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Why do some people wear kalawas (I think thats what it is called) its like a few red strings, around their neck in muharram?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalamu alaikum


Dear brother Burhan, I thank you for answering my previous question so promptly. I have a few questions regarding muharram, I am what most people would call a sunni muslim, though I personally do not believe in sects and don`t like to be addressed in any other way other than a muslim. I am deeply confused about muharram, it seems that it is not of as much significance to other muslims as it is to shiite muslims, and I really want to do what is right as a muslim in muharram. Please can you answer these questions for me:


1) Why do some people wear kalawas (I think thats what it is called) its like a few red strings, around their neck in muharram? Is this right to do and what does it represent? Also, people wear stuff around their ankles, wrists?

2) On which days is it good to fast in muharram?

3) Why do people wear black clothes in Muharram? Is it right to do that?

4) What is a juloos? Should I take part?

5) How long should a muslim be in mourning during muharram for what happened during karbalah?

6) Is it ok to attend Majalis during muharram and leave when people are doing matam as I do not want to take part in that? Or is it better to not go at all?

 

I know I have asked a lot of questions, and believe me I have another million more questions in relation to islam, but I urgently need to know this. I deeply appreciate all your time and efforts. Thank you for doing a wonderful job.

 

Khuda Hafiz 

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Muharram issues

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Statement: I personally do not believe in sects and don`t like to be addressed in any other way other than a muslim.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78:

O you who have believed, do rukooh (bow down) and do sajdah (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should. He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion. Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham. Allah had named you muslims before this, and has named you (muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 171 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: There will befall my Ummah exactly (all those) evils which befell the people of Isra'il, so much so that if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother there will be among my Ummah one who will do that, and if the people of Isra'il were fragmented into seventy-two sects, my Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three sects! All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: O Allah's Messenger (saws), which one is that? Whereupon he (saws) replied: It is one to which I and my companions belong.

 

Dear and Beloved sister in Islam, never ever did the Messenger of Allah (saws), or his noble family and companions ever claim to be recognized by any name other than what the Lord Most High had chosen for the believing Ummah: ie. muslims.

 

Your Question-1: Why do some people wear kalawas (I think thats what it is called) its like a few red strings, around their neck in muharram? Is this right to do and what does it represent? Also, people wear stuff around their ankles, wrists?

Dear and beloved sister in Islam, there is absolutely no evidence in the authentic and established Sunnah regarding the Messenger of Allah (saws) or any of his noble companions wearning a kalawa, or red strings around their neck, or anything on their ankles or wrists in the month of Muharram or otherwise.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

And when the Messenger of Allah (saws) neither performed an act nor endorsed it, then know and believe with absolute conviction that such rites and acts have absolutely nothing to do with Islam, or with guidance, or with the Sunnah; thus this kalawa strings or whatever it might be called has to be an innovationand every single innovation in the pure and perfect deen of Islam is nothing but an absolute error and a grave sin in the Sight of Allah Subhanah.

 

Sahih Muslim Hadith 1885 Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah

That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations (bida), and every innovation (bida) is an error.


 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4515 Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib

That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (bida in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation (bida) or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (bida), he is cursed by Allah, by His Angels, and by all the people!

Your Question-2: On which days is it good to fast in muharram?

Abu Hurairah reported: "I asked the Prophet (saws): 'Which prayer is the best after the obligatory prayers?' He (saws) said: 'Prayer during the middle of the night.' I asked: 'Which fast is the best after the fast of Rarnadan?' He (saws) said, 'The month of Allah that you call Muharram.' "

Related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud.

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 5.172 Narrated by Aisha

Ashura' (i.e. the tenth of Muharram) was a day on which the tribe of Quraish used to fast in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance. The Prophet (saws) also used to fast on this day. So when he (saws) migrated to Medina, he fasted on it and ordered (the Muslims) to fast on it. When the fasting of Ramadan was enjoined, it became optional for the people to fast or not to fast on the day of Ashura.

 

Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Prophet (saws) came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of 'Ashurah. He (saws) said to them: 'What is this fast?' They said: 'A great day. Allah saved Moses and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore, Moses fasted on this day.' The Prophet (saws) said: 'We have more of a right to Moses than you,' so he (saws) fasted on that day also and ordered the believers to fast on that day."

Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

 

According to al-Bukhari and Muslim, Musa al-Ash'ari reported: "The Jews would honor the day of 'Ashurah as an 'id. The Prophet (saws) said: 'You [Muslims] are to fast on it.'"

 

Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Messenger of Allah (saws) fasted on the day of 'Ashurah and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said: 'O Messenger of Allah (saws) , it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.' The Prophet (saws) said, 'When the following year comes--Allah willing--we shall fast (also) on the ninth.' The death of the Prophet (saws) came before the following year."

Related by Muslim and Abu Dawud.

 

The tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram holds a very significant place as it is recorded in history that not only did Allah Subhanah save the Noble Prophet Moses and the believers from the clutches of the Pharaoh, but it was on this day of Muharram that Allah Subhanah saved Prophet Noah (a.s.) and the believers from the flood, accepted the repentance and saved the Noble Prophet Yunus (a.s.) from the stomach of the fish, and cured the illness of the Noble Prophet Ayyub (a.s.).

