Rabiul Awwal

The month of Rabi’-Ul-Awwal is considered to be amongst the most special and significant months, because mankind was blessed with the birth of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw). Regarding this special event Allah (swt) has stated in the Holy Quran “We have sent him (Muhammad saw) as a source of mercy for the A’alimeen (humans, jinns and all else that exists),” (Surah 21.Al- Anbiya: Verse 107).

Muhammad (saw), the master of the prophets was born in the holy city of Mecca on Monday morning, the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th of Rabi’-Ul-Awwal. Ibn Sa’d reports that Muhammad’s (saw) mother, Aamina, stated regarding the birth of her son “When He (saw) was born, there was a light that issued out of my pudendum and lit the palaces of Syria.” (Mukhtasar Seerat-ul-Rasool)

As is mentioned above Allah (swt) has stated in the Glorious Qur’an: “We have sent him (Muhammad saw) as a source of mercy for the A’alimeen.” Not only was Rasulullah (saw) a source of numerous blessings after receiving the task of prophethood, but from his birth up to his death and until the day of judgment billions of people have and will continue to benefit from his blessings. A clear example of this is when Halimah, the daughter of Abu Dhu’ayb who was accompanied by her husband Harith and a new born son of their own, decided to undertake a journey from a small village situated south east of Mecca to the actual city of Meccah Mukarramah. This was in order to acquire a nursling. She narrates: “It was a year of drought, and we had nothing left. I set forth on a gray she camel of mine, and we had an old she camel with us which could not even yield one drop of milk. We were kept awake all night by our son who was crying due to hunger, for I didn’t have enough in my breast to feed him; and that she camel of mine was so weak and emaciated I often keep the others (Tribe of Bani Sa’d Ibn Bakr) waiting.”

Once everyone began looking for nurslings, Rasulullah’s (saw) mother Aamina offered her son first to one and then to another until finally she had tried them all and they had all refused. “That” said Halimah, “was because we hoped for some compensation from the child’s father.” “An orphan” we said, “what will his mother and grandfather be able to do for us?” Not that they would have wanted direct payment for their service, since it was considered dishonorable for a woman to take a fee for suckling a child. The recompense they hoped for, though less direct was of a far wider scope. For example, creation connections and links with people from the city.

On the other side, though the foster-parents were not expected to be rich, they must not be too poverty-stricken, and it was evident that Halimah and her husband were poorer then any other of their companions. Whenever the choice lay between her and another, the other was preferred and chosen; and it was not long before everyone of the Bani Sa’d women except Halimah had been entrusted with a baby. Only the poorest nurse was without a nursling; and only the poorest nursling was without a nurse.

“When we decided to leave Mecca,” said Halimah, “I told my husband: ‘I hate to return in the company of my friends without having taken a baby to suckle. I shall go to that orphan and take him.’ ‘As you wish’ he said. ‘it may be, that God will bless us through him.’ So I went back and took him, for no reason except that I could find no baby but him. I carried him back to where our mounts were stationed, and no sooner did I put him in my bosom, my breasts overflowed with milk. He drank his fill, and with him his foster-brother drank likewise, his fill. Then they both slept; and my husband went to that old she camel of ours, and amazingly her udders were full. He milked her and drank of her milk and I drank with him until we could drink no more and our hunger was satisfied.

We spent the best of nights, and in the morning my husband said to me: ‘by God, Halimah, it is a blessed creature that you have taken.’ ‘That is indeed my hope,’ I said. Then we set out, and I rode my camel and carried him with me on her back. She outraced the whole troop, nor could any of their camels keep pace with her. ‘Wow!’ They said to me, ‘Wait for us! Isn’t that the same camel you came on?’ ‘Yes by God,’ I said, ‘She is the very same.’ ‘Some amazing thing has happened to her,’ they said.

We reached our tents in the Bani Sa’d, and I know of no place on God’s Earth more barren than that. But after we brought him to live with us, my flock would come home to me and would be full of milk. We milked them and drank and when others had no milk; our neighbors would say to their shepherds. ‘Go graze your flocks where he has grazed his’, meaning my shepherd. But still their flocks came home hungry, yielding no milk, while mine came well fed, with plenty of milk; and we ceased not to enjoy this increase and this bounty from God until the baby’s two years passed.”

During the pre-Islamic days of Arabia, everyone including the Romans and Persians were in the midst of ignorance and darkness. They were amongst the most uncivilized people the world had seen. Not only were they indulged in evils and vices such as adultery, fornication, incest, rape, stealing and murder they went to the extent of burying their baby daughters alive! Allah (swt) has stated in the Holy Quran “And when the news of the birth of a female child is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the Earth? Certainly their decisions are evil.” (Surah 16. An-Nahl: verse 58-59)

Nevertheless the Holy Prophet (saw) was sent to this world with the light of monotheism, eradicating all ignorant and uncivilized customs, rituals, practices and beliefs. Allah (swt) has stated in the glorious Quran “Indeed Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when he sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad saw) from among themselves, reciting unto them His verses, (The Quran) and purifying them, (from sins by their following him) and instructing them (in) the Book (Quran) and Al-Hikmah, (the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet saw) before that they had been in manifest error,” (Surah 3. Al-Imran: Verse 164).


Spending on the Family on 10 Muharram


I would like to know whether spending on one’s family on the 10th of Muharram is an authenticated practice. If this is so, is it recommended to spend specifically on food and drink or will general gifts suffice. Also could these gifts be bought in advance with the intention of spending on one’s family on the 10th of Muharram?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

There are two types of narrations related in this regard. The first concerning the virtue of giving general charity on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), and the second concerning the virtue of spending specifically on one’s family on this day.

As far as general charity is concerned, it has been reported from the Companion Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “Whoever fasts on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), it is as though he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity on this day, it is like the charity of an entire year.” (Recorded by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma’arif from Abu Musa al-Madini)

As for spending and being generous on one’s family, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, “One who generously spends on his family on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), Allah will be generous on him for the entire year.” (Recorded by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma’arif from Tabarani in his al-Awsat and Al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman)

These and other narrations indicate that one should be generous on one’s family and dependants and spend more on them by providing more food and other items on this day as compared to other days. One may give cash, food and drink, or any other item of gift.

Although some scholars consider these narrations to be weak (dha’if), many others like Imam al-Bayhaqi, Hafidh al-Iraqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable. Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali relates from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) that he did consider some basis for them. He also quotes Sufyan ibn Uyayna (Allah have mercy on him) as saying, “I have practiced this [spending on the family] for fifty or sixty years, and have found nothing but good in it.” (Lata’if al-Ma’arif P 64)

Moreover, even if considered weak, scholars generally agree on the permissibility of acting upon weak narrations for virtuous actions, as long as they are not fabricated (mawdu’).

As such, in conclusion, it would be virtuous and rewarding to spend more on one’s family on the 10th of Muharram. One may provide more food and drink or any other item. However, this practice should not be considered as firmly established, and thus, one should avoid attaching extra significance to it.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK