Thursday 28 November 2013

The value of knowledge

Remember, knowledge is better than wealth, because it guards you, while you have to guard wealth. Wealth decreases if you spend it, but the more you make use of knowledge, the more it increases. What you get through wealth is gone when the wealth is gone, but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you are gone. - Ali ibn Abi Talib (rta)

Tuesday 26 November 2013

British Muslims Should Stand Up and Say It: There Is Nothing Islamic About Child Marriage

This is a column about Muslims and child marriage. I hesitated before writing it. When I pointed out the prevalence of anti-semitism and homophobia within British Muslim communities earlier this year, I was accused by some of my co-religionists of "selling out", of "fuelling Islamophobia".
I understand their annoyance. Why give the racists and bigots of the Islamophobic far right yet another stick with which to beat us?
The problem is that this particular stick is already in their hands. Child, or underage, marriage is very much a part of British society. And the inconvenient truth is that it is Muslims - not Christians, Jews or Hindus - who are responsible for much of it. There is no point pretending otherwise. Nor is it morally tenable to stand idly by as young girls in the UK are forced into marriages before they are physically or psychologically ready, against their will and against the law.
First, a bit of background. The legal age for marriage in Britain is 16. Yet, back in October, I watched ITV's Exposure documentary, 'Forced To Marry', in which two undercover reporters, posing as the mother and brother of a 14-year-old Muslim girl, called 56 mosques across Britain to ask whether they would perform the girl's marriage. Shamefully, imams at 18 of those 56 mosques - or one in three - agreed to do so.
The imam of a mosque in Manchester was secretly recorded as saying that performing such a marriage would "not be a problem". An imam in Birmingham, despite being told that the girl didn't want to get married, could be heard saying: "She's 14. By sharia, grace of God, she's legal to get married. Obviously Islam has made it easy for us... We're doing it because it's okay through Islam."
Let's be clear: two-thirds of the imams refused to perform such marriages, with many making it clear they "found the request abhorrent". But here's the issue: a third of them didn't. A third of those imams hid behind their - my! - religion: "We're doing it because it's okay through Islam." Frustratingly, many Muslim scholars and seminaries still cling to the view that adulthood, and the age of sexual consent, rests only on biological puberty: that is, 12 to 15 for boys and nine to 15 for girls.
It doesn't have to be this way. As is often the case, there is no single, immutable 'Islamic' view. As Usama Hasan, a reform-minded British Muslim scholar and former imam, argues:
"There was a rival view in Islamic jurisprudence, even in ancient and medieval times: that emotional and intellectual maturity was also required, and was reached between the ages of 15 and 21." The latter view, he tells me, "has been adopted by most civil codes of Muslim-majority countries for purposes of marriage".
The Quran does not contain a specific legal age of marriage, but it does make clear that men and women must be both physically mature and of sound judgement in order to get married. It is also worth clarifying that Prophet Muhammad did not, as is often claimed, marry a child bride named Aisha. Yes, I'll concede that there is a saying in Sahih Bukhari, one of the six canonical Hadith collections of Sunni Islam, attributed to Aisha herself, which suggests she was six years old when she was married to Muhammad and nine when the marriage was consummated. Nevertheless, there are plenty of Muslim historians who dispute this particular Hadith and argue Aisha was in reality aged somewhere between 15 and 21.
This isn't a case of 'liberal' Muslims v 'conservative' Muslims, either. Even the much-maligned Muslim Council of Britain has said it is "strongly opposed to [underage marriage] on the basis that it is illegal under the law of the land where we are living and even under sharia it is highly debatable".
Indeed it is. Afifi al-Akiti, an Oxford-based theologian trained in traditional Islamic madrasas across south Asia and North Africa, tells me that the vast majority of classical scholars throughout Muslim history agreed on a minimum marriage age of 18 - two years older, incidentally, than secular Britain's current age of consent.
So, how to explain the view of a third of the imams contacted by ITV? The influence of Saudi Arabia, and its decades-long export of a reactionary, retrograde brand of Islam, cannot be ignored. The damage that has been done to a nascent British Islam by pre-modern, Saudi- inspired, literalist dogma is incalculable. Consider this: in 2011, when the Saudi ministry of justice announced it might prohibit marriages involving girls under the age of 14, Sheikh Saleh al-Fawzan, one of the country's most senior clerics, issued a fatwa to allow fathers to arrange marriages for their daughters "even if they are in the cradle". To call such a mindset outdated or medieval would be a gross understatement. It's an endorsement of paedophilia, plain and simple.
It is also an apt reminder of why most countries, including most Muslim-majority countries, have minimum ages for marriage codified in law: to deter adults from exploiting children and to protect the most innocent members of our society.
"We have a moral duty to obey the law of the land," says al-Akiti. For adult men to try to marry young girls is illegal and immoral. But British Muslims have a special responsibility: to make the case that there is nothing Islamic about underage marriage, either.
Will this column be used by EDL-types to further their pernicious, anti-Muslim agendas? Maybe it will be, but I can't stay quiet. I'm the father of two young girls. When I hear of forced, underage marriages being carried out in the heart of major British cities, I think of my own daughters. And I feel sick.
This is 2013. Not 613. Or 1813. Child marriage is a form of child abuse. It must be stopped.

