The 4 Sacred Months in Islam

Islamic teachings highlight the significance of certain periods; among them, four months are designated as sacred. These months are filled with significant religious events and offer believers an opportunity to increase their spiritual awareness and engage in righteous deeds. Here’s a deeper look at these sacred months in Islam.

A mosque during maghrib prayer

Introduction: Understanding the Lunar Islamic Calendar

Before diving into the sacred months, it is essential to understand that the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri calendar, is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months based on the moon's phases. Each month starts with the sighting of the new moon, and the year is shorter than the solar calendar by about 10-12 days.

the moon rotation during a month

The Four Sacred Months: Quran and Hadith Insight

The four sacred months in Islam are explicitly mentioned in the Quran and Hadith. Allah says in the Quran:

“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.” — Surah At-Tawbah (9:36)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also emphasized the importance of these months in his teachings, advising Muslims to refrain from sins and engage more in good deeds during these periods.

The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan. [Bukhari]

Here are the four sacred months:

1. Muharram

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Hijri calendar and is known as one of the most sacred months. The significance of Muharram includes:

  • Holy Month: It is a time for fasting, especially on the 10th day, known as Ashura, which commemorates the Prophet Moses’ (peace be upon him) victory over Pharaoh.
  • Increased Rewards: Good deeds performed during this month carry greater rewards.
  • Reflection and Prayer: Muslims are encouraged to engage in reflection, prayer, and acts of charity.

2. Rajab

Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic lunar or Hijri calendar and holds special importance:

  • Preparation for Ramadan: Rajab marks the beginning of a spiritual season that culminates in Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.
  • Night Journey and Ascension: Many scholars believe that the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) miraculous night journey and ascension to the heavens (Isra and Mi’raj) occurred during this month.
  • Acts of Worship: Muslims are encouraged to increase their acts of worship, including fasting, praying, and seeking forgiveness.

3. Dhul Qa’dah

Dhul Qa’dah is the eleventh month of the Islamic calendar and is one of the four sacred months:

  • Month of Rest: Historically, this month was considered a time of truce and peace, avoiding conflicts and wars.
  • Preparation for Hajj: It is a period when pilgrims begin preparing for the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
  • Increased Devotion: Muslims use this month to increase their devotion and prepare themselves spiritually for the upcoming pilgrimage.

4. Dhul Hijjah

Dhul Hijjah is the twelfth and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, marking one of the most critical periods for Muslims:

  • Hajj Pilgrimage: The first ten days of this month are highly significant as millions of Muslims from around the world gather in Mecca for Hajj.
  • Eid al-Adha: On the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, commemorating Prophet Abraham’s (peace be upon him) willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah.
  • Acts of Charity and Sacrifice: This period encourages acts of charity, kindness, and sacrifice, particularly through Qurbani
    (the ritual animal sacrifice).

Call to Action: Embrace Charity and Qurbani

As Muslims, acknowledging and honoring these four sacred months is vital. Engage in increased acts of worship, reflection, and charity. Consider supporting MWC’s local projects and performing your Qurbani with us. We’ve been honoring your Qurbani obligation for the past 23 years.

a hoard of sheep

By understanding and observing these sacred months, we can strengthen our faith, bring ourselves closer to Allah (SWT), and expose ourselves to the favors and rewards He has spread out for us.

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