Observing Sawm on `Aashooraa’ and acting differently from the People of the Book

Question: It is narrated in a Hadeeth that When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to Madeenah, he found the Jews observing Sawm (Fast) on `Aashooraa’ (10th of Muharram). So, he observed Sawm during it and ordered that Sawm should be observed in it. How can this be reconciled with his order to act differently from the way of People of the Book in many matters?

Answer: Upon arriving in Madeenah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to act like the People of the Book in matters where there was no revelation. Then, Allaah legislated for him to act differently from the way of the People of the Book… read more here.

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Should the 9th and 10th, and 11th of Muharram, or all these three days be fasted upon the occasion of `Aashooraa’ ?

Question: Should the ninth and tenth, the tenth and eleventh of Muharram, or all these three days be fasted upon the occasion of `Aashuraa’ (10th of Muharram)?

Answer: Fasting on the Day of `Aashooraa’ is a stressed Sunnah (acts, sayings or approvals of the Prophet). It is best to fast on the previous or the following day after it according to the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in order not to coincide with the practice of the Jews. If fast is observed on the three days, this would be more perfect, according to Ibn Al-Qayyim’s Zaad Al-Ma`aad… read more here.

The story and truth of the Day of `Aashooraa’

Question: What is the story and truth of the Day of `Aashooraa’ (10th of Muharram)?

Answer: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived in Al-Madeenah after his Hijrah (the Prophet’s migration to Al-Madeenah), he found the Jews observing Sawm (Fast) of the Day of `Aashooraa’… read more here.

Sacrificing an animal on the 10th of Muharram

Question 10: What is the ruling on sacrificing an animal at a specific date and time every year? Many people believe that slaughtering on the 27th of Rajab, 6th of Safar, 15th of Shawwal and 10th of Muharram draw them close to Allaah and is an act of ‘Ibaadah (worship). Are these acts valid? Are they acts of Sunnah or Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion) that contradicts Islaam and its doer will not be rewarded for them?

Answer: All acts of ‘Ibaadah that draw a Muslim close to Allaah are Tawqeefee (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion). There is no textual proof from the Qur’aan or the authentic Sunnah that dictate a particular sacrifice on the mentioned days of these months. The Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet – may Allaah be pleased with them) did not do so either and therefore, this is Bidd‘ah. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. (Related by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)... read more here.

Sawm (fast) on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’

Question 5: What is obligatory for a Muslim to do on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’ (10th of Muharram)? Should they pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on that day?

Answer: It is prescribed for a Muslim to observe Sawm (Fasting) on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’, as it was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered his Sahaabah (Companions) to observe Sawm on that day. However, when the Sawm of Ramadaan was enjoined, it became permissible either to fast or not to fast on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’. No Zakaat-ul-Fitr is to be paid on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’ as due on ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) after the month of Ramadaan read more here.

Hadeeth: “Anyone who bathes on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’ will not be sick during that whole year”

Question 4: Hadeeth – “Anyone who bathes on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’ will not be sick during that whole year.”

Answer: All the Hadeeths mentioned in respect of bathing on the Day of ‘Ashooraa’ (10th of Muharram), wearing Kuhl (antimony powder eyeliner), dying (with Henna), in addition to other acts observed by Ahl-ul-Sunnah (those adhering to the Sunnah) in opposition to the Shiites are Mawdoo‘ (fabricated Hadeeth) except for those mentioned about Sawm (Fast).

Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah be merciful to him) mentioned in “Al-Fataawaa” Volume (4) page (513) what reads: (Some people among those who claim themselves as followers of the Sunnah narrated many Hadeeth Mawdoo‘ on which they based what they made as a slogan for them on that day – meaning the day of ‘Ashooraa’ – with which they also contradicted with those people – meaning Al-Raafidah (a Shiitic group). Therefore, they confronted a void act with another void act, and refuted a Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion) by introducing another. Nevertheless, there was one which was indeed more grievous and supportive of the atheists than the other – he meant the Bidd‘ah of Al-Raafidah – such as the long Hadeeth that reads read more here.

Being generous to one’s family with regard to food on the 10th of Muharram

Question 216: On the 10th of Muharram, some people prepare a lot of food for their families and Khateebs (preachers) constantly clarify the religious and worldly virtues of this day.What is the ruling on this? Some people also say that from experience preparing a lot of food on this day leads to blessing in their money.

Answer: What is valid is to fast during the 10th of Muharram, together with the 9th or 11th. If a Khateeb (preacher) or a tutor encourages people to do this and clarifies the virtue of it (the day), this is definitely good. Whereas preparing food for one’s family on this day with the intention of being a stipulation of Sharee`ah, is Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). All the Hadeeths mentioned with regard to the virtue of preparing food for one’s family on this day are not authentic... read more here.

Slaughtering sacrifices at the Shrines of Awliya’ (pious people)

Question 30: Some people have developed an annual tradition on the Day of ‘Aashoora’ (10th of Muharram) of slaughtering over forty sheep and ewes and over ten cows at the shrines of the so-called Awliya’ (pious people). Some ignorant Muslims, who have poor knowledge of the Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law), would gather there and recite the Qur’aan by these graves, claiming that they recite the Qur’aan as a supplication for the dead. They then eat the sacrificed animals. We ask Your Eminence to clarify the legal opinion on this issue supported by proofs from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

Answer: First, What you have mentioned in regard to slaughtering sacrifices at the shrines of Awliya’ is considered Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship). Anyone who does so is cursed. This is because… read more here.