Strengthening Our Communities During a Pandemic – A New Year Message from the MCB
Islamic New Year – Muharram, 1442
20 August 2020
Thursday 20th August 2020 marks the start of the new Islamic year of 1442, with the month of Muharram. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to this month as ‘The Sacred month of Allah’, noting its significance and blessings and as one of the four sacred months in the Islamic calendar.
“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. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them…” (Qur’an, 9:36)
Many Muslims fast on the Day of Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, to commemorate the day Prophet Moses and his people were saved from the Pharaoh. The Day of Ashura is also shared with the tragedy at Karbala, when the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussain who stood up for oppressed people and against injustice, subsequently sacrificed his own life for those principles.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone in Britain, as in the rest of the world. Uighur Muslims in concentration camps in China, wars in Yemen and Syria, Muslims in Kashmir, residents of Beirut having hospitals destroyed and at full capacity – are all just a few examples of those facing extreme hardship that has only been exacerbated within the year by COVID-19.
However, together with the personal tragedies and suffering, there is comfort from the sense of solidarity and support that has emerged in these times of crisis. There are inspiring examples of how mosques and other faith-based organisations have innovated and demonstrated patience and perseverance, which augurs well for our new Islamic year and subsequently, inshaAllah. The advent of a new year is an apt time for resolution-making and setting goals. In many parts of the world, the coronavirus is one more hardship to add to existing traumas.
I hope that we can all take the opportunity provided by this blessed month to pray for all those suffering, Muslim and non-Muslim, from calamities, injustice and oppression across the globe, and that we can continue to come together both as local communities and afar.