In Islam, there are some ceremonies and occasions which are held all around the world among Muslims. They all have religious backgrounds and are mostly referred to in the holy Quran. Muslim nations have been commemorating them in the course of history. Here we are going to have a glance at the most significant Islamic occasions based on the Lunar Calendar.
The month of Muharram is the first month of the year in the lunar calendar. On the tenth day of this month, Hussain Ibn Ali (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and his companions were brutally martyred, and their women and children were taken captive by the caliph of the time, Yazid ibn. Muawyah. Their story has been the source of inspiration for many new converts.
Arbaeen is the Arabic word for forty, and it marks the 20th of Safar, the fortieth day after Imam Hussain's (AS) martyrdom on the day of Ashura, who was martyred in the event of Karbala along with his companions in the cruelest and most inhumane way possible.
According to some historical accounts , some of the members of Imam Hussain's (AS) family after being released from the bondage of Yazid's forces returned to Karbala from Sham (today's Damascus) to visit Imam Hussain's (AS) grave. Also, some believe that Imam Hussain's (AS) head, which was taken to Sham by Yazid's army was brought back to Karbala on this day and buried with his body  & .
Every year, a few days before this day, a vast number of people from all over the world, Muslims or even non-Muslims, gather in Iraq to take part in a symbolic walk, to revive the teachings of Imam Hussain (AS) and commemorate his sacrifice in the way of Allah and humanity.
There is a disagreement concerning the exact date of Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) birthday. Some believe it occurred on the 12th of Rabi al-Avval, while others consider it to be on the 17th of Rabi al-Avval, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was born in Mecca. All Muslims around the world celebrate his birthday and regard it as one of the important Islamic occasions. On this day, Muslims feed the needy, pray and recite the Quran, commemorate Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and his challenges to deliver the messages of Allah to human beings.
The first day of the month of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, is called Eid al-Fitr. After fasting for one month, during the month of Ramadan, remembering, worshipping Allah and trying to do fewer sins beside not eating and drinking from before the Call for Fajr prayer to after the Call for Magrib prayer, Muslims celebrate the first day of the month of Shawwal, for their success in submitting to Allah's command. They perform the Eid prayer first; then, they hold a feast inviting their loved ones, wear their best clothes, and visit their friends and family. The culture of feasting might be different in different Islamic communities, but one thing is for sure; no one is allowed to fast on this exceptional day. Allah also obliges Muslims to share their blessings and happiness with the needy with the money they donate to them.
Eid al-Adha is one of the most significant Islamic occasions. Some of the most important events of this Abrahamic religion happened on this day. On this Eid, similar to Eid al-Fitr, Muslims are not allowed to fast. The first is the sacrifice of Ishmael by his father, Abraham, for the sake of Allah. When Abraham and his son both surrendered, and he was ready to behead his son, Allah sent a ram and asked Abraham to kill that instead.
"So when they had both surrendered [to Allah's will], and he had laid him down on his forehead, We called out to him, 'O Abraham! You have indeed fulfilled your vision! Thus indeed do We reward the virtuous! This was indeed a manifest test. Then We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, and left for him a good name in posterity." (37: 103-108)
This day is also the last day of Hajj rituals, in which Muslims shall sacrifice an animal to feed the needy Muslims. On this day, those who attended Hajj have performed all their Hajj rituals, and with the great assistance of Allah, all their sins are wiped away, and Allah accepts their good deeds and repentance.
Many Muslims celebrate this day. They sacrifice an animal to feed the needy, even if they have not attended Hajj. If they do not have enough money to buy a sheep, they do other things and feed the destitute in different ways. This sacrifice is an expression of generosity and obedience to the commands of Allah. This Eid also reminds humankind of the characteristics, such as envy, rage, dishonesty, etc., they have to symbolically sacrifice in themselves to become the better version of themselves and be worthy of being Allah's best creation.
