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The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)

Posted by al Adaab on January 23, 2007

 

The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)

Hadhrat Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) say: “It is the day of ‘Ashura. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it.” [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Qatada (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates that the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Huraira (Radiyallahu ‘anh) reports that the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said that after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence. [Sahih Muslim]

Alhamdulillah, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has blessed us to see another year. The first month of this year is Muharram. In this month is an excellent day—the day of ‘Ashura—which falls on the 10th of Muharram. The Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) recommended that we fast on this day, by his Sunnah. He also indicated how we should observe the fast of ‘Ashura.

Hakam ibn Al-Arat (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates: I went to Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu ‘anh)… I said to him: Tell me about fasting on ‘Ashura. He said, “When you seen the new moon of Muharram count the (days) and (begin to) observe fast on the 9th.” I said to him: “Is it how the Holy Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) observed the fast?” He said, “Yes.” [Sahih Muslim]

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates that when the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said: “If I survive till next year, I will definitely observe fast on the 9th of Muharram (as well).” [Sahih Muslim]

(Note: What the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) meant was that he would also fast on the 9th as well as the 10th to which he was accustomed. We also should try fasting on the 9th and the 10th of Muharram.)

The Historical Significance of ‘Ashura

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu ‘anh) reports that the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) arrived in Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura… They said: “It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Hadhrat Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it.” The Holy Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) responded: “We have more right, and we have closer connection with Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) than you have”; so Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

  • ‘Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day:
  • Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (‘Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise;
  • Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark;
  • Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod;
  • And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments.
  • On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy);
  • Sayyidina Yusuf (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (‘Alaihis-Salaam);
  • Sayyidina Yunus (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of Israel was delivered from captivity and Pharaoh’s army was destroyed.
  • ‘Ashura is also the day when the kingdom of Sulaiman (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored;
  • Sayyidina Isa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah; and Sayyidina al- Imam Husayn (Radiyallahu ‘anh) (the Holy Nabi’s, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.

Worship Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) as much as you can on ‘Ashura. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will grant him a reward that will not be decreased. Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person or gives water to a thirsty man, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And whoever takes a Ghusl on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and indolence. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will be generous to him throughout this year. And whoever applies Kuhl to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again, Insha’Allah al-Aziz

O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds and gain their reward on ‘Ashura. Make the new year one of unity, cooperation and success for Muslims in this city and around the world. Ameen.

2 Responses to “The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)”

  1. abourayhan said

    Assalamu Alaykum. Thanks for a great website! What is the source of the below 10 points? I have heard of this before but wasn’t sure if it is authentic or not. I hope it is not only hear-says.

    ‘Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day:
    Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (‘Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise;
    Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark;
    Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod;
    And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments.
    On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy);
    Sayyidina Yusuf (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (‘Alaihis-Salaam);
    Sayyidina Yunus (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of Israel was delivered from captivity and Pharaoh’s army was destroyed.
    ‘Ashura is also the day when the kingdom of Sulaiman (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored;
    Sayyidina Isa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah; and Sayyidina al- Imam Husayn (Radiyallahu ‘anh) (the Holy Nabi’s, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.

    • aladaab said

      Wa alaikumus salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu,

      The Source is Shaikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani Radhi Allahu ‘anhu in his “Al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq” Volume Three, Eleventh Discourse.

      The Eleventh Discourse
      Concerning the special qualities of the Day of ‘Ashura’

      Allah (Exalted is He) has told Us:
      The number of the months in the sight of Allah is twelve months.
      [They were already inscribed in the Book of Allah on the day when He created the heavens and the earth;
      four of them are sacred.] 9:36

      The Month of Muharram is one of the four sacred months. {al-ashhur al-muharrama} in the sight of Allah (Exalted is He). It includes the day of Ashura, and Allah (Exalted is He) enormously enhances the recompense of those who worshipfully obey Him on that day.

