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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The 10th of Muharram: A Right to Celebrate Musa's (AS) Victory

According to Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 202 - Narrated Ibn Abbas: When the Prophet arrived at Medina, the Jews were observing the fast on 'Ashura' (10th of Muharram) and they said, "This is the day when Moses became victorious over Pharaoh," On that, the Prophet said to his companions, "You (Muslims) have more right to celebrate Moses' victory than they have, so observe the fast on this day.

My new year also brought a new move...literally.  For various reasons much of my extended family is under one roof and it appears, so far, to be very beneficial to everyone.  I think one of the greatest blessings has been the congregational prayer. 
"Offering the prayer in congregation carries 27 times greater reward than offering it alone individually." (Bukhari, Muslim)
With the new year, new move, new level of Taqwa (G-d Consciousness), Allah has blessed me to experience another Islamic new year.  (I know, I'm a little late.)   The Month of Muharram this year began on Monday, December 29th, 2008 as per a local moonsighting in various parts of North America.  As such, the day of 'Ashura, the 10th of Muharram, will be this Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 inshallah.

What's so special about the 10th of Muharram you ask? (Go ahead....ask....)

Well, I'm glad you asked. I have a wealth of information, but I would first like to express why this Day of Ashoora is special to me.

Well to put it very very simple....this day is special to me because it was special to the Prophet Muhammad (saw), Prophet Musa (AS), Prophet Nuh (AS), and Al-Husayn (RA) among many others.

But even more than this we should look at why the Prophet (saw) commanded us to observe the fast upon seeing the Jews fasting.  The Prophet said to his companions, "You (Muslims) have more right to celebrate Moses' victory than they have, so observe the fast on this day.

Why do we have more right to celebrate Moses's victory?

Let's look at the history.  The tenth day of this month is a day in which an incident took place between the Pharaoh and his followers and the followers of the Prophet Moses.  This incident ended in a way in which the faith and perseverance of man won over the pain of life and influence of shaytan.  The believers, during the time of the Pharoah, lived through many challenges and difficulties during which they were ordered to be patient and to seek refuge with Allah in order to overcome the difficulties.

10:84 And Moses said: "O my people! If you believe in God, place your trust in Him -if you have [truly] surrendered yourselves unto Him!"

Through patience and trust in Allah, Prophet Musa (AS) was able to lead the argumentative Jews into a better life.  It is important to note that Prophet Moses represents the establishment of social order.  When the Prophet Muhammad (saw) arrived in Medina, he began to perfect that social order.  I believe this is why the Muslims have more right and responsibility to observe the victory of Moses.  The Muslims connection to the victory of the Prophet Musa and his followers is greater than an inherited history.  Prophet Muhammad (saw) is a mercy to all worlds and peoples because he brought the BEST GUIDANCE in the Qur'an and he PERFECTED the life of the human being giving us the best example to follow among man.

The followers of Muhammad the Prophet have more of a right to observe the victory of Prophet Musa because the rightly-guided Muslims are the result AND completion of that victory. (Surely, Allah knows Best.)

3:110 Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.

During this day of Ashura, time and time again the victorious have been those believers who put their full trust and patience with Allah.  

This day is special to me because I am empowered by the stand that Muslims have taken for truth and justice even in the face of oppression or death.  Imam Dawud Walid noted, "truth should never give allegiance to falsehood, and the just should be diametrically opposed to the unjust."  This has been the stand of those believers and I feel compelled to live up to this creed as I fast on this day of Ahura.

I have provided some info on this day below:

Ibn Abbas reported: "The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting the day of Ashura. He asked them: "Why are you fasting this day?" They said: "This is a great day. Allah saved Mousa (Moses) and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore Mousa fasted on it. "The Prophet said: "We have more of a right to Mousa than you." So he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day." [al-Bukhari and Muslim].

A version narrated by Imaam Ahmad adds: “This is the day on which the Ark settled on Mount Joodi, so Nooh fasted this day in thanksgiving.”

Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (RA) said: “When the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) fasted on ‘Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said, ‘If I live to see the next year, InshaAllaah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) passed away before the next year came.” (Reported by Muslim, 1916).

Al-Shafi and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: “It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet (SAW) fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth.”
Furthermore, Rasoolillah (SAW) said: “For fasting the day of ‘Aashooraa’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” (Reported by Muslim, 1976).

Imaam al-Nawawi (rh) said regarding this day: “It expiates for all minor sins, i.e., it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins


Anonymous said...

Ashura (10th) represents coming into consciousness.

We have to be conscious of the constant spiritual battle that we are engaged in. The resolute soliders in this battle are few.

Also if you look connects, it is narrated that there were 72 people on the Ark of Noah and 72 people were martyred at Karbala with Al-Husayn (RA).

إنما مثل أهل بيتي فيكم مثل سفينة نوح من دخلها نجا ومن تخلف عنها هلك

In Tafseer Ibn Katheer, there is a hadeeth that is narrated in several books that says "The similarity of my Ahlul Bayt with you is like Noah's Ark. Whomever enters it will be saved, but whomwever leaves it will perish."

In many Muslim lands, the martyred of Al-Husayn (RA) is downplayed by many scholars(لا خير فيها) or dismissed as a rememberance for Shi'i exxagerators (and there is a lot of ghuloo among some of them regarding self flagellation and cutting the head). But these scholars who are on the pay rolls of governments or are fearful of governments downplay the connection between the prophets and Al-Husayn (RA) because they want to subdue the Muslims from challenging their oppressive regimes!

This is why the spirit of Al-Husayn (RA) needs to be resurrected among the mainstream Muslims especially in the Muslim world.

As Min Farrakhan told a Shi'i majority audience in Dearborn, MI about 5 years ago relating it to how so many Muslims in America are scared to practice all of their Islam and hide it among White folks, "Imam Husayn wasn't a sissy!" :)

thelegacymaker said...

Thank you for your insightful comments Bro. Dawud. I must admit, I used to pass off the martyrdom of Al-Husayn (RA) as a "Shi'a Thing" until I read your piece. ALL Muslims can take a very important lesson from this time in history. I wish I had the courage to die for what is right. I'd like to say I do...but I pray Allah strengths my faith so that I fear Him more than death. I admire those who have that courage.

Khadijah said...

Marcus THANKS so much! for this website its so informative and coming from a family where we are the first muslim children as my parents converted to Islam when they met right b4 they got married. I find myself doing alot of my own research and sharing information with my family. My parents divorced when I was young and growing up my mom worked 3 jobs so I didn't see her that much. I guess when my mom divorced him he divorced his responsibilities. Anyways I told Jamil that I learned how to say the Adhan and Iqamah through the internet and I have books to teach me my prayers and surahs as I wasn't as fortunate as him to remain in a muslim school I left when I was 8 (single mom 6 kids she had to pull us out of private school). Basically, I pray the Allah blesses you and yours. Its funny how people don't even realize the smallest things that they do that means so MUCH to others. You have no idea how far your blogs go as I love to talk believe me your voice is being heard : ) I'm going to forward this 2 my mom now. Thanks Again! and give Zahara the greeting 4 me haven't heard from her in a minute!

thelegacymaker said...


Alhamdulillah, You are way too kind. Thank you so much for the words of encouragement...I really appreciate it. I'm glad you actually take the time out to read my rambles. May Allah continue to guide both of us in knowledge of this beautiful way of life.

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