Ashura of Muharram - A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance |

Ashura of Muharram – A Shia and Sunni Muslim Observance

10th of Muharram (the day of Ashura / Ashoora) is observed as an important day by both Sunni Muslims and Shia – however, for different reasons.

Most scholars believe that Ahsura is named as such because of “tenth” of Muharram (ten is translated as “Ashara” in the Arabic language)

Quran Islam Allah Dua

Quran Islam Allah

Sunni Muslims look at Ashura as a day of “respect and gratitude” (for Prophet Moosa and his nation), while Shia Muslims believe that day to be a day of mourning and sorrow. The following is an explanation of the difference.

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Sunni Muslims

Based on the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (saws), Sunni Muslims celebrate Ashura as the day when Prophet Moses (Moosa) fasted on that day because Allah saved the Israelites from their enemy in Egypt. One of the many Ahadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) that attests to that is in Bukhari that states:

Narrated by al-Bukhari (1865) from Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: The Prophet (saws) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashoora. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa fasted on this day.” He (the Prophet Muhammad) said, “We are closer to Moosa (Prophet Moses) than you.”

So Prophet Muhammad fasted on this day in Muharram and told the people to fast.

There are many other versions of this Hadith in the books of “Muslim” and “Bukhari”.

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According to a version narrated by Muslim,

This is a great day when Allah saved Moosa (Moses) and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people.”

Sunni Muslims celebrate Ashura by fasting on that day. Usually, Sunni Muslims are recommended to fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

Al-Shafa’i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: It is mustahabb [recommended] to fast both the ninth and the tenth, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fasted the tenth and intended to fast the ninth. Based on this, there are different ways of fasting ‘Ashoora’, the least of which is to fast the tenth only, but it is better to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better. (

In Jewish tradition, this festival is celebrated as the Passover, which is their way to commemorate their liberation over 3,300 years ago by God from slavery in ancient Egypt that was ruled by the Pharaohs, and their freedom under the leadership of Prophet Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

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Other Ahadith on the subject are the following:

The prophet observed the fast on Ashura (the 10th of Muharram), and ordered (Muslims) to fast on that day. (Agreed upon Hadith i.e. Bukhari & Muslim).

Narrated by Abi Katada: The prophet was asked about fasting on Ashura (the 10th of Muharram), he said: “it expiates the previous year (for sins).” (Sahih Muslim)

It was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that the best fasting after Ramadan is fasting in the month of Muharram. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best fasting after Ramadan is the month of Allah, Muharram, and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night.” Narrated by Muslim, 1163.

Sunni shia history book

Shia Muslims’ observance of Ashura is different altogether. They observe Ashura as the day of martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala. Shia Muslims, therefore, consider this a day of sorrow and observe it as such by refraining from music, listening to sorrowful poetic recitations, wearing mourning attire, and refraining from all joyous events (e.g. weddings) that in anyway distract them from the sorrowful remembrance of that day. (Read here about Sunni Shia History and Conflicts) Also, see the comments below and add yours with facts. Shia Muslims Observance

sunni shia history

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157 comments… add one
  • Ramadhan Link Reply

    Dear brothers and sisters in Islaam,
    If we really love Allah and His Rasul(SAW), this is a big deal.We are all aware that Fast belongs to Allah and He knows what He will reward His servernts for it.Therefore i would urge my fellow muslim brothers and sisters to fast in large numbers and observe all the rules and regulation regarding fasting and Inshallah we will gain the precious rewads for it, and it may be one way of protection from the daily calamities that we face. Ameen.

  • lujain Link Reply

    Mashallah beautiful article Jazakumullah khair.

  • FAZELA Link Reply


  • Matthew Collins Link Reply

    These are the facts. We have a clear record of the Prophet fasting on the 10th of Muharram. This is a sunnah of the Prophet recorded in Ahadith. In addition we also have recorded in Ahadith that the Prophet desired/recommended the fasting on the 9th. In addition the Prophet stated that fasting on the 10th expiates the sins for the last year. There is no record of the Prophet inflicting bodily harm upon himself. There is no record of the Prophet morning the anniversary of anyone’s death. The Prophet prohibited the veneration of anyone after their death as the Christians did. We know it is a fact that Christians every church service celebrate the “death” of Jesus (Isaa’) as part of their worship. Such practices were never practiced by the Prophet, or even by Ali, for any of the Sahabah or even Ahlil Bayt (the Prophet’s family members). In addition to this we know that the Prophet did not reveal any benefit (such as the expiation for sins) with celebrating the annual return of the death of any individual. We also know that by fasting on this day, we are honoring not one but two Prophets (Muhammad who practiced it and Musa who is associated with the original event that the day remembers).

    Any Muslim, regardless of their personal beliefs, when presented with the evidence must reach the following conclusions: Regardless of when Ali was killed, the Prophet had already given instructions as to how to act on the 10th of Muharram. The death of no human can change those instructions (not even Ali). The expiation of sins was given by the Prophet for the observance of fasting on that day in honor of another prophet (Musa). There was no benefit given for the repeated mourning of any Prophet, or Sahabah and in fact the opposite was true the annual recurrence is never celebrated for fear of it becoming Shirk).