Monday 25 November 2013

Malala: Fearless teen leads fight for global education

Malala Yousafzai is an international hero, and for good reason. Her recent visits to the United States have prompted rapturous coverage in the American media -- also for good reason.
But one thing that news outlets have spent hardly any time on is the part of Malala's message to America that might make some people uncomfortable: her vocal criticism of the Obama administration's drone policy. Malala even told President Obama to his face that she thought drones were driving terrorism.
"CBS This Morning" host Norah O'Donnell, however, bucked that trend on Tuesday, when she asked Malala to talk about her conversation with Obama.
"Is it true that when you spoke with President Obama, that you talked about your concern that drone attacks are fueling terrorism?" she asked.
"It is true that when there's a drone attack the terrorists are killed, it's true," she said. "But 500 and 5,000 more people rise against it and more terrorism occurs, and more -- more bomb blasts occurs. ... I think the best way to fight against terrorism is to do it through [a] peaceful way, not through war. Because I believe that a war can never be ended by a war."
"And you said that to President Obama?" O'Donnell asked, in an impressed tone.
"Yes, of course," Malala replied.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Last month I participated in a Channel 4 News debate on the niqab. The debate itself was quite nondescript. It was the behaviour of the niqabi ladies who mobbed me afterwards that told the real story.
Yasmin Alibhai Brown mentioned that she had received violent and abusive messages from niqabi ladies during the week, and the panellists were quick to tutt tutt at such awful behaviour. Within half an hour the hooliganism of the niqabi women who harangued me showed the gulf between actions and words. One lady hissed that I needed to repent and that she did not want to stand in front of Allah because she did not advise me. My crime? I ventured. First, you sat next to a kafir man. Yes, I remember sitting on a chair, which was next to a chair on which Douglas Murray sat. I don’t ever remember sitting on his lap. Do these women travel on the tube or walk down Oxford Street? Or are they chaperoned everywhere by their unemployed mahrams? My second crime was to speak against my sisters. Actually, I did not see any signs of sisterhood in the room that evening.
As I tried to leave, after the debate, a small group of niqabi women surrounded me. The niqab is mentioned explicitly in the Qur’an and yet you deny its validity, was their argument. Having been a teacher of the Qur’an for over twenty years, I am well aware of the lie of this claim. The verse in question is in Surah An Nur: “And do not reveal your beauty except that which ordinarily appears”. The precise meaning of this phrase has been disputed by the greatest scholars of the Muslim world. The Companion Abdullah Ibn Masud was of the opinion that the face and hands have to be covered. The Prophet’s (S) cousin, Abdullah ibn Abbas said that the face and hands need not be covered. Ibn Kathir quotes Aisha who mentioned that the Prophet (S) saw her sister Asmaa wearing revealing clothes and told her that once a girl reached puberty, she could show only this and that. He then pointed to the face and hands. Clearly the Companions themselves disputed regarding the issue of the niqab.
There is no denying the niqab and khimar were features of pagan life, and were Islamicised. Given there is Ikhtilaf on whether or not the niqab is obligatory, neither side can claim to have jumhur on the issue. The great salafi scholar, Sheikh Nasiruddin Al Albani, professor at Madina University, was adamant that the niqab is not wajib. In his book “Jilbab Al Mar’atul Muslimah” he argued this point forcefully. He quotes ibn Rushd from Al Bidaayah that most scholars, including Abu Hanifah, Malik, Ash Shafi’i and Ahmad, are all of the opinion that the face is not awrah.