This Islamic occasion was a day in the last Hajj pilgrimage (Hajjat al-Vida'a) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). When he was going back to Medina with all his companions and other pilgrims, he gathered everyone around a place called Ghadir and announced these words in which he appointed Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (AS) as his caliph and the Imam after himself following a direct order from Allah [i]:
"Whomsoever, I am his leader (Mawla), Ali (AS) is also his leader (Mawla). O' Allah! Love those who love him (Ali (AS)) and oppose those who oppose him" 
This is another important day in the Muslim calendar. On this day, Muslims can fast and again feed the needy, as an essential part of Islamic culture.
These are the most significant and most celebrated Islamic occasions. As one can see, feeding others and praying to Allah are the essential things a Muslim should do to celebrate a feast, which reveals the importance of caring for others in Islam that results from the devotion to Allah.
[i] Verse 67th of Surah al-Maedah known as Al-Tabligh Verse, and the third verse of the same chapter known as Al-Ikmal Verse.
- Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 605; Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 295; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 110-111;
- Ibn Tawus, 'Ali b. Musa, Al-Luhuf 'ala qatla l-tufuf, Uswi, Qom, 1414 AH.
- Al-Biruni, Abu Rayhan, The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries, p.331.
- Qazi al-Tabataii, Muhammad Ali, A Research on the first Arba'een of the Leader of Martyrs (Imam Hussain (AS)), vol.3, p.304.
Following the discussions on the concept of responsibility in Islam and Muslims' duties towards other human beings, this article reviews the duties towards the teachers, students, and young and older adults.
Teachers are acknowledged and valorized in Islam. It is said that God, angels, earth inhabitants and even the small ants in their nests and the fish in the seas, all salute the mentors who invite to goodness . Imam Ali (AS) said that whoever has taught me a word has made me “his slave”[i] . Regarding the Islamic resources, the rights of the mentor over the students are:
to be polite and grateful to the mentor, and honor him\her ;
to sit down politely in his\her presence such that to face him\her directly ;
to listen carefully to him\her and forget anything else during the session except what the mentor explains ;
not to answer the questions that the mentor has been asked about and let him\her to reply ;
to lower your voice when talking to him\her  as a means of showing the respect for him\her;
to ask in order to know and not to annoy the mentor or to mock him\her  and then to listen carefully to the answer of the question ;
not to talk and whisper to anybody in his\her presence  otherwise the mentor feels being ignored;
not to talk behind other people’s back with him\her  since this is an unpleasant act which also bothers the audience ;
not to let others insult the mentor or lie about him\her ;
not to reveal his\her deficiencies and to tell others about his\her positive characteristics .
Seeking knowledge is such important in Islam that according to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), trees, winds, clouds, seas and stars, plants and everything that the sunshine falls on, all ask for mercy for whoever seeks knowledge . Also, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said that whoever seeks knowledge is beloved by God, angels, and prophets and good for them on the judgment day . Of the rights of the knowledge-seekers over their mentor are:
To be kind to them ;
To be humble and flexible to them ;
To know their names and some details about each of them . This helps to maintain a better relationship and consequently to better teach and educate them;
To respect their character and to consider their words and thoughts ;
To equally love them and pay attention to them . In this regard, mentors are almost like judges in Islam;
To teach with serenity and dignity , therefore, his\her lessons impress their mind and soul ;
To be tolerant of them and answer their questions properly ;
To consider and support kindly the newcomers ;
To honestly tell if he\she does not know the answer to a question  instead of saying what he\she is not sure about;
Of the rights of young people over older adults and their responsibility in Islam are:
To be kind to them ;
To be engaged in their education and training ;
To ignore and forgive their mistakes and hide their deficiencies ;
To tolerate them, be patient with them and help them in difficulties ;
If the young people do something wrong because they are naive, the older adults should not reveal that ;
To avoid arguments and conflicts with them .
The responsibility in Islam of the younger people toward the elderly include:
To respect them since they are older than you ;
If they argue with you, do not react unpleasantly ;
If you accompany each other on the way, do not overtake them ;
If they do not know about something, do not humiliate them ;
And, if they ignore you because you do not know something, keep calm and do not react as they are older than you .
