The 10th of Muharram – Yawmu Aashura, is a ‘big day’ in the Islamic calendar. The fast of Aashura was Fardh (compulsory) until Allah SWT decreed the fasting of Ramadan, the reward of which is forgiveness for the past year’s sins. In order to distinguish from the fasting of the Jews, Nabi-e-Kareem (SAW) made a declaration to fast Aashura and either the day before or the day after. However, if a person is unable and fasts only Aashura itself, this is permissible (although undesirable) and will be rewarded. Aashura is a day of generosity and spending on one’s family, neighbours, friends and the poor. Spend with an open heart and one will be rewarded with Barakah until the next Aashura! Allah SWT intends ease, so don’t create difficulty by asking unnecessary questions (like the Bani Isra’il) and adding our own interpretations such as ‘Aashura meals’. The fast of Aashura is in appreciation of Allah SWT liberating the Bani Isra’il from the oppression of Firaun, which they faced as a result of neglecting the Din, the similarity of which is seen in the Ummah today. Profound lessons are taken from the tragic martyrdom of Sayyidina Hussain RA, the beloved grandson of Nabi-e-Kareem (SAW) which coincidentally occurred on the day of Aashura. Martyrdom in Islam is not lamented, but considered a victory and source of inspiration as it is with the very blood of the Shuhada that the garden of Islam is watered for which they will be rewarded with high ranks on the Day of Qiyamah. The greatest lesson to be learnt in this time of crisis in the Ummah is to make a difference, take some direction in life and be of benefit to humanity!
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