Sheikh Albani’s colleague, the late Sheikh Ibn Baz, disagreed vehemently and the two men often argued the point. That is the beauty of legitimate Ikhtilaf. The problem with many salafis today is they are incapable of acknowledging the existence of Ikhtilaf. When I told the woman in question that the niqab is not mentioned in the Qur’an, her response was to allude to the Qur’anic verse that “whatever the Prophet gives to you, take it, and whatever he forbids you from, refrain from it.” Her next comment was that I do not follow the Sunnah.
This is the takfiri mentality for which the salafis are famous, not their adherence to the Qur’an and Sunnah. She was implying that I deny the authority of hadith, and this made me see red. My late grandfather was Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Hasan, professor of Hadith at Madina university. My late maternal great grandfather was Maulana Yunus Qureishi, another scholar of hadith. My father is Sheikh Suhaib Hasan, a graduate of Madina university and teacher of Quran and hadith for over fifty years (may the Almighty give him health and a long life). I have been brought up in the lap of hadith while these women probably grew up in the lap of heresy and pagan ritual. To accuse me of denying hadith when I am simply pointing out a difference of opinion among the scholars is frankly ludicrous.
Therein lies my dilemma. Salafi blood runs in my veins and is embedded in my psyche. I see the wisdom of its insistence on a close contact with the Qur’an and Sunnah. I know the importance of avoiding innovations and heresy in worship in order to keep the faith pure. I acknowledge the necessity of showing respect to 1,400 years of scholarship and intellectual thought. We cannot isolate the Qur’an from its historical context nor from the audience who were the first to hear it. It is precisely this Sunnah that tells us to separate the cultural context of Arabia from the mandatory rules on an Islamic life. Our faith has survived and prospered because generations of Muslims had the confidence and ability to interpret and adapt the framework of Scripture into their particular context. They looked beyond the superficial outward trappings of rules to the inner core of Islam, and they transmitted this beauty through the ages.
But today I feel ashamed to call myself a salafi because of the arrogance, judgementalism and lack of tolerance of these people. The Prophet (S) taught adab, manners, courtesy, gentleness and good character before he taught ritual worship. During the debate Douglas was told by one woman that she had no interest in hearing the opinion of a man. The crowd had booed and heckled him when he spoke. Another woman pronounced she did not care what other people thought of her dress. Interestingly, the niqabis clapped when someone on the panel was speaking. I was under the impression that according to salafi thought, clapping is not permitted. As I tried to walk away from one woman, she grabbed my sleeve and tried to rip it off. I am embarrassed to admit it but I actually lost my temper. I shouted and walked off in anger. This was a mistake and I apologise for it. I should have stayed calm in the face of such provocation.
Women kept coming up to me to pronounce they were students of ‘Alimah courses and would be scholars soon. Is this how our real scholars behaved? Did they get a certificate and pronounce arrogantly that they were scholars? Or did they study in order to learn and to be close to their Creator, and were then pronounced to be scholars by their students because of their characters as well as their knowledge?
If these are tomorrow’s scholars, then let us pray janazah (funeral prayer) for our community.
Khola Hasan is a writer, broadcaster, public speaker, law consultant and Muslim Institute Fellow. Her first short book entitled “The crumbling minarets of Spain” was written at the age of 17, later published in England, and then translated into Arabic and Urdu abroad. She holds a Masters degree in “International and Comparative Legal Studies” from SOAS.
She is currently Director of Albatross Consultancy Limited. She is an executive member of the East London Three Faiths Forum, and involved in Scriptural Reasoning with St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

The Age of Jahillya continues...

