There are some Muslims who insist that there is nothing undesirable or objectionable in organizing marriages in Muharram. A wedding can be organized on any day of the year and there is no evil or disrespect associated with marrying in Muharram or Ashoora. All days and months are equal before Allah. If one were to avoid marrying based on events like Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom, then no marriage would be possible because some personality or the other has died on any given day.
As proof they advance the Quranic verse – Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months (Surah Taubah (9): 36). They claim that all months are equal before Allah so there is no rationale for keeping Muharram off-limits.
There cannot be a more ridiculous or prejudiced view on the topic of marriages being organized in Muharram.
To say that all months are equal before Allah is to reject the sanctity of the four sacred months, the sacredness of the month of Ramazan, the importance of Shaabaan – the month of the Prophet. Their argument is fundamentally flawed and even the Quranic verse of Surah Taubah (9) once you recite it in its entirety rejects their view.
The verse reads:
‘Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah’s ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these four being sacred; that is the right reckoning; therefore be not unjust to yourselves regarding them…’ (Surah Taubah (9): Verse 36)
Even the days of the year are not all equal before Allah. To say that they are equal is to deny the importance of the Night of Destiny (Lailatul Qadr), 15th Shaban, Day of Arafah, Days of Tashreeq (11th-13th of Zilhajj), the two Eids when fasting is strictly prohibited, eve of Friday and Friday to cite a few instances.
Hence all months and days of the year are not equal.
Is marriage more important than satisfaction of Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?
Coming specifically to the topic of marriage and festivities in the month of Muharram there is no need to venture into Quran and the Sunnah. Simple logic and basic love of Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is sufficient for those with intellect and reasoning.
Aren’t we in agreement that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) faced difficulties in propagation of Islam? And these difficulties did not end in his lifetime, they continued after him (s.a.w.a.). In his lifetime, there were difficulties in the shape of demise of Lady Khadijah (s.a.), Abu Talib (a.s.) declared as Aam al-Huzn (Year of Grief in 10th year of prophethood) and the martyrdom of Hamzah (a.s.) and Jafar Ibn Abdul Muttalib (a.s.) to cite a few examples. After his (s.a.w.a.) demise – difficulties took the shape of the martyrdom of Lady Fatima Zehra (s.a.), Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husain (a.s.) among other calamities.
For instance, when Hamza (a.s.) was found missing in Uhud, the companions who went looking for him found his mutilated corpse at a distance. The sight was so devastating for the companions that they did not dare report it to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and returned head lowered. Finally the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) himself set out to search for Hamza (a.s.). On finding his corpse he was so enraged that for the first time in his prophethood, he was about to curse the infidels. Immediately Jibraeel (a.s.) was sent with revelation recommending the mode of punishing the infidels with patience being suggested as a better alternative. (Surah Nahl (16): Verse 126).
Since the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) does not speak out his desire (Surah Najm (53): Verse 3), it means his anger was in the way of Allah. Hamza (a.s.) had rescued the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on numerous occasions and none could challenge or oppress the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) till the time he was there. By killing Hamza (a.s.) the infidels had oppressed the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) the punishment for which is declared by Allah in the Quran:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا
Surely (as for) those who annoy Allah and His Apostle, Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace. (Surah Ahzab (33): Verse 57)
Even after the Battle of Uhud the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) remained grief-struck and was pained to see Hamza (a.s.) forgotten by the Muslims unlike the other martyrs of Uhud, who were remembered with mourning ceremonies.
Hamza’s (a.s.) martyrdom was no small matter – even Wahshi – the slave of Hind, wife of Abu Sufyan and mother of Muawiyah – who killed Hamza (a.s.) understood the gravity of his crime and the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) anger on the occasion. Throughout the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) life, Wahshi never dared to face the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – despite the fact that he accepted Islam later according to some reports. This indicates the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) anger on Hamza’s (a.s.) death was not momentary, it stayed with him his entire life. In other words, when the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was reminded of Hamza (a.s.) it brought back painful memories of his martyrdom and his mutilated corpse.
