The 10th of Muharram is a significant day. It is known as the day of Aashura. When Nabi SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam made hijrat to Madinah Munawwarah, he found the Jews observing the fast of Aashura. When enquiring from them about the significance of this day, they replied that Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo rescued Moosa Alayhis Salaam and drowned Fir’aun and his followers on this day. Moosa Alayhis Salaam observed fast on this day as thanksgiving and we (Jews) follow Moosa Alayhis Salaam.
On hearing this Nabi SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “We have a greater right to this and are nearer to Moosa Alayhis Salaam than you.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)
REWARD FOR FASTING ON THE DAY OF AASHURA
Abu Qatadah RadhiAllaahu Anhu narrates that Rasulullaah SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “I have strong hope that Allaah will forgive the previous year’s sins for fasting on the day of Aashura.”
The sins referred to here are minor sins. Taubah (repentance) is required to secure forgiveness for major sins.
With regard to the fast of Aashura one could fast either on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th of Muharram. However it is disliked to fast on the 10th day only.
Rasulullaah SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Fasting on the day of ‘Aashura is equivalent [i.e. carries the reward] of fasting for one year.” (Ibn Hibban no. 3631)
SPENDING FREELY ON ONE’S FAMILY
It is commendable to spend freely and generously on one’s family on the day of Aashura according to one’s capacity.
It is narrated by Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood RadhiAllaahu Anhu that Rasulullaah SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo will grant prosperity throughout the year to the person who spends freely on his dependents on the day of Aashura.”(Al-Mu’jamul-Kabeer of Tabaraani and Bayhaqi in Shuabul-Imaan).
One narrator of this hadith, Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah Rahimahullaah said, “I have been doing this for fifty to sixty years and have always seen its benefit” (Lataiful Ma’arif page 113)
FEW BASELESS TRADITIONS
- This is the day on which Adam Alayhis Salaam was created.
- This is the day when Ibrahim Alayhis Salaam was born.
- This is the day when Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo accepted the repentance of Adam Alayhis Salaam.
- This is the day when Qiyaamah (doomsday) will take place.
- Whoever takes a bath on the day of Aashura will never get ill.
- Whoever puts surmah in his eyes on the day of Aashura will not suffer from eye disease in that year.
- Wearing black clothes and avoiding other colours.
FEW INCORRECT PRACTISES AND BELIEFS
- Some people take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal on the day of Aashura. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.
- Some other people attribute the sanctity of 'Aashura' to the martyrdom of Husain RadhiAllaahu Anhu during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Husain RadhiAllaahu Anhu is a tragic incident in our history. Yet, the sanctity of 'Aashura' cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of 'Aashura' was established during the days of Rasulullaah SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam much earlier than the birth of Husain RadhiAllaahu Anhu. On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Husain RadhiAllaahu Anhu that his martyrdom took place on the day of 'Aashura'.
- Some people mourn on this day and hold ceremonies in honour of Husain RadhiAllaahu Anhu’s martyrdom.
Rasulullaah SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of jahiliyyah (ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. Rasulullaah SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam prohibited the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying “Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'oon.”
Many Ahaadith contain this subject matter. Rasulullaah SallAllaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.” (Bukhaari)