" The Day of Ashura "
What is the message of Ashura? I wanted a quick summary, please?
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
First of all, we commend your efforts on getting well-acquaintant with Islamic teachings and implore that Allah the most high grants you with all the best.
Actually, The Day of Ashura, which is the common date of various events concerning the history of humanity, is significant not only for Muslims, but also for the other two Semitic religions; Judaism, Christianity. It is significant for the Jews, as Prophet Moses was saved from the tyranny of Pharaoh on the Day of Ashura. In order to respect this special day, the Jews spent it fasting.
In the Arabic Society, ashura was esteemed even before Islam; since the time of Prophet Abraham.
Regarding the precious blessings and events that Allah bestowed on this day, till the Ramadan fast became compulsory, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) gave a great importance to it and never abandoned Ashura fast.
Aisha (ra) narrated that:
“Quraish used to fast on the day of 'Ashura' in the Pre-lslamic period, and Allah's Apostle too, used to fast on that day. When he came to Medina, he fasted on that day and ordered others to fast, too. Later when the fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed, he gave up fasting on the day of 'Ashura' and it became optional for one to fast on it or not.” (Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 220)
“When the Prophet came to Medina, he found (the Jews) fasting on the day of 'ashura' (i.e. 10th of Muharram). They used to say: "This is a great day on which Allah saved Moses and drowned the folk of Pharaoh. Moses observed the fast on this day, as a sign of gratitude to Allah." The Prophet said, "I am closer to Moses than they." So, he observed the fast (on that day) and ordered the Muslims to fast on it.” (Bukhari; 55; 609)
In Islam, it is not obligatory to fast on the Day of Ashura. It is “sunnah” of Our Prophet (pbuh).
Another reason that makes Ashura remarkable in Islam is that it is the day when Husayn (ra), the blessed grandson of Prophet Muhammad and the master of the youth of heaven, was martyrized.
In a nutshell, since the Day of Ashura is a day of significant events throughout the history of mankind and since it is respected by all prophets including Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Muslims are adviced to spend Ashura in fasting to perform shukr (glorificaton) for the blessings bestowed on Ashura and to make tawba (repentance) and dua for the grievous events. That is the message that the 10th of Dhulhijja reminds.
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