    No matter whether you are Sunni, Shia, Sufi, you are at the end of the day, MUSLIM. As a Muslim, we bear witness of two statements “laa ilaaha ilaa-llah” and “Muhammadar Rasoolul-laah”. We all acknowledge that Muhammad is the last Prophet. No matter how wonderful Ali was, he was NOT the one that Allah chose for Prophethood. The name “Mahamadim” is the name of the Last Prophet given in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Yod Meem at the end is a plural of respect so the name that results when the plural end is taken off is Meem Heh, Meem Daleth or Mahamad. There is no way that Mahamad can be confused with Ali. In addition, no one in their right mind is going to think that the Jews are going to go out of their way, to rewrite their holy scriptures to intentionally place the name of a prophet they rejected into their book, in place of Ali, just to support the views of Sunni Muslims (not to mention the fact that no one who would be in the Shia sect had a problem with Muhammad’s Prophethood until after his death).

    In summary, the Prophet provided us with a means and reward for celebrating the 10th Day of Muharram, If we are Muslims, then follow the example of the Prophet and fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th of Muharram at least and have your sins forgiven for the past year. If you are not Muslims and belong to some other religion or culture other than the Deen of Islam, then mourn and hold mock funeral precessions, put up a Christmas tree decorated with popcorn on a string, dress up in costumes and beg your neighbors for candy with the treat of pulling an ill intended prank on them if they refuse, or some other custom of your own devising. But to be a Muslim means you follow the way shown by the Prophet Muhammad, and Muhammad fasted.

  • Ramatu Bello Link Reply

    JazaakAllahu khairan, every article posted on this humble site is always very motivating. Islam is very crystal clear religion, may ALLAH(SWT) continue to shown his mercy and guidance on all muslims.

  • May Allah ( SWT ) guide us and increase our knowledge of HIS deen and help us to hold on tight to our Quran and Sunnah, do not let us go astray.

  • ian Link Reply

    I really appriciate Matthew Collins for his reply

  • Mudasir Link Reply

    Salaam u Alikum.. to all who read these replies.

    With due respect and faith in all ahadiths quoted i beleive its all humble ness u should possess. No Muslim should forget what happend in Karbala..Keep fasting on 9th and 10th but do remember the sacrifice of grand sons of prophet(s.a.w) ..they were our true leaders..Do talk abt Uome Ashura among u So to spread ISLAM..Allah Hafiz

  • Assalamu Alaikum

    We have to bear in our mind that what ever we are doing is useful to us here or in the next world. If it is a good act then it is an act of Ibadah(worshiping) in which we are expecting reward from Allah SWT. Also any act of Ibadah must trace its origin from the prophet Muhammad SAW and also practice it as he thought, otherwise it is null and void. Allah SWT sent the prophet to be a model to us and immitate him. Then on any issue we have to refer it to the prophet on how he did it or asked to do it. We cannot manufacture our own mode of worship however good or bad it is and expect to be rewarded by Allah SWT.
    Brothers and sisters in Islam (Sunni or Shia) do not INTRODUCE what was not part of Islam and call it an Ibadah. As prophet said “whoever bring in an innovation which does not belong to our religion, is definetly rejected”

  • Nadeem Link Reply

    Mashallah, I totally agree with comments of my brothers & sisters, Hope this important information about 10th Muharram should reach to every musilm, And they will follow the commandment of Allah (SWT). and follow the sunnah. I appreciate the Iqrasense team for the kind efforts to publish the authentic truth about Islam. Jazakallah.

  • Kamal Link Reply

    Asalam Alaikum,

    I think the reason given in the last paragraph for describing the Ashura practices as innovation is a weak one. It is based on faulty reasoning.

    The basis states that during the lifetime of the Prophet PBUH many senior Sahabah were martryed, and the Prophet PBUH mourned their loss but never performed any self flagellation, thats why Sunnis believe such practices are innovations. Can we really compare the martyrdom of the senior Sahabah with the awful tragedy of 10th Muharram? These are two totally seperate scenarios with completely different backgrounds.

    These two events cannot be compared and a parallel cannot be drawn. The main difference in the scenarios is of the Enemies, the adversaries faced and the relation of the martyrs to the Prophet PBUH.

    The Sahabah were martyred fighting the Kuffar, the idol worshippers, the ones who hated the Prophet PBUH & his followers and opposed him tooth and nail. The Kuffar sought to kill the Prophet PBUH and plotted several times to achieve that. They did not believe in one God and waged many wars against Muhammad PBUH for preaching Islam. Given this background, death was an expected possibility facing the Sahabah. Still they were courageous and full of spirit, and against all odds they defeated the Kuffar and many of them embraced martyrdom during this process. Their heroic deeds greatly helped in spreading Islam.

    Lets take a look at what happened in Karbala. This time it is the Prophet’s Grandson and his Companions who are facing not the infidels, not the idol worshippers but there own fellow Muslims who believe in the same Allah & who believe in the same Prophet Muhammad PBUH. These purported Muslims go on and slaughter the Prophet’s family in a most brutal and barbaric manner. The Righteous are deprived of water for 3 days. The Prophet’s Grandson is decapitated and his body trampled to bits. His male companions also meet a heart rending fate. The female family members who survive face torture and imprisonment.

