Dec 14, 2010

Fasting on the day of Ashura

Enter your email address for exclusive updates:

Fasting on the day of Ashura

Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah 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-Tawbah 9:36]

Qutaadah said concerning this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) 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 Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will. Allaah 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 Ramadaan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylat al-Qadr, so venerate that which Allaah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allaah has told us to venerate. (Summarized from the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him. Tafseer of Surat al-Tawbah, aayah 36).
Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).

Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.

Significance of Fasting on the day of Ashura
Ibn Abbas (Allaah be pleased with both of them) reported that when Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) came to Medina, he found the Jews observing the fast on the day of ashura. They (the Jews) were asked about it and they said: It is the day on which Allaah granted victory to Moses and (his people) Bani Isra'il over the Pharaoh and we observe fast out of gratitude to Him. Upon this the Prophet of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: We have a closer connection with Moses than you have, and he commanded to observe fast on this day. (Muslim)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Fasting the day of `Ashura' (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as anexpiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year”(Muslim).

But this forgivness of minor sins comes only if you avoid major sins. It is a big mistake to rely on fasting a single day to “wipe your slate clean.” If you neglect your daily Prayers or the fast of Ramadan, or if you backbite, lie, commit adultery or other major sins, fasting on Ashura alone will not atone for your sins. The great scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (b. 691 AH/1292 CE) wrote:

This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the Day of Arafah and the Day of Ashura, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins.

Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed he remembers it and relies on it.

This is like the one who seeks Allah’s forgiveness with his tongue (that is, by words only), and glorifies Allah by saying “subhan Allah” one hundred times a day, then he backbites about the Muslims and slanders their honor, and speaks all day long about things that are not pleasing to Allah. This person is always thinking about the virtues of his saying “subhan Allah” and saying “la ilaha illa Allah” but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, tell lies, and slander others, or commit other sins of the tongue. They are completely deceived.

(Al-Mawsu`ah Al-Fiqhiyyah, part 31, Ghuroor)

The Virtue of observing more naafil fasts during Muharram.

Abu Haraira (Allaah be pleased with him) reported Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is God's month. al-muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night. (Bukhari)

Ibn 'Abbas reported that when the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) fasted on the day of 'Ashura and commanded that it should he observed as a fast, they (his Companions) said to him: Messenger of Allaah, it is a day which the jews and Christians hold in high esteem. Thereupon the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: When the next year comes, God willing, we would observe fast on the 9th But the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) died before the advent of the next year.(Muslim)


truly one should not forget the greatness of Allah and should thank him a million times for giving us this opportunity to fast as in the steps of our beloved prophet (peace be upon him).

Post a Comment