Special features this issue
Dear sisters and brothers of the Muslim community,
According to the moon sighting process for North America, the first
day of Muharram was January 10th. This means that the 10th day of
Muharram, or the day of 'Aashoura, is January 19th, 2008.
Let me just ask The Almighty God to bless all of us during those days
It would be recommended to fast Friday and Saturday or Saturday and
Sunday, if you are able to. Please see the detailed description of
what this occasion is about:
What is 'Aashoura?
'Aashoura was preserved through time by the Arabian Jews as Yom Kippur
(10 Tishrei) as a day of expiation from sin. At the time of the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him), Jews still observed a modified lunar
calendar consisting of 10 months with leap months every few years.
The 10th of Muharram and the 10th of Tishrei overlapped, and Muslims
were enjoined to continue the practice.
Ibn Abbas reported: "The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews
fasting the day of 'Aashoura. He asked them: "Why are you fasting
this day?" They said: "This is a great day. God saved Musa (Moses)
and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore
Musa fasted on it. "The Prophet said: "We have as much of a right
to Moses as you do. So, it is our duty to also celebrate him" In other
words, we Muslims have to celebrate the freedom of Moses and the Israelites.
So Muhammad, Upon him be peace, fasted on that day also and ordered
the Muslims to fast on that day." [al-Bukhari].
Why fast 'Aashoura +1 day?
Abd-Allaah ibn 'Abbaas said: "When the Messenger of God, peace be
upon him, fasted on 'Aashoura' and commanded the Muslims to fast as
well, they said, 'O Messenger of God, it is a day that is venerated
by the Jews and Christians.' So, Prophet Muhammad out of happiness
said, 'If I live to see the next year, with God's will, we will fast
on the ninth day too.' But it so happened that the prophet passed
away before the next year came." (Reported by Imam Muslim).
Imam Al-Shafi and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: "It
is preferred to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the
Prophet fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth."
Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, said: "For fasting
the day of 'Aashoura', I hope that the Almighty will accept our repentance
and will forgive us for the sins of the most recent year." (Reported
by Imam Muslim, 1976).
Imagine how much love prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace had and
imagine how much inclusive he was. He was indeed a mercy unto mankind.
Our Muslim love of our Jewish sisters and brothers stems from the
actions and the words of our prophet Muhammad. Hence we the Muslim
ummah must use this opportunity to reach out to our Jewish neighbors
to join hands with them in the pursuit of justice, freedom and peace
for all God's people.
I hope that the Almighty one delivers the Israelis and the Palestinians
from the slavery of the 60 years conflict and to liberate us all from
hate and wars.
May God guide us with His light and Hikmah, wisdom.
Imam Yahya Hendi
January 17, 2008