Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Day of 'Ashura


Today is 10th Muharram 1432H/16th December 2010. As we know, in Islam, 10th Muharram is the Day of 'Ashura. I begin with a simple question in each of my lecture class for today; What is the Day of 'Ashura? Sadly speaking, no one give a correct answer. But its okay, because it is my responsibility to let them know what is the Day of 'Ashura. That is the reason too that I share in this blog.

When is the Day of 'Ashura?

It is on 10th day of the month of Muharram in Islamic Calendar

Why it was named 'Ashura?

It was taken from 'asharah which means ten. It is on the tenth day of Muharram

What happened in the Day of 'Ashura?

Ibn Abbas RA reports that the Holy Nabi PBUH 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 Prophet Musa AS and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Prophet Musa AS observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it." The Holy Messenger of Allah PBUH responded: "We have more right, and we have closer connection with Sayyidina Musa AS than you have"; so Allah’s Messenger PBUH observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

This is the authentic hadith mentioned the history of the Day of 'Ashura, which the Children of Israel was saved together with Prophet Musa when they across the Red Sea from Pharaoh. So, as a gratitude, they fast to remember that historical day.

The Quranic verses mentioned about the Day of 'Ashura?

There is no exactly verse mentioned about the Day of 'Ashura, but the history can be understood in verses 49 - 56, Surah al-Baqarah.

The authentic hadith on the Day of 'Ashura?

Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan RA relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah PBUH say: "It is the day of ‘Ashura. 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]

Abu Qatada RA relates that the Holy Nabi PBUH said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

Abu Huraira RA reports that the Holy Nabi PBUH said that after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence. [Sahih Muslim]

Hakam ibn Al-Arat RA relates: I went to Ibn Abbas RA… 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 PBUH observed the fast?" He said, "Yes." [Sahih Muslim]

The misunderstanding of the Day of 'Ashura?

There are a lot of stories mentioned about the history of the Day of 'Ashura, among them are: On this day: Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam AS after his exile from Paradise; Allah 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 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. ‘Ashura is also the day when the kingdom of Sulaiman AS was restored; Sayyidina Isa ('Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah; and Sayyidina al- Imam Husayn RA (the Holy Nabi’s, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.

It was also said that there are several actions and deeds that encouraged to practice in the Day of 'Ashura, BUT there is no authentic hadith support these actions. Among the actions:
- 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 man, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate).
- 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 SWT will be generous to him throughout this year.
- Whoever applies Kuhl to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again

Actually, you can do these action on any day, not particularly in the Day of 'Ashura.

What is the lessons from the Day of 'Ashura?

  • To remember the historical event in which Allah give success to the right over the wrong. Allah saved Prophet Musa from Pharaoh.
  • To show the similarities of message between Prophet Muhammad and other Prophet, particularly Prophet Musa in worshiping Allah as the only God
  • To differentiate between obligatory and Sunnah action, because after the revelation came about the month of Ramadan is the month of fasting, the Prophet make the fast of the Day of 'Ashura is Sunnah only.

Selamat Berbuka Puasa to all those fasting today. May Allah accept all of our deeds.. Ameen.

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