THE EXCELLENCE OF ASHURA EXTRACTED FROM SHAAM-E-KARBALA
THE EXCELLENCE OF ASHURA EXTRACTED FROM SHAAM-E-KARBALA
Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem
The word Ashura is derived from the word Ashr meaning ten and it refers to the tenth day of Muharramul Haram. Some scholars opine that the tenth of Muharram is called Ashura because Allah Y blessed ten Ambiya (Prophets) u on this day. The following are the blessings conferred:
1. Hazrat Adam’s (alayhis salam) penance was accepted.
2. Hazrat Nooh’s (alayhis salam) ark settled on the mountain of Joodi.
3. Hazrat Moosa (alayhis salam) was delivered from the cruelty of Firown and this tyrant was also drowned on this day.
4. Hazrat Esaa (alayhis salam) was born and he was raised to the heavens.
5. Hazrat Yunus (alayhis salam) was taken out from the stomach of the fish and his Ummah’s (Nation) offence was forgiven.
6. Hazrat Yusuf (alayhis salam) was taken out from the well.
7. Hazrat Ayub (alayhis salam) was cured from his illness.
8. Hazrat Idrees (alayhis salam) was raised to the heavens.
9. Hazrat Ibrahim (alayhis salam) was born and the fire of Namrood was cooled for him on this day.
10. Hazrat Sulaiman (alayhis salam) was blessed with dominion.
Several other occurrences of this day have been quoted by the annotators of Hadeeth and scholars of History in their works. Hence the Day of Ashura was revered even before the martyrdom of Sayyidunna Imaam Hussain t at Karbala. A Hadeeth Shareef also mentions that Qayaamat will occur on the Day of Ashura.
Virtuous Deeds on the Day of Ashura.
Fasting on the Day of Ashura has several excellence and merit.
• Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas t states, “Rasoolullah (peace be upon him) has commanded that fast be kept on the tenth day of Muharram (Ashura).” (Tirmizi)
• The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has said, “The most excellent of fast after the month of Ramadaan is the fast kept in Muharram the month of Allah Y.” (Muslim Shareef)
• Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates, “I haven’t seen the Holy Prophet r give distinction to a fast over any other fast and search for it except the fast of Ashura.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Sins of an entire year are forgiven by observing the fast of Ashura. The Noble Messenger r has said, “By keeping the fast of Ashura it is hoped from Allah’s Y mercy that He forgives the sins of the previous year.” (Muslim)
The Ulema have stated that even beastly animals observe fast on Ashura.
The Jews would also observe fast on Ashura because they were saved from the oppression of Firown on this day. Rasoolullah has commanded that we must oppose the Jews; hence the Ulema have stated that fast mustn’t be observed on the tenth alone but fast must be kept on the ninth of Muharram as well. (If one was unable to keep fast on the ninth then fast should be observed on the tenth and eleventh of Muharram- Omar Dawood)
Therefore, two fasts must be observed so that there is no similitude with Jews. The Ahadeeth have also mentioned excellence of fast kept on the ninth of Muharram, so keeping fast on the ninth and tenth of Muharram will be in compliance with both Ahadeeth. Ummul Mumineen Sayyida Aisha t narrates that Rasoolullah r has stated, “He who keeps fast on the first ten days of Muharram is entitled to the higher plains of Firdous (Jannah).” (Nuzhatul Majaalis, Vol. 1, pg. 177)
Sultaan-ul-Auliya Khwaja Nizaamudeen Auliya Mehboob-e-Ilaahi t has narrated that Shaikhul Islam Qutbul Aqtaab Hazrat Baba Faridudeen Masood Ganj-e-Shakr t states about the excellence of fast on Ashura, “Deers in the jungle do not give their children milk to drink on the Day of Ashura out of friendship with the family of the Holy Prophet r. So why should we also abandon this fast?” (Raahatul Quloob, pg. 58)
The Noble Messenger r has stated, “Fifty years of sin are forgiven for one who performs four Rakaats of Salaah on the Day of Ashura and recites Surah Ikhlaas eleven times after Surah Fatiha in each Rakaat. A mimbar (pulpit) of Noor is also erected for him.” (Nuzhatul Majaalis, Vol.1, pg. 178)
He also states, “Allah Y provides in abundance the entire year for the person who provides in profusion (in food etc.) for his family on the Day of Ashura.” (Baihaqi; Nuzhatul Majaalis Vol. 1, pg. 178)
There was a man in Egypt who didn’t possess anything except one piece of clothing. On the Day of Ashura he went to the Musjid of Hazrat Amr bin Aas t and performed the Morning Prayer. The custom of that area was for women to come to the Musjid on the Day of Ashura and make Dua and a woman who came for this purpose asked him to give her something for her children. He said her to follow him to his home which she did. He went in his home, removed this one piece of clothing he owned and passed it to her from behind the door of his home. The woman supplicated for Allah Y to dress him in the apparel of Jannah. In the night the man had a dream in which he saw an exquisitely beautiful Hoor (maiden of Jannah) holding an aromatic apple. When the apple was broken in two, a garb was found. The man asked the maiden who she was and she explained, “I am Ashura, your companion in Jannah”. The man then awoke from his dream and found his entire home to be fragrant. He then made Wudhu, performed two Rakaats of Salaah and made the following Dua, “If she is truly my companion in Jannah, let my soul be taken away and may I be united with her.” Allah Y accepted his Dua and the man experienced death. (ibid)
