The Lunar Islamic calendar is of twelve months, four of which are sacred. Allah SWT says in the Quran, “Indeed, the number of months ordained by Allah is twelve—in Allah’s Record since the day He created the heavens and the earth—of which four are sacred…” (Quran, 9:36). The sacred months mean something, and it is important for Muslims to know the different months that we are in; because each month has its own set of virtue and each month has its own set of rules, and its own set of practices. The sacred months are four:
During the sacred months the reward of good deeds is doubled & punishment of wrongdoings multiplied. Muslims are encouraged to refrain from sins and increase the good deeds during the sacred months. Sacred months are considered sacred for two reasons:
- Allah has declared that fighting is forbidden in these months, unless initiated by the enemy
- Transgression of the sacred limits during these months is worse than at other times.
It is stated in the Hadith: “Time has come back to its original state, which it had when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three are in succession, namely, Dhul-Qi’dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth one) Rajab (of the tribe of) Mudar, which is between Jumada (Thani) and Shaban.” (Al-Bukhari)
- Dhul-Qi`dah: means the month to sit. You sit back, you do not fight, you do not engage in any type of warfare. Dhul-Qi’dahis the eleventh month in the Islamic calendar. And it’s the month that comes before the season of Hajj.
- Dhul-Hijjah: the month in which Hajj is, so there used to be a reiteration of Hajj in the pre-Islamic days. Dhul-Hijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar in which the Hajj takes place as well as Eid al-Adha.
- Muharram: which means forbidden. It is the beginning of the year, so it’s forbidden. Muharram is the first month of the Hijri calendar. Muharram is called so because it is a sacred (Muharram)month and to confirm its sanctity.
- Rajab: means to remove and refrain, the only month that does not come in succession. It is the second last month before Ramadan, so it presents us with a chance to make our celebration of Ramadan even more special.
Islam added further sanctity to the four sacred months by making them a Season for Extra Obedience to Allah by striving to please Allah Almighty, refraining from disobedience & doing more good deeds. Allah SWT allowed us to earn His rewards and blessings through obedience to Him alone. Those four sacred Months are not sacred in themselves. So do not wrong yourselves during those months especially, and always generally.