Day of Aashura (10th Muharram)

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quraan:


“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)


It has also been mentioned in Hadith about the four sacred months….


It has been narrated by Hazrat Abu Bakr that rasullulah (saw) 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 scared. Three of them occur consecutively, Dhul Qa’adah Dhul Hijjah and Muharram. The fourth being Rajab of Mudar, which occurs between jamaadial Akhir and Shabaan.”


Virtues of Muharram

The noble Prophet (saw) said: “the best of fast besides the month of Ramadan is the fasting of Allah’s month of Muharram and the best of Salah besides the Farad Salah is Tahajjud Salah” (Muslim)


This narration shows that after the fasts of Ramadan the most blessed and rewarding fasts are the ones of Muharram.


In another narration it has been mentioned that the: Messenger (saw) said “he who fasts on the day of Arafat 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.”

Again from this narration we learn that the fasting in the month of muharaam is very rewarding. Please note this virtue is in regards to the fasting of the fast of Aashura….


Day of Aashura (10th Muharram)

The 10th of Muharram which is also known as Aashura is very significant in the history of Islam. The history of this fast stems from the time of Hadhrat Moosaa (a.s) as this is the day Moosaa (a.s) and bani israeel were saved from Firaun.


It is narrated in hadith Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Aashura. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosaa fasted on this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Moosaa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.”


It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast on ‘Aashura ́ in Makkah, before he migrated to Madeenah. When he migrated to Madeenah, he found the Jews celebrating this day, so he asked them why, and they replied as described in the Hadeeth quoted above. He commanded the Muslims to be different from the Jews, who took it as a festival, as was reported in the Hadeeth of Abu Moosaa (may Allah be pleased with him), who said


“The Jews used to take the day of ‘Aashura as a festival [according to a report narrated by Muslim: the day of ‘Aashura ́ was venerated by the Jews, who took it as a festival. According to another report also narrated by Muslim: the people of Khaybar (the Jews) used to take it as a festival and their women would wear their jewellery and symbols on that day]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘So you [Muslims] should fast on that day.’ ”


One should also observe fasting on the 9th or 11th together with the 10th . This is to differentiate the resemblance from the Non-Muslims who only kept a fast on the 10th. As stated before rasullulah (saw) said Muslims had more right over fasting and symbolising the victory of Moosaa (as)


It is stated in a hadith: “When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fasted on ‘Aashura ́ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘If I live to see the next year, inshaa Allah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away before the next year came.”


Deeds to do on the day of Aashura

– Try to fast on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th

Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “It expiates for all minor sins, i.e., it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins.” Then he said (may Allah have mercy on him): “Fasting the day of ‘Arafat expiates for two years, and the day of ‘Aashura’ expiates for one year. If when a person says ‘Amin’ it coincides with the ‘Amin’ of the angels, he will be forgiven all his previous sins. Each one of the things that we have mentioned will bring expiation. If there are minor sins for which expiation is needed, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to his account and he will be raised in status … If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced.” [Al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part 6, Sawm Yawm ‘Arafah]


– Be generous to one’s family and dependents and spend more on them than you would normally spend.

It is narrated in a hadith that Abu hurairah may (Allah be pleased with him) reports that rasullulah (saw) said “one who generously spends on his family on the day of Aashura Allah will increase his provision for the whole year.”


May Allah give us all the ability to observe these days as the prophet (saw) did. May Allah accept our acts of worship and always guide us in the right direction. Aameen!!!


Article by Umm Rayhaan

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