Monday, 1 October 2012

THE FAST OF ASHURA & ITS RULINGS























HOW MANY SACRED MONTHS ARE THERE? 

Abu Bakarah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumadah and Sha'ban." [Reported by al-Bukhari, 2958]

WHY ARE THESE MONTHS SACRED? 


"Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein … " [Al-Qur'an 9:36]


Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity. Allah's words (interpretation of the meaning): " ... so wrong not yourselves therein … " mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months. It was reported that Ibn 'Abbas said that this phrase referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

Qutadah said concerning this phrase that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will. Allah has chosen certain ones of His creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech the remembrance of Him (dhikr). He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadhan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylatul-Qadr, so venerate that which Allah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allah has told us to venerate. [Summarized from the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him. Tafsir of Surah at-Tawbah, ayah 36]

VIRTUES OF THE MONTH OF MUHARRAM 


Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: 'The best of fasting after Ramadhan is fasting Allah's month of Muharram.' " [Reported by Muslim, 1982]

WHAT IS ASHURA ? WHAT IS ITS HISTORY? 


Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of 'Ashura'. 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 Musa fasted on this day.' He said, 'We have more right to Musa than you,' so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day." [Reported by al-Bukhari, 1865] 

HENCE WE FAST ON ASHURA NOT BECAUSE WE CELEBRATE OR OFFER CONDOLENCES TO IMAM HUSSAIN (R.A) OR ETC , BUT WE DO IT BECAUSE THE PROPHET (S.A.W) DID IT IN ORDER TO VENERATE THE DAY OF MUSA (A.S) 

"This is a righteous day" – in a report narrated by Muslim, [the Jews said:] "This is a great day, on which Allah saved Musa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people." "Musa fasted on this day" – 

another report narrated by Muslim adds: " … in thanksgiving to Allah, so we fast on this day." According to a report narrated by al-Bukhari: " … so we fast on this day to venerate it." 

A version narrated by Imam Ahmad adds: "This is the day on which the Ark (of Nuh a.s) settled on Mount Judi, so Nuh fasted this day in thanksgiving," and "commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day" – 

According to another report also narrated by al-Bukhari: "He said to his Companions: 'You have more right to Musa than they do, so fast on that day.' "
The practice of fasting on 'Ashura' was known even in the days of Jahiliyyah, before the Prophet's mission. It was reported that 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "The people of Jahiliyyah used to fast on that day … "

Al-Qurtubi said: "Perhaps Quraysh used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Ibrahim, upon whom be peace."

FASTING ON ASHURA IS A SUNNAH NOT FARDH


Verily, Ashura is but one of Allah’s days, so whoever wishes to fast on this day should do so, and whoever wishes to refrain from fasting may do so. [Sahih Muslim, Book 6, Number 2503]



* THE VIRTUES OF FASTING ON ASHURA *


Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of 'Ashura', and this month, meaning Ramadhan." [Reported by al-Bukhari, 1867]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "For fasting the day of 'Ashura', I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before." [Reported by Muslim, 1976] 

This is from the bounty of Allah towards us: for fasting one day He gives us expiation for the sins of a whole year. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.

WHEN IS ASHURA ? WHICH DAY OF MUHARRAM? 


An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "'Ashura' and Tasu'a' are two elongated names [the vowels are elongated] as is stated in books on the Arabic language. Our companions said: 'Ashura' is the tenth day of Muharram and Tasu'a' is the ninth day. This is our opinion, and that of the majority of scholars. This is the apparent meaning of the ahadith and is what we understand from the general wording. It is also what is usually understood by scholars of the language." [Al-Majmu'])

'Ashura' is an Islamic name that was not known at the time of Jahiliyyah. [Kashshaf al-Qina', part 2, Sawm Muharram]

Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "'Ashura' is the tenth day of Muharram. This is the opinion of Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib and al-Hasan. It was what was reported by Ibn 'Abbas, who said: 'The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded us to fast 'Ashura', the tenth day of Muharram.' [Reported by at-Tirmidhi, who said, a sahih hasan hadith] It was reported that Ibn 'Abbas said: 'The ninth,' and reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast the ninth. [Reported by Muslim] 'Ata' reported that he said, 'Fast the ninth and the tenth, and do not be like the Jews.' If this is understood, we can say on this basis that it is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast on the ninth and the tenth, for that reason. This is what Ahmad said, and it is the opinion of Ishaq."

