Quarterly: Issue No 1
MUHARRAM THE ISLAMIC NEW YEAR
The Islamic Calendar,
which is based purely on lunar cycles, was first introduced in 638 C.E. by the
close companion of the Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the second
Caliph, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallahu anhu). He did it in an attempt to
rationalize the various, at times conflicting, date calculating systems used
during his time. `Umar consulted with his advisors on the starting date of the
new Muslim chronology. It was finally agreed that the most appropriate
reference point for the Islamic calendar was the Hijrah. The actual starting
date for the Calendar was chosen to be the first day of the first month (1
Muharram) of the year of the Hijrah. The Islamic (Hijri)
calendar is usually abbreviated A.H. in Western languages from the Latin words Anno Hegirae. Muharram 1, 1 A.H.
The Hijrah, which was the migration of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) from Makkah to Madinah in September 622 C.E., is the main historical event of early Islam. It led to the foundation of the first Islamic State, a turning point in Islamic and world history.
To Muslims, the Hijri calendar is not just a sentimental system of time reckoning and dating important religious events, e.g., Siyaam (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). It has a much deeper religious and historical significance.
It is indeed, a unique occasion to ponder that the Islamic Era did not start with the victories of Islamic wars, nor with the birth or death of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), nor with the Quranic Revelation itself. It starts with Hijrah, i.e. the sacrifice for the cause of Truth and for the preservation of the Quranic Revelation. This was a divinely inspired selection. Allah wanted to teach man that struggle between Truth and Evil is eternal. The Islamic year reminds Muslims every year not of the pomp and glory of Islam but of its great sacrifices and prepares them to do the same.''
From a historical point of view, all the events of Islamic history, especially those which took place during the life of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and afterwards are quoted in the Hijrah calendar. But, unfortunately, our calculations in the Christian Gregorian calendar keep us away from those events and happenings, which are full of admonitory lessons and guiding instructions.
And this chronological study is possible only by adopting the Islamic Hijrah calendar to indicate the year and the lunar month in line with our cherished traditions. The Islamic (Hijri) year consists of twelve lunar months. They are: (1) Muharram; (2) Safar; (3) Rabi` al-awwal; (4) Rabi` al-thaany; (5) Jumaada al-awwal; (6) Jumaada al-thaany; (7) Rajab; (8) Sha`baan; (9) Ramadaan; (10) Shawwal; (11) Zu al-Qa`dah; and (12) Zu al-Hijjah.
The word Hikmah (wisdom) has been misinterpreted for too long. It means to approach the people in the best way possible, to act in the in most appropriate way taking that particular situation into account. It has never meant to give a false image of Islam for personal or community welfare. When Muslims start compromising in all aspects of their life, they deprive themselves of the favours of Allah, emit an image of weakness to their enemies, and lose that dignity in the sight of their Creator.
There appears to be three main reasons why people willingly compromise the elements of Islam; and start to choose and pick those orders Allah has enforced us to follow according to their own desires; and substitute the rest with man-made systems.
1.They say: "We are living in hard times, in a difficult society, and thus Allah permits us to compromise, because ( now wait for it)...' Islam is easy, not hard' ". A Hadith is also quoted often wherein Ummul Mu’mineen Aisha (radiyallahu anha) says that when Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had the choice between two actions, he chose the easiest course. It is true that Islam is easy to follow; but not to the extent that we are permitted to change the rules set by Allah for our own convenience. These so-called “Islamic Scholars” say that we can compromise in this age because our condition today is similar to that during the Makkan period of the Prophet's mission. We should bear patiently like he did then, and act as he did in those circumstance. This argument is baseless because we are NOT now living in the Makkan period. We are now living in the Madinah era, the era in which the Qur'an was completed. Islam was completed and finalised with the ayah: "This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." Islam was then perfected, so by retracing our steps all the way back to the Makkan era is kufr and illogical.
When most people use their own rationale to substantiate their weak claims, I have the Word of Allah: "It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error"
We cannot consider our current situation to be much worse than that suffered by the Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions.
2. Another false argument is the apologetic one: "We want to show people a religion which is easy and doesn't require much effort, not to make people run away from Islam." In truth, people have been running towards Islam because, when shown in its real light. Islam provides the solutions people have been seeking. In fact, when we show them a mixture of Islam with the Kufr they run away. Showing Islam in a "moderate" or "soft" light will only give the wrong image of an already perfect religion.
3. The third argument is that “we have to compromise in order to strengthen Islam. We must enter and join kufr institutions, join hands with non-Muslims who are our partners in this life. This way, we can spread Islam, and live happily ever after.” This is totally wrong. There is no proof in the Shariah for this point of view, but rather to the contrary. Surah al -Kafirun says it all:
I do not worship what you worship
nor do you worship what I worship.
I shall never worship what you worship
neither will you worship what I worship.
You have your own religion and I have mine."
Therefore, there is no compromise in Islam. Islam is a perfect religion and cannot be changed to suit the whims and fancy of a few “enlightened” westernised Muslim scholars.
are great efforts made nowadays to have conferences in the name of Islam, which
includes academics from non-Muslim and anti-Muslim circles. A recent example was the Ibn Khaldoon Conference of “Islamic academics” held in
There are so many Muslims like this around today. Each one of them seeks to give the impression of being enlightened. But enlightenment comes with the realisation of the strength of one’s ideological direction. Seeking to discredit Muslims and Islam, reducing the importance of the value system which forms the very backbone of our existence (ie. salaah), simply does not give the impression of being an “enlightened” Muslim. Rather, it leaves a sour taste of betrayal and deceit in our mouths.
Then how should we deal with this growing phenomenon? How do we put a stop to the mocking and lies hissing out of their mouths? The answer is simple: we don’t. All that true and sincere Muslims need to do is to continue asserting Allah’s chosen religion and its righteous path, under the guiding light of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and his illustrious companions. We seek to please none other than Allah, the Exalted. And for Muslims, to please Allah alone is the greatest of all rewards.