That time of the year has come again where the muslims have another chance to trade in their sins at the expense of a fast. Join Sheikh Haitham Al Haddad and Ustadh Abu Talha as they take us through the amazing virtues of these two days while narrating its powerful narrations.
Sheikh Haitham has also recently written an Editorial about Ashura, which can be read below.
[15th Dec = 9th Muharram, 16th Dec = 10th Muharram [Day of Ashura], 17th Dec = 11th Muharram]
By Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad
He commanded the companions to fast on the day and thus fasting Ashura was made compulsory on Muslims (but was abrogated later when fasting the month of Ramadan was made compulsory on Muslims in the second year of Hijrah).
When the Prophet migrated to Madinah, he noticed that the Jews also lived there fasting the same day he used to fast in Makkah: the Ashura. He inquired about it and was answered that the Jews are expressing their gratitude to God as He gave victory to Moses, their Prophet, and his people over Pharaoh and his people. The Prophet’s response defines the relationship between Him, Muslims and Moses in that he said “we have more rights over Musa than you.” He commanded the companions to fast on the day and thus fasting Ashura was made compulsory on Muslims (but was abrogated later when fasting the month of Ramadan was made compulsory on Muslims in the second year of Hijrah). Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islam and Muslims are closer to Moses, Jesus, and all other prophets they attribute themselves to. All prophets came with Islam, the pure Islam, pure Christianity in fact is Islam and the same goes for Judaism. Christianity and Judaism here mean the original religions brought by Moses and Jesus respectively.
However, Islam as a religion is, and should be, superior to any other religion in all matters. The Qur’aan confirmed these principles in numerous verses, in the Qur’aan we read,
“And We have sent down to you the Book (this Qur’aan) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Mohayminan (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge between them by what Allaah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you. To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If Allaah willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you; so strive as in a race in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to Allaah; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.” 1
“It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the polytheists, hate (it).” 2
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) confirmed that he never saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so keen to make sure he fasted any day and preferring it over another except this day, the day of ‘Ashura’, and this month – meaning Ramadaan.” 3 Moreover, Abu Qatadah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that, “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah I hope Allaah will expiate the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of ‘Ashura’ I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.” 4 Those sins that are expiated are the minor ones.
Some narrations confirm that Jews use to celebrate this day. The great companion Ibn Abbas confirmed that the Prophet never sought to fast a day as he would seek to fast the day of Ashura hoping for its reward. It was reported that Ibn Abbas and some other scholars from the second generation used to fast two days in order to make sure that they fasted the day of Ashura. This measure was carried out as a safeguard against the possible variation in the start of the lunar month and hence the allocation of the day of Ashura. In fact, it was reported that ibn Abbas and some of the scholars from the second generation used to fast Ashura while travelling. When they were told about the Qur’aanic verse about making up whatever days were missed from Ramadan due to illness or travel, he replied by stating that Ramadan could be made up but not Ashura.
Towards the latter days of the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he was commanded to distinguish himself from the people of the book in their religious practices. He declared that he would fast the ninth day along with the tenth day, Ashura day. This is a measure that must be followed in order to confirm the uniqueness of the Islamic way of life which is based on pure Islamic monotheism that was not distorted as other religions distorted and changed their religions.
This is the summary of the Ashura story and its role in defining the relationship between Islam and other innovated or distorted religion.