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The Fasting of Yaum-e-Ashurah To keep fast on the day of Ashurah is worthy of great reward. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to even fast on this day and He used to also command others to fast on this day. It is recorded in "Sahihain" from Hazrat Abu Moosa Ash'ari (radi Allahu anhu) that the Jews used to respect the day of Ashura and they also rejoiced on this day. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) commanded, "You too should fast in this day". In one Hadith of "Muslim", it is recorded that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, "On the day of Ashurah, the People of Khaibar keep fast, rejoice and dress their wives in good clothes and jewellery. O Muslims! You too should fast on this day."
Hazrat Qatadah (radi Allahu anhu) reports that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, "On the day of Ashurah I hope that through this (Ashurah) Almighty Allah will make it a means of Kafaara for past sins." (Mishkat Shareef, Pg. 179)
In the year 10 A.H., when the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was keeping the fast of Ashurah, the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (ridwaan nulahi ta'ala ajma'in) requested, "This is that day which is honoured by the Jews and Christians." The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, "If I am here next year, then I shall also fast on the 9th (of Muharram)." (Mishkat Shareef, Pg. 179) If is for this reason that we should not only fast on the tenth, but also on the ninth of Muharram-ul-Haraam
Important A'maal (practices) on Yaum-e-Ashurah
It is recorded in "Tafseer Roohul Bayaan" that the person who stays awake on the night of Ashurah gains the Sawaab of the Mala'ikah.
The Masha'ikh have stated that by making Ghusl on this day, the sicknesses for the entire year are washed away.
Shaami in "Kitaabus Saum" states that using surma on this day will not cause they eye to pain for the entire year.
Why is Kichra cooked during Aashurah?
It is in Shaami, "That person who cooks good food on the day of Ashurah, will Insha- Allah, gain Barkat from Almighty Allah in his home for the entire year." Commenting on this in "Tafseer Na'eemi", Hazrat Allama Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan (rahmatullah alaih) writes: "In our country Haleem (kichra) is cooked because it contain all types of grains and meat, through which we have hope that their will be barkat in the grain for the entire year. In certain narrations, it has been stated that the day on which the Ark of Hazrat Nooh (alaihis salaam) came onto land, the inhabitants of the Ark disembarked and gathered all types of grain and cooked it into Haleem (Kichra)."
Why is this day known as Ashurah ?
The conventional meaning of Ashura in the Shariah refers to the 10th of Muharram-ul-Haraam. In his distinguished book, "Ghuniyatut Taalibeen", Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam, Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (radi Allahu anhu) writes that the Ulema have a difference of opinion, as to why this day is known as Ashura. Since the reason has been explained in various ways, the consensus of the majority of the Ulema is that it is known as Ashurah because it is the 10th day of Muharram, while certain Ulema say that from the sacred days that Almighty Allah blessed the Ummat-e-Muhammadi with, this day is the 10th most important day, and it is for this reason that it is known as Ashurah. (Ghuniyatut Taalibeen, Pg. 428)
Significant Events concerning Ashurah
With the exception of the Martyrdom of Sayyiduna Imam-e-Hussain (radi Allahu anhu) there are also various other incidents which occurred on Yaum-e-Ashurah. It is also for those reasons that this day has received such excellence. In his internationally renowned Kitaab, "Nuzhatul Majaalis", Hazrat Sheikh Abdur Rahman Safoori (radi Allahu anhu) explains the following important events which took place on Yaum-e-Ashurah:
It was on this day that the Skies earth and the Lauw-e-Qalam came into existence.
It was on this day that Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam) and Hazrat Hawa were created.
Hazrat Adam's (alaihis salaam) Tauba was accepted.
Hazrat Nooh's (alaihis salaam) Ark came on land.
Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) received the status of Khaleelullah.
Hazrat Yaqub (alaihis salaam) met Hazrat Yusuf (alaihis salaam) after 40 years.
Hazrat Idrees (alaihis salaam) was raised into the skies.
Hazrat Ayub (alaihis salaam) regained his health.
Hazrat Yunus (alaihis salaam) was released from the stomach of the fish.
Hazrat Dawud's (alaihis salaam) Tauba was accepted.
Hazrat Sulaiman (alaihis salaam) received his Kingdom.
Hazrat Esa (alaihis salaam) was raised into the skies.
Hazrat Muhammad Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) made Nikah to Hazrat Bibi Khadija (radi Allahu anha).
It is on this day that Qiyamat will occur.
The Namaaz of Yaum-e-Ashurah
The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, "That person who performs four rakaats of Namaaz on the day of Ashurah in this way, that he reads the entire Sura Ikhlaas (Qulhuwal laa) 11 times after Sura Fatiha in every rakaat, then Almighty Allah will forgive fifty years of his sins, and he will blessed with a Mimbar (pulpit) of Noor." (Nuzhatul Majalis, Vol.1, Pg. 181)
Eve of 10th Muharram: That night, Sayyiduna Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) gathered his small band of 72 followers and requested them to leave his camp and seek refuge in a safe place. But, his dedicated followers refused to desert him. He then ordered that the tents be tied together and a trench be dug and filled with wood and set on fire when the battle begins. The Muslims spent the night in prayer.
Battle of Karbala: It was the morning of the 10th of Muharram 61 A.H. Sayyiduna Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu's) followers put on sweet scent, their best clothes and took leave and blessings from the womenfolk. The women were told that they were in the sole care of Almighty Allah and that they should patiently bear all the hardships and trials in store for them. They were not to mourn. The Muslims had gone without water or food for 3 days. They did not have a drop to drink. Nor did they partake in a morsel of food.
Sayyiduna Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu), sitting on his horse, addressed the army of Shimr appealing for their sense of justice and recognize the pious family that he was from. He said: "O People! Listen to me. Do not be rash. Let me admonish you. Let me say a few words in my justification and let me explain the reason of my arrival here. If my excuse is reasonable and if you can accept it, do justice in my case. You would be lucky if you desist from taking arms against me. After hearing me, and you refuse to agree with me, I will be ready for you. Whatever the outcome I repose confidence in Allah who supports righteous men."
Ibn Saad's army was ready for war. Hur realised this. He was undecided about which side to be. Finally he said: "By Allah, I have selected Jannah irrespective of the consequences. I do not care whether I am killed and my body is shred into pieces or I am burnt alive." Saying this, he joined the side of Sayyiduna Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu). Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) forgave Hur. He was eventually made Shaheed.
The battle began. The 17 year old, Hazrat Ali Akbar (radi Allahu anhu), whose looks resembled that of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), rushed towards the enemy. He fought bravely, beheading hundreds until he was made Shaheed by Marra bin Manqaz who plunged a spear through his back. Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) buried his son.
Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) then heard the 6 months old Hazrat Ali Asghar (radi Allahu anhu) crying for water. He took the child in his hands and appealed to the enemy to allow the child to drink some water. Instead, Hurmila bin Kaahil, took aim and shot an arrow that pierced the infants throat. Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) held up his son towards the sky and said: "O Allah, this is the only one Ali Asghar. If there were a hundred like him, I would sacrifice them all, one by one, in Your Path. If this is Your Will, then Husain is satisfied." He then buried Sayyiduna Ali Asghar (radi Allahu anhu) next to his elder brother, Sayyiduna Ali Akbar (radi Allahu anhu).
The small band of Muslims fought bravely and one by one were made Shaheed. Sayyiduna Jafer bin Aqeel, Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman bin Aqeel, Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Hasan, Sayyiduna Imam Hasanul Mussana, Sayyiduna Qasim bin Hasan, Sayyiduna Amr bin Hasan, Sayyiduna Abu Baqr bin Hasan, and others (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in) were made Shaheed.
Sayyiduna Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) fought bravely and killed 410 enemy soldiers. As he was about to drink water, an arrow struck his mouth. Then, arrows rained down upon him. An arrow was shot in his forehead, the place where Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) was kissed by Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Another arrow pierced his neck. He was wounded from head to foot and lay on the ground. It was time for Asar Salaah, so he said to his attackers: "Just give me a few minutes to finish my Asar Salaah as I have not yet missed a single Salaah in my life, and I do not want to appear before Almighty Allah without finishing my Salaah. After that you may do as you please."
While in Sajdah, Sinan bin Anas struck off Sayyiduna Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu's) blessed head. He was only 56 years old. His body had sustained 33 spear wounds, 24 sword wounds and countless arrows. His blessed head was then carried to Yazid in Damascus accompanied by the women and children.
After Karbala: The news of the Shahaadah of Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) shocked the Muslim world. Madinatul Munawwarah revolted against Yazid, but the inhabitants and remaining Sahaba were massacred. For 3 days, the Umayyad soldiers brought destruction to Madinatul Munawwarah and even attacked the Holy Kaaba.
Lessons of Karbala: The Shahaadah of Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) at Karbala provided a moral victory of virtue over vice. It was a triumph of good over evil. It continues to serve as a beacon light for all strugglers of truth and righteousness. Sayyiduna Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) fought to establish the laws of Almighty Allah on earth and not to submit to the corrupt government of Yazid which brought about un-Islamic practises. Karbala teaches us to endure hardships and remain calm in the face of the most difficult trials. A poet once said: "The martyrdom of (Imam) Husain actually means the death of Yazid, as every such karbala leads to the revival of Islam."
Introduction: Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) was born on the 4 A.H. in Madinatul Munawwarah. His mother, Hazrat Bibi Fathima
radi Allahu anha) was the favourite daughter of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and his father, Hazrat Ali Murtuza (radi Allahu anhu) was one of the most talented and outstanding personalities of early Islam. Brought up by this ideal couple under the fostering care of the Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) soon distinguished himself as a promising scholar, warrior and Saint. The ideal training which he received from his parents and maternal grandfather made him one of the noblest sons of Islam. Even in his early teens, he was noted for his piety, nobility, chivalry and scholarship.
The two brothers, Imam Hassan and Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhuma) commanded great respect of all classes of Muslims for their sterling traits. They were shown great consideration even by the successive Khulafaa of Islam. It was during the Caliphate of their father, Hazrat Ali (radi Allahu anhu), that trouble arose which led to the division of the Muslim Caliphate into two - one led by Hazrat Ali and the other by Hazrat Ameer Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhuma). After the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Imam Hasan, who succeeded his father, abdicated in favour of Hazrat Ameer Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhuma) in the larger interest of Islam. He was soon poisoned to death.
Government under Yazid: Hazrat Ameer Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhu) nominated his son, Yazid, as his successor. Yazid ascended the throne of Damascus in April 683 A.C. He was a tyrant who revelled in vicious pleasures of life. Yazid did not follow the examples of the four rightly guided Khulafaa. Yazid was an alcoholic, indulged in fornication, used to ignore the Fard Salaah and made interest common. He also married women with whom Nikah (Marriage) was not permitted according to the Holy Quran. He also carried dogs on his lap and did not care about Tahaarah (Cleanliness). Yazid spent of his time hunting and did not care much about the administrative responsibilities of the Islamic State. He hated and took delight in persecuting Muslim divines.
Yazid tried to obtain the allegiance of four notable Muslims, including Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu), through force and intrigue. But Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu), who had inherited the virtuous and chivalrous disposition of his father, was not a man to be won over by force or favour. He remained adamant and refused to acknowledge such a vicious and dissolute person as the Caliph, who was supposed to be the spiritual as well as the political head of the Islamic world.
Support from Kufa: Immediately after the accession, Yazid ordered Waleed ibn Utaba, the Governor of Madinatul Munawwarah, to force Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) for the oath of fealty to him. Meanwhile, Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) received messages from the citizens of Kufa imploring him to free them from the tyrannical Ummayad Rule. He received hundreds of such letters from the residents of Kufa offering him their allegiance. The kind-hearted and virtuous Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) considered it his duty to respond to the call of the oppressed. He sent his cousin, Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel (radi Allahu anhu) as his emissary to Kufa. Thousands of Kufis rushed to swear fealty to Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) on the hands of Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel (radi Allahu anhu). The report sent by the Muslims of Kufa were highly heartening. He invited Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) to come to Kufa.
March to Kufa: But the Kufis were soon won over through force and favour and turned their backs on Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel (radi Allahu anhu), the emissary of Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu). He was made Shaheed by the Kufis. In the meantime, Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu), along with his family members, relations and companions left for Kufa. When he approached the borders of Iraq, he was surprised at the absence of the promised Kufi soldiers. A few stages from his destination, he learned of the tragic end of his emissary.
March to Karbala: He was then confronted by a strong detachment of the Umayyad army under the command of Hur, who, under the orders of Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, forced Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) and his party to march towards Karbala, a place about 25 miles north-east of Kufa.
The small band of 72 souls, which included respectable ladies, men and children, encamped on the western bank of the Euphrates at Karbala surrounded by a powerful Umayyah army of 4 000 soldiers commanded by Amr bin Saad. A showdown seemed imminent as Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) was determined to shed the last drop of his blood for the sake of truth and righteousness.
Now started a period of trials and tribulations for the descendants of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). For days the vicious army of Ibn Saad surrounded their tents cutting off their water supply with a view to reducing them to hunger and thirst, thus forcing them to surrender. For four days commencing from the 7th to the 10th of Muharram, not a drop of water entered the mouth of Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) and his companions. Faced with the dire catastrophe which would have made the stoutest heart shudder and the strongest feet to shudder, Hazrat Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) and his companions did not wince at all.