Hence Ashura in accordance to the majority of the opinion falls on the 10th of Muharrum and the prophet (s.a.w) wished and ordered us to be different from the Jews , i.e to fast on the 9th of Muharrum (mentioned below) 


Note : In today's time, there is a big dispute between scholars with regards to following common dates to observe this fast. For e.g , Maybe in Saudi Arabia Ashura might fall on the 8th of December according to the moon sight or lunar principles. But in India it may fall on the 9th of Dec. Hence in this case some scholars say observe the fast as per the moon in your nation and some say keep it unanimous. Both sides have proofs to substantiate their claim. In this case a Muslim should pick the safest option according to him. What i generally do is keep the day ashura is in Saudi and then follow it with the next day which mostly is in India. So if the 10th was in Saudi then i kept an extra one (i.e the 11th in India) and if the fast of India was the 10th one then i kept a day before i.e on the 9th [smile]

THE DAYS SPECIFIED FOR FASTING ASHURA ARE: 


صُومُوا يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ وَخَالِفُوا فِيهِ الْيَهُودَ صُومُوا قَبْلَهُ يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْدَهُ يَوْمًا

Prophet (s.a.w) said "Fast the day of Ashura, but do so differently than the Jews by fasting the day before it or the day after it." [Musnad Ahmad, Number 2155]


Ibn al-Qayyim writes :

There are three ways to observe this fast. The best is to fast the day before Ashura and the day after it. Next in excellence is to fast on the ninth of Muharram as well as the tenth. This is what most of the Hadith indicate. The next is to fast the tenth day by itself. [Zad al-Ma’ad 2/75]




IT IS MUSTAHABB (ENCOURAGED) TO FAST TASU'A' (9th) WITH 'ASHURA' (10th) 


'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: "When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fasted on 'Ashura' 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, in sha 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." [Reported by Muslim, 1916]

Ash-Shafi'i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaq and others said: "It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth."

On this basis it may be said that there are varying degrees of fasting 'Ashura', the least of which is to fast only on the tenth and the best of which is to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.

WHY IS IT MUSTAHAB TO FAST ON TASU'A (9TH) 


An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "The scholars – our companions and others – mentioned several reasons why it is mustahabb to fast on Tasu'a':

"The intention behind it is to be different from the Jews, who only venerate the tenth day. This opinion was reported from Ibn 'Abbas …

"The intention is to add another day's fast to 'Ashura'. This is akin to the prohibition on fasting a Friday by itself, as was mentioned by al-Khattabi and others.

"To be on the safe side and make sure that one fasts on the tenth, in case there is some error in sighting the crescent moon at the beginning of Muharram and the ninth is in fact the tenth."

The strongest of these reasons is being different from the People of the Book. Shaykh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade imitating the People of the Book in many ahadith, for example, his words concerning 'Ashura': 'If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day.' " [Al-Fatawa al-Kubra, part 6, Sadd adh-Dhara'i' al-Mufdiyyah ila'l-Maharim]

Ibn Hajar (may Allah be pleased with him) said in his commentary on the hadith "If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day" and "What he meant by fasting on the ninth day was probably not that he would limit himself to that day, but would add it to the tenth, either to be on the safe side or to be different from the Jews and Christians, which is more likely. This is also what we can understand from some of the reports narrated by Muslim." [Fath, 4/245]



Note : Some scholars regard it as ok to fast on Ashura only. However, in accordance to the above hadeeth it is the duty of Muslims to differ from the Jews and obey the wish of Rasool (s.a.w). However, if in case one fails to do so, then scholars have not criticized it. 


Shaykh ul-Islam said: "Fasting on the day of 'Ashura' is an expiation for a year, and it is not makruh to fast only that day … " [Al-Fatawa al-Kubra, part 5] In Tuhfat al-Muhtaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, it says: "There is nothing wrong with fasting only on 'Ashura'." [Part 3, Bab Sawm at-Tatawwu']



FASTING ON 'ASHURA EVEN IF IT FALLS ON FRIDAY OR SATURDAY 

1. It was proven in al-Saheehayn in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘None of you should fast on a Friday unless he fasts the day before or the day after.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1849, Muslim, 1929)


In al-Saheeh it was narrated from Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon her on a Friday when she was fasting. He asked her, “Did you fast yesterday?” She said, “No.” He asked, “Are you going to fast tomorrow?” She said, “No.” He said, “Then break your fast.” Hammaad ibn al-Ja’d said, “I heard Qutaadah say, Abu Ayyoob told me that Juwayriyah spoke to him and he told her to stop her fast and she did so.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Sawm, 1850). 


2. Exception Granted : Muslim narrated in his Saheeh that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Do not single out the night of Jumu’ah [i.e., Thursday night] from among other nights for praying qiyaam al-layl, and do not single out Friday from among other days for fasting, unless it is a fast that one of you regularly observes.” (al-Siyaam, 1930

3. Fasting on Saturday: The prophet (s.a.w) said "Do not fast on the day of SATURDAY except that which has been made obligated on you and if one of you does not find (anything) except a bark of a tree then let him chew it. In another wording "Let him swallow it" [Saheeh Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Al tirmidhi and also related by at-Tahaawi as will be explained below]

The above ahadeeth explains the seriousness of fasting either alone on Friday or alone on Saturday. 

QUOTES AND DIFFERENCE OF OPINION AMONG SCHOLARS ON THIS MATTER : 


Shaikh Albani (r.h) , after reviewing the ahadeeth of prohibition mentioned above, is of the opinion to leave the fast of Ashura if it falls on a friday or saturday because of the principle of Fiqh " If prohibition is in opposition to allowance then prohibition takes precedence over allowance" 

Shaikh Albaani was preceded in this fatwa by some of the salaaf. Abu Ja'far at-Tahaawi in his book Sharh Ma'ani al-Athaar stated (in support of the aforementioned hadeeth of prohibition) that " A group of people inclined to this hadeeth and disliked fasting Saturdays Voluntarily " . Shaikh Al 'Ayni who wrote an explanation of this work (of at-Tahaawi) entitling it as " Nukhab al-Afkar fi Taqeeb Mabani il-Akhbar fir Sharh Ma'ani il Athaar" which has been edited and checked by Abu Tameem Yaasir Ibn Ibraahem 

In this book Al-'Ayni (the author of Umdat ul-Qaari) stated in the 8th Volume, Page 433, that the statement of at-Tahaawhi wherein he said "" A group of people inclined to this hadeeth and disliked fasting Saturdays Voluntarily " meant that the group of people from the Salaaf were : Mujahid of the students of Ibn Abbas, Tawoos Ibn Kaysan, Ibraahem an-Nakha'ee and Khaalid ibn Ma'dan 

[See this quote in the book here : http://ia600505.us.archive.org/13/items/waq110971/08_110978.pdf 

As one can read, Al Mujaahid (r.h) was a Makkhi, at-Tawoos Ibn Kaysan (r.h) was a Yemeni , an-Nakha'ee (r.h) was a Koofi and Khaalid ibn Ma'dan (r.h) was from as-Shaam. This means that 4 senior Taba'een widespread at 4 different major areas supported the prohibition of fasting on Saturdays unless it was an obligatory fast (such as ramadan or etc). 

Shaikh ul-Islaam in Iqtidah Sirat al-Mustaqeem transmitted from some companions of Imam Ahmad who disliked the voluntary fasting on Saturdays. 

In todays times , some of the scholars of Madeenah agreed to this view after having a debate with Shaikh Albaani in Masjid un-Nabwee as reported by one of his students. Hence some of the salaaf were in favor of Albaani's judgement. However the below hold a different view

At-Tahawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) allowed us to fast on 'Ashura' and urged us to do so. He did not say that if it falls on a Saturday we should not fast. This is evidence that all days of the week are included in this. In our view – and Allah knows best – it could be the case that even if this is true (that it is not allowed to fast on Saturdays), it is so that we do not venerate this day and refrain from food, drink and intercourse, as the Jews do. As for the one who fasts on a Saturday without intending to venerate it, and does not do so because the Jews regard it as blessed, then this is not makruh (i.e then it is okay) … " [Mushkil al-Athar, part 2, Bab Sawm Yawm as-Sabt]

The author of Al-Minhaj said: "It is disliked (makruh) to fast on a Friday alone … But it is no longer makruh if you add another day to it, as mentioned in the sahih report to that effect. A person may fast on a Friday if it coincides with his habitual fast, or he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, or he is making up an obligatory fast that he has missed, as was stated in a sahih report."

Ash-Sharih said in Tuhfat al-Muhtaj: "If it coincides with his habitual fast – i.e., such as if he fasts alternate days, and a day that he fasts happens to be a Friday, if he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, etc." – this also applies to fasting on days prescribed in Shari'ah, such as 'Ashura' or 'Arafah. [Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, part 3, Bab Sawm al-Tatawwu']

Al-Bahuti (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "It is makruh to deliberately single out a Saturday for fasting, because of the hadith of 'Abdullah ibn Bishr, who reported from his sister: 'Do not fast on Saturdays except in the case of obligatory fasts' [reported by Ahmad with a jayyid isnad and by al-Hakim, who said: according to the conditions of al-Bukhari], and because it is a day that is venerated by the Jews, so singling it out for fasting means being like them … except when a Friday or Saturday coincides with a day when Muslims habitually fast, such as when it coincides with the day of 'Arafah or the day of 'Ashura', and a person has the habit of fasting on these days, in which case it is not makruh, because a person's habit carries some weight." [Kashshaf al-Qina', part 2, Bab Sawm al-Tatawwu']

Also Excluded from this prohibition is one who fasts the day before or after, or if it coincides with days that he habitually fasts, such as one who fasts al-Ayyaam al-Beed (the 13th, 14th and 15th of each hijri month), or who has the habit of fasting a specific day such as the Day of ‘Arafat, and it coincides with a Friday. From this it may be understood that it is permissible for a person who has vowed to fast on the day when So and so returns, for example, or the day when So and so recovers from sickness, to observe that fast if that day happens to be a Friday. (See Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar). 

Note : Hence, in the case of Ashura or Arafaat, if it  falls on Friday then one may fast, because his intention is to fast ‘Ashoora’ or ‘Arafaat and not to fast on a Friday. And Allaah is the Source of strength 

But as mentioned above it is mustahab to fast on two days and not only on the 10th so as to differentiate ourselves from the Jews {and this is obligatory because the prophet (s.a.w) said whoever imitates a people , he becomes one of them"} , 

Hence if the fast of ashura coincides with a Friday/Saturday and if the person fast two days i.e either 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th, then he has fulfilled two sunnahs i.e 

(i) he has fulfilled the condition of avoid fasting only on a Friday/Satruday by singling it out for fasting and 

(ii) the wish of rasool (s.a.w) to fast a day before Ashura in order to be different from the jews In sha Allah. 


And this is the only solution to prevent falling into a doubtful matter or sinning. 

Those who may want to follow the opinion of Albaani and his likes can do so based on their ijtihaad however they must not condemn those who keep the fasts

See the fatwa of Shaykh Saleh al-Fawzan : http://mtws.posthaven.com/the-best-way-to-fast-the-day-of-aashoora-explained-by-shaykh-fawzan



WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IF THERE IS CONFUSION ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH?

Imam Ahmad said: "If there is confusion about the beginning of the month, one should fast for three days, to be sure of fasting on the ninth and tenth days." [Al-Mughni by Ibn Qudamah, part 3 – as-Siyam – Siyam 'Ashur']

If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Dhul-Hijjah was thirty days – as is the usual rule – and should fast on the ninth and tenth. Whoever wants to be sure of fasting the ninth as well should fast the eight, ninth and tenth (then if Dhul-Hijjah was twenty-nine days, he can be sure of having fasted Tasu'a' and 'Ashura').


FASTING 'ASHURA' WHEN ONE STILL HAS DAYS TO MAKE UP FROM RAMADHAN OR ANY OTHER FARDH FASTING (SUCH AS IN THE CASE OF AN OATH) 

The fuqaha' differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before a person has made up days that he or she did not fast in Ramadhan. The Hanafis said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up days from Ramadhan, and it is not makruh to do so, because the missed days do not have to be made up straight away. The Malikis and Shafi'is said that it is permissible but is makruh, because it means that one is delaying something obligatory. Ad-Dusuqi said: "It is makruh to observe a voluntary fast when one still has to make up an obligatory fast, such as a fast in fulfilment of a vow, or a missed obligatory fast, or a fast done as an act of expiation (kafarah), whether the voluntary fast which is being given priority over an obligatory fast is something confirmed in Shari'ah or not, such as 'Ashura' and the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, according to the most correct opinion." The Hanbalis said that it is haram to observe a voluntary fast before making up any fasts missed in Ramadhan, and that a voluntary fast in such cases does not count, even if there is plenty of time to make up the obligatory fast. So a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up. [Al-Mawsu'ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 28, Sawm at-Tatawwu']

Muslims must hasten to make up any missed fasts after Ramadhan, so that they will be able to fast 'Arafah and 'Ashura' without any problem. If a person fasts 'Arafah and 'Ashura' with the intention from the night before of making up for a missed fast, this will be good enough to make up what he has missed, for the bounty of Allah is great.



