeds in spite of not having done those deeds because of staying in the Musjid.”    (Mishkaat)

“...Whomsoever performs I’itikaaf for a day, thereby seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah will open three trenches between him and the fire of hell, the width of each being the distance between heaven and earth”.   (Reported by ‘Tabraani in Al Awsa’t)

by Hazrat Sheikh Zakariyya (Rahmatullah alayhi)

My late father had a fixed programme and routine for Ramadan. The programme changed annually according to prevailing circumstances. I cannot remember any of his travels in Ramadan while resident in Gangoh. I have already said that in the last Ramadan of the life of Hazrat Gangohi in 1322 A.H my late father led the taraweeh salaah in Gangoh at the instruction of Hazrat himself.

That was the year when for the first time since having memorised the Quran, he sat down on the 29th Sha’baan to recite 1-1/4 paras from the Quran as preparation for taraweeh out of fear for Hazrat Gangohi and out of fear for making a mistake. After the first day of recitation, the fear left him and thereafter he never again had to make ‘daur’.

I have-already mentioned repeatedly that my father was so addicted to Quranic recitations by heart, that he did the manual work of running a bookshop, taking out books, making parcels, addressing them, while all the time reciting Quran.

During his stay in Saharanpur, I do not remember him having performed taraweeh in any other place, except for the year 1332 A.H when the mosque of the old Darul Talabah was being erected. On the erection of my late Shaikh, Maulana Saharanpuri, my father was the first person to recite the Quran from the mehrab of this mosque in 1332 A.H.

During his stay in Saharanpur, my father’s routine was that he spend most of his time in the Masjid of the shoemakers next to the house of Hakeem Yaqoob Saheb. This was apart from the time he used to spend in teaching. It was here that he performed iftar without any special preference for anything special. Of course, if there were some dates and zam-zam available, these were given preference over all other things. (At the iftar table of Hazrat Maulana Khaleel Ahmad Saheb great importance was given to having dates and zam-zam for iftar. Any dates and zam-zam brought to him by Hajis, as presents were stored away in tins and in bottles. In those days there was not this free availability of dates and zam-zam as is the case in our times when Allah made travel so fast and easy.

Read more: The Ramadaan of Hazrat Mol Yahya Saheb

This month is the most significant month in Islamic history, because it was during this month that humanity was blessed with the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam.

Prior to the birth of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, the Arabian Peninsula and so-called civilised nations of Persia and Rome were drowned in the darkness of ignorance, superstition, oppression and unrest.

The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam arrived with the Eternal Truth of Tawhid (Oneness of Allah) – the only faith which provides a firm basis for the real concepts of knowledge, equity and peace. It was this faith which delivered humanity from ignorance and superstition and spread the light of knowledge all over the world.

The birth of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, was thus the most significant and remarkable event in human history. If it were allowed in the Shari’ah to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, his birth would have deserved it more than that of any other personality.

The nature of Islamic teachings is such that its main stress is directed towards practicalities – and not aimed at formalities. This is why, unlike Judaism, Christianity (Catholicism), and Hinduism, there are very few festivals in Islam. The only two festivals which are condoned according to the Shari’ah are Eid-ul Adha and Eid-ul Fitr. These two Eid celebrations do not correspond to the birthdays of any of the prominent personalities in Islamic history, nor can the origin of these festivals in any way be attributed to any particular event in the history of Islam.

Read more: The Month Of Rabi-Al-Awwal

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