As mentioned in the Quran, Muharram is one of the four sacred months of great spiritual significance. As the first month of the Hijri calendar, Muharram – which is also known as the Month of Allah – marks the start of an Islamic new year.
Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him]. [At-Tawbah 9:36]
In the month of Muharram, good deeds are multiplied and sins are even graver. We can make the most of this month by doing as many good deeds to maximise our rewards. Here are some easy acts of worship and good deeds we can perform during the month.
Fast on the Day of Ashura
In the month of Muharram, it is highly recommended to fast on the Day of Ashura (10th Muharram). Abu Qatadah (ra) narrated that when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked about fasting on the Day of Ashura.
Offer Other Voluntary Fasts
Rasulullah ﷺ said, “It expiates [wipes out the minor sins of] the past year.” [Muslim]
Although Rasulullah ﷺ did not fast for the entire month of Muharram, a hadith suggests Muslims fast as many days as possible in the month Muharram.
As Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram.” [Muslim]
Apart from fasting on the Day of Ashura, we can offer more voluntary fasts this month by fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, or on the three white days (13th, 14th, 15th).
Being grateful is another form of worship that is easy to offer. We just need to take some time to think about everything we have.
Write down everything we are grateful for. It may be our health, wealth, job, family, loved ones, or whatever else we’ve been blessed with. Don’t be surprised by how long the list gets!
“And if you should count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [An-Nahl 16:18]
Let’s count all of our blessings and say Alhamdulillah.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.'” [Ibrahim 14:7]
The month of Muharram and the Day of Ashura in particular, is a great moment to give sadaqah. Besides having our rewards multiplied, giving sadaqah removes your sins and stands in the way of calamities as well.
As far as general charity is concerned, it has been reported from the Companion Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As (ra) that he said,
“Whoever fasts on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), it is as though he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity on this day, it is like the charity of an entire year.” [Recorded by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma’arif from Abu Musa al-Madini]
Spending on Family
Did you know that spending on your family on this day brings more blessings? In fact, there are great blessings to be attained throughout the year for the one who is extra generous to his family on the Day of Ashura. You can spend more on them by providing more food and any other item of gift on this day as compared to other days.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said, “One who generously spends on his family on the 10th of Muharram (day of Ashura), Allah will be generous on him for the entire year.” [Tabarani and Al-Bayhaqi]