Importance of `Ashura

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

`Āshūra is a day of great historical significance. On this day: Allah (swt) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (as) after his exile from Paradise; Allah (swt) saved Sayyidina Nuh (as) and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (as) was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah (swt) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (as) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (as) was restored to health (from leprosy); Sayyidina Yusuf (as) was reunited with his father Ya`qub (as); Sayyidina Yunus (as) 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. `Āshūra is also the day when Sayyidina Dawud (as) was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman (as) was restored; Sayyidina `Isa (as) was raised to Jannah and Sayyidina al-Husayn (as) [the Holy Prophet’s, Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam, grandson] achieved the honor of Martyrdom.

Worship Allah (swt) as much as you can on `Āshūra. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah (swt) will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah (swt) 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 person, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And who ever makes  ghusl on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and laziness. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah (swt) will be generous to him throughout this year. And whoever applies kohl to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again, inSha’Allah al-`Aziz.

عن حميد بن عبدالرحمن أنه سمع معاوية رضي اللَّه عنه يقول: سمعت رسول اللَّه صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ” هذا يوم عاشوراء، ولم يكتب اللَّه عليكم صيامه، وأنا صائم، فمن شاء فليصم، ومن شاء فليفطر” .

Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (r) relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (swt) say: “It is the day of `Āshūra. Allah (swt) 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]

عن حميد بن عبدالرحمن أنه سمع معاوية رضي اللَّه عنه يقول: سمعت رسول اللَّه صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ” هذا يوم عاشوراء، ولم يكتب اللَّه عليكم صيامه، وأنا صائم، فمن شاء فليصم، ومن شاء فليفطر” .

Abu Qatada (r) relates that the Holy Prophet (s) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

في رواية لمسلم عن ابن عباس – رضي الله عنهما  – أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قدم المدينة . فوجد اليهود صياماً يوم عاشوراء . فقال لهم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ما هذا اليوم الذي تصومونه ؟ فقالوا : هذا يوم عظيم . أنجى الله فيه موسى وقومه . وغرق فرعون وقومه . فصامه موسى شكراً . فنحن نصومه . فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” فنحن أحق وأولى بموسى منكم ” فصامه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم . وأمر بصيامه

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, observed `Āshūra’ by fasting it. He asked the Jews why they fasted on that day and they told him “It is the day on which Allah drowned Pharaoh and rescued Moses, so we fast in it to give thanks to Allah Most High.” The Prophet (s) replied saying:  “We have more of a right to Moses than you.” So he fasted on that day and ordered the people to fast on that day. He also said near the end of his life: “By Allah, if I lived longer I would fast on the 9th of Muharram.” That is, that he would fast on the 9th and the 10th.

أخرج مسلم من حديث أبي هريرة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: (أفضل الصيام بعد شهر رمضان شهر الله الذي تدعونه المحرم وأفضل الصلاة بعد الفريضة قيام الليل

In Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (r), the Prophet (s) said: “The best month to fast after Ramadan is the Month of Allah which you call Muharram, and the best of prayers after the obligatory ones are the Night Vigil.”

وأخرج ابن المنذر وابن أبي حاتم والبيهقي في الشعب، عن قيس بن عباد – رضي الله عنه – قال: لله أمر في كل ليلة العاشر من أشهر الحرم، أما العشر من الأضحى، فيوم النحر. وأما العشر من المحرم، فيوم عاشوراء. وأما العشر من رجب، ففيه {يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت} قال: ونسيت ما قال في ذي القعدة.

Qays ibn `Abbaad (r) said:

To Allah belongs the command on the tenth night of every sacred month. As for the tenth of the [month of] sacrifice, that is the Day of Sacrifice. As for the tenth of Muharram, that is the day of `Āshūra. As for the tenth of Rajab, in it [Allah revealed about it] “Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth.”  [13:39] and I forgot what he said about Dhu’l-Qa`idah.

