The Historical Significance of `Ashura

Hazrat Ibn `Abbas (Radiyallahu `anh) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam) 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 (`alayhi ‘s-salam) and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Sayyidina Musa (`alayhi ‘s-salam) observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it.” The Holy Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam) responded: “We have more right, and we have closer connection with Sayyidina Musa (`alayhi ‘s-salam) than you have”; so Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam) 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 (`alayhi ‘s-salam) after his exile from Paradise; Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta`ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh (`alayhi ‘s-salam) and his companions in the Ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (`alayhi ‘s-salam) was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta`ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (`alayhi ‘s-salam) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (`alayhi ‘s-salam) was restored to health (from leprosy); Sayyidina Yusuf (`alayhi ‘s-salam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (`alayhi ‘s-salam); Sayyidina Yunus (`alayhi ‘s-salam) 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 Sayyidina Dawud (`alayhi ‘s-salam) was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman (`alayhi ‘s-salam) was restored; Sayyidina Isa (`alayhi ‘s-salam) was raised to Jannah and Sayyidina al-Husayn (Radiyallahu `anh) (the Holy Prophet’s, Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.1

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 spring of wine in Paradise that does not intoxicate). And who ever makes 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.2

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.


1. These are mentioned as what scholars have determined as the specialties of that day in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani.

2. These specialties are mentioned in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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