The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)
Posted by al Adaab on December 18, 2009
Note: Every year around this time we receive questions as to the correct position from al Ahl as Sunnah perspective on Love of the Ahlul Bayti Muhammadi Ridhwaan Allahu ‘alaihim ‘ajma’een. The most authentic position is that it is not possible to profess love for Sayyidinaa Muhammad al Mustafaa Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim yet harbor feelings of hatred for the Blessed family and descendants of Habib Allah Sal Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim.
Ahl As Sunnah Scholars and Awliyaa have always emphasized the necessity of loving Ahlul Bayt. Until recent history there was never a need to defend loving the Blessed Family of Sayyidinaa Mustafaa Sall Allahu ‘alaihih wa sallim. It was understood and taught throughout Islamic history as a basic point of aqidah, that to disrespect, show enmity or harm the Family of Rasulullahi Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim was tantamount to doing the same to the Beloved of Allahu ta ‘ala Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim. Some ‘Ulema said that such actions were a manifestation of nifaq or hypocrisy, while others equated such actions with kufr or unbelief. Eventually upstart modernist movements that supported Yazid and who approved of the atrocities committed by the tyrant and murtadh (renegade) against Ahl ul Bayt and the People of Madinatul Munawwarah, began to spread the propaganda that anyone showing love and respect for Ahl ul Bayt or who disapproved of the actions of the cursed Yazid had deviated from the straight path.
Because of this false propaganda many Muslims have developed a fear of expressing their love for Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim and his Blessed Family for fear of being slandered and identified with following the Shia way. Loving Ahl ul Bayt does not make one a Shia and this love is not the exclusive right of any particular group from amongst the believers. Anyone with true Iman must of necessity love Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim and Ahlul Bayt Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala ‘alaihim ajma’een, as it is a requirement of Iman.
Al Imam Sayyid Mubarik “Ali Shah Gilani Hassahi wal Hussayni my perfect Murshid Hafidhahullah, in an article concerning the excellence of Ahl ul Bayt quotes a hadith that captures the essence of the matter;
“Imam Tirmidhi narrated from Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas, Radhi Allahu Anhu, that Sayyid-e-Aalam, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, said: “(Just as) the stars are shelters for those living on Earth to protect them from being drowned (similarly) my Ahl-e-Bayt are the resorting place for the difference (of opinion) amongst my Ummah. Hence whenever any tribe stands in rivalry against my Ahl-e-Bayt, they will suffer from internal strife amongst themselves and thus that will become a satanic group.” Imam Hakim narrated from Hazrat Anas Radhi Allahu anhu, that Sayyid-e-Aalam, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim said: “In respect of my Ahl-e-Bayt, my Allah Jalla Majadahu has promised that whoever amongst them have confessed Tauheed and Risalat, He will not put them under Adhab (torture, punishment).“
And so we begin our series of posts on the Ahl as Sunnah position concerning Love of Ahl ul Bayt from sources acceptable to the Ahl as Sunnah ‘Ulama. Let there be no room for doubt.
Muharram 1, 1431
Muhammad Sa’id Hunafa Qadri
The Fast of ‘Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)
Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (Radiyallahu ‘anh) relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) 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]
Hazrat 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
Hazrat 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 Hazrat 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 Pharoah’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 who ever 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.