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The virtue of the day of Ashûrâ\' … The New Year and Holding Oneself to Account

 

The virtue of the day of Ashûrâ\' … The New Year and Holding Oneself to Account

 

All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Prayers and peace of Allah be upon the most honorable of the prophets, our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.

 

Verily, it is from the graces of Allah upon His slaves that He sends seasons of good in succession, through the days and months, to give them their rewards in full, rather to increase them. As soon as the season of Hajj (pilgrimage) has ended, it is being followed by a noble month; the month of Allah of Al-Muharram. Imam Muslim has reported in his authentic book of Hadith that Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, "The most virtuous fasting after the month of Ramadan is that of the month of Allah of Al-Muharram" [Muslim].

 

«أفضل الصيام، بعد رمضان، شهر الله المحرم. وأفضل الصلاة، بعد الفريضة، صلاة الليل» [مسلم]


The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has called it \'the month of Allah\' to show its virtue and honor. Allah Almighty singles out some of His creation with characteristics and prefers some to the others.

 

Al-Hassan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "Verily, Allah has begun the year with a sacred month, and ended it with a sacred month. There is no month in the year, after the month of Ramadan, more honorable and sacred to Allah than it."

 

There is a day in this month where a great manifest victory took place. The true triumphed over the evil. Allah Almighty rescued Moses, peace be upon him, and his people, while He has drowned Pharaoh and his people. It is a day that has a great virtue and an ancient sacredness. This is the tenth day of the sacred moth of Allah of Al-Muharram. It is a day called Ashûrâ\'.

 

The virtue of the day of Ashûrâ\'

 

Many authentic Hadith were mentioned about the virtues of the day of Ashûrâ\' and fasting it. They are all authenticated from the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, they include, for example:

 

It was narrated in the two authentic books of Hadith (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) that Ibn \'Abbas, was asked about the day of \'Ashûrâ\'. He said, "I have not seen the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, seeking the virtue of any day over others, except this day - meaning the day of \'Ashûrâ\' – and this month - meaning Ramadan." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

 

في الصحيحين عن ابن عباس أنه سئل عن يوم عاشوراء فقال: "ما رأيتُ النبيَّ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم يتحرَّى صيامَ يومٍ فضَّلَه على غيرِه إلا هذا اليومَ، يومَ عاشوراءَ، وهذا الشهرَ، يعني شهرَ رمضانَ" [البخاري ومسلم واللفظ للبخاري]


As I have previously mentioned, the day of \'Ashûrâ\' has a great virtue and an ancient sacredness. Moses, peace be upon him, used to fast it because of its virtue. All the people of the scripture used to fast it, Quraish, as well, used to fast it in the pre-Islamic period.

 

The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, used to fast on the day of \'Ashûrâ\' when he was in Mecca, however, he did not order people to fast it. When he arrived to Medina and found the people of the scripture fasting and glorifying it, he fasted and ordered people to fast it, as he used to go along with the people of the scripture where there is no specific text. In addition, he emphasized fasting it, and incited people to fasting it. Therefore, people even made their children fast this day.

 

It is reported in the two authentic books of Hadith that Ibn\' Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, arrived in Medina and found the Jews observing fast on the day of \'Ashûrâ\'. The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said to them, "What is the (significance) of this day that you observe fast on it?" They said, "It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Moses and his people, and drowned the Pharaoh and his people, therefore Moses observed fast out of gratitude and we also observe it."
Upon this the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, "We have more right, and we have a closer connection with Moses than you have." Consequently, the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, observed fast (on the day of Ashûrâ\'), and gave orders that it should be observed. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 

وفي الصحيحين عن ابن عباس قال: قدم رسول الله المدينة فوجد اليهود صياماً يوم عاشوراء، فقال لهم رسول الله: «ما هذا اليومُ الَّذي تصومونَهُ؟» فقالوا: هذا يومٌ عظيمٌ. أنجَى اللهُ فيه موسَى وقومَهُ. وغرَّقَ فرعونَ وقومَهُ. فصامَهُ موسَى شكرًا. فنحنُ نصومُهُ. فقال رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم: «فنحنُ أحقُّ وأوْلَى بموسَى منكمْ» فصامَهُ رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم . وأمرَ بصيامِهِ. [البخاري ومسلم واللفظ لمسلم]


It is also reported in the two authentic books of Hadith that Ar-Rubayyi\' bint Mu\'awwidh said, "The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has sent (a person) on the morning of Ashûrâ\' to the villages of Al-Ansar around Medina (with this message), "He who got up in the morning fasting (without eating anything) he should complete his fast, and he who had had his breakfast in the morning, he should complete the rest of the day (without food)." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 

وفي الصحيحين أيضاً عن الربيع بنت معوذ قالت: أَرسلَ رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ غداةَ عاشوراءَ إلى قُرى الأنصارِ، التي حولَ المدينة: «من كان أصبح صائمًا، فلْيُتمَّ صومَه. ومن كان أصبح مُفطِرًا، فلْيُتمَّ بقيةَ يومِهِ» [البخاري ومسلم واللفظ لمسلم]

 

We, henceforth, observed fast on this day and made our children observe that. We went to the mosque and made toys out of wool for them. When anyone felt hungry and wept for food, we gave them these toys until it was the time to break the fast. In another narration, "So, if they asked us for food, we gave them the toy to distract them to complete their fast."

