Prayer Time

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In Islam, there are twelve lunar months as recognized by the Allah in the Islamic Shari'ah. The months are Muharram, Safar, Rabee’ Al-Awwal, Rabee’ Ath-Thani, Jumaadaa Al-Awwal, Jumaadaa  Al-Akhirah, Rajab, Sha’baan,  Shawwaal, Thul-Qi’dah and Thul-Hijjah.

Among these twelve, Allah Almighty out of His wisdom favored some months over others, like favoring the month of Ramadan over all other months, because it is the month of mercy, the month of Quran, the month of forgiveness and freeing of people from the Fire. It is a month which people glorified during the pre-Islamic period as well, and after Islam it became even more glorified. In the same vein, He the Almighty specified four out of these twelve months to be sacred. Allah Almighty Says:

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَقَاتِلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَافَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ كَافَّةً وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ

 “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve (lunar) months in the register of Allah (from) the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion (i.e. way), so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous (who fear Him)”. (Q 9:36)

In the abovementioned verse, Allah informs us that since He created the Heavens and earth, and created days and nights, and made the sun and the moon, each float in an orbit, as a result of which the darkness of nights and the light of days occur. It was from that time that Allah had set the months to be twelve, and He, Almighty, informed us that He designated four of them to be sacred.

The verse is informing us that the ruling of these months will remain (names, sequence and sacredness), and the changes made by the disbelievers to the sequence would have no effect. Moreover, whatever the disbelievers had changed could not change what Allah had decreed.

This verse also indicates that it is compulsory to base acts of worship and Islamic rulings on these months, and not the ones the Christians use, i.e. the Gregorian Calendar. Therefore, it is not fit for a Muslim to prefer using these Roman or Christian months over these Arabic (named) months.

They are: Thul-Qi’dah, Thul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab which is between Jumaadaa Al-Aakhirah and Sah’baan as referred to by the Prophet  (peace be upon him) in his farewell pilgrimage: “O People! Time has gone back to how it was at the time Allaah created the Heavens and the Earth. A year has twelve months, four of which are sacred, three consecutive, Thul-Qi’dah, Thul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab, which comes between Jumaadaa and Sha’baan.” (Al-Bukhaari).

So, we must respect the sanctity of these sacred months, by adhering to the commandments of Allah, and rejecting that which the people of the pre-Islamic period were upon, like delaying the restrictions of these months or changing their sequence.

And the words: in the same verse (which can be translated to mean): “…that is the right religion. Do not wrong (oppress) yourselves therein…” [Quran 9: 36] meaning that this Sharee’ah (Islamic law) and obedience therein, is the right and straight path and that we should not wrong (oppress) ourselves by fighting and committing sins, because when Allah honors something for one reason, it becomes that much honored, but when He honors for two or more reasons, then sacredness becomes more, and punishment for disobedience is multiplied accordingly. For example, one who obeys Allah during the sacred months in the sacred area will receive more reward than obeying Allah during other months, and the one who obeys Allah during months other than the sacred months outside the sacred area will receive less reward than he who obeys Allah inside the sacred area. Allah gave an indication to this in His Saying:

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ مَن يَأْتِ مِنكُنَّ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ يُضَاعَفْ لَهَا الْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ وَكَانَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرًا

 “O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality – for her the punishment will be doubled two fold, and ever is that for Allah, easy.” (Q33:30).

May the Almighty Allah help us to become better and obedient servants of His, fear Him as He ought to be so that we may attain His mercy on the Day of resurrection.

 

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