وأخرج ابن عساكر عن خالد الزيات قال: بلغنا أن نوحا عليه السلام ركب السفينة أول يوم من رجب وقال لمن معه من الجن والإنس: صوموا هذا اليوم فإنه من صامه منكم بعدت عنه النار مسيرة سنة، ومن صام منكم سبعة أيام أغلقت له أبواب جهنم السبعة، ومن صام منكم ثمانية أيام فتحت له أبواب الجنة الثمانية، ومن صام منكم عشرة أيام قال الله له: سل تعطه، ومن صام منكم خمسة عشر يوما قال الله له: استأنف العمل قد غفرت لك ما مضى، ومن زاد زاده الله. فصام نوح عليه السلام في السفينة رجب، وشعبان، ورمضان، وشوالا، وذا القعدة، وذا الحجة، وعشرا من المحرم، فأرست السفينة يوم عاشوراء فقال نوح عليه السلام لمن معه من الجن والإنس: صوموا هذا اليوم.

Khalid az-Zeeyaat said:

It has reached us that on the first of Rajab Allah Sayyidina Nuh (as) set sail in the ark and he fasted and ordered all those with him from Jinn and mankind to do so saying: Fast this day for verily whoever among you fasts it, will be brought far from the Fire the distance of one year’s travel; … Sayyidina Nuh (as) fasted in the Ark the months of Rajab, Sha`ban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhul-Q`idah and Dhul-Hijjah and ten days of Muharram. Then the Ark came to rest on `Āshūra and Nuh (as) said to all those who were with him from Jinn and humankind, “Fast this day.”

قال الزمخشري‎:‎ خصه من بين الأشهر الحرم لمكان عاشوراء فأفضل الأشهر لصوم التطوع المحرم ثم رجب ثم بقية الأشهر الحرم ثم شعبان

The scholar Az-Zamakhshari said: [Muharram’s] distinction among the sacred months is due to `Āshūra. The best of the months for the voluntary fast is Muharram, then Rajab then the rest of the sacred months and then Sha`bān.

It is related from Ibn Mas`ud that he said: “It is incumbent upon the believer to intend spending Laylat al-Qadr in prayer from the very first night of the month of Muharram (the first month of the year) to the end of the year, so that he will most certainly chance upon it.”

Shah Bahauddin Naqshband Muhammad al-Uwaisi al-Bukhari is the Master of this Tariqat and the Imam of the Golden Chain and the best of those who carried this lineage from the Khwajagan. He was born in the month of Muharram, in 717 H./1317 CE, in the village of Qasr al-‘Arifan near Bukhara.

We are asking Allah (swt) to dress us for the sake of that one who gave up himself – and how many gave themselves up for sake of our benefit – and the first of them and greatest was Sayyidina Muhammad (s) who said:

ما أوذي نبي مثلما أوذيت

“I was the most tortured among all the prophets.”

After that were his children and grandchildren – they were killed and yet they never turned their backs.  Sayyidina al-Husayn (as)  said “I am coming.”   Sayyidina al-Husayn gave a promise and against advice of many he kept going.  When he arrived the supporters backed up, but he kept going – anyone who remembered that incident and fasted `Ashura  – as when the Prophet (s) entered Madina and saw the Jews fasting: “because that day Allah saved Musa from Pharaoh,” and the Prophet (s) said, “nahnu ahaqq wa awla bi musa minkum  – We have more right to Musa than you.” And in `Am Fath  – Sayyidina Muhammad’s (s) last year in which he performed hajj, he said, “if Allah (swt) gives me life I will fast the ninth also.” So whoever fasts `Ashura Allah (swt) will waive the sins of one year back – all your sins will be taken away.  And that day Sayyidina al-Husayn was killed – when you fast that day remember Sayyidina al-Husayn. Fast, you will be saved.

These jewels, diamonds that Allah (swt) gave to us, we have to appreciate them.  Dhikr associations are to clean us from all these sins. May Allah (swt) bless us and send his best and highest manifestations on Sayyidina Muhammad (s) his family and children especially Sayyidina Abi `Abdillah al-Husayn wa rufaqa’ihi and Shuhada Karbala  wa min Allah at-tawfiq bi hurmat al Fatiha.