Monday, 5 December 2011

Happy Ashura 1433 H

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

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 Please recite salawat for prophet Muhammad s.a.w, the messenger of the God and for his family and companions, thank you.

Tomorrow will be Ashura observation for our Shi'ite brothers who commemorate the death of our beloved Imam Hussein r.a. I don't know how they would observe it but I had been told that matam or flagellation with knives and chain is haram by the Shi'ite scholars like the honorable Sayyid Ali Khamenei and Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah.

As for me as an individual, I would observe it to commemorate our brethren of the past, the Children of Israel who were saved by the God from the tyranny of Pharaoh in Egypt through His miracle where He commands the sea to split open for His messenger and prophet, Moses a.s and His people to walk through. I had begin the fast since today, because today is Monday which is also a normal fasting service day for Him. 

I actually do not recommend this fast to friends or brothers and sisters unless if everyone is free and has no work to do so everyone can fast. I had wrongly told a respective brother about the day and fasting as I am not sure the term they use for sunnah and wajib. Just to tell him that it is a voluntary deed not an obligatory one and it is one of a prophetic tradition. I think it is better for brethren who are busy to recite the Quran or listening to Quran during the gap time that they have. Don't burden ourselves because this is only a sunnah. I observe fasts to ask His forgiveness on me and wishing to be released from being harmed by the duniya (worldly matters and affairs). Just a humble sacrifice for Him from a lowly servant.

How do I get the source for this? First, I check it in the Bukhari Hadith that I keep with me because I still have no time to memorize hadiths despite of my ambition after I finished my degree to be a Quran and Sunnah scholar at least for my self T T

The hadiths came from our mother Aishah r.a report which says: "the Quraish Arabs used to fast on the day of Ashura in the days of ignorance and the messenger of the God, Muhammad s.a.w too used to observe fast on that day. When prophet Muhammad s.a.w came to Medina al-Munawwara, he also observed the fast during the 10th of Muharram and ordered others to observe the fast. Later, when the command from the God was revealed about the fast of Ramadan, prophet Muhammad s.a.w gave up the fasting of 10th Muharram. It became optional for ones to fast or to leave it." (Book of Fasting, Chapter 43; pg. 457) 

Second hadith came from Ibnu Abbas r.a: "Prophet Muhammad s.a.w came to the Medina and he saw the Jews were fasting on the 10th of Muharram (according to lunar calender). He asked them. They replied to him: "This is an auspicious day where the God rescued the Children of Israel from His enemy. Prophet Moses a.s observed the fast on this day. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w replied: "We have more claim on Moses a.s. than you. So prophet Muhammad s.a.w observed fast on the day and ordered others to also fast on the day." (Book of Fasting, Chapter 44; pg. 457)  

As far as we know, prophet Muhammad s.a.w is a descent of prophet Abraham and the Quraish are also the descents of prophet Abraham a.s as well. Some of Abrahamic traditions had actually being practiced by the Quraish Arabs despite of being idolaters during the age of ignorance because they were not totally ignorant. They were deflected from the prophetic path because of foreign influence. The trace of patriarchs' teachings could still be traced in their life. We learned this during i'dadi (beginner) level in madrasah. I still remember the teachings where my sirah (Islamic history) teacher from Egypt had forced me to memorize the whole pages of the narration about prophet Abraham a.s and prophet Ismael a.s in Arabic. 

Second source that I get is from other Islamic bodies regarding the validity of acts of worship performed, other scholar sources or from other brethren blogs who provide information regarding Quran and Sunnah. So, brothers and sisters, we are actually helping each other. I thank you for your help though some of you write in Malay. I will try to write in other languages that I know as well and make sure to spread His Mercy to others too.

Al-'Izz bin Abd al-Salam r.a mentioned that: "Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or spiritual (religious). With regard to the latter, this is because the God bestows His generosity on His servants at those times or in those places, by giving greater rewards for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of Ashura, the virtue of which is due to the God's Generosity and Kindness towards His servants on that day..." (Qawaa'id al-Ahkaam, chapter 1 page 38). 

A hadith reported by Muslim When the messenger of the God fasted on the 10th of Muharram and commanded our brethren of the past to fast as well. They said: "O messenger of the God! It is a day that the Jews and Christians honor." Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said: "If I live to see the next year, His Will, we will fast on the ninth day of Muharram too." But it so happened that prophet Muhammad s.a.w returns to His Mercy before the next year to come."  

Al-Shaafa'i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: "It is mustahabb (recommended) to fast in both of the ninth and the tenth of Muharram since prophet Muhammad s.a.w intended to fast in the ninth of Muharram. The intention of fasting in the ninth is to make it different from the Jews and Christians who limit their fast only in the 10th day of Muharram. This report was reported again by Ibnu Abbas. And as to say, the fast of 10th Muharram is voluntary and not obligatory as Ramadan. Everyone who intends to fast may fast on Monday (9th) and Tuesday (10th), or Tuesday (10th) and Wednesday (11th). It helps to clean minor sins, this is according of Fatawa al-Kubra in the fifth part by Ibnu Taimiyyah

My Yemeni-Hadrami Jew brother in Israel is also fasting but I am not sure how many days they are fasting. I had checked with the Jewish religious authority site and it shows that their passover had already happened. I guess he perhaps is following the lunar calender like we do and event in lunar calender may change every year. 

My Tanakh (Old Testament) in the book of Sifr Khuruj (Exodus) mentioned in chapter 14th about the event on how prophet Moses a.s and Children of Israel went out from Egypt from verses 1-31. My Quran mentions this event in Surah Ta-Ha verse 1-98. I always recite this surah during the 10th of Muharram. I heard some Christians or perhaps Christians by ancestry or name talking whether Muslim are celebrating Passover or respecting Moses the prophet? My answer to you people, yes! We celebrate and honor Moses a.s just like we honor Jesus the Christ and others who are mentioned in our scripture (the Quran). That's why we do not call names to these people like people in the West do because we have Faith. Just because we don't call it as Passover in English does not mean that we do not celebrate it or performing thanksgiving to Him.

I read Bible everyday here though other Muslim brethren or perhaps Christians (by name) do not do this because Quran alone is a boundless source of knowledge for Muslim or perhaps Bible is a heavy and boring book for Christians (by name) or perhaps some people might use scriptures as a pretext for their worldly goals. We human have limited time and space to cover everything so begin now little by little no matter if you are a Muslim or of any faith. Stop baseless hatred and check where does this come from? Try to open up the heart with prayers and the light of ruhul qudus (holy spirit). Check out what happened to Pharaoh in Surah Ta-Ha verse 1-98 and Exodus 14:1-31 during and after his discourse with prophet Moses a.s? What happened to his heart?
   
Urmm, my advise to myself and others who coincidentally passing by... Sins and crimes of this month is counted as serious sins and crimes so we must try to avoid evil. There are four sacred months which are sanctified by the God and they are Dzulqa'idah, Dzulhijjah, Muharram, and Rajab. These four sacred months are different from Ramadan in term of acts of worship like fasting because fasting is obligatory during Ramadan. The four months are mentioned in Surah al-Tawbah verse 36. In Muharram, we avoid quarreling or anything which leads us to fighting and enmity. In all of the months lies the commandment for us to do charity (worship) and to avoid evil and crime (sins). 

I wish that this benefit everyone if not covering all of the things but at least little things. Express our love to prophet Muhammad s.a.w with salawat begging the Lord to be in contact with him and his family and his companions. Pray for brothers and sisters to always be in love and linked with His Love and Mercy. Happy Ashura and Happy Passover (Moses and Children of Israel passing the Red Sea) to those who follow lunar calender. 

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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