A Wedding in the Month of Muharram / Misconceptions and Baseless Traditions


By Mufti Taqi Usmani

However, there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to ‘Aashooraa’ that have managed to find their way into the minds of the unlearned, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these:
·        This is the day on which Aadam  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention was created.
·        This is the day when Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention was born.
·        This is the day when Allaah accepted the repentance of Aadam  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention.
This is the day when Doomsday will take place. Whoever takes a bath on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ 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 (established recommended practice) to prepare a particular type of meal on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.
Some other people attribute the sanctity of ‘Aashooraa’ to the martyrdom of Al-Hussayn  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. No doubt, the martyrdom of Al-Hussayn  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of ‘Aashooraa’ cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of ‘Aashooraa’ was established during the days of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) much earlier than the birth of Al-Hussayn  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Al-Hussayn  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that his martyrdom took place on this blessed day.
Another misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky month, for Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, 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. If the death of an eminent person on a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day of the year free from this bad luck because every day is associated with the demise of some eminent person. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, have liberated us from such superstitious beliefs.

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Lamentations and mourning:
Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Al-Hussayn  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbalaa’ is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of Pre-Islamic ignorance era used to mourn over their deceased through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) prevented the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying “Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon” (To Allaah We belong, and to Him is our return). A number of authentic narrations are available on the subject. To quote only one of them: “He is not from us who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic ignorance)”. [Al-Bukhaari]
All the prominent jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is impermissible. Even Al-Hussayn  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Zaynab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her not to mourn over his death in this manner. He  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said, “My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.” (Al-Kaamil, Ibn Katheer vol. 4 pg. 24)
It is evident from this advice, 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 Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

Q. Could you please explain whether any function, particularly weddings, could be held in the month of Muharram, particularly its first 8 or 9 days?

A. Some people hold a notion that it is not permissible to arrange a marriage or make a marriage contract in the month of Muharram, particularly its first ten days. Some extend this to even arranging the waleemah, or the dinner after marriage, in this period. There is nothing in the Qur’an or the Sunnah to confirm this. The Muharram month is the same as the rest of the year. Muslims do not allow any aspect of omen to interfere with their arrangements or plans. They rely on God in all matters, and reliance on God is sufficient to remove any thoughts of bad omen. The Prophet (peace be upon him) in fact spoke against notions of bad omen. They have no substance. Hence, it is perfectly permissible to arrange a marriage in the month of Muharram and also to arrange the waleemah or any other function. In fact marriage can be contracted and organized at any time, except when a person is in the state of consecration, or ihraam, during his pilgrimage or his Umrah. Other than this, there is no restriction. Aljazeerah
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One comment on “A Wedding in the Month of Muharram / Misconceptions and Baseless Traditions

  1. Shukran for a very insightful article. It is a pity that many Muslims ar under the misconception that Muharram is a month of mourning and nothing auspicious should be done in this month. Also we know how our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) hated people mourning in the manner of those of Jahilliah, so how can we practise something that he hated??

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