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GDN Reader's View: New beginnings

Letters
T P Abdurahman (Payyoli)



Last week the new Islamic year commenced with the start of the Arabic month of Muharram.
The first thing a Muslim remembers at this time is the emigration of Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra.
It is an opportune moment to reflect on the historical background of the Islamic New Year.
Until then there was no specific event by which to set the calendar.
Umer bin Khatab, the second Khalifa of Islam after the Prophet, was receiving letters from governors without mentioning a year.
Letters, as well as their replies, were not dated.
Umer bin Khatab discussed the matter with his advisers in choosing the start of the Islamic calendar.
Different names of months in connection with the life of the Prophet were mentioned by his advisers.
However, the majority agreed to Muharram being the first month.
That is because the Prophet’s Hijra, or migration, in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal started to shape in Muharram.
The Hijra was unlike all other migrations.
It contains a message to sacrifice all vices in words and deeds and live life with virtue in the way Allah directed.
In such a life, worldly fortunes or any other material things mankind values become inconsequential or insignificant.
This is what we learn from the migration of the Prophet and his companions from Mecca to Medina.
They left all their valuable properties, their relatives and their beloved Mecca.
A true believer of Islam in the world today should be ready to conduct a reflective migration, which does not require leaving their country.
Instead, they can leave behind all sorts of malicious thoughts and deeds.
The month of Muharram has also witnessed a sequence of events.
It is the month in which Allah saved the children of Israel from their enemies and in which Prophet Moosa observed fasting on the 10th day. Prophet Mohammed recommended Muslims to fast on the ninth and 10th of Muharram.
It is one of the four months that Allah distinguished above others as being sacred, along with Zul Qad, Zul Hajj and Rajab.
During these months people should replace their shortcomings with more virtuous activities.

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