WEEKLY SERMON: The Virtues Of Fasting The Days Of Tasu’ah And Ashurah In Islam, By Imam Murtadha Gusau


Tuesday, Al-Muharram 8, 1440 AH (18/09/2018)

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him diligently till the Day of Judgement.

Dear Servants of Allah! The fast of Tasu’ah and Ashurah is tomorrow Wednesday, September 19, 2018 and next tomorrow Thursday, September 20, 2018, which are equivalent to 9th and 10th Muharram 1440 AH, In Shaa Allah.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Abu Qatadah (RA) narrated that the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked about Ashurah and he responded:

“It expiates for the previous year.” [Muslim]

Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“I never saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him) seeking to fast a day,  giving it preference over another, except this day, the day of Ashurah, and this month, meaning the month of Ramadan.” [Bukhari]

It Is the Day Allah Saved Prophet Musa. Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) came to Madinah and saw the  Jews fasting on the day of Ashurah. He asked, ‘What is this?’ They  responded, ‘This is a virtuous day, as this is the day when Allah  saved the Children of Isra’il from their enemy. Thus, Musa fasted on  this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Musa than you.” So he  fasted on this day and ordered the [people] to fast.” [Bukhari]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not begin to fast the day of  Ashurah, imitating the People of the Book as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would fast it prior to his arrival in Madinah (Sahih Muslim). There comes in the narration in Sahih Muslim:

“This is a great day in which Allah saved Musa and his people and  drowned Fir’awn (Pharaoh) and his people.”

* Its Ruling

Imam al-Nawawi stated:

“The scholars unanimously agree that fasting the day of Ashurah is  a Sunnah and not an obligation.” [Sharh Muslim, vol. 8, page 4]

* It Is the 10th of Muharram

The majority of scholars hold that Ashurah is on the 10th of  Muharram. Imam Al-Qurtubi mentioned that the word Ashurah is  derived from Ashirah (the tenth). This position is supported by the Hadith of Ibn Abbas (RA) who said:

“When the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) fasted on Ashurah and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O  Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), it is a day that is  venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said, ‘If I live to see next year – if Allah wills –  we will also fast on the ninth day.’ However, it occurred that the  Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) passed away before the  next year came.” [Muslim]

* The Three Ways To Fast Ashurah

“There are three levels of fasting Ashurah. The most complete is to  fast a day before it and a day after it. After this is to fast the 9th and  the 10th, and the majority of Hadiths [are found to support this]. Lastly, to fast the 10th by itself.” [Ibn al-Qayyim, in Zaad al-Ma’ad]

Imam Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) mentioned in al-Fath that:

“Fasting Ashurah is of three levels: The lowest is to fast it alone. Above this is to fast the 9th along with it. Above that is to fast the  9th and the 11th along with it.”

* Fasting Ashurah If It Coincides With Saturday

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Do not fast on Saturday except for what Allah has made obligatory  upon you. If one of you does not find anything but the peel of a  grape or the twig of a tree, then let him chew on it.”

Imam Al-Tirmidhi said:

As for the Hadith collected by Ibn Khuzaimah where it is narrated  that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Fast the day of Ashurah;  and oppose the Jews. Fast the day before it or the day after it,” then  Shaykh Albani declared this Hadith to be weak due to the narrator  Ibn Abu Lailah, who is weak, and also the fact that he was opposed  by Atah and others who narrated it from Ibn Abbas in the Mawquf  form (which is a narration from a Companion). It is authentically transmitted from Ibn Abbas that he said concerning Ashurah: “Oppose the Jews and fast the ninth and the tenth.” [Collected by  Abdul-Razzaq in al-Muṣannaf, Tirmidhi and others. Shaykh Albani  declared this Hadith to be sound] A number of the scholars of Hadith held this narration to be odd [Shadh] and inconsistent [Mudtarib]; this was the stance of Shaykh Ibn Baz and others from this time. Even if it is assumed the Hadith is sound, then it is understood in light of the other narrations; and  the understanding of the Salaf has precedence. This Hadith is sound (Hasan). The meaning of the dislike here is for  a man to single out Saturday with the Fast, because the Jews revere Saturday.”

From the proofs that support the stance of Imam al-Tirmidhi is the Hadith where the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“None of you should fast Friday unless [he fasts] a day before it or  after it.”

When Saturday coincides with the legislated fasts like the three  white days (Ayyamul Bid) of the month [the 13th, 14th and 15th], the  day of Arafah, the day of Ashurah, the six days of Shawal for the  person who has fasted the month of Ramadan, and the nine days  of Dhul Hijjah, then it is allowed [to fast on this day]. This is because  they did not fast it due to it being Saturday, but because it is from  the days that it is legislated to fast.

* Some Innovations (Bid’ah) Practiced On Ashurah

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) was asked about  things that people do on the day of Ashurah like wearing kohl,  bathing (ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands, cooking special  dishes prepared from grains, mourning, wearing black clothes, and displaying delight and the like of these things in the street. Is any of this transmitted in an authentic Hadith from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) or not? Is there any basis for what is practiced by the  other sect such as [their manifestation of] grief, wailing and  bawling, induced thirst, reciting in a possessed fashion and tearing the pockets [from the garments]? He (rahimahullah) replied:

“All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. There is not an  authentic Hadith concerning any of these things from the Prophet  nor from his Companions; and none of the Imams of the Muslims  recommended these things, not the four Imams nor other than  them. None of the scholars who compiled the classical books [of  narrations] narrated anything related to this, not from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) nor from the Companions nor from their students. They did not narrate anything concerning this, not an  authentic narration nor a weak narration; not in the authentic  collections nor the Sunan nor the Musnads. None of these Hadiths were known throughout the praiseworthy generations. However,  some of the later generations narrated (weak and unauthentic) Hadiths like, ‘Whoever wears  kohl on their eyes on the day of Ashurah will not suffer from an eye  ailment that year,’ and ‘Whoever bathes (ghusl) on the day of Ashurah will not get sick that year,’ and the like of  this…” [Majmuʿ al-Fatawa]

Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Might above what they describe. And peace be upon those sent. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

How perfect You are O Allah, and I praise You. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.

Wassalamu Alaikum

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, writes from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.


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