Is Fasting on Ashura the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saw) & Ahlelbayt or the Umayyids?


Fasting on Ashura is Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saw) and Ahlelbayt.

All Praise belongs to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds, and may the Peace and blessings of Allāh be upon his Messenger, his family and on all of his companions.

Throughout the year Allāh(swt) grants His servants with ample opportunities to have their past sins forgiven and to start anew. One of these special occasions is known as `Āshūra. The fast of ‘Ashura was prescribed before the fasts of Ramadan. The Jews observed it and so did the people of Arabia before the dawn of Islam. The fast of ‘Ashura’, which we observe on the tenth day of the month of Muharram, is the day on which Allah, may He be exalted, saved Moosa(as), and it is the day on which some of the Jews in Madinah fasted because of that. It is also the day on which Allah commanded the Prophet(saw) to fast at first, then the obligation to do so was abrogated when fasting Ramadan was made obligatory, and fasting ‘Ashura’ became Mustahabb (encouraged but not obligatory).

The claim that some of the Umayyad caliphs are the ones who put this day in Muharram is a Raafidi claim. It is one of the many lies on which their religion is based and it is part of their belief to attribute all kinds of evil to the Umayyad caliphs and their era. If the Umayyads had wanted to fabricate false hadeeths and attribute them to Islam, they would have fabricated hadeeths that made the day of ‘Ashura’ an Eid or festival! and not a day of fasting on which a person refrains from eating, drinking and sex. Fasting is an act of worship in which one refrains from permissible things, and Eid is a celebration in which one partakes of those things. So, there is a clear difference between Fast and Eid. Insha Allah! In this article, we will present before our readers sufficient evidences proving the Fast of Ashura to a Sunnah of the final Prophet Muhammad(saw), and it was in no way an innovation of Bani Umayyah.

 

Some Authentic Aḥādīth Regarding `Āshūra

1. A’isha(ra) reported that the Quraish used to fast on the day of Ashura during the pre-Islamic days. The Messenger of Allah(saw) then commanded to fast on that day till (fasting) in Ramadan became obligatory. Then the Messenger of Allah(saw) said: He who wishes to fast should do so, and he who wishes to break it may do so.[Bukhari and Muslim]

2. Abū Musā al-Ash`arī(ra) said: The day of `Āshurā was one that the Jews respected and treated as a day of festival. The Messenger of Allāh(saw) instructed us: “You should also observe fast on this day.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

3. Narrated Humaid bin `Abdur Rahman: That he heard Muawiya bin Abi Sufyan(ra) on the day of ‘Ashura’ during the year he performed the Hajj, saying on the pulpit, “O the people of Medina! Where are your Religious Scholars? I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘This is the day of ‘Ashura’. Allah has not enjoined its fasting on you but I am fasting it. You have the choice either to fast or not to fast (on this day).” [Bukhari and Muslim]

4. Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet(saw) came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He asked them about that. They replied, “This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “We have more claim over Moses than you.” So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day). [Bukhari and Muslim].

5. Narrated Ar-Rubi’ bint Mu’awadh: “The Prophet (saw) sent a messenger to the village of the Ansar in the morning of the day of ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) to announce: ‘Whoever has eaten something should not eat but complete the fast, and whoever is observing the fast should complete it.’ “She further said, “Since then we used to fast on that day regularly and also make our boys fast. We used to make toys of wool for the boys and if anyone of them cried for, he was given those toys till it was the time of the breaking of the fast. [Bukhari and Muslim]

6. `Abd Allāh bin `Umar(ra) narrated: “The Messenger of Allāh(saw) observed the fast on the day of `Āshūra and ordered others to also fast. When fasting during Ramaḍān was made compulsory, he left it.” `Abd Allāh would not fast on this day unless it coincided with his (normal days of) fasting. [al-Bukhārī and Aḥmad]

7. Ibn `Abbās(ra) narrated: “I do not know the Messenger of Allāh (saw) singling out any days for fasting, and considering it more excellent than another, except for this day [the day of `Āshūra] and that month – meaning the month of Ramaḍān.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

8. Abū Qatāda al-Anṣārī (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said: “Fasting three days every month and [fasting] the whole [month] of Ramaḍān every year is a perpetual fast. The fast of the day of `Arafah, expiate the sins of the preceding and the coming year. The fast of the day of `Āshūra, expiate the sins of the preceding year.” [Muslim, Aḥmad, Abū Dāwūd and Ibn Khuzaymah] [Note: The predominant view among the scholars is that it expiates minor sins, as for major sins, repentance is required. This was explicitly expressed by an-Nawawī in al-Majmū` (6/382) and Ibn Taymiyyah in al-Fatāwā al-Kubrā (4/428)]

9. Ibn `Abbās(ra) narrated that when the Messenger of Allāh(saw) fasted on the day of `Āshūra and commanded that it be observed as a fast, they (his Companions) said to him: “Messenger of Allāh(saw), it is a day which the Jews and Christians hold in high esteem.” Thereupon the Messenger of Allāh(saw) said: “When the next year comes, Allāh willing, we will observe fast on the ninth.” The Messenger of Allāh(saw) died before the advent of the next year. [Muslim, Aḥmad, Abū Dāwūd and Ibn Mājah]

10. Abū Mūsā(ra) narrated that the people of Khaybar, [most of whom were Jews] observed the fast on the day of `Āshūra and treated it as a festive day. Their women would wear ornaments and beautiful dresses. The Messenger of Allāh(saw) said: “You (only) observe fast on this day.” [Muslim]

 

Sahaba who narrated about fasting on Ashura:

Here is a list of those Sahaba(companions) who have narrated or prescribed fasting on this day:

  1. Ibn Umar [Bukhari and Muslim]
    2. Aishah [Bukhari and Muslim]
    3. Abdullah bin Mas’ud [Bukhari and Muslim]
    4. Ibn ‘Abbas [Bukhari and Muslim]
    5. Abu Musa al-Ash’ari [Bukhari and Muslim]
    6. Salamah bin Akwa’ [Bukhari and Muslim]
    7. Mu’awiyah [Bukhari and Muslim]
    8. Jabir bin Samurah [Muslim]
    9. Rabee’ bint Mu’awwidh [Bukhari and Muslim]
    10. Abu Qatadah [Muslim]
    11. One of the Azwaj Mutahharat [Nasai, Abu Dawud]
    12. Muhammad bin Saifi [Nasai, Ibn Majah]
    13. Hafsa [Nasai, Ahmad]
    14. Qais bin Sa’d bin ‘Ubadah [Nasai, Ahmad]
    15. Mu’adh bin Jabal [Abu Dawud]
    16. Aslam [Abu Dawud]
    17. Ali [Baihaqi, Tahawi, Bazzar, Ibn Abi Shaibah, Abdullah in Zawaid al-Musnad]
    18. Hind bin Asma [Ahmad, Tahawi]
    19. Abdullah Bin Zubair [Ahmad, Tahawi]
    20. Abu Hurairah [Ahmad]
    21. Jabir bin Abdullah [Ahmad]
    22. Abdullah bin Badr al-Juhani [Ahmad]
    23. Asma bin Haritha [Ahmad]
    24. Zahir bin Aswad [Tabarani, Bazzar]
    25. Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri [Tabrani]
    26. Ruzainah [Tabrani, Abu Ya’la]
    27. Khabbab [Tabrani]
    28. Ubadah bin Samit [Tabrani]
    29. Ma’bad al-Qurashi [Tabrani]
    30. ‘Aidh bin ‘Amr [Tabrani]
    31. Ammar [Tabrani]
    32. Abdullah bin Jarad al-Uqaili [Mshikhah Ibn Abi As-Saqar, Amali ash-Shajari]
    33. Umar bin Khattab [Abdur-Razzaq, Ibn Abi Shaibah]

 

Shia ahadeeth of Imams from Ahlelbayt regarding fasting on Ashura:

Some ignorant Shias claimed that the Ahadith in which the Prophet(saw) tells us to fast the tenth of Muharram “Ashura” is a fabrication by the Umayyads and they accuse Mu’awiyah(ra) of this(Although it’s narrated by many others), but what those ignorant Shias didn’t know is that these Ahadith are found in al-Bukhari and Muslim which were written many years after the Umayyad Caliphate fell, so there was no “political pressure”. Anyways, the ahadeeth we mentioned from the saheeh Sunnah about the virtues of ‘Ashoora’, and the fact that fasting it expiates for the sins of a year, and that its date is fixed, on the tenth of Muharram – all of that is not unique to Ahl as-Sunnah. Rather it is also mentioned in the main reference book of the Shias! So how can this be reconciled with their claims that what we have are israa’eeliyyat(stories from Jewish sources), that were taken from the Jews or invented by the Umayyads??

Here are the ahadeeth from the  Imams regarding fasting on Ashura from Shia books:

(i).

ـ وبإسناده عن سعد بن عبدالله ، عن أبي جعفر ، عن جعفر بن محمد بن عبدالله ، عن عبدالله بن ميمون القداح ، عن جعفر ، عن أبيه ( عليهما السلام ) قال : صيام يوم عاشوراء كفارة سنة .

Sa’ad bin ‘Abdullah from abu Ja’afar from Ja’afar bin Muhammad bin ‘Ubeidullah from ‘Abdullah bin Maymoun al-Qaddah from Imam Ja’afar from his father (as): “The fasting of ‘Ashura removes the sins of a year.”(Tahtheeb al-Ahkam 4/300 & Wasael al-Shia 10/457).[Grading: Sahih(authentic)]

(ii).

علي بن الحسن بن فضال عن هارون بن مسلم عن مسعدة بن صدقة عن ابي عبد الله عن أبيه عليهما السلام ان عليا عليه السلام قال: صوموا العاشورا التاسع والعاشر فانه يكفر ذنوب سنة. كتاب تهذيب الاحكام ج4ص299

‘Ali bin al-Hassan bin Faddal from Haroun bin Muslim from Masa’adah bin Sadaqah from Imam abu ‘Abdullah from his Father that ‘Ali (as) said: “Fast on ‘Ashura the ninth and tenth for it removes the sins of a whole year.” (Tahtheeb al-Ahkam 4/299 & Wasael al-Shia 10/457).[Grading: Muawaththaq(reliable)]

(iii).

وعنه عن يعقوب بن يزيد عن ابي همام عن ابي الحسن عليه السلام قال: صام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله يوم عاشورا. كتاب تهذيب الاحكام ج4 ص299-300

Also from him, from Ya’aqoub bin Yazid, from abu Hamam, from Imam abu al-Hassan (as): “The messenger peace be upon him and his household fasted the day of ‘Ashura.” (Tahtheeb al-Ahkam 4/299-300).

(iv).

محمد بن الحسن باسناده عن علي بن الحسن بن فضال، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن أبي همام، عن أبي الحسن عليه السلام قال: صام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يوم عاشوراء. كتاب وسائل الشيعة ج10ص457

Muhammad bin al-Hassan with its Isnad from ‘Ali bin al-Hassan bin Faddal from Ya’aqoub bin Yazid from abu Hamad from abu al-Hassan (as): “The Prophet(saw) fasted the day of ‘Ashura.”(Wasael al-Shia 10/457).

(v).
عن علي عليه السلام قال: {{صوموا يوم عاشوراء التاسع والعاشر احتياطاً،  فإنه كفارة السنة التي قبله، وإن لم يعلم به أحدكم حتى يأكل فليتم صومه}}
[مستدرك الوسائل (1/594)، جامع أحاديث الشيعة (9/475)].

Ali (ra) said: “Fast on the day of Ashoora 9th and 10th for substitution, for it is an expiation for the the past year, and if someone of you eats (by mistake) should continue his fasting.”
1- Al-Haj Hussein Al-Nuri Tabarsi in Mustadrak Al-Wasael 1/594,
2- Haj Brujardi in Jaa’me Ahadeeth Al-Shia 9/475.

Esteemed Shia Ayatullah authenticated ahadeeth regarding fasting on Ashura:

Ayatullah Abul-Qasim Al-Khoie(former head of the Hawzah in Najaf and one of the greatest Shia Hadith scholars, teacher of Ayatullah Sistani) in his book al-Mustanad fi Sharh il-`Urwat il-Wuthqa, volume 12 stated:

وأمّا الروايات المتضمّنة للأمر واستحباب الصوم في هذا اليوم فكثيرة ، مثل: صحيحة القدّاح : «صيام يوم عاشوراء كفّارة سنة»
وموثّقة مسعدة بن صدقة : «صوموا العاشوراء التاسع والعاشر فإنّه يكفّر ذنوب سنة»
‘As for the encompassing narrations commanding and recommending the fast of this day, they are many, like the authentic(Sahih) narration of al-Qadaah [from Abu `Abdillah(as), from his father Abu Ja`far(as), who said: “The fasting of the day of Ashura is atonement for a year.”

And the reliable(Muwaththaq) narration of Mas`ada b. Sadaqa from Abu `Abdillah(as), from Abu Ja`far(as), who said that Imam `Ali(as) said: “Fast on Ashura, the ninth and the tenth, for verily it atones for the sins of a year.”(Source: al-Mustanad fi Sharh il-`Urwat il-Wuthqa)

 

Esteemed Shia Ayatullah admits that the Shia ahadeeth which forbid fasting on Ashura are all Weak:

Ayatullah Abul-Qasim Al-Khoie(former head of the Hawzah in Najaf and one of the greatest Shia Hadith scholars, teacher of Ayatullah Sistani) states:

وكيفما كان فالروايات الناهية غير نقية السند برمتها، بل هي ضعيفة بأجمعها، فليست لدينا رواية معتبرة يعتمد عليها ليحمل المعارض على التقية كما صنعه صاحب الحدائق. واما الروايات المتضمنة للامر واستحباب الصوم في هذا اليوم فكثيرة، مثل صحيحة القداح: ” صيام يوم عاشوراء كفارة سنة ” وموثقة مسعدة بن صدقة: ” صوموا للعاشوراء التاسع والعاشر فانه يكفر ذنوب سنة ” ، ونحوها غيرها، وهو مساعد للاعتبار نظرا إلى المواساة مع أهل بيت الوحي وما لا قوه في هذا اليوم العصيب من جوع وعطش وساير الآلام والمصائب العظام التي هي أعظم مما تدركه الافهام والاوهام. فالاقوى استحباب الصوم في هذا اليوم من حيث هو كما ذكره في الجواهر أخذا بهذه النصوص السليمة عن المعارض كما عرفت . كتاب الصوم للخوئي ج2 ص305

The narrations that forbid this (Fasting) do not have proper Sanad, they are all weak, in fact we don’t have any respectable narrations that we can rely on to prove that those that differ with them are Taqqiyah. As for the narrations that speak about fasting this day and that it is favourable to fast there are plenty of them, such as the SAHIH of al-Qidah: “Fasting the day of ‘Ashoora removes the sins of a year.” and the Muwaththaq of Masa’adah bin Sadaqah: “Fast ‘Ashoora the ninth and the tenth for it removes the sins of an entire year.” and others like them. This is acceptable taking into consideration the unimaginably great hunger and thirst and pain that Ahlul-Bayt had to go through on that hard day. So the strongest opinion would be that it is favoured to fast this day.“ (Kitab al-Sawm by al-Khoei 2/305).

Similarly Al-Khoie, in al-Mustanad fi Sharh il-`Urwat il-Wuthqa, volume 12 states:

فصحّ ما ادّعيناه من أنّ الروايات الناهية كلّها ضعيفة السند ، فتكون الآمرة سليمة عن المعارض ، فلم تثبت كراهة صوم يوم عاشوراء فضلا عن الحرمة التي اختارها في الحدائق ، بل هي جائزة ندباً ولا سيّما حزناً حسبما عرفت بما لا مزيد عليه .
“So it is correct what we have claimed, that the prohibitive narrations are all da`if(weak) in sanad.  So, the authoritative is free of opposition, and the karahat (dislike) of the fast of Ashura is not established, let alone its prohibition which was the view hold in al-Hada’iq(of Yusuf al-Bahrani). Rather, it is permissible, recommended especially (if done) mournfully according to what you have recognized by what there is no exceeding upon it. “( al-Mustanad fi Sharh il-`Urwat il-Wuthqa).

 

Who deviated from the teaching of Ahlelbayt(as) in regards to fasting on Ashura; Sunnis or Shia?

Famous Shia scholar al-Muhaqqiq al-Sha’rani says in his commentary on the book “al-Wafi” by al-Faydh al-Kashani, 22/505:

وقد يتفق لبعض الرواة الغالين في عداوة المخالفين والمبالغين في خلاف المنحرفين عن أهل البيت عليهم السلام أن يجاوزوا الحد ويلزموا أمورا من غير عمد ليخالفوا أهل الخلاف تدعوهم إلى ذلك شدة علاقتهم بالتشيع كما نرى جماعة في الأعصار المتأخرة ينكرون استحباب صوم عاشوراء مع الاتفاق على استحبابه ليخالفوا المخالفين ،
ويلتزمون بتحريف القرآن ليطعنوا به على أعداء أهل البيت عليهم السلام ، مع أن مطاعنهم في الكثرة بحيث لا يحتاج معها إلى إثبات التحريف وهدم أساس الدين

[It happens that some of the narrators who are extreme in their hatred for the Mukhalifeen (Sunnis), those who exaggerate the differences and deviate from the school of Ahlul-Bayt (as), that they may go overboard in certain beliefs un-intentionally only so they may oppose the Mukhalifeen. They do this because of their strong relation to Tashayyu`, as we see a group in the late times who deny that fasting `Ashura is liked (Mustahabb) by agreement, just so they can oppose the Mukhalifeen, and they stick to the belief that the Qur’an is corrupted so they can use this to criticize the enemies of Ahlul-Bayt (as), although there are many criticisms against them and there is no need to prove Tahreef(corruption) and demolish the foundations of the religion.]

Fact#1: Those Shias who reject the fast of Ashura by claiming it to be innovation of Umayyids or deny the fasting of Ashura being Mustahab, are the ones who deviated from the teachings of Ahlelbayt. And the reality is known to everyone that the present day Shias reject the fasting of Ashura, whereas the Sunnis as a whole observe and recommend the fast of Ashura. Hence one doesn’t need to understand that, the Shias have deviated from the teachings of Ahlelbayt, whereas Sunnis are the ones who are the true followers of Ahlelbayt.

Fact#2: The extremist Shias of yesterday are the average Shia of today.

Fact#3: There was agreement regarding fasting on Ashura being Mustahab(encouraged), but the Ghulats(extremists) attacked the Sunnah of Prophet(saw) and Ahlelbayt(as) by calling it Umayyid innovation, with this they were able to replace the Sunnah of fasting on Ashura with several innovation(biddah) which had no relation with Islam nor with the teachings of Prophet(saw), infact those innovations were contrary to the teachings of Prophet(saw) and Ahlelbayt(as).

 

Clarification of some Shia misconceptions.

Misconception #1:

Some Shias quote the below Shia hadeeth, which was authenticated by esteemed Shia scholar Sayed al-Khoei, and using this hadeeth they try to claim that Fast of Ashoora was abandoned.

محمد بن علي بن الحسين بإسناده عن زرارة بن أعين ومحمد بن مسلم جميعا ، أنهما سألا أبا جعفر الباقر ( عليه السلام ) عن صوم يوم عاشوراء ؟ فقال : كان صومه قبل شهر رمضان ، فلما نزل شهر رمضان ترك
Muhammad b. `Ali b. al-Husayn (Shaykh Saduq) with his isnad from Zurara b. A`yan and Muhammad b. Muslim, both of them, that they asked Abu Ja`far al-Baqir (as) about the fast of the day of `Ashura.  So he said:  Its fast was before the month of Ramadan, so when the month of Ramadan descended, it was abandoned.  (sahih)

Response:

Sayed al-Khoei himself explained this hadeeth saying, that this is not actually prohibitive, but is describing that the fast of `Ashura was in place prior to the fasting of the month of Ramadan, after which it was not an obligation to fast on `Ashura, i.e. that this had become mansukh(abrogated).

This narration about abandonment of fast of Ashura is actually about abandonment of wujoob(obligation) of Fast of Ashura. Its wujoob (obligation) was abandoned after the revelation of Ramadan and it doesn’t contradict the ahadith which speaks of istihbab of fasting on day of Ashura. As Syed al-Khoei says:
ولكنّها ـ كما ترى ـ لا تتضمّن نهياً ، بل غايته أنّ صومه صار متروكاً
ومنسوخاً بعد نزول شهر رمضان ، ولعلّه كان واجباً سابقاً ، ثمّ اُبدل بشهر رمضان كما قد تقتضيه طبيعة التبديل ، فلا تدلّ على نفي الاستحباب عنه بوجه فضلا عن الجواز

And, similar ahadeeth are even present in Sunni books:

Narrated `Aisha: ‘Ashura’ (i.e. the tenth of Muharram) was a day on which the tribe of Quraish used to fast in the prelslamic period of ignorance. The Prophet(saw) also used to fast on this day. So when he migrated to Medina, he fasted on it and ordered (the Muslims) to fast on it. When the fasting of Ramadan was enjoined, it became optional for the people to fast or not to fast on the day of Ashura.(Sahih al-Bukhari #3831).

 

Misconception #2:

Some Shias use the below hadeeth, and claim that the Fast of Ashura shouldn’t be complete day fast, but it should be broken after Salat of Asr.

Muhammad b. al-Hasan in al-Misbah from `Abdullah b. Sinan said: I entered upon Abu `Abdillah(as) on the day of `Ashura [and I met him melancholic in color, sorrowful in appearance – in the masdar] and his tears were dropping upon his eyes like dripping pearls.  So I said: What is your crying from?  So he said: Are you in (a state of) heedlessness?  Do you not know that al-Husayn(as) was afflicted in the like of this day?  So I said: What is your saying in regards to its fast?  So he said to me: Fast it without tabyeet , and break it without tashmeet , and do not make it a complete day of fasting, and your iftar is to be after the salat of `asr by an hour upon a drink of water, for verily in the like of that time from that day did the battle appear from the family of the Messenger of Allah(saw)

Answer:

Firstly, those Shias who use this hadeeth haave indirectly admitted that, Fasting on Ashura isn’t from the innovation of Bani Umayyah, as some ghali(extremist) Shias claim and attack the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saw). In regards to the reliability of this Shia hadeeth, then it is daeef(weak) because of unknown tareeq from Shaykh Tusi to Abdullah b. Sinan [not the book of Abdullah b. Sinan]. The taraiq mentioned in al-Mashaykh or in al-Fihrist would not apply in the case of Tusi’s al-Misbah. Read Syed al-Khoei’s explanation for this:

والظاهر أنّها ضعيفة السند ، لجهالة طريق الشيخ إلى عبدالله بن سنان فيما يرويه في المصباح ، فتكون في حكم المرسل .
وتوضيحه : أنّ الشيخ في كتابي التهذيب والاستبصار التزم أن يروي عن كلّ من له أصل أو كتاب عن كتابه ، فيذكر أسماء أرباب الكتب أوّل السند مثل : محمّد بن علي بن محبوب ، ومحمّد بن الحسن الصفّار ، وعبدالله بن سنان ، ونحو ذلك ، ثمّ يذكر في المشيخة طريقه إلى أرباب تلك الكتب لتخرج الروايات بذلك عن المراسـيل إلى المسانيد ، وقد ذكر طريقـه في كتابيه إلى عبدالله بن سنان ، وهو طريق صحيح .
وذكر (قدس سره) في الفهرست طريقه إلى أرباب الكتب والمجاميع ، سواء أروى عنهم في التهذيبين أم في غيرهما ، منهم : عبدالله بن سنان(1)  ، وطريقه فيه صحيح أيضاً .
وأمّا طريقه (قدس سره) إلى نفس هذا الرجل لا إلى كتابه فغير معلوم ، إذ لم يذكر لا في المشيخة ولا في الفهرست ولا في غيرهما ، لأنّهما معدّان لبيان الطرق إلى نفس الكتب لا إلى أربابها ولو في غير تلكم الكتب .
وهذه الرواية مذكورة في كتاب المصباح ، ولم يلتزم الشيخ هنا بأنّ كلّ ما يرويه عمّن له أصل أو كتاب فهو يرويه عن كتابه كما التزم بمثله في التهذيبين حسبما عرفت .
وعليه ، فمن الجائز أن يروي هذه الرواية عن غير كتاب عبدالله بن سنان الذي له إليه طريق آخر لا محالة ، وهو غير معلوم كما عرفت ، فإنّ هذا الاحتمال تطرّق بطبيعة الحال ولا مدفع له ، وهو بمجرّده كاف في عدم الجزم بصحّة السند .
بل أنّ هذا الاحتمال قريب جدّاً ، بل هو المظنون ، بل المطمأنّ به ، إذ لو كانت مذكورة في كتاب عبدالله بن سنان فلماذا أهملها في التهذيب والاستبصار مع عنوانه (قدس سره) فيهما : صوم يوم عاشوراء ، ونقله سائر الروايات الواردة في الباب وبنائه (قدس سره) على نقل ما في ذلك الكتاب وغيره من الكتب ؟! فيكشف هذا عن أنّ روايته هذه عنه عن غير كتابه كما ذكرناه . وحيث إنّ طريقـه إليه غير معلوم فالرواية في حكم المرسل ، فهي أيضاً ضعيفة السـند كالروايات الثلاث المتقدّمة .
فصحّ ما ادّعيناه من أنّ الروايات الناهية كلّها ضعيفة السند ، فتكون الآمرة سليمة عن المعارض ، فلم تثبت كراهة صوم يوم عاشوراء فضلا عن الحرمة التي اختارها في الحدائق ، بل هي جائزة ندباً ولا سيّما حزناً حسبما عرفت بما لا مزيد عليه

-End Quote-

 

Answers to the common doubts raised against the ahadeeth about the fasting on Ashura.

Question #1:

How come the Prophet (saw) believe what the Jews said about the day of ‘Ashoora’ being the day on which Moosa and those who were with him were saved?

Answer:

This is what the Raafidis ask with evil ulterior motives, so as to cast aspersions on the hadeeths which encourage fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora’, and so as to support their claim that this is one of the innovations introduced by the Umayyads!

Al-Maaziri (rah) said concerning this issue and the response to it:

What the Jews say is not to be accepted (and taken as true), so it may be that the Prophet(saw) received revelation that confirmed what they said, or that he heard about that from many different sources, so that he concluded that it was true. End quote.  (This was quoted by an-Nawawi in Sharh Muslim, 8/11)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah(rah) said:

Even though this fast was not originally intended to do the same as the people of the Book, his saying, “We are closer to Moosa than you” is a confirmation of the prescription to observe this the fast, and explaining to the Jews that what you do of expressing love for Moosa, we do too, and we are closer to Moosa than you. (Iqtida’ as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, p. 174)

It should be noted that the Prophet(saw) liked to do the same as the people of the Book in matters concerning which he had not received any (divine) instructions; this included the fast of ‘Ashoora’.

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas(ra) that the Prophet(saw) used to let his hair fall over his foreheads; the mushrikeen used to part their hair and the people of the Book used to let their hair fall over their foreheads, and the Prophet(saw) liked to do the same as the people of the Book in matters concerning which he had not received any (divine) instructions. Then (later on) the Prophet(saw) parted his hair. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3728)

It is a sign of Imam al-Bukhaari’s understanding of the religion that he narrated this hadeeth after the two hadeeths of Abu Moosa(ra) and Ibn ‘Abbaas(ra) that speak of the fast of ‘Ashoora’.

Abu’l-‘Abbaas al-Qurtubi(rah) said:

The fact that the Messenger of Allah(saw) fasted it (Ashoora’) may have come under the heading of doing the same as them (the people of the Book) in that regard, because that was a good deed.

It may be said that Allah, may He be exalted, gave him permission to fast on that day, then when he came to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on that day, so he asked them about what motivated them to observe that fast. They told him what Ibn ‘Abbaas mentioned, that it was a great day, on which Allah saved Moosa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people, so Moosa fasted that day in gratitude, so we fast it too. The Prophet(saw) said: “We have more right and are closer to Moosa than you.” So at that time he fasted this day in Madinah and issued instructions to fast on that day, i.e., he made it obligatory to fast it and confirmed his instructions, to such an extent that they would make little children fast as well. The Prophet (saw) adhered to that, as did his Companions, until the month of Ramadan was made obligatory and fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ was abrogated. At that time he said: “Allah has not prescribed fasting this day for you.” Then he gave them the choice between fasting it or not fasting it, but the virtue attached to it remained in place, because he said “However I am fasting,” as it says in the hadeeth of Mu‘aawiyah.

Based on that, the Prophet(saw) did not fast the day of ‘Ashoora’ in emulation of the Jews, because he used to fast it before he came to them and before he knew anything about them; rather what happened was that he made it obligatory, in hope of softening the Jews’ hearts and win them over to Islam, just as was the reason for facing towards their qiblah. That period was the time when the Prophet(saw) liked to do the same as the people of the Book in matters that he had not been forbidden to do so. (Al-Mufhim lima Ashkala min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim, 3/191-192)

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar(rah) said:

Whatever the case, he(saw) did not fast it in emulation of them – i.e., the Jews – because he used to fast it before that, and that was at the time when the Prophet(saw) liked to do the same as the people of the Book in matters that he had not been forbidden to do so. (Fath al-Baari, 4/248)

We have seen above from the comments of the scholars that which indicates that the day of ‘Ashoora’ was known to Quraysh and to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in Makkah, and they used to venerate it and indeed fast it. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) fasted it with them, and on that day they used to put the new cover on the Ka‘bah. So how can anyone, after all this, falsely claim that ‘Ashoora’ is an Umayyad innovation at the time when it is clearly mentioned in the proven, saheeh hadeeths?!

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah(ra) said: Quraysh used to fast on ‘Ashoora’ during the Jaahiliyyah, and the Messenger of Allah(saw) used to fast on (that day) too. When he migrated to Madinah, he fasted this day and ordered that this fast be observed. When the month of Ramadaan was enjoined, he said: “Whoever wishes may fast on (this day) and whoever wishes may forsake it.”[Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1794); Muslim (1125)].

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar(ra) narrated that the people of the Jaahiliyyah used to fast on the day of ‘Ashoora’, and the Messenger of Allah(saw) and the Muslims fasted it before Ramadaan was made obligatory. When the month of Ramadaan was made obligatory, the Messenger of Allah(saw) said: “ ‘Ashoora’ is one of the days of Allah, so whoever wishes may fast it and whoever wishes may omit it.” [Narrated by Muslim (1126)].

We have quoted the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar here so as to refute the Raafidis and those who followed them in their ignorance, who claim that ‘Aa’ishah(ra) was the only one who narrated the report about the Prophet(saw) fasting ‘Ashoora’ in Makkah.

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr(rah) said:

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar(ra) narrated from the Prophet(saw) a report similar to that of ‘Aa’ishah concerning this matter. It was also narrated by ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Umar and  Ayyoob, from Naafi‘, from Ibn ‘Umar that he said concerning the fast of ‘Ashoora’: The Messenger of Allah(saw) fasted it and instructed (the people) to fast it. [At-Tamheed lima fi’l-Muwatta’ min al-Ma‘aani wa’l-Asaaneed, 7/207]

An-Nawawi(rah) said:

What we conclude from these hadeeths is that during the Jaahiliyyah, the kuffaar of Quraysh and others, and the Jews, fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’. Islam confirmed fasting on this day, then the ruling on fasting it became less emphatic. [Sharh Muslim, 8/9, 10]

Abu’l-‘Abbaas al-Qurtubi(rah) said:

The words of ‘Aa’ishah(ra): “Quryash used to fast ‘Ashoora’ during the Jaahiliyyah,” indicate that fasting on this day was known to them to be prescribed and they were aware of its virtue. Perhaps they fasted on that day on the grounds that it was part of what was prescribed to Ibraaheem(as) and Ismaa‘eel(as), because they claimed to be following them and they attributed many of the rulings of Hajj and so on to them. [Al-Mufhim lima Ashkala min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim, 3/190, 191]

For more information on the reasons why Quraysh fasted on that day, please see al-Mufassal fi Tareekh al-‘Arab qabl al-Islam, 11/339, 340

 

Question #2:

When Prophet(saw) saw the Jews fasting, was it when he first came to Madinah in Rabee‘ al-Awwal, or was it later on, in the month of Muharram?

Answer:

There are two scholarly views; the more correct view is that his seeing them, that discussion and that command to fast occurred in Muharram, i.e., in the second year after he(saw) arrived in Madinah, and from that we may conclude that the Jews followed the lunar calendar in commemorating that day.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rah) said:

Some people were confused by this and said: The Messenger of Allah(saw) came to Madinah in the month of Rabee‘ al-Awwal, so how come Ibn ‘Abbaas said that when he came to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Aashoora’?

He(rah) said:

With regard to the first issue, which is that when he came to Madinah, he found them fasting on the day of ‘Aashoora’, this does not indicate that on the day of his arrival he found them observing that fast. He arrived on a Monday, the twelfth of Rabee‘ al-Awwal, but the first he knew of that was in the second year after his arrival in Madinah, and it did not happen when he was in Makkah. This is if the people of the Book worked out the date for this fast according to the lunar calendar. (Zaad al-Ma‘aad fi Hadiy Khayr al-‘Ibaad, 2/66)

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar(rah) said:

The apparent meaning of the report was problematic to some people, because it appears to mean that when the Prophet(saw) arrived in Madinah, he found the Jews fasting the day of ‘Aashoora’, but he arrived in Madinah in Rabee‘ al-Awwal. The answer to that is that what is meant is that his first knowing of that and asking about it happened after he came to Madinah; he had no knowledge of that before he came there. What the hadeeth implies is that the Prophet (saw) came to Madinah and stayed until the day of ‘Aashoora’, when he found the Jews fasting on that day.(Fath al-Baari, 4/247).

 

Question #3:

The celebrated mathematician Abu Rehn Bayruni challenged the veracity of these reports on the basis of a comparative study of the Jewish and Arabian Calendars. He writes:

“It is said that ‘Ashur is a Hebrew word which has become ‘Ashura in Arabic. It stands for the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tisri. The fast observed on this day is called Yom Kippur. It came to be incorporated in the Arab Calendar and the name was given to the tenth day of the first month of their year in the same way in which it denoted the tenth day of the first month of the Jewish Calendar. It was instituted as a day of fasting among the Muslims in the first year of Migration. Later, when fasting was enjoined in the month of Ramadan it was dropped. A Tradition has it that when the Prophet came to Madinah and saw that the Jews observed the fast of ‘Ashura he enquired about it and was told that it was the day on which God had drowned Pharaoh and his people and delivered Moses and his followers from them, and Moses used to fast on it in thanksgiving. The Prophet, then, remarked that Moses had a greater claim upon him than upon them and he fasted on that day and instructed his followers to do the same. When the fasts of Ramadan were prescribed, the Prophet neither enjoined the fast of ‘Ashura nor forbade it.

But this report is fallacious and does not stand the test of enquiry. The first day of the month of Muharram in the first year of Hijrah (Migration) was Friday, which corresponds to the 16th of Tamuz, 933 (A.E.). As against it, the first day of that year among the Jews was Sunday, the 12th of Awwal which corresponds to the 29th of Safar. Hence, the fast of Ashura should have fallen on Tuesday, the 9th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, while the Migration had taken place during the first half of that month. The two dates, at any rate, do not correspond to each other.”

He adds: “The contention that on this day God had drowned the Pharaoh, too, is not supported by what is given in the Torah. The event of the drowning of the Pharaoh had taken place, according to Torah, on the 21st of Nisan, which is the seventh day of the festival of Passover. The first Jewish fast of Passover, after the arrival of the Prophet in Madinah, occurred on Tuesday, the 22nd of Azhar 933 which corresponds to the 17th of Ramadan. This report also is, therefore, without a foundation.”

Answer:

With due respect to the scholarship of Bayruni, it is clear that he has built his thesis wholly on conjecture. He has, for instance, surmised that the talk reported by Ibn Abbas(ra) and other Companions(ra) had taken place on the very first day of the Prophet(saw)’s arrival in Madinah as is evident from his observation, “when the sacred Prophet came to Madinah or entered it.”

This misconception is due to the ignorance of the science of Traditions and of the holy Companion’s mode of narration, innumerable instances of which are available in the Traditions. For example, it is related by Anas bin Malik: “When the Prophet came to Madinah and (saw that) there were two days which the people of that place celebrated as festivals he enquired about their significance. (The people of Madinah) told, ‘These were our days of fun and entertainment during the days of Paganism.’ The Prophet, thereupon, observed, ‘God has given you two better days in their place, ‘Id-ul-Fitr and ‘Id-ul-Adha’.”

Now, will it be proper for anyone to infer from the above Tradition that the arrival of the Prophet in Madinah took place on the same day that was the day of celebration in that town, and to proceed to question the veracity of the Tradition on the ground that it was not chronometrically possible? Similar errors of interpretation have been made in respect of other traditions as well, like the one relating to pollination in date palms.

Commenting on the argument advanced by Bayruni, Allama Ibn Hajr Asqalani said:

“He found it difficult to accept the tradition due to the misunderstanding that when the Prophet arrived in Madinah he saw the Jews in the state of keeping the fast of ‘Ashura while, in fact, it was in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal that the Prophet had come to Madinah. The answer to it is that he has erred in the interpretation of the tradition. What the tradition actually means is that the Prophet came to know of the fast of ‘Ashura only when he had migrated to Madinah and made his enquiry, for the first time, after he had reached there. In other words, the Prophet, when he came to Madinah and stayed there till ‘Ashura, found that the Jews fasted on that day.”[Fath al-Baari, 4/247]

There is left no chronological contradiction after Allama Ibn Hajr’s explanation, in the Tradition regarding the fast of ‘Ashura.

The second misconception under which Bayruni labors is that the fast of ‘Ashura mentioned in the Tradition signifies the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tisri which is also known as Yom Kippur or the Fast of Atonement and is observed by them with greater ceremony than any other fast. But there is nothing in the tradition to warrant such a conclusion, and it is also not supported by the Torah because the Fast of Atonement was instituted in expiation of a mortal sin and observed as a day of penance and mourning.

The Day of Atonement, which is the tenth day of the seventh month of Tisri, is referred to in these words in the Third Book of Moses called, Leviticus:

“And this will be a statute for ever unto you; that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger who sojourneth among you: for on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever” (Lev. 16:29-31)

At another place, in the same Book, it is said: “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.” (Lev. 23:26-28)

Similarly, in the Book of Numbers, it is set forth: “And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month a holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls; ye shall not do any work therein.”

On the other hand, it explicitly occurs in the traditions that the day of ‘Ashura (on which the Muslims are enjoined to fast) was a day of rejoicing among the Jews. As Imam Bukhari has related it on the authority of Abu Musa Ashari, the Jews regarded it to be a day of Eid and it was on seeing it that the holy Prophet advised his Companions to only keep fast on it.

In Saheeh Muslim, also, it is related from Qais bin Muslim that men of good-doing observed the fast of Ashura and celebrated it as the day of Eid, with their women wearing the best of clothes and ornaments. The Prophet, on seeing it, said to us, “You should also fast(only) on this day.”

It is, further, related by Koraib bin S’ad from Omar bin el-Khattab that, “On the Day of Judgment God will ask you only about two fasts, the fasts of Ramadan and the fast of the day of adornment (i.e., ‘Ashura).”

In the light of the facts given above, it will be incorrect to say that ‘Ashura is the Day of Atonement. Were it so, it would have been a day of lamentation and mortification while ‘Ashura, as mentioned in the tradition, is a day of merriment and decoration(for the Jews).

 

Question #4:

Western scholar, Abraham Katish observes about the Day of Atonement in his book entitled, ‘Judaism in Islam,’ that “Mohammad, in the beginning, instituted it as a day of fasting for Muslims.”

Answer:

The assertion of the Jews themselves about ‘Ashura that it was the day on which God had delivered the Israelites from their enemies is enough to set at rest all doubts in this connection. In the Torah it has been repeatedly mentioned as Abib which later came to be known as Nisan. About Abib, we read in Dairatul M’aarif, “it is a Hebraic word which means ‘green’. It is the name of the first month of the Hebraic year. This name was given to it by Moses and it corresponds nearly to the month of April. When the Jews were exiled in Babylon they changed its name to Nisan, meaning ‘the month of flowers.’ Their ‘Id ul Fateer (Passover) is also held in the middle of it.”

Bayruni, also, has admitted that it is wrong to suppose that the Day of Atonement signified the day on which God had drowned Pharaoh and his men. He says, “Their contention that on this day God had drowned Pharaoh is opposed to what is stated in the Torah because the event of drowning took place on the 21st of Nisan, which is the seventh day of Ayam-ul-Fateer (Passover). It is set forth in Torah (Ex. 12: 18): ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even’.”

We, therefore, conclude that ‘Ashura, which is mentioned in the traditions related by Ibn Abbas and others and on which day the Muslims have been exhorted to fast and was included among the near-obligatory duties in Islam before the fasts of Ramadan were prescribed, corresponds, in the largest measure, to the day which falls in the middle of the Hebraic month of Abib, whose name was changed to Nisan by the Jews during the period of their exile in Babylon and was celebrated by them as an ‘Id and an event of fasting and entertainment. It was on this day that the Israelites had come out of Egypt and the Pharaoh was drowned. In the second Book of Moses it is related: “And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place; there shall no leavened bread be eaten. This day came ye out in the month of Abib.” (Ex. 13: 3-4)

In sum, the general consensus among Muslim theologians and religious scholars is that ‘Ashura fell on the tenth day of the Arab month of Muharram in the second year of Migration and that it was later annulled by Ramadan.

Besides, any attempt to make the Lunar Arabian Calendar correspond to the Solar Jewish Calendar can, at the best, be only hypothetical. The ancient custom of Nasi has also taken a hand in adding to the confusion. This practice was quite common in Arabia, both before and after the advent of Islam, till it was prohibited by the Qur’anic injunction which reads: Postponement of a month is only an excess of disbelief, whereby those who disbelieve are misled. (at-tauba: 37)

On the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, the holy Prophet had declared, “Time has returned to the original state that obtained when the heavens and the earth were created”. These words were of Divine Inspiration for the Arab arrangement of time into days, weeks, months and years had been changed so frequently that it could not be relied upon nor restored to its original form through mathematical calculation. It is, therefore, incorrect to question the authenticity of successive Traditions merely on the basis of an erratic and inconstant Calendar.

It is also possible that the Jews of Madinah were different from the other Jewish communities where the fast of ‘Ashura was concerned and observed it with greater enthusiasm and regularity, and, in this respect, they were similar to the Arabs who, seeing that so many important events had taken place on that day, fasted on it out of reverence.

It is related by Ayesha(ra) , “the Quraish fasted on the day of ‘Ashura during the period of Ignorance and the sacred Prophet(saw) also kept it.”(Sahih Muslim). Further, the fast days among the Jews living in different countries differed from one another. We have seen how in the Jewish Encyclopedia it is indicated that apart from the fixed fast-days many fasts of a local or national character had become established among the Jews from the early days, which varied from place to place. Private fasts were also common among the Jews and one could take it upon oneself to fast on certain days in memory of certain events or at the time of adversity to arouse God’s mercy. In these circumstances, it is quite possible that the fast of ‘Ashura, on the tenth day of the first month of the Arab Calendar, was peculiar to the Jews living in Arabia alone. Perhaps, it is for this reason that the Talmud and the Jewish Calendar are silent on this score. Some historians have treated it as identical! to the Fast of Atonement which all the Jews, wherever they be, consider obligatory. Thus, those who subscribe to this view are inclined to doubt the veracity of the afore-mentioned traditions. But their judgment is influenced by the ignorance of the habits and practices of the Jews living in various parts of the world, specially in Arabia where they had been settled for generations as a distinct community, possessing their own beliefs and customs and receiving local impressions in the historical course of things.

 

Question #5:

Was the calendar that the Jews used for that fast of theirs based on lunar or solar months?

Answer:

If we say that it was based on lunar months, then there is no problem, because the tenth of Muharram does not change every year. But if we say that it was based on solar months, then there is a problem, because this day will change every year (in relation to the lunar calendar) and will not always coincide with the tenth day of Muharram.

Ibn al-Qayyim(rah) mentioned this difference of opinion, and explained that he was of the view that their calendar was based on the solar months, so when the Prophet(saw) saw the Jews fasting on that day, it was in Rabee‘ al-Awwal when he first came to Madinah, and the date based on the solar calendar coincided with his arrival. With regard to the real day on which Allah saved Moosa, it was the tenth of Muharram, but because they followed a solar calendar, they got the day wrong.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah(rah) said:

If they followed the solar calendar, there is no confusion about the meaning of the hadeeth, and the day on which Allah saved Moosa was the day of ‘Ashoora’ in Muharram. Thus the people of the Book worked it out according to a solar calendar, and that coincided with the Prophet’s arrival in Madinah in Rabee‘ al-Awwal. The fast observed by the people of the Book was worked out according to a solar calendar, whereas the Muslims’ fast is according to the lunar calendar, as is their pilgrimage and all important occasions that are obligatory or recommended. The Prophet (saw) said: “We are closer to Moosa than you.” Thus it becomes clear that the Muslims should have a greater reason to venerate that day and work out when it is, and that they (the Jews) got it wrong, because they were using a solar calendar, as the Christians got it wrong with regard to their fast, when they put it in a particular season of the year, with the result that it could coincide with any lunar month. (Zaad al-Ma‘aad fi Hadiy Khayr al-‘Ibaad, 2/69, 70)

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajr mentioned this possible interpretation, and refuted it, and he refuted Ibn al-Qayyim’s favouring of this view.

He (rah) said:

Some of the later scholars said: It may be that their fast was worked out according to the solar calendar, which does not rule out the possibility of ‘Ashoora’ occurring in Rabee‘ al-Awwal, which would resolve the problem (of understanding the hadeeth) altogether. This was stated by Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Hadiy, where he said: The fast observed by the people of the Book was worked out according to a solar calendar. But I say: What he claimed of the problem being resolved is strange, because it leads to another problem, which is that the Prophet(saw) instructed the Muslims to fast ‘Ashoora’ according to the lunar calendar, and it is known how the Muslims fasted ‘Ashoora’ in all eras: it was in Muharram and not in any other month. Yes, I found a report in at-Tabaraani with a jayyid isnaad from Zayd ibn Thaabit who said: The day of ‘Ashoora’ is not the day people say it is; rather it is the day on which the cover of the Ka‘bah replaced and the Abyssinians play with swords and other tools of war, and was not fixed in one (lunar) month. The people used to go to So and so, the Jew, and ask him when it was; when he died they came to Zayd ibn Thaabit and asked him.

Based on this, the way to reconcile the reports is to say that it was originally like that (based on a solar calendar), then when the Prophet (saw) instructed the Muslims to fast ‘Ashoora’, he based it on the shar‘i ruling, which is to base it on the lunar calendar, and the Muslims followed that. But with regard to the claim that the people of the Book based their fast on a solar calendar, that is subject to further discussion. The Jews base their fast on a lunar calendar, and this is what we have seen them do. It may be that among them were some who followed a solar calendar, but there are none who do that now, just as those of whom Allah has told us that they said that ‘Uzayr was a son of God no longer exist. Exalted be Allah far above that. (Fath al-Baari, 7/267; see also 4/247)

Elsewhere in Fath al-Baari, al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar says, commenting on the report of at-Tabaraani:

I came across something similar in al-Athaar al-Qadeemah by Abu’r-Rayhaan al-Bayrooni, and what he said, in brief, was: the ignorant among the Jews base their fasts and festivals on astronomical calculations, so their year is solar, not lunar. I say: Hence they need someone who has knowledge of such calculations, so that they can rely on him for that purpose. (Fath al-Baari, 4/247, 248)

With regard to the report of Zayd ibn Thaabit that was mentioned by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (rah), and to which he responded, al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (rah) has discussed its isnaad and text.

He (rah) said: This suggests that ‘Ashoora’ is not in Muharram; rather its date is worked out according to the solar calendar, as the people of the Book do, and this is contrary to the practice of the Muslims in earlier times. Ibn Abi’z-Zinnaad is not to be relied on in reports that are narrated only by him. He regarded the entire hadeeth as being from Zayd ibn Thaabit, and the latter part of it is not fit to be the words of Zayd, so perhaps that is the words of another narrator. And Allah knows best.  (Lataa’if al-Ma‘aarif, p. 53)

 

Conclusion:

Without a shred of doubt, the injust, biased and polemic claim that the fasting of Ashura is merely a Jewish tradition and that the Sahaba and later on the Umayyads introduced it into Islam to belittle the tragedy of Karbala’ and to celebrate on that day by fasting is a blatant LIE, yet  we will be faced with this SHAMELESS lie on major Shia TV channels, Shia websites, Shia preachers and even by their major scholars, despite the fact that its an established fact from the books of Shias that, the fasting of Ashura was a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) and the Imams from Ahlelbayt(as). Hence we would like to advice the objective Shia readers that, whatever your stand as a Shia is going to be, whether you want to follow the beautiful Sunnah of Prophet(saw) & Ahlelbayt(as)  or you want to skip it and engage in self-flagellation, and the other similar innovations, it’s upto you, but think twice before calling the Sunnah of Prophet(saw) and Ahlelbayt as an innovation of Bani Umayyah.

We had given them ears, eyes, and hearts but none of their ears, eyes, and hearts proved to be of any benefit to them; they rejected the revelations of God and the torment which they mocked brought upon them utter destruction.(Quran 46:26)

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