Imaam Abdullah Yaf’ee Makki t narrates that there was an eminent and rich Qaadhi (Islamic Judge) who resided in the city of Ree (current day Tehraan). On the Day of Ashura, a Faqeer (beggar) came to him and said, “May Allah Y preserve your respect. I am a poor and humble beggar who has a family to feed. I ask you on the sanctity of this auspicious and blessed day to give me ten Munn (a measurement) of flour, five Munn of meat and two Dirhams in charity.” The Qaadhi promised to give him at the time of Zohr but when the Faqeer came to him, the Qaadhi changed his mind and said that he will give it to him at the time of Asr. However, when the time of Asr came, the Qaadhi evaded him and didn’t give anything at all. The Faqeer carried on his way despondently. On his way he met a Christian who was seated at the doorstep of his home. The beggar asked him, “Give me something on the sanctity of this blessed day.” The Christian asked him the significance of this day and he explained it to him (he also said that this was the day the beloved grandson of Rasoolullah r, Imaam Hussain t was martyred). A sympathetic Christian said to the Faqeer, “You have presented the means of a great and significant day in asking for your need. Hence ask whatever you wish for.” The Faqeer asked for the same items he had asked the Qaadhi but the Christian gave him ten sacks of flour, two and a half Munn of meat and twenty Dirhams. He then said to the beggar, “This is for you and your family. Every year come to me on this date and take this from me as long as I’m alive.” The Faqeer happily took what was given and went home. At night the Qaadhi had a dream wherein he heard an unseen voice tell him to lift his head. When he lifted his head he saw two mansions, one was made from gold and silver whilst the other was made from rubies and emeralds. The Qaadhi asked, “Ya Allah Y! To who do these mansions belong?” and it was said to him, “Both could’ve been yours if you helped the Faqeer but since you didn’t help him, they now belong to a certain Christian who did.” A startled Qaadhi awoke from his sleep and began contemplating his fate. In the morning he went to the Christian and asked him what good deed he had done. The Christian enquired why he asks so and the Qaadhi related his dream to him. Then the Qaadhi bargained, “Sell me the good deed you showed to the beggar for this 1500 Dirhams I have in my hand.” But the Christian replied, “If I’m offered all the Dirhams on earth I still wouldn’t sell this good deed. This was a great exchange with the Creator.” After saying this he recited the Kalima Shareef and said, “Verily this Deen is true.” (Raudhur Rayaaheen, pg. 151)
A person heard the Ulema say that Allah Y shall grant a thousand Dirhams to one who gives one Dirham in Sadqa on the Day of Ashura. Hence, he gave out seven Dirhams in charity. After a year passed, he heard another Aalim state the same thing but he said to the scholar, “Shaikh this is not correct. I had given seven dirhams in charity but didn’t receive even a farthing in return although one year has passed.” After saying this he returned to his home. At night he heard someone knocking on his door; he came out and saw a person who said to him, “O untrue being take this seven thousand Dirhams. If you made Sabr until Qayaamat, who knows the amount of reward you would’ve acquired.” (Raudhul Afkaar)
These narrations establish that to keep fast on the Day of Ashura, give out charity, perform Nawaafil Salaah, and make Zikr etc. is a means of great excellence and reward.
It was the planning of Allah Y that the beloved grandson of Rasoolullah r; the leader of the youth of Jannat; Sayyidunna Imaam Hussain t also attain the grand station of martyrdom on this most auspicious and blessed day.
Muslims are urged to observe the Day of Ashura with good deeds and to remember the great sacrifice of Imaam Hussain t and the Ahle Bait on the plains of Karbala. Imaam Hussain the beloved grandson of Rasoolullah; the personification of Haqq (truth) against Baatil (falsehood); the father who saw his milk drinking infant killed in his arms; the fragrant flower from the garden of Sayyida Faathima Zahra t; the embodiment of the courage of Hazrat Ali t; to remember him is a means of worldly blessings and benefit in the hereafter. Send Thawaab to the blessed souls of these martyrs of Islam as this is the practice of the accomplished Auliya and Ulema. In the profound words of Hazrat Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaaz :
Hussain is the king, Hussain is the emperor
Hussain is the Deen, Hussain is the guardian of the Deen
He gave his head but refused to give his hand in the hand of Yazid
The truth is that Hussain t is the spirit of the Kalima: Laa ilaaha Ilallah
Mufti Omar Dawood Moeeni
Education & Publications Department
Islamic Lifestyle Solutions