[i] The word “slave” here does not mean servant, but is used to valorize the mentor and emphasizes the importance of respecting him\her.
[ii] Knowledge-seeker is used as a more general word than a student to cover whoever seeks knowledge.
- M. B. Majlisi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 61, p. 245
- M. Naraqi, “Jami' al-Sa'adat”.
- Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (AS), “Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq)”.
- “Nahj al Balaqa”, I. 320.
- Ibn Babawayh, “Ilal Al-Shara'I”, vol. 2. p. 334.
- H. al-Daylami, "Irshad al-Qulub", p. 164.
- M. Shoueiri “Jami’ al-Akhbar”, p. 37.
- Al-Shahid al-Thani, “Munya al-murid fi adab al-mufid wa al-mustafid”, p. 190-219.
There is a question that occupies the minds of many of us; what will remain of us in this world after we are long gone? Have we left this world and the generations followed by us a worthy legacy? Or we will soon be forgotten? Or even worse, we have left so much evilness and destruction that would never be wiped away from the face of this world? Looking at the lives of prominent figures, throughout the history of Islam, we realize how much effort they have put into spreading a valuable message and leaving behind an enduring legacy for future generations. Despite being under the restraint and pressure of the Caliphs of his time, Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam of Shias and one of Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) grandchildren, has left Muslims with the most considerable amount of religious content which turned into an essential point of reference for them until the present.
In what follows, we will have a look at the life of Imam Sadiq (AS), this praised personality.
Ja'far b. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib (AS), known as Imam Sadiq (AS), was born on April 20, 702, in Medina. His father was Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (AS), and his mother was Umm Farwa, the daughter of al-Qasim, son of Muhammad b. Abi Bakr . He had the opportunity to spend twelve years of his life with his grandfather, Imam Sajjad (AS), and thirty-one years with his father. His title al-Sadiq, which literally means "truthful," was given to him, since he avoided any direct involvement in the uprisings of his time .
Imam Sadiq (AS) had ten children, among whom was Imam Musa al-Kazim (AS), who was born on 745 A.D.
After the martyrdom of Imam Baqir (AS), Imam Sadiq (AS) was chosen as the leader of Shia Muslims, which lasted thirty-four years. The period of Imam Sadiq (AS) 's leadership coincided with the reign of the last five Umayyad caliphs, including Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik, Valid b. Yazid b. 'Abd al-Malik, Yazid b. Valid b. 'Abd al-Malik, Ibrahim b. Valid b. 'Abd al-Malik and Marwan b. Muhammad.
While Imam Sadiq (AS) witnessed a period of hardship and restrain under the reign of Hisham, after some years due to the weakening of Umayyads, which finally led to the fall of this dynasty, he found the chance to engage in scholarly activities and promote the actual Islamic teachings. He held many secret gatherings and meetings in which up to four thousand people attended, Imam Sadiq (AS) transferred his knowledge to his students, which later quoted many Hadiths from him and turned into authentic sources for future Muslim scholars .
After the fall of the Umayyad dynasty, Imam Sadiq (AS) witnessed the rise of Abbasid caliphs and lived during the reign of two of them, including al-Saffah and al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi. During the time of the first Abbasid caliph, al-Saffah, which was a period of instability and social and political upheavals, being engaged mostly in abolishing the remaining of Umayyad dynasty and their followers, provided Imam Sadiq (AS) with an excellent chance to go on with his scholarly and religious efforts and attract as many students as he could.
Nevertheless, with the coming of al-Mansur to the throne, a period of total suppression and severe restraint began. During his realm, people lived in utter terror, and any kind of opposition was punished severely. Therefore, al-Mansur considered Imam Sadiq (AS) and his followers as a threat to his throne, and since Imam Sadiq (AS) was a public figure respected by all the people, he couldn't hurt him directly. So, he tried to weaken Imam's (AS) reputation and social status by enticing his students to engage in a debate with Imam Sadiq (AS) and defeat him. But all their efforts were futile .