And the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) annoyance was also Allah’s annoyance as underscored by Surah Ahzab (33): Verse 57, meaning Allah is also displeased with Hamza’s (a.s.) death and the manner of his killing and mutilation subsequently.
Both the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) and Allah’s annoyance is permanent. Meaning Hamza (a.s.), his martyrdom, the day, occasion, circumstances of his martyrdom are a permanent source of divine displeasure and anger.
Even if one were to assume that Wahshi was forgiven (as some Muslims claim) for Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) the displeasure on Hamza’s (a.s.) martyrdom will always be there. While comparing grief of Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on Hamza’s martyrdom with Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom, noted Ahle Tasannun scholar, Abul Faraj Jauzi, in his book Tabserah records:
When the killer of Hamza (a.s.), Wahshi accepted Islam, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) told him – Do not show me your face because I do not like to see the one who has killed my beloved ones.
Jauzi comments – Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said this while accepting Islam erases all past misdeeds. Then how will the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) look at the one who slaughtered Husain (a.s.) and the one who ordered his killing and the one who paraded his family on barebacked camels?!
- Tazkerah al-Khawaas p 274
Now let us consider for a moment if a Muslim living with the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – had organized a marriage on the Day of Uhud– 15th Shawwal, 3rd Hijri or a day or two later. Would it be appropriate for him to continue with the marriage plan in view of Hamza’s (a.s.) martyrdom and the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) grief on the occasion?
In fact, the 10th year of prophethood which marked the dual setback on the demise of Abu Talib (a.s.) and Lady Khadijah (s.a.) was declared as Aam al-Huzn (Year oof Grief). Do we find Muslims insisting on marriage and festivities in that year ignoring the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) grief?
If not in that very year – if a Muslim wanted to organize a marriage or festivity on any year subsequently coinciding with the day of Hamza’s (a.s.) martyrdom or the demise of Abu Talib (a.s.) or Ummul Momineen Lady Khadijah (s.a.) is it likely to have met with the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) approval?
What is true for Hamza’s (a.s.) martyrdom is equally true for the martyrdom of other personalities like Imam Husain (a.s.) – the Chief of the Youths of Paradise along with his brother Imam Hasan (a.s.) or the martyrdom of Ameerul Momineen – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), or the martyrdom of Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) – the Chief of all Women of Paradise. Even Ahle Tasannun scholars like Ibn Jauzi have concluded as much.
Their martyrdom and the martyrdom of other infallible members of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) is a source of displeasure for both the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Allah.
While we do not wish to delve into the numerous virtues of Ahle Bait (a.s.) suffice it is to say that Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom was unique and for that reason Imam (a.s.) and his martyrdom hold a position far dearer near Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) than Hamza (a.s.).
Why marry only in Muharram?
To Muslims who insist that marrying in Muharram is permissible as all days and months are for Allah – we have one question –
Wouldn’t the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) have advised the Muslim who wanted to marry on the day of Hamza’s (a.s.) martyrdom to re-schedule the marriage to another day?
There are after all many days of the month when marriages can be held and are associated with celebration and rejoicing like the Day of Be’sat (27th Rajab), the day of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) birth on 17th Rabi al-Awwal and so on. Instead of risking Allah’s and the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) displeasure by marrying on the day of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom, it can be more beneficial to marry on Imam Husain’s (a.s.) day of birth on 3rd Shabaan.
Would a rational Muslim organize marriages on the death anniversary of his father or mother or a loved one because all days are for Allah?
Would a rational Muslim organize marriages on the death anniversary of the first, second, third rulers because all days are for Allah?
Therefore, we see only obstinacy and prejudice in insisting that marriages and festivities can be organized in all months including Muharram which as we have seen is against the spirit of Islam and Allah’s and the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) pleasure.