A woman was divorced on Sunday shortly after she returned home after giving birth to a baby girl. This was her third daughter.
Ghulam Muhammadabad police said Tabassum Bibi, a resident of Usman Ghani Town, Faisalabad, married Muhammad Aamir six years ago. She said her husband and refused to let her in saying he had wanted a son. She said some relatives had intervened and convinced him to let her return home.
She said when she got pregnant the third time, he had threatened to kill the child if it was a girl.
She said he had taken her to several pirs and asked them to give her amulets so that they would have a son.
She said on Sunday she was taken to a hospital in labour. She said he did not accompany her and was informed through phone that she had had a baby girl.
She said when she returned a few hours later, he divorced her on the gate and refused to let her in.
She said he told him to take the children with her. Tabassum Bibi said her parents had refused to take her back, and so she had shifted to her aunt’s house. She said she had no idea where she would go since she could not stay at her aunt’s house all her life.

Monday 18 November 2013

POLL-Egypt is worst Arab state for women

Egypt scored badly in almost all categories.
Women played a central role in the country's revolution but activists say the rising influence of Islamists, culminating in the election of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Mursi as president, was a major setback for women's rights.
Mursi was toppled in a military takeover in July after mass protests against his rule, but hopes for greater freedoms have been tempered by the daily dangers facing women on the street, experts said.
A U.N. report on women in April said 99.3 percent of women and girls are subjected to sexual harassment in Egypt, which some analysts say reflects a general rise in violence in Egyptian society over the past half-decade.
Human Rights Watch reported that 91 women were raped or sexually assaulted in public in Tahrir Square in June as anti-Mursi protests heated up.
"The social acceptability of everyday sexual harassment affects every woman in Egypt regardless of age, professional or socio-economic background, marriage status, dress or behavior,” said Noora Flinkman, communications manager at HarassMap, a Cairo-based rights group that campaigns against harassment.
“It limits women’s participation in public life. It affects their safety and security, their sense of worth, self-confidence and health.”
Respondents also cited high rates of forced marriage and trafficking.
“There are whole villages on the outskirts of Cairo and elsewhere where the bulk of economic activity is based on trafficking in women and forced marriages,” said Zahra Radwan, Middle East and North Africa programme officer for the Global Fund for Women, a U.S.-based rights group.
Female genital mutilation is endemic in Egypt, where 91 percent of women and girls - 27.2 million in all - are subjected to cutting, according to UNICEF. Only Djibouti has a higher rate, with 93 percent of women and girls cut.
 Full article

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Girl crawls out of grave after being raped, buried alive


A 13-year-old girl has dug herself out of a muddy grave after being raped by two men who then buried her alive in Pakistan.
The teen was abducted from her local village in the Punjab province while she was walking to Koran lessons.
Her father Siddique Mughal told police his daughter had been taken, but they refused to cooperate, Outlook India reported.
The men took the young girl to an isolated place and raped her and then buried her alive as they believed she died during the brutal attack.
But the girl managed to dig her way out the muddy grave and caught the attention of passers-by who helped her to a local medical center.
After local police refused to investigate, the Lahore High Court Chief Justice’s Complaint Cell formally directed them to arrest the girl’s attackers and complete a report on the incident without delay.
A sessions judge for the local Toba Tek Singh region has also been asked to look into the matter.
Child rape remains a problem in Pakistan where local activist group Sahil said cultural myths persist such as HIV positive men believing they can be cured through sex with a virgin.
Statistic show cases of child rape have risen from 668 in 2002 to 2,788 last year,according to the International Business Times.
“We still think these statistics are just a fraction of what’s going on,” Sanihl’s executive director Manizeh Bano told the International Business Times.