      As we are reliably informed by Shaikh Abu Nasr [Muhammad ibn al-Banna], Allah’s Messenger once said:
      If someone observes a day of fasting during Muharram, for every such day he will be credited with thirty days.
      According to another traditional report, transmitted by Maimun ibn Mihran on the authority of Ibn Abbas ( May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him and his father), Allah’s Messenger also said:

      If someone fast on the day of Ashura in Muharram, he will be granted the spiritual reward of ten thousand angels [malak]. If someone fasts on the day of ‘Ashura’ in Muharram, he will be granted the spiritual reward of ten thousand angels [malak]. If someone fasts on the day of ‘Ashura; in Muharram, he will be granted the spiritual reward of ten thousand martyrs [shahid], as well as the spiritual reward of ten thousand pilgrims [hajj] and visitants [mu’tamir]

      If someone strokes the head of an orphan with his hand on the day of ‘Ashura’ for every hair on the orphan’s head, Allah taála will promote him by one degree in the Garden of Paradise.

      If someone provides a believer [mu’min] with a meal to break his fast on the night of ‘Ashura’, it will be just as if the entire Community [Umma] of Muhammad had broken fast as his guests, and had filled their stomachs to capacity.

      “O Messenger of Allah” , his listeners exclaimed, ‘ it would seem that Allah ta’ ala has given preference to the day of ‘Ashura’ over all the other days!’ “Yes,” said he as he went on to explain:

      Allah (Exalted is He) created the heavens on the day of ‘ Ashura’. He created the mountains on the day of ‘ Ashura. He created the oceans on the day of ‘ Ashura’. He created the Pen [Qalam} on the day of ‘Ashura’. He created the Tablet [Lawh] on the day of ‘Ashura’. He created Adam (peace be upon him) on the day of ‘Ashura’, and He caused him to enter the Garden of Paradise on the day of ‘Ashura’.

      Abraham [Ibrahim] [peace be upon him] was born on the day of ‘Ashura, and Allah ta’ala delivered him form the fiery furnace on the day of ‘Ashura’, then He redeemed his son from being sacrificed on the day of ‘Ashura’. He caused Pharaoh to drown on the day of ‘Ashura’. Allah (Exalted is He) relieved Job [Ayyub] (peace be upon him) of his trials and tribulations on the day of ‘Ashura’.

      Allah [Exalted is He] relented toward Adam (peace be upon him) on the day of ‘Ashura’. Allah [Exalted is He] forgave the sin of David [Dawud] (peace be upon him) on the day of ‘Ashura’. Jesus {Isa] (Peace be upon him) was born on the day of ‘Ashura’. The Day of Resurrection [Yawm al-Qiyama] will occur on the day of ‘Ashura’.

      According to another version of this report, likewise transmitted on the authority of Ibn Abbas ( may Allah ta’ala be pleased with him and his father), Allah’s Messenger said:

      If someone fast on the day of ‘Ashura’, Allah will record in his favor the worshipful service [ibada] of sixty years devoted to fasting by day and keeping vigil by night. If someone fasts on the day of ‘Ashura’, he will be granted the spiritual reward of a thousand martyrs [shahid]. If someone fasts on the day of ‘Ashura’., Allah ta’ala will record in his credit column the recompense of the inhabitants of the seven heavens.

      If someone provides a believer [mu’min] with a meal to break his fast on the night of ‘Ashura’, it will be just as if the entire Community [Umma] of Muhammad had broken fast as his guests, and had filled their stomach to capacity.

      If someone strokes the head of an orphan with his hand on the day of ‘Ashura’, for every hair on the orphan’s head, Allah ta’ ala will promote him by one degree in the garden of Paradise.

      “O Messenger of Allah, exclaimed Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), Allah (Exalted is He) has treated us with favor, by granting us the day of ‘Ashura’ !” The Prophet then said:
      Allah (Exalted is He) created the heavens on the day of ‘Ashura’, and the earth likewise. He created the mountains on the day of ‘Ashura’, and the stars likewise. He created the Heavenly Throne [Arsh] on the day of ‘Ashura’ and the Pedestal [Kursi] likewise. He created the Tablet [Lawh] on the day of ‘Ashura’, and the Pen [Qalam] likewise.

      He created Gabriel on the day of ‘Ashura, and the angels likewise. He created Adam on the day of ‘Ashura’. Abraham [Ibrahim] was born on the day of ‘Ashura’, and Allah ta’ala delivered him from the fiery furnace on the day of ‘Ashura’, then Allah ta’ala redeemed his son from being sacrificed on the day of ‘Ashura’. He caused Pharaoh to drown on the day of ‘Ashura’.

      He raised Idris (peace be upon him) up to heaven on the day of ‘Ashura’. He relieved Job [Ayyub] of his agony on the day of ‘Ashura’ He raised Jesus [Isa} (peace be upon him) on the day of ‘Ashura’, and Jesus was born on the day of ‘ashura’. Alalh ta’ala relented toward Adam (peace be upon him) on the day of ‘Ashura’, and He forgave the sin of David [Dawud] (peace be upon him) on the day of ‘Ashura’. Allah ta’ala granted kingship to Solomon [Sulaiman] on the day of ‘Ashura’.

      The Lord (Exalted is He) established Himself upon the Heavenly Throne [‘Arsh] on the day of ‘Ashura’. The Day of Resurrection [Yawm al-Qiyama] will occur on the day of ‘Ashura’. The first rain fell from the sky on the day of ‘Ashura’. The first gift of mercy [rahma] came down from above on the day of ‘Ashura’.

      If someone performs the major ritual ablution [ightasal] on the day of ‘Ashura’, he will never experience any illness, apart for the sickness of death. If someone anoints his eyelids with antimony (Khul) on the day of ‘Ashura, he will not suffer inflammation of the eyes throughout the entire course of the year.

      If someone pays a visit to a sick person on the day of ‘Ashura’, it is just as if he had visited all the children of Adam. If someone gives [a thirsty person] a drink of water on the day of ‘Ashura, it is just as if he had never disobeyed Allah ta’ala for a single instant.

      If someone performs four cycles of ritual prayer (salla arba’a raka’at) on the day of ‘Ashura, reciting in each cycle the Opening Sura of the Book [Fatihat al Kitab], one time, and the Sura that begins with “Qul Huwa ‘llahu Ahad [Say: He is Allah, One!’] fifty times, Allah (Exalted is He) will forgive him the sins of fifty bygone years, and of fifty years that are still in the future Allah (Exalted is He) will also build for him, in the midst of the heavenly host [al-mala’al-‘la], a thousand palaces of light.

      Abu Huraira (may Allah ta’ala be pleased with him) once said:

      It was made incumbent upon the Children of Israel (Bani Isra’il) to fast on one day in the year, namely, the day of ; Ashura’, the tenth of Muharram, so they devoted it to fasting, and on it they treated their dependents with special generosity. If someone uses his wealth to treat his dependents with special generosity on the day of ‘Ashura;, Allah will treat the person with special generosity throughout the rest of the year. If someone devotes the day to fasting, it will count in his favor as the atonement [kaffara] of forty years. If someone spends the night of ‘Ashura; in viligant worship, and enters upon the morning in a state of fasting, he will die without knowing the agony of death.

      According to a tradition [hadith] reported by Ali [ibn Abi Talib] (may Allah ennoble his countenance), Allah’s Messenger once said:

      If someone spends the night of Áshura; in vigilant worship, Allah (Exalted is He) will let him live as long as he wishes.

      According to a report transmitted by Sufyan ibn Uyina, on the authority of Ja’far al-Kufi, it was Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn al-Muntashir – reputedly one of the finest characters in the Kufa of his time – who told him that [the Prophet ) once said:

      If someone treats his dependents [iíyali-hi] with special generosity on the day of Áshura;, Allah (Exalted is He) will treat that person with special generosity throughout the rest of the year.

      “He gave us that information fifty years ago,”said Sufyan (may Allah bestow his Mercy upon him). and since then we have experienced nothing but prosperity.”

      As reported by ‘Abdullah [Ibn Mas’ud al-Hudhali] (may Allah be well pleased with him), Allah’s Messenger once said:

      If someone treats his family [ahli-hi] with special generosity on the day of ‘Ashura’. Allah (Exalted is He) will treat that person with special generosity throughout the rest of the year.

      One of our worthy forefathers [salaf] is said to have declared: ‘If someone fasts on the day of adornment [Yawm az-zina], meaning the day of ‘Ashura’, he will thereby make up for all the fasting that he has failed to keep in the course of the whole year. And if someone gives a charitable donation on that day, he will thereby make up for any charitable donation [sadaqa that he has failed to give in the course of the whole year”

      It was Yahya ibn Kathir (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) who said:
      “If someone anoints his eyelids on the say of ‘Ashura’, using a mixture of kohl [kuhl] and musk [misk], he will have no reason to complain of any problem with his eyes until that same day in the year agead.”

      as we are reliably informed by Shaikh Abu Nasr [Muhammad ibn al-Banna’], it was Abu Galiz ibn Umayya ibn Khalaf al-Jamhi who said:
      “The Prophet once spotted a sparrow hawk [surad] on the roof of my house, so he said: “This is the first bird to keep the fast on the day of ‘Ashura’.”

      It was Qais ibn ‘Ubada who said: “Even the wild beasts used to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’.

      Abu Huraira (may Allah be well pleased with him) is reported as having stated that Allah’s Messenger once said:

      The most meritorious fasting, after the month of Ramadan, is [fasting in] the month of Allah which they call the Sacred Month [al-Muharram]. And the most meritorious ritual prayer [salaat] – after that which is prescribed as an obligatory duty [mafruda], and that which is performed in the middle of the night – is the ritual prayer [salat] of the day of ‘Ashura’.

      Ali [ibn Abi Talib] (may Allah ennoble his countenance) is reported as having stated that the Prophet
      In Allah’s Sacred Month [al-Muharram], Allah ta’ala has relented toward certain people, and He will also relent toward others.

      Ibn ‘Abbas ( may Allah be well pleased with him and with his father) is reported as having stated that Allah’s Messenger once said:

      If someone fast on the last day of Dhu’l-Hija and on the first day of Muharram, he will have sealed the old year with fasting, and ushered in hte new year with fasting, and Allah Almighty and Glorious is He), will grant him the atonement [kffara] of fifty years.”?

      According to a report from ‘Urwa, [the Prophet’s wife] Á’isha (may Allah be well pleased with her) once said:
      “‘Ashura’ was observed as a day of fasting by Quraish in the [re-Islamic] days time of ignorance [al-Jahiliyya]. Allah’s Messenger devoted it to fasting, whole he was in Mecca, but when he moved to Medina, he made the Fast of Ramadan an obligatory religious duty. so, if anyone wishes to do it, he may keep the fast on the day of ‘Ashura’, and if anyone so wishes, he may abstain from observing it.”

      Ibn Abbas (may Allah be well pleased with him and with his father is reported as having said:

      “When Allah’s Messenger moved to Medina, he discovered the Jews [al-Yahud] were observing the day of ‘Ashura’as a day of fasting, so he inquired about that practice of theirs, and they told him: ‘This is the day on which Allah (Almighty and Exalted is He) rendered Moses [Musa] and the Children of Israel [Bani Isra’il] victorious over the people of Pharaoh, so we devoted it to fasting in his honor .’The Prophet responded to this by saying”‘We are more worthy of Moses [Musa] than you are! ‘Then he commanded [the Muslims] to observe it as a day of fasting. “

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