Assalaamu ‘alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu

Respected Ulama

As the month of Muharram has dawned upon us once again, one notices that many Muslims engage in a lot of weird practices such as, for example: buying apples and preparing milkshake and going to a specific place (designated for this purpose) to offer ‘Muharram niaz’. They go there, offer the apples and milkshake and sometimes another type of sweet dish as well… and then make du‘aa. Some other strange practices are also engaged in. Many people also take vows during the year, with the intention that if they achieve their desire, they will go to this place in Muharram and offer niaz.

Now, I am well aware that all of this is un-Islamic and we should abstain from such practices. However, there are some members of my family who are unfortunately caught in this trap and year after year they continue with these practices. I have tried, on many occasions, to tell them that what they are doing is wrong, but they pay no heed. They are of the opinion that there is absolutely nothing wrong in what they are doing. In fact, they have also tried to persuade me to accompany them to the designated place where the niaz is performed! I refused to go but I feel so bad knowing that they are doing something wrong and nothing I say to them will make them understand.

I really want to explain to them that what they are doing is incorrect, but all my efforts have been futile. Thus I would really appreciate it if I could get some advice on how to deal with the situation… My Islamic knowledge regarding the issue is limited and I am not exactly sure of my facts. Will these practices be regarded as bid‘ah? What is the sharee‘ah ruling on this matter? I think it would help if I could give them some proofs from Quraan and ahaadeeth. Please advise…

Please make me maaf for any inconvenience caused.



Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Sister

Bid‘ah is to regard such an action to be virtuous or necessary in deen which has not been established in the Quraan, sunnah and the practice of the first three generations of Islam.

Although feeding the poor is in itself virtuous, the “niaz” offerings, with all its attendant customs, beliefs and practises, has no basis in deen. One must therefore totally refrain from it. Most of the baseless customary practices which people engage in during Muharram have been taken from the Shia.

In any case, we suggest that you continue to advise in an appropriate manner when you find a suitable occasion. Together with advising them when you can, make much du‘aa for them. Insha-Allah, Allah Ta‘ala will open their hearts.

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama