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Thursday, January 08, 2009

MAY YOUR ASHURA NIGHT BE BLESSED

ASHURA NIGHT
The tenth night of Muharram. Muharram is one of the four months esteemed in the Qur’an. Ashura is the most valuable night of the month. Allahu ta’ala has accepted many prayers on Ashura Day. Acceptance of Hadrat [1] Adam’s repentance; Hadrat Nuh’s (Noah’s) ship’s being rescued from the Flood, Hadrat Yunus’ getting out of the fish’s stomach; Hadrat Ibrahim’s not burning in Nimrod’s fire; Hadrat Idris’ being made to ascend to heavens; Hadrat Ya’qub’s finding his son Yusuf and healing of the cataract on his eyes; Hadrat Yusuf’s getting out of the well; Hadrat Ayyub’s recovering health; Hadrat Musa’s (Moses) passing over the Nile and Pharaoh’s being drowned; Hadrat Isa’s birth and his escaping from being killed by Jews and his ascent to heaven alive; all these happened on the Ashura Day. It is not an act of worship for Muslims to cook (the sweet desert called) ashura on the tenth of Muharram because Hadrat Nuh (Noah) cooked a sweet called ashura on board the ship. Hadrat Muhammad and the Sahaba [2] did not do so. It is a bid’at [3], a sin to think that it is an act of worship to cook ashura on that day. It is worship to do what Hadrat Muhammad did and commanded. It will not bring thawab (reward) to do things that are not written in books of the din (religion) or taught by savants of the din. It is sinful. It is sunnat [4], and worship, to prepare any sweet or to give feasts to acquaintances and alms to the poor on that day. Ibni Abidin writes on the two hundred and seventy-sixth page of the fifth volume, “It is a sunnat to put kohl on the eyelashes. But it is haram (prohibited) to do this only on Ashura Day.”

It is bid’at to mourn and lament because Hadrat Husain ‘radiyallahu anh’ was martyred on that day. It is sinful. Mourning on Ashura Day is a custom of the Shi’is. They mourn for Hadrat Husain. Because he was Hadrat Ali’s son, they praise him adoringly. But we the Ahl as-sunnat [5] love him very much because he was Rasulullah’s grandson. There is no mourning in Islam. Muslims do not mourn only on Ashura Day. But they always become sad whenever they remember the tragedy of Karbalaa. They grieve deeply. They weep bitterly. If there were mourning in Islam, we would have done it not on Ashura Day but on the day when Rasulullah’s blessed feet bled all over in Taif, or when his blessed tooth was broken and his blessed face bled at Uhud or when he passed away.

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GLOSSARY
[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] Sahaba: if a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabi. Plural form of Sahabi is Sahaba or As’hab.
[3] bid’at: (pl. bida’) heresy; false, disliked belief or practice that did not exist in the four sources of Islam but which has been introduced later as an Islamic belief or ‘ibada in expectation of thawab (blessings) ; heresy.
[4] sunnat: act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta’ala, done and liked by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam) as an ‘ibada
[5] Ahl as-Sunna (wa’l-Jama’a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.

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