Al-Mansur made many attempts to bring harm to Imam Sadiq (AS) and summoned him a few times to his court, intending to assassinate him, yet he wasn't successful. Imam Sadiq (AS) generally didn't tend to meet al-Mansur and attend his court. Al-Mansur was offended by Imam Sadiq's (AS) manner and one day asked him, "Why don't you come to meet me in my court like others?" and Imam (AS) answered, "I didn't do anything to be afraid of you, and you don't benefit us in the hereafter so that I would have hope in you. This position of you is not a blessing to be congratulated by me, and you don't find it a disaster to be comforted by me. So why would I attend you?" 
During Imam Sadiq's (AS) life, some religious groups formed, which deviated from the true teachings of Islam and Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) tradition. To oppose these movements and save Islam from such deviations, Imam Sadiq (AS) held many debates with the heads of these groups and tried to bring their falsehood into the light. Or he would send his students to have discussions with them. He always advised his students and followers to be wary of such deviatory movements and cut all ties with them.
As it was mentioned above, Imam Sadiq (AS) enjoyed an excellent opportunity to spread his knowledge among as many people as he could, which resulted in the transmission of a significant number of hadiths from him to the future generation. Therefore, most of the hadiths in fiqh or theology are from Imam Sadiq (AS) . Due to his significant role in spreading the true Islamic teachings, Twelver Shiism is often called Ja'fari School . Moreover, he held many dialogues and debates with theologians and scholars of different sects and religions, and even atheists, in which he managed to prove the authenticity of his stance. Some of the most famous students of Imam al-Sadiq (a) are Zurara b. A'yan, Burayd b. Mu'awiya, Jamil b. Darraj, 'Abd Allah b. Muskan, 'Abd Allah b. Bukayr, Hammad b. 'Uthman, Hammad b. 'Isa, Aban b. 'Uthman, 'Abd Allah b. Sinan, Abu Basir, Hisham b. Salim, Hisham b. al-Hakam.
Imam Sadiq was famous for his piety, knowledge, abundant and devoted worship, and great generosity . It is reported that he spent a significant part of his time praying, fasting, or saying dhikr (remembrance) .
Many narrations are reported about his generosity and kind manner toward people who lived in poverty. For instance, "it is reported that the Imam (AS) gave four hundred dirhams to a beggar, and when he thanked the Imam (a), he (a) gave him his ring, which was worth 10,000 dirhams. According to another report, the Imam would put some bread, meat, and money in a bag and would take it to the houses of the poor and divide it among them, without letting them know who he was. Abu Ja'far al-Khath'ami reports that Imam al-Sadiq (a) gave him a bag of money and asked him to give it to someone from Banu Hashim without telling him from where the money was coming. When Abu Ja'far gave the money to that man, he prayed for the sender and told him that this person always sends him money, but Imam al-Sadiq (a) never sends him anything even though he is rich!" 
Imam Sadiq (AS) was martyred on 765 A.D. at the age of sixty-three, poisoned by order of al-Mansur al-Dawaniqi. He was buried in the al-Baqi' Cemetery beside his father, Imam Baqir (AS), his grandfather Imam Sajjad (AS), and his uncle Imam Hasan (AS) .
- Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Irshād fī maʿrifat ḥujaj Allāh ʿalā l-ʿibād. Vol.2, P.180.
- Pākatchī, Aḥmad. 1389 Sh. "Imām Jaʿfar Ṣādiq (a)". Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī 18:180-220.
- Shahīdī, Sayyid Jaʿfar. Zindigānī-yi Imām Ṣādiq Jaʿfar b. Muḥammad (a), p. 47.
- Al-Suyuti, History of the Caliphs, p. 208-209.
- Baha' al-Din 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, vol.2, p.208.
- Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. vol. 1, p. 79, 80, 171-173.
- Baha' al-Din 'Ali b. 'Isa al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma fi ma'rifat al-a'imma, vol.2, p.691.
- Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 47, p. 16.
- Imam sadiq
- Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 4, p. 210.