Monday 11 November 2013

Young, Inuit and Muslim: Maatalii Okalik-Syed’s faith journey

As a young Inuk woman, Maatalii Okalik-Syed is exceptional in many ways.
From a very early age, the 21-year-old native of Pangnirtung, Nunavut committed herself to helping others. She’s worked with several grassroots Aboriginal and Inuit organizations, all the way up to the Government of Nunavut. And now she’s set to graduate from Carleton University with a Human Rights and Political Science degree, minoring in Aboriginal Studies.
But an impressive resume is not the only thing that sets Maatalii apart. Maatalii is a Muslim, one of a small but growing number of Indigenous women in Canada converting to a religion most associate with the Middle East.
It’s not known exactly how many have converted, but some Indigenous Muslims report seeing more and more people like them praying at Ottawa-Gatineau mosques. People like Linda Soliman. A Cree woman originally from Fort Albany in northern Ontario, she credits Islam with strengthening her parenting skills and improving the relationship with her parents.
“You’re not the first person to ask,” laughs Maatalii as she tells the story of how she became a Muslim.
“I grew up in the eastern part of Ottawa. The elementary school I went to had people from different cultures and backgrounds and from different faiths,” Maatalii explains. “Same thing during middle and high school.”
And it was during high school that she would first become curious about her future faith. There to help answer her many questions about Islam was Bengali friend and classmate Ashique Syed.
Her religious curiosity only continued to grow when, by 2004, Maatalii accepted Islam as her new way of life. Four years later, she and Ashique married.
The ceremony took place in his family home. “It was a wonderful wedding, a mixture of both cultures,” says Maatalii.
But Maatalii admits the fact they were from different cultures did cross her mind, aware that, “traditionally, Bengali people would marry other Bengali,” she says.
There was also the language barrier to consider. “It was definitely a learning curve,” says Maatalii. “I’m picking up a lot of Bengali and he is taking Inuktitut language classes. We work together to make it work for both of our families,” she adds.
Such cultural support even goes beyond each other’s families. “I’ve done a lot of leadership work in the (Inuit) community and every step of the way he was doing it with me,” she notes. Last year, the couple went to her home community of Pangnirtung.
“We went fishing, and we caught 4 or 5 seals, and we also went caribou hunting. He actually skinned the caribou,” shares Maatalii. “Once school is done, we have wishes to go back there.”
In other parts of the world, the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Islam is more pronounced.
In Australia, one estimate pegs the number of Aboriginal Muslims at 1,000, enough to support more formal organizations like the Indigenous Muslim Support Network. And in Central America, Islam is gaining a foothold among some Mayans.
For Maatalii, news that other Indigenous people in Canada and around the world are converting to Islam comes as no surprise.
“It’s a religion of peace.”

Thursday 7 November 2013

Happy New Islamic year everyone!

Muharram is the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says, “The number of the months according to Allah is twelve months (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day in which He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified”.
These four months, according to the authentic traditions are the months of Zhul Qa’dah, Zhul Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Quran are unanimous on this point, because the Holy Prophet in his sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, has declared:
“One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Zhul Qa’dah, Zhul Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab.”
The specific mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity, because the month of Ramadan is admittedly the most sanctified month in the year. But these four months were specifically termed as sanctified months for the simple reason that their sanctity was accepted even by the pagans of Makkah.
In fact, every month, out of the twelve, is originally equal to the other, and there is no inherent sanctity, which may be attributed to one of them in comparison to other months. When Allah Almighty chooses a particular time for His special blessings, then it acquires sanctity out of His grace.
Thus, the sanctity of these four months was recognized right from the days of Sayyidina Ibrahim. Since the Pagans of Makkah attributed themselves to Sayyidina Ibrahim they observed the sanctity of these four months and despite their frequent tribal battles, they held it unlawful to fight in these months.
In the Shariah of our Holy Prophet  the sanctity of these months was upheld and the Holy Quran referred to them as the “sanctified months”.
The month of Muharram has certain other characteristics peculiar to it, which are specified below.
Fasting during the month
The Holy Prophet  has said:
“The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram.”
Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet, the one who fasts in these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Allah Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are most reward-able ones among the Nafl fasts i.e. the fasts one observes out of his own choice without being obligatory on him.
The Hadith does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.
The day of Ashurah
Although the month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named Ashurah.
According to the Holy companion Ibn Abbas. The Holy Prophet , when migrated to Madinah, found that  the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in its water.
On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet  said, “We are more closely related to Musa than you” and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of Ashurah. (Abu Dawood)
It is also reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of Ashurah was obligatory for the Muslims.
It was later that the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of ”Ashurah was made optional. Sayyidah Aishah has said:
“When the Holy Prophet  came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of Ashurah and directed the people to fast it. But when the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadan and the obligatory nature of the fast of  Ashurah was abandoned. One can fast on this day, if he so wills, or can avoid fasting, if he so wills.”
However, the Holy Prophet  used to fast on the day of Ashurah even after the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory.
Abdullah Ian Masud reports that the Holy Prophet  preferred the fast of Ashurah to the fast of other days and preferred the fast of Ramadan to the fast of Ashurah. (Bukhari and Muslim)
In short, it is established through a number of authentic hadith that fasting on the day of Ashurah is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet  and makes one entitled to a great reward.
According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of  Ashurah should either be prefixed or suffixed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th of it. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Holy Prophet  is that the Jews used to fast on the day  of Ashurah alone, and the Holy Prophet  wanted to distinguish the Islamic-way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of Ashurah.
Some traditions signify another feature of the day of Ashurah.
According to these traditions one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not very authentic according to the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.
What is mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashurah.
However, there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to Ashurah that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these:
This is the day in which Adam was created.
This is the day in which Ibrahim was born.
This is the day in which Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Ibrahim.
This is the day on which the Qiyamah (dooms-day) will take place.
Whoever takes bath in the day of Ashurah will never get ill.
All these and other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and  the traditions referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.
Some people take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal in the day of Ashurah. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.
Some other people attribute the sanctity of Ashurah to the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of Ashurah cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of ‘Ashurah was established during the days of the Holy Prophet  much earlier than the birth of Sayyidina Husain.
On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidina Husain that his martyrdom took place on the day of Ashurah.
Another misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky month, for Sayyidina Husain was killed in it. It is for this misconception that people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again a baseless concept which is contrary to the express teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Such superstitions have been totally negated by the Holy Prophet . If the death of an eminent person in a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day, free from this bad luck, out of 365 days of the whole year, because each and every day has a history of the demise of some eminent person. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet  have made us free from such superstitious beliefs, and they should deserve no attention.
Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain.
As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Holy Prophet  has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased relatives or friends through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Holy Prophet  stopped the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying “Inna lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji oon”. A number of authentic hadith are available on the subject.
To quote only one of them:
“He is not from our group who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.”
All the authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is absolutely impermissible. Even Sayyidina Husain shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said:
“My dear sister, I swear upon you that you, in case I die, shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death”.
It is evident from this advice of Sayyidina Husain that this type of mourning is condemned even by the blessed person for the memory of whom these mourning ceremonies are held. Every Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his beloved grandchild Sayyidina Husain.
Blessings of Muharram
It is the first month of the Islamic Calendar.
The meaning of the word:- The word “Muharram” means “Forbidden.” Even before Islam, this month was always known as a scared month in which all unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood.
A blessing of Muharram:- There are many bounties of this month, especially the tenth of Muharram.
Two of the many virtues of the 10th of Muharram:-
On this day he who spends more lavishly for the sake of his family members, Allah Taala will bestow blessing upon the sustenance of the following year.
Abu Qataada has related that the Prophet  has reported to have said, it is my thought that by fasting  on the 10th of Muharram Allah Taala will pardon the sins of the past  year. (Tirmidhi)
Events of Muharram
Hadhrat Hussain was martyred in this month.
Shaykhain Tirmidthi & Haakim have narrated from Anas that the following verse:
“Allah may forgive thee of thy sins that which is past and that which  is to come.” (Al-Fath) was revealed on the 10th of Muharram.
The Prophet Muhammed  went to defeat Bani Muhaarin and Bani Tha’laba (Tribes of Bani Gatfan) in the year 4 A.H. (Asahhus-siyar).