INNOVATIONS COMMON ON 'ASHURA' (MOSTLY PRACTICED BY OUR BARELVI BROTHERS AND DEFINITELY BY THE SHIA'S) 

Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the things that people deople do on 'Ashura', such as wearing kohl, taking a bath (ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (hubub), showing happiness and so on. Was any of this reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a sahih hadith, or not? If nothing to that effect was reported in a sahih hadith, is doing these things bid'ah, or not? Is there any basis for what the other group do, such as grieving and mourning, going without anything to drink, eulogizing and wailing, reciting in a crazy manner, and rending their garments?rments?

His reply was: "Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any sahih hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or from his Companions. None of the Imams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four Imams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), nor from the Sahabah, nor from the Tabi'in; neither in any sahih report or in a da'if (weak) report; neither in the books of Sahih, nor in as-Sunan, nor in the Musnads. No hadith of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported ahadith like the one which says, 'Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of 'Ashura' will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath (does ghusl) on the day of 'Ashura' will not get sick in that year,' and so on. They also reported a fabricated hadith that is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), which says, 'Whoever is generous to his family on the day of 'Ashura', Allah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.' Reporting all of this from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is tantamount to lying."

Then he [Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him)] discussed in brief the tribulations that had occurred in the early days of this Ummah and the killing of al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), and what the various sects had done because of this. Then he said:

"An ignorant, wrongful group – who were either heretics and hypocrites, or misguided and misled – made a show of allegiance to him and the members of his household, so they took the day of 'Ashura' as a day of mourning and wailing, in which they openly displayed the rituals of jahiliyyah such as slapping their cheeks and rending their garments, grieving in the manner of the jahiliyyah ...…

"The Shaytan made this attractive to those who are misled, so they took the day of 'Ashura' as an occasion of mourning, when they grieve and wail, recite poems of grief and tell stories filled with lies. Whatever truth there may be in these stories serves no purpose other than the renewal of their grief and sectarian feeling, and the stirring up of hatred and hostility among the Muslims, which they do by cursing those who came before them …

"The evil and harm that they do to the Muslims cannot be enumerated by any man, no matter how eloquent he is. Some others – either Nasibis who oppose and have enmity towards al-Husayn and his family or ignorant people who try to fight evil with evil, corruption with corruption, lies with lies and bid'ah with bid'ah – opposed them by fabricating reports in favour of making the day of 'Ashura' a day of celebration, by wearing kohl and henna, spending money on one's children, cooking special dishes and other things that are done on 'Eid and special occasions. These people took the day of 'Ashura' as a festival like 'Eid, whereas the others took it as a day of mourning. Both are wrong, and both go against the Sunnah, even though the other group (those who take it as a day of mourning) are worse in intention and more ignorant and more plainly wrong …

"Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) nor his successors (the khulafa' ar-rashidun) did any of these things on the day of 'Ashura', they neither made it a day of mourning nor a day of celebration …

"As for the other things, such as cooking special dishes with or without grains, or wearing new clothes, or spending money on one's family, or buying the year's supplies on that day, or doing special acts of worship such as special prayers or deliberately slaughtering an animal on that day, or saving some of the meat of the sacrifice to cook with grains, or wearing kohl and henna, or taking a bath (ghusl), or shaking hands with one another, or visiting one another, or visiting the mosques and shrines and so on … all of this is reprehensible bid'ah and is wrong. None of it has anything to do with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or the way of the Khulafa' ar-Rashidun. It was not approved of by any of the Imams of the Muslims, not Malik, not ath-Thawri, not al-Layth ibn Sa'ad, not Abu Hanifah, not al-Awza'i, not al-Shafi'i, not Ahmad ibn Hanbal, not Ishaq ibn Rahwayh, not any of the Imams and scholars of the Muslims." [Al-Fatawa al-Kubra by Ibn Taymiyyah]

Ibn al-Hajj (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned that one of the bid'ah on 'Ashura' was deliberately paying zakat on this day, late or early, or slaughtering a chicken just for this occasion, or – in the case of women – using henna. [Al-Madkhal, part 1, Yawm 'Ashura']

We ask Allah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet, to make us live in Islam and die in a state of faith. May He help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. We ask Him to help us to remember Him and be thankful to Him, to worship Him properly and to accept our good deeds. May He make us of those who are pious and fear Him. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.



Parts of the article are taken from the work of Shaikh Saleh Al Munajjid


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