Making the most of the sacred month of Allah s.w.t.
Just like in Ramadan, we should take full advantage of our deeds being multiplied in the sacred month of Muharram. Which means, we should aspire to do as much good as we can to maximise our reward.
If you’re not sure where to begin, we have five simple acts of worship that you can aim to perform consistently.
The Day of Ashura is on the 10th of Muharram. If you fast on this day, Allah s.w.t. will wipe away your sins from the previous year (Muslim). We should strive to fast on this auspicious day and take advantage of its reward. We should fast as much as we can throughout Muharram, as the Prophet s.a.w. said, “The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram” (Muslim).
For this month, we can all try to increase our fasting - whether it’s on Mondays and Thursdays, or the three white days (13th, 14th & 15th of the month). Don’t forget to make lots of dua when you’re fasting.
"There are three prayers that are not rejected: the prayer of a father for his child, the prayer of the fasting person and the prayer of the traveller" Prophet Muhammad s.a.w (Tirmidhi)
2. Recite the Al-Quran
If you’ve slipped in your Quran recitation, now is the best time to start picking it back up consistently again. You can create realistic goals and aims around your other commitments and develop a schedule that you can keep to - whether your aim is to complete the Quran or recite a certain number of pages a day. Even reading a translation in English is a worthy action that we sometimes neglect, and it’s particularly important for people who don’t speak Arabic.
Reading just a few pages a day is enough to stack up those good deeds.
3. Recite Dhikr
This month, make your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. Make it a daily habit to start your morning with a supplication and end your evening with a supplication before you go to sleep.
Sometimes we might tend to forget that dua is dhikr and worship too. Remembering and calling out to Allah s.w.t. and asking Him for your wants and needs is a sign of your strong faith and belief in Him, your trust in Him and your reliance upon Him, and Him alone.
That’s why Allah s.w.t. loves it when we ask Him. So for this blessed month, let’s make sure that we consistently remember and ask from Him.
4. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Just as Ashura was a day of thanksgiving for Musa a.s. and Nuh a.s., let’s all try to keep a note of everything that we’re grateful for this month, and hopefully for months after that. By writing down what we are grateful for, it will remind us of things we might otherwise take for granted. You might also be surprised by how long your list gets after all.
Allah s.w.t. said: “And if you should count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (16:18)
Being grateful is another form of worship that is easily overlooked. It does not take much effort, rather sacrificing a bit more of our time to do more reflecting. Take the time to think about everything you have and then say ‘Alhamdulillah’ (all praise is due to Allah).
Best of all, Allah (swt) says: ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]’ (Quran 14:7)
5. Give Charity
"Charity does not in any way decrease wealth..." Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. (Sahih Muslim)
Muharram, and in particular the Day of Ashura, is one of the best times to give charity. Not only will your reward be multiplied, but giving sadaqah will remove your sins. One of the best ways to seek Allah’s mercy this month is to be merciful to others.
With that in mind, why not donate to help underprivileged communities around the world? For these individuals, hardship is a daily reality. Your regular support will help provide financial assistance to families in dire need.