The Islamic New Year
The 29th or 30th of the month is the last day of Dhul-Hijjah, which is also the last day of the Islamic lunar calendar. Based on the sighting of the new moon.
The next day is the first day the Month of Muharram and the Islamic New Year. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever fasts the last day of the year and the first day of the year, Allah makes it an expiation of 50 years for him, and fasting one day of Muharram is equal to 30 days of fasting.” For this reason these are important days to fast. Also, there is a dua. one reads it 3 times on the night before the New Year.
New Year Du’a
“In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, and Allah bless our Master Muhammad, his family, and his companions and grant them peace. O Allah, whatever actions I have committed this past year which have not pleased You, which I may have forgotten though You do not forget, while You are forbearing with me though fully capable of punishing me, while You called me to relent and atone even after my audaciousness before You – O Allah, I surely seek Your forgiveness for that, so forgive me! O Allah, and as for my actions that have pleased You and for which recompense and forgiveness has been promised, please accept them from me. And do not dash my hopes in You, O Generous, O most merciful of the Merciful. And Allah, Most Exalted, bless our Master Muhammad and his family and companions and grant them peace.”
Anyone who reads this dua’ 3 times will make shaytan cry out in agony, “We tired ourselves with him all year and he ruined all that we’ve done in one moment.”
Benefits of Fasting
And there are great benefits to fasting in the month of Muharram. “A man once came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of God, tell me what month I should fast other than Ramadan?” The Messenger of God replied, “If you desire to fast for an entire month in addition to Ramadan then fast the month of al-Muharram as it is the month of God, a month in which God accepted the repentance of certain folk and in which he accepts the repentance of others.”
Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani has related on the authority of Hafsa that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said;
“Whoever fasts on the final day of Dhul-Hijjah and on the first day of al-Muharram then God will make it an expiation for him for fifty years and fasting one day in al-Muharram is the equal of fasting for thirty days.”
“Whoever fasts three days in the month of al-Muharram, they being Thursday, Friday and Saturday, God will decree for him the reward of seventy years worship.”
“Whosoever fasts ‘Ashura it is as if he fasted the [whole] year, and whosoever gives charity therein it is tantamount to a years [worth] of charity.” and…
“Distinguish yourselves from the Jews by fasting either the day before`Ashura or the day after it as well.”
Day of Ashura
The Day of Ashura, which is the 10th of Muharram, is when the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would fast to honor the day Allah, Most High, saved the Prophet Moses, alayhi-s-salam, and his people from Pharaoh. This is a beautiful story with many lessons for all of us. More details will be posted soon, insha’allah.