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Ashura, the 10th of Muharram

The Splitting of the Sea. Ashura, the 10th of Muharram
We have entered the blessed month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar and of the sacred months.

The 10th of Muharram, commonly referred to as Ashura', is also a very blessed day for our Prophets.

We typically know of Ashura as the day, Allah (swt) saved Prophet Musa (as) and his people from the wretchedness of the Pharoah.

Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Prophet (s) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora. He said: “What is this?” They said: This is a good day; it is the day on which Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy, so Musa fasted on this day. He said: “We have more right to Musa than you.” So he fasted on this day and issued instructions that a fast was to be observed on this day. [Bukhari]

It is highly recommended to fast on the 10th of Muharram (8/8 this year) and many scholars view it as obligatory to fast either the day before or the day after as it is narrated that, before his passing, the Prophet (s) said: "if I live to see the next year, we will fast on the 9th day too" [Muslim].

This day is not only seen as blessed because of the saving of Prophet Musa (as) but it is also noted as a blessed day throughout all of human history. In Mukashafat AlQuloob (مكاشفة القلوب), Imam Alghazali highlights many of the blessings that happened on this day:

  • Allah (swt) created the skies and earth on this day, along with the Preserved Tablet
  • Allah (swt) created Adam (as), as well as Hawwa (as)
  • Allah (swt) enabled Adam (as) to live in Jannah
  • Adam's (as) repentence was accepted on this day
  • The first rain to fall on earth was on ’Ashura
  • Ibrahim (as) was saved from the fire he was thrown in
  • Ayyub's (as) hardship was lifted, and he was cured

SubhanAllah, even the pre-Islamic Arabs recognized this day as significant and would change the covering of the Ka'aba on Ashura as is narrated by Aisha (ra) [Muslim].

Unfortunately, we can't mention Ashura without also mentioning a tragic event in Muslim history. Years after the passing of our Prophet (s), Imam AlHusayn, one of the beloved grandsons of the Prophet (s), along with several other family members and followers were viciously attacked and martyred on the 10th of Muharram.

For AlHusayn and those with him - they attained martyrdom and there is no better end. For the rest of the ummah, it was a catastrophe and one of the biggest fitan (hardships) we have faced as Ibn Taymiyyah called it [مجموع الفتوى].

When experiencing and/or remembering hardship, it is recommended to say:

انا لله وانا اليه راجعون
Indeed, to Allah (swt) we belong, and to Him we return. [Muslim]

So as this day approaches remember the entire ummah in your prayers! Don't forget ALMAZ!

We ask Allah (swt) to make us firm in faith and steadfastness like the Prophets, we ask Allah (swt) to allow us the strength to stand up for justice like AlHusain, and we ask Allah (swt) to make us all champions of this faith; those that Allah (swt) has given honor to through Islam. Ameen!

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