بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Historical Significance of ‘Ashura
Alhamdulillah, all praises to Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) who has blessed us to see another year. We are now in the month of God, al-Muharram, in which fasting is more beloved to God than any days other than Ramadan. In this holy month is an excellent day—the day of ‘Ashura—which falls on the 10th of Muharram. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) recommended that we fast on this day, by his Sunnah. He also indicated how we should observe the fast of ‘Ashura.
The following hadith shows the importance of this day:
Abu Qatada (Radi’Allahu Anh) relates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]
Abu Huraira (Radiyallahu ‘anh) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said that after Ramadan, the fasts of Muharram have the greatest excellence. [Sahih Muslim]
Hakam ibn Al-Arat (Radi’Allahu Anh) relates: I went to Ibn Abbas (Radi’Allahu Anh)… I said to him: Tell me about fasting on ‘Ashura. He said, “When you seen the new moon of Muharram count the (days) and (begin to) observe fast on the 9th.” I said to him: “Is it how the Holy Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) observed the fast?” He said, “Yes.” [Sahih Muslim]
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Radi’Allahu Anh) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) arrived in Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura… They said: “It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Hazrat Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Sayyidina Musa (Alaihis-Salaam) observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it.” The Holy Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) responded: “We have more right, and we have closer connection with Sayyidina Musa (Alaihis-Salaam) than you have”; so Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
The following is taken from Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq
Written by Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (Radi’Allahu Anh):
‘Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day: Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) repentance of Sayyidina Adam (Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise; Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh (Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy); Sayyidina Yusuf (Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (Alaihis-Salaam); Sayyidina Yunus (Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of israel was delivered from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day when Sayyidina Dawud (Alaihis-Salaam) was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored; Sayyidina Isa (Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah and Sayyidina al-Husayn (Radi’Allahu Anh) (the Holy Prophet’s, Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.
Worship Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) as much as you can on ‘Ashura. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) will grant him a reward that will not be decreased. Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person or gives water to a thirsty man, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And who ever takes a Ghusl on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and indolence. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’ala) will be generous to him throughout this year. And whoever applies Kuhl to his eyes will never suffer from eye-sore again, Insha’Allah.
Dua of ‘Ashura (Muharram)
General prayer of Sayyidina Ali bin Abu Talib (Radi’Allahu Anh):
Oh Allah! Forgive me my sins of which you are more aware than me. And if I commit these sins again, even then forgive me. Whatever promises I had made with myself to follow your commands have not been fulfilled. I seek your forbearance. If I have sought your proximity with my tongue, but my heart did not keep pace with my tongue, overlook my lapse. O God, forgive me for my futile talk, vain desires and lapses of the tongue.