Lessons of Ashura
The tenth of Muharram is known as the day of Aashura. This is a very auspicious day in the Islamic calendar. Prior to the fast of Ramadhaanbecoming compulsory, fasting on the day of Aashura was fardh (obligatory). After the fast of Ramadhaan became compulsory, fasting on the day of Aashurawas optional. Nevertheless, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) punctually kept the fast of Aashura and encouraged others to do the same. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “The fast of Aashura compensates for the (minor) sins of the past year” (Tirmizi).
“OPPOSE THE JEWS”
While reaping the virtues of fasting on the day of Aashura, an important lesson is emphasised by means of this fast. This is the lesson of firmly maintaining one’s Islamic identity at all times, totally refraining from imitating thekuffaar (disbelievers) and even avoiding any resemblance with them as far as possible. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was informed that the Jews also fast on the tenth of Muharram, he instructed theSahaaba (R.A.) thus: “Fast on the ninth and tenth, thereby opposing the Jews” (Tirmizi). It is obvious that theSahaaba (R.A.) were not observing the fast of Aashura in order to imitate the Jews. It was a sheer coincidence that the Jews also were found to be observing this fast. Nevertheless, since this unintentional resemblance was avoidable by keeping an additional fast together with the tenth, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked theSahaaba (R.A.) to fast on the ninth as well. Therefore one should not fast only on the tenth as due to the resemblance with the Jews, this will be makrooh tanzihi (a disliked act).
THE CURSE OF ALLAH TA’ALA
Imitating the kuffaar can occur in any and every aspect of life. However, the most obvious and apparent is in the aspect of appearance and dressing. The aspect of appearance and dressing is not a trivial matter. The banning of Muslim girls in some countries from wearing scarves to school speaks volumes of the fact that Islamic dressing and appearance have a great impact on others. Hence they wish to ban the visible identity of Muslims.
Thus when the dressing and appearance taught by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is not adhered to, and the kuffaar are imitated, at times it becomes difficult or even impossible to distinguish a Muslim from a Jew, Christian or an atheist. One would not even venture to make salaam since one would not know whether the person is Yusuf or some John, Fathima or some Jane.
LOVE TO RESEMBLE RASULULLAH (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
WHO DO WE RESEMBLE?
TEACHER AND CLOWN
Thus while observing the fast of Aashura, let us take this important lesson and totally shun imitating the Jews and Christians. Let us adhere to resembling Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the Sahaaba (R.A.) and pious people of the Ummah. In this lies our success of this world and the Hereafter.