    So, the extremely different circumstances are clear. It is clear what the Prophet’s PBUH reaction is on the martyrdom of his senior Sahabah, at the hands of the infidels. But it is unclear as to what his reaction would be at the martyrdom of his own Flesh & Blood, at the hand of fellow Muslims. As this event occurred after his death, nothing can be said with 100% certainty.

    One thing is clear, the mourning practices do not have any reward or Sawab, as they are not Ibadah. But are these mourning practices innovation. This is a really difficult question to answer. Also, what is the proper way to mourn this tragedy. The solution lies in Ijtihad but that may also be a problem, depending on what sect or Ulema one follows.

    I feel the irony, uniqueness and significance of the Karbala Tragedy is lost on most Muslims. If it is advisable to fast on 10th Muharram, then do it. But this cannot somehow diminish the Karbala Tragedy. All Muslims should look into the reasons why this event happened and what are the lessons to be learnt from it.

    • Anonymous Link Reply

      Br. Kamal

      BarakAllaahu alaih, you make some great points.

      What I’d to remind you and my fellow brothers and sisters, is that fasting the 10th of Muharram has text the back it up. Ayats where Allaah commands us to take whatever the Prophet (sallaahu alaihi was sallam) gives us and abstain from whatever he commands to abstain. We’re also commanded to obey and follow his example, and the list goes on.

      What happened in Karbala was and is truly a tragedy, but there is no textual evidence that it is to be memorialized in this fashion (or at all-to that matter).

      Fasting the 10th of Muharram is a form of ibadah, why, because the Prophet ordered the Believers to fast.

      The Battle of Badr was an eventful and praiseworthy battle. The Believers were victorious, alhamdulillaah. The Battle of Uhud was aslo eventful and there were many losses, but never in history did the Beleivers memorialize any battle or loss of life.

      So, the extremely different circumstances ARE clear. Sunni are worshipping and Shia are mourning. Big difference!

      • Not a scholar Link Reply

        The religion of islam was perfect and clear in all respects as soon as the prophet (PBUH) died. Therefore we don’t need any further clarity. Since there is no evidence of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mourning especially after the death of his family members (as you say), it is not needed because if it was needed (for eg to mourn for Ahle Bayt), Allah would have sent a revelation to this effect.

    • Sultan Link Reply

      Dear Br. Kamal, us Salamu aleikum wa Rahmatullahi ta’ala wa Barakatuhu:

      You know very well that the Sunnis are the true followers of the “Ahl-ul Beit” of our Beloved Prophet Sal-Allahu aleihi wa Salam. We love, respect and revere them . Furthermore, the Sunnis also condemn the Martyrdoom of our Beloved Imam Husein (Radi-Allahu ta’aala anhu) and his beloved family and companion.

      You should ask your self a question which is: “Whether Imam Hussein (R.A.) had gone to get the bei’aa of his followers or did he go out to fight Yazid and his cronies?”

      If he (R.A.) went out to fight, then why did he take his female family members as well as the children along with him to the battle-field?
      Who had taken children and females along to the field with them prior to this tragic incident?
      If he(R.A.) had gone out to get the pledge from the people of Kuffa and was betrayed by the Shias, then it’s obvious that the Shias have to beat themselves from that day until the day that they’ll realize their deception with Imam Husein (R.A.).

      Please study the history and find out what was the reason for Sayedina Imam Husein (R.A.) to take his family along with him. May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala) Guide all of us and Keep us all on the Straight Path. Ameen thuma ameen!

    • thehassanabdi Link Reply

      @Kamal Did prophet MUHAMMAD pbuh harm himself in mourning the sahabas? NO! Why then aren’t you following his example? Remember that “body” is not yours and you will be held responsible if you misuse it.

  • ASSALA-MU-ALAIKUM…………….to all the people created by ALLAH>……….Thanks a lot for this beautiful information. Till now I had no Clue why we actually celebrate the 10th day Muharrram. I knew only one side of it that shias celebrate to mourn the death of ALi……Thanks for giving the other side which is why actually celebrate Ashura for. KHUDA HAFIZ……..

    • Anonymous Link Reply

      Wa alaikumus salaam.. Jst wanted to corresct this part.. We (Shias) commemorate ashoora because of the death of Imam Hussayn- the 3rd Imam and not Imam Ali

  • Masoud Ali Link Reply

    As Salaam alaikum,

    JazaakALLAHU khairan, Thanks for a good article and appriciatable reply by brother Matthew Collins.

    Thanks again.

    May ALLAH SWT give Hidaya to me and all of my muslim brothers and sisters.

  • Parvin Link Reply

    Salaamun Alaikom.

    As a shia Muslim who has benefited from your website and many useful material, I would like to mention some points about your article:
    1) None of shia scholars do not affirm any extreme behavior who harms body (like cutting themselves with knives, etc) and shia leaders consider those acts Haraam. Therefore, what some parts of shia community do should not be generalized to the shia theology.
    