 

The tenth of Muharram was a day which not only the pagans of Quraish, but also the Jews and the Christians of the time held in honor before the advent of Islam; and they commemorated this day by fasting. The Messenger of Allah (saws) declared that the believers, because of their true belief upon the Prophets of Allah, had more right to honor this day and he (saws) encouraged the believers to differ from the pagans and fast two days, either the 9th and the 10th or the 10th and the 11th, in commemoration of this great day.

 

Other than the supererogatory fasting on the two days corresponding to the 10th of Muharram (9&10 or 10&11), if one wishes to observe more supererogatory fasts one should follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) and fast the Mondays and Thursdays of the week, or the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the month.as was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws) for voluntary fasting on these days of every month.

 

Your Question-3: Why do people wear black clothes in Muharram? Is it right to do that?

Some misguided sects in Islam wear black clothes as a sign of mourning the brutal murder and martyrdom of the noble grandson of the Prophet (saws), Hadrat Hussain ibn Ali (r.a.) in Karbala.

 

There is absolutely no evidence in the authentic and established Sunnah whereby it is indicated that the Messenger of Allah (saws) wore black clothes as a sign of mourning, or endorsed the wearing of black clothes as a sign of mourning the deceased or martyrs; thus this wearing of black clothes as a sign of mourning has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, or guidance or with the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws).

 

The wearing of black clothes as a sign of mourning a deceased is a customary practice of the pagans, especially the Christians.and it does not behove and befit one who believes in Allah and the Last Day to copy or imitate any practice of the pagans.

 

Your Question-4: What is a juloos? Should I take part?

Sahih Muslim Hadith 2033 Narrated by AbuMalik al-Ash'ari

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: Among my people there are four characteristics belonging to pre-Islamic period of ignorance which they do not abandon: 1. boasting of high rank, 2. reviling other peoples' genealogies, 3. seeking rain by stars, and 4. wailing. And he (further) said: If the wailing woman does not repent before she dies, she will be made to stand on the Day of Resurrection wearing a garment of pitch and a chemise of mange.

 

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration He is not a believer, who beats his face, or tears his clothes, or wails, when afflicted by a misfortune.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2829 Narrated by Hadrat Ali ibn AbuTalib (r.a.)

Hadrat Ali (r.a.) heard Allah's Messenger (saws) curse those who took usury, those who paid it, those who recorded it, and those who refused to give sadaqah. And he (saws) used to prohibit wailing.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3122 Narrated by AbuSa'id al-Khudri

The Messenger of Allah (saws) cursed the wailing woman and the woman who listens to her.

 

Umm 'Atiyyah reports: "The Messenger of Allah (saws) made us pledge that we will not wail over (the dead)" (Bukhari and Muslim).

 

Al-Bazzar has transmitted, that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Two sounds are accursed in this world and in the hereafter: the sound of wind instruments (to celebrate) good fortune, and of moaning aloud when afflicted with a misfortune."

 

The juloos or the procession some ignorant sects take out on the streets in the month of Muharram to vent their grief, express their mourning, and to wail and beat their chests, etc. is absolutely against the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws); and one who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day must absolutely abstain from participating in such processions in the name of Islam.

 

Your Question-5: How long should a muslim be in mourning during muharram for what happened during karbalah?

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.371 Narrated by Zainab bint Abi Salama

I went to Um Habiba, the wife of Prophet (saws), who said, "I heard the Prophet (saws) saying, 'It is not lawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for any dead person for more than three days, except for her husband, (for whom she should mourn) for four months and ten days'."

 

In light of the above guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws), it is not lawful in Islam for a believer who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for any deceased person for more than three days, except a widow who is to mourn the death of her husband for four months and ten days.

 

The unfortunate incidents that transpired with the family and companions of the noble grandson of the Messenger of Allah (saws), Hadrat Hussain ibn Ali (r.a.) is without an iota of a doubt, amongst the darkest and most painful events in the annuls of muslim history; but under no circumstances does Islam allow the believers to mourn the death of any deceased, not even of the Noble Prophets of Allah for more than three days!

 

The unfortunate incident in Karbala happened almost 1400 years ago, and rest assured that Allah Subhanah will reward those who were martyred in His Cause on that day, and will hold to severe account those who mercilessly murdered His humble believing slaves.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 134:

134 That was a People that have passed away. They shall reap the reward of what they did, and you shall have the reward of what you do; and Allah will not question you regarding what they did.

 

Every true believer feels sadness and pain whenever the incidents which transpired on that eventful day in Karbala 1400 years ago are brought to mind; but under no circumstances would it be lawful for a believer to mark or commemorate a day for those blessed martyrs, or gather, wail, or beat themselves in mourning, or invent or innovate any rite or ritual for their mourning almost 1400 years after their martyrdom; for that then would be manifest misguidance.

 

Your Question-6: Is it ok to attend Majalis during muharram and leave when people are doing matam as I do not want to take part in that? Or is it better to not go at all?

Attending or participating in these unlawful gatherings of mourning would be to share in what has been clearly forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (saws). It would be best, purest, and safest for the believers who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day to abstain and stay away from such unlawful and innovated rites, rituals and commemorations which have absolutely nothing to do with Islam and guidance.

 

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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