 

When the fast of Ramadan was prescribed, the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, stopped ordering the companions to fast the day of \'Ashûrâ\' or urging them for it. It was reported in the two authentic books of Hadith that ibn \'Umar said, "The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, fasted the day of Ashûrâ and ordered that it be fasted. When Ramadan was made obligatory, he ceased to do that, (he ceased ordering the companions to fast it and kept it to their preference)." It was also reported in the two authentic books of Hadith that Muawiya said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, saying, \'This is the day of Ashûrâ\', and fasting it has not been prescribed for you. I am fasting it, and whoever of you wants to fast it can do so, and whoever does not want to, does not have to\'" [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].This is evidence about the abrogation of the obligation of fasting this day, and that it is left to preference.

 

وفي الصحيحين أيضاً عن معاوية قال: سَمِعْتُ رسولَ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم يقولُ : «هذا يومُ عاشوراءَ، ولم يُكتَبْ عليكم صيامُه، وأنا صائمٌ، فمَن شاء فليصُمْ ومَن شاء فليُفطِرْ» [البخاري ومسلم واللفظ للبخاري]


Among the virtues of the month of Allah of Al-Muharram, that fasting the day of Ashûrâ expiates the sins committed in the previous year. Imam Muslim reported in his authentic book of Hadith that Abu Qatadah narrated that a man asked the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, about observing fast on the day of Ashûrâ\'. He answered, "I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of Ashûrâ may atone for the sins of the preceding year" [Muslim].

 

«أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله» [مسلم]


O Muslim brother, O Muslim sister

 

The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, intended not to fast this day individually, rather, he wished to add another day for it to contradict the people of the scripture in fasting it. It is narrated in Sahîh Muslim that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said, "When the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, fasted on the day of \'Ashûrâ and commanded that it should he observed as a fast, they (his Companions) said, "O Messenger of Allah, it is a day which the Jews and Christians hold in high esteem." Thereupon the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, "When the next year comes, Allah willing, we would observe fast on the tenth." (i.e. accompanying the tenth in contradiction to the people of the scripture) Ibn Abbas added, "However, the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, died before the advent of the next year" [Muslim].

 

ففي صحيح مسلم عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: "حين صام رسول الله عاشوراء وأمر بصيامه، قالوا: يا رسول الله إنه يوم تعظمه اليهود والنصارى، فقال : «فإذا كان العام المقبل إن شاء الله صمنا التاسع» (أي مع العاشر مخالفةً لأهل الكتاب)، قال: "فلم يأت العام المقبل حتى توفى رسول الله" [مسلم]


Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his book Zad Al-Mi\'âd (2/76),
"The ranks of fasting are three. The most complete is fasting the day before it and the day after it. The following rank is fasting the ninth and the tenth; this is where most of the Hadith agree upon. The least of them is fasting the tenth alone."

 

The most cautious thing is to fast the tenth, the ninth, and the eleventh days to realize the fasting of Ashûrâ.

 

Some heresies and violations committed on this day

 

O Muslim brother, you should know that you are not allowed to perform any act that was not proven to be done by the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. Among the violations committed on this day: putting kohl, using the henna, performing total ablution, spending in abundance on the family, and making special food for this day. All the Hadiths narrated concerning the previous actions are fabricated and weak.

 

In addition, some people fall in the heresy of singling out this day with a certain invocation, not to mention what is known as the incantation of Ashûrâ. Furthermore, what the rafida (deserters: a sect of the Shiite) does on this day has no origin in Islam.
Celebrating the new Hijri year, making it an annual festival, and distributing presents and roses are among the heretical things.

 

The New Year and holding oneself to account

 

With the beginning of the new Hijri year, it is worthy of the Muslim to take a stance with himself, hold himself to account, quickly and thoroughly. Such a stance is a way of survival and guidance. The wise man is he who accuses himself and works for the time after death (the Hereafter). The discerning is the one who commits himself to the path of righteousness, the one who strains himself with the strains of Islam.

 

Man is not free from two conditions. If he is righteous, he will increase in righteousness. If he is heedless, he will remorse and turn to Allah in repentance. Allah Almighty says, {O you who believe! Fear Allâh and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow,} [Surat Al-Hashr: 18]

 

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ} [الحشر:18]

 

Transliteration: Yā \'Ayyuhā Al-Ladhīna \'Āmanū Attaqū Allāha Wa Ltanžur Nafsun Mā Qaddamat Lighadin

 

Ibn Kathir, in interpretation of this verse, said, "It means to hold yourselves to account before you are being held to account. Look into what you have provided for yourselves of the righteous deeds for the Day of Judgment, when you will be presented before your Lord."

 

Ibn Al-Qayyim Aj-Jawziyyah summed up the method of holding oneself to account. He said, "One should first hold himself to account about the obligations. If he remembers a shortcoming, he should make up for it, either by redoing or reforming them. Then, he holds himself to account about the forbidden. If he knows that he has committed any of them, he redresses this by repentance and asking Allah for forgiveness, as well as by performing the obliterating good deeds. After that, one should hold himself to account about the negligence. If he has overlooked what he has been created for, he redresses it by remembrances and embarking upon Allah."

 

Therefore, hasten, O Muslim brother, by the dawning of the New Year, to turn to Allah in repentance and embark on Him. Your sheet is spotless; nothing has been recorded on it yet. Beware of blackening it with sins and acts of disobedience. Furthermore, hold yourself to account before you are being held to account. Increase mentioning the remembrances of Allah, and asking Him for forgiveness. Be keen in observing the righteous company to guide you to righteousness.

 

May Allah make this year a year of good for Islam and the Muslims. May He prolong our lives in obeying Him, and in being away from disobedience. May He give us lofty dwellings in Paradise, underneath which rivers flow, to live therein forever. Prayers and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.

 

Dar Al-Qasim

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: PO Box 6373 Riyadh 11442
Tel: 4092000 / Fax: 4033150


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