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The History of `Ashuraa’ (Ahadith 1611 – 1612)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 116:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) observed the fast on the 10th of Muharram (‘Ashura), and ordered (Muslims) to fast on that day, but when the fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed, the fasting of the ‘Ashura’ was abandoned. ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu) did not use to fast on that day unless it coincided with his routine fasting by chance.


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 117:

Narrated ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhu):

(The tribe of) Quraish used to fast on the day of Ashura’ in the Pre-lslamic period, and then Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) ordered (Muslims) to fast on it till the fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed; whereupon the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He who wants to fast (on ‘Ashura’) may fast, and he who does not want to fast may not fast.”

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musa fasted on this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Musa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” [Reported by al-Bukhari, 1865] “This is a righteous day” – in a report narrated by Muslim, [the Jews said:] “This is a great day, on which Allah saved Musa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people.” “Musa fasted on this day” – a report narrated by Muslim adds: ” … in thanksgiving to Allah, so we fast on this day.” According to a report narrated by al-Bukhari: ” … so we fast on this day to venerate it.” A version narrated by Imam Ahmad adds: “This is the day on which the Ark settled on Mount Judi, so Nuh fasted this day in thanksgiving,” and “commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day” – according to another report also narrated by al-Bukhari: “He said to his Companions: ‘You have more right to Musa than they do, so fast on that day.’ ”

The practice of fasting on ‘Ashura’ was known even in the days of Jahiliyyah, before the Prophet’s mission. It was reported that ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The people of Jahiliyyah used to fast on that day … ”

Al-Qurtubi said: “Perhaps Quraysh used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Ibrahim, upon whom be peace.”

It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast on ‘Ashura’ in Makkah, before he migrated to Madinah. When he migrated to Madinah, he found the Jews celebrating this day, so he asked them why, and they replied as described in the hadith quoted above. He commanded the Muslims to be different from the Jews, who took it as a festival, as was reported in the hadithof Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: “The Jews used to take the day of ‘Ashura’ as a festival [according to a report narrated by Muslim: the day of ‘Ashura’ was venerated by the Jews, who took it as a festival. According to another report also narrated by Muslim: the people of Khaybar (the Jews) used to take it as a festival and their women would wear their jewellery and symbols on that day].The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘So you [Muslims] should fast on that day.’ ” [Reported by al-Bukhari] Apparently the motive for commanding the Muslims to fast on this day was the desire to be different from the Jews, so that the Muslims would fast when the Jews did not, because people do not fast on a day of celebration. [Summarized from the words of al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar – may Allah have mercy on him – in Fath al-Bari Sharh ‘ala Sahih al-Bukhari]

Fasting on ‘Ashura’ was a gradual step in the process of introducing fasting as a prescribed obligation in Islam. Fasting appeared in three forms. When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah, he told the Muslims to fast on three days of every month and on the day of ‘Ashura’, then Allah made fasting obligatory when He said (interpretation of the meaning): ” … observing the fasting is prescribed for you … ” [Al-Qur’an 2:183] [Ahkam al-Qur’an by al-Jassas, part 1]

The obligation was transferred from the fast of ‘Ashura’ to the fast of Ramadhan, and this one of the proofs in the field of Usul al-Fiqh that it is possible to abrogate a lighter duty in favour of a heavier duty.

Before the obligation of fasting ‘Ashura’ was abrogated, fasting on this day was obligatory, as can be seen from the clear command to observe this fast. Then it was further confirmed later on, then reaffirmed by making it a general command addressed to everybody, and once again by instructing mothers not to breastfeed their infants during this fast. It was reported from Ibn Mas’ud that when fasting Ramadhan was made obligatory, the obligation to fast ‘Ashura’ was lifted, i.e., it was no longer obligatory to fast on this day, but it is still desirable (mustahabb).

[Taken from SunnahOnline.com]

The Science of Hadith (Ahadith 656-657)

Salam,
Bismillah.

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 656:

Narrated Aisha:

the mother of the believers: Allah’s Apostle during his illness prayed at his house while sitting whereas some people prayed behind him standing. The Prophet beckoned them to sit down. On completion of the prayer, he said, ‘The Imam is to be followed: bow when he bows, raise up your heads (stand erect) when he raises his head and when he says, ‘Sami a-l-lahu liman-hamida ‘ (Allah heard those who sent praises to Him) say then ‘Rabbana wa laka-l-hamd’ (O our Lord! All the praises are for You), and if he prays sitting then pray sitting.”

The provision of this Hadith has been abrogated by the last action of the Prophet (SAW). See next Hadith.

According to some other scholars, this Hadith is not abrogated. Some say this action (as in the Hadith above) can still be followed. Others say we can’t do so. And yet another group of scholars say we can follow both.

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 657:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Once Allah’s Apostle rode a horse and fell down and the right side (of his body) was injured. He offered one of the prayers while sitting and we also prayed behind him sitting. When he completed the prayer, he said, “The Imam is to be followed. Pray standing if he prays standing and bow when he bows; rise when he rises; and if he says, ‘Sami a-l-lahu-liman hamida, say then, ‘Rabbana wa Lakal-hamd’ and pray standing if he prays standing, and pray sitting (all of you) if he prays sitting.”

Humaid said: The saying of the Prophet “Pray sitting, if he (Imam) prays sitting” was said in his former illness (during his early life) but the Prophet prayed sitting afterwards (in the last illness) and the people were praying standing behind him and the Prophet did not order them to sit. We should follow the latest actions of the Prophet.

Similar Hadith has been covered before. Read here.

Here’s when we realize how important knowledge of Hadith is. The sciences of Hadith. It’s quite a vast subject, I must say. Just to give you an example from `Ilm-ur-Rijaal: a Hadith has two parts: the chain of narrators (sanad) and the text (matn). Chain of narrators in Imaam Bukhari’s time usually had 3-6 narrators. In order for a Hadith to be claimed Saheeh (authentic), it’s important to check each narrator’s `aqeedah, character, scholars’ opinion about them, memory etc. Imaam Bukhari used to check each narrator for each Hadith, and when he was sure that each narrator was an honest, reliable person having a good memory etc., only then would he include the Hadith in his book. Imagine! He did the same check for more than 7000 Ahadith! O_O

This is just a tiny bit. There’s a LOT more to what we call `Ulum-ul-Hadith.

More on Hadith Sciences here.

Wassalam.

Ablution or Bath? (Hadith No. 180)

Salam,
Bismillah.

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 180:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khud:

Allah’s Apostle sent for a Ansari man who came with water dropping from his head. The Prophet said, “Perhaps we have forced you to hurry up, haven’t we?” The Ansari replied, “Yes.” Allah’s Apostle further said, “If you are forced to hurry up (during intercourse) or you do not discharge then ablution is due on you (This order was cancelled later on, i.e. one has to take a bath).

Cancellation of an order = abrogation. Read more on it here.
Even if there is no discharge, one has to take a bath.

Wassalam.

Abrogation (Hadith No. 179)

Salam,
Bismillah.

Hadith no. 178 is a repeat. Read it here.

Abrogation is like putting an end to something. A few verses (ayaat) of the Quran were abrogated and some Ahadith as well. It was due to different needs of the Muslims in different situations. Remember, the only one  having the power/ability to abrogate a verse/order is Allah. No human being has done it/can do it. Read more about it here. An example will be found in today’s Hadith.

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 179:

Narrated Zaid bin Khalid:

I asked ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan about a person who engaged in intercourse but did no discharge. ‘Uthman replied, “He should perform ablution like the one for ar ordinary prayer but he must wash his penis.” ‘Uthman added, “I heard it from Allah’s Apostle.” I asked ‘Ali Az-Zubair, Talha and Ubai bin Ka’b about it and they, too, gave the same reply. (This order was cancelled later on and taking a bath became necessary for such cases).

So in the beginning, only ablution (wudu) was required after the described intercourse. But later on, the hukm (order) changed, and ghusl (bath) became compulsory. Who did it? Allah!

There’s a lot of discussion regarding how’s and why’s on this subject, but let’s not touch that topic..

Wassalam.

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