Friday, 16 November 2012
The Significance of Muharram & 'Ashura
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from the teachings of Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.).
As mentioned before, ‘Ashura is historically significance. On this day: Allah (s.w.t.) Accepted the repentance of Adam (a.s.) after his exile from Paradise; He Saved Nuh (a.s.) and his ummah in the ark; He Made the fire into which Ibrahim (a.s.) was thrown by Namrud cool; He Spoke directly to Musa (a.s.) and Sent down the Torah. This was also the day Ayyub (a.s.) was Restored to health; Yusuf (a.s.) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (a.s.); Yunus (a.s.) was Taken out from the belly of the fish; the Red Sea was parted and the Banu Isra’il was Delivered from captivity and Fir’awn’s army was destroyed. This is also the day Dawud (a.s.) was Forgiven; the kingdom of Sulayman (a.s.) was Restored; ‘Isa (a.s.) and Idris (a.s.) were Raised to Jannah and al-Husayn (a.s.), grandson of the Prophet (s.a.w.) was martyred.
We should worship Allah (s.w.t.) as much as we can on ‘Ashura. Whosoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whosoever clothes a naked person, Allah (s.w.t.) Clothes him with His Mercy. He whosoever visits the sick, Allah (s.w.t.) will Grants him a reward that will never be decreased. Whosoever shows affection for the orphan, or feeds the hungry or gives water to the thirsty; Allah (s.w.t.) Feed him a feast from Paradise and Quench his thirst with Salsabil, the wine of Jannah does not intoxicate. And whosoever ever makes ghusl on this day enjoys excellent health and freedom from ill-health and laziness. Whosoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah (s.w.t.) Generous to him throughout this year. And whosoever applies kohl to his eyes will never suffer from eye infection again, insha’Allah.
It is recorded in Swahih Muslim that Mu`awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (r.a.) related, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (s.w.t.) say, ‘It is the day of ‘Ashura. Allah (s.w.t.) has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it.’”
It is also recorded in Swahih Muslim that Abu Qatadah (r.a.) related that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) observed ‘Ashura by fasting. He asked the Jews why they fasted on that day and they told him, “It is the day on which Allah drowned Fir’awn and rescued Musa, so we fast in it to give thanks to Allah Most High.”
The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied saying, “We have more of a right to Musa than you.” So, he fasted on that day and ordered the people to fast on that day. He also said near the end of his life, “By Allah, if I lived longer, I would fast on the 9th of Muharram.” That is, that he would fast on the 9th and the 10th.
Swahih Muslim recorded, from Abu Hurayrah (r.a.), the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “The best month to fast after Ramadhan is Muharram.”
Qays ibn ‘Abbad (r.a.) said, “To Allah Belongs the Command on the tenth night of every sacred month. As for the tenth of the month of sacrifice, that is the Day of Sacrifice. As for the tenth of Muharram, that is the day of ‘Ashura. As for the tenth of Rajab, in it: Allah doth Blot out or Confirm what He Pleaseth. and I forgot what he said about Dzu al-Qa’idah.” Regarding Rajab, he was quoting the following ayat:
Allah Doth Blot out or Confirm what He Pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book. (Surah ar-Ra’ad:39)
Shaykh Khalid az-Ziyat (r.a.) said, “It has reached us that on the first of Rajab, Nuh (a.s.) set sail in the ark and he fasted and ordered all those with him from jinn and mankind to do so saying, ‘Fast this day for verily whoever among you fasts it, will be brought far from the Fire the distance of one year's travel’; Nuh (a.s.) fasted in the Ark the months of Rajab, Sha`ban, Ramadhan, Shawwal, Dzu al-Qa`idah and Dzu al-Hijjah and ten days of Muharram. Then the ark came to rest on ‘Ashura and Nuh (a.s.) said to all those who were with him from jinn and humankind, ‘Fast this day.’"
The scholar, Shaykh az-Zamakhshari (r.a.) said, “It’s distinction among the sacred months is due to ‘Ashura. The best of the months for the voluntary fast is Muharram, then Rajab then the rest of the sacred months and then Sha`ban.”
It is related from ibn Mas’ud (r.a.), that he said, “It is incumbent upon the believer to intend spending Laylat al-Qadr in prayer from the very first night of the month of Muharram to the end of the year, so that he will most certainly chance upon it.”
Shah Baha’ ad-Din an-Naqshband (q.s.) is the imam of the Thariqa’ Naqshbandiyyah and the imam of the Golden Chain and the best of those who carried this lineage from the Khwajagan. He was born in the month of Muharram, in 717 AH / 1317 CE, in the village of Qaswr al-‘Arifan near Bukhara.
Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “I was the most tortured among all the prophets.” After that, were his children and grandchildren - they were killed and yet they never turned their backs. al-Husayn (r.a.) went forth. He had given a promise and against the advice of many, he went. When he arrived, his supporters held back, but he kept going. On that day, al-Husayn (r.a.) was martyred. When we fast that day, we remember al-Husayn (r.a.).