Friday, February 18, 2005

The 10th of Muharram

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

The following is an extract from an article by Mufti Taqi Usmani (db):

The day of 'Ashurah'

Although the month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named 'Ashurah'.

According to the Holy Companion Ibn 'Abbas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu). The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses) (Alayhis salaam) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in its waters. On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, "We are more closely rotated to Musa (Alayhis salaam) than you" and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of 'Ashura'. (Abu Dawood)

It is also reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of 'Ashura' was obligatory for the Muslims. It was later that the fasts of Ramadhan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of 'Ashura' was made optional. Sayyidina 'Aisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) has said: "When the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of 'Ashura' and directed the people to fast it. But when the fasts of Ramadhan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadhan and the obligatory nature of the fast of 'Ashura' was abandoned. Whoever so desires should fast on it and any other who so likes can avoid fasting on it." (Sunan Abu Dawud)

However, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to fast on the day of 'Ashura' even after the fasting in Ramadhan was made obligatory. Abdullah ibn Musa (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) reports that the Holy Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) preferred the fast of 'Ashura' on the fasts of other days and preferred the fasts of Ramadhaan on the fast of 'Ashura'. (Bukhari and Muslim)

In short, it is established through a number of authentic Hadiths that fasting on the day of 'Ashura' is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and makes one entitled to a great reward.

According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of 'Ashura' should either be prefixed or suffixed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th of it. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is that the Jews used to fast on the day of 'Ashura alone, and the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) wanted to distinguish the Muslim way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of 'Ashura'.

Some traditions signify another feature of the day of 'Ashura. According to these traditions one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not very authentic according to the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.

What is mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashura. However, there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to 'Ashura' that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these:

- This is the day in which Adam (Alayhis salaam) was created.
- This is the day in which Ibrahim was born.
- This is the day in which Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam
(Alayhis salaam)
- This is the day on which the Qiyaamah (doomsday) will take place.
- Whoever takes bath in the day of 'Ashura' will never get ill.

All these and other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and the traditions referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.

Some people take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal in the day of 'Ashura'. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.

Some other people attribute the sanctity of 'Ashura' to the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of 'Ashura' cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of 'Ashura' was established during the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) much earlier than the birth of Sayyidna Husain (Radhiallaahu Ánhu).

On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidna Husain (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) that his martyrdom took place on the day of 'Ashura'.

[Read more of the above article by Mufti Taqi Usmani: The Month of Muharram ]

Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Month Of Muharram

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Take a read of the following beneficial article by Shaykh Maulana Saleem Dhorat hafizahulla, of Islamic Da'wah Academy, Leicester:


by Shaykh Maulana Muhammed Saleem Dhorat

Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Glorious Qur’ãn:

Lo! The number of the months with Allah is twelve months by Allah’s Ordinance in the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves in them...(9:36)

The specification of these four sacred months is stated in a Hadeeth narrated by Aboo Bakrah radhiyallahu anhumaa that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Verily time has completed its cycle and returned to its original stage as it was on the day Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year consists of twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them occur consecutively; Zul Qa‘dah, Zul Hijjah and Muharram, (the fourth being) Rajab of Mudhar (named after the tribe of Mudhar as they used to respect this month) which occurs between Jamãdiul Ãkhir and Sha‘bãn.” (Bukhãri)

From out of the four sacred months, Muharram has been blessed with certain specific virtues. The noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhãn is the fasting of Allah’s Month of Muharram and the best of salãt besides the fardh (compulsory) salãt is the tahajjud salãt (performed after midnight before dawn).” (Muslim)

In another Hadeeth, Ibne ‘Abbãs radhiyallahu anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "He who fasts on the day of Arafah (9th Zul Hijjah), his fast will be a compensation for the sins of two years and one who keeps a fast in the month of Muharram will receive the reward of thirty fasts for each fast." (Tabrãni, at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb)

[Source: Islamic Da'wah Academy website; Read more of the above article: ]

More Articles on/related to Muharram

  • Lessons of Aashura

  • Martyrdom

  • The Month of Muharram by Mufti Taqi Usmani.

  • And finally, I know I'm a bit late... better late than never I guess... but anyway, read the following: Valentine's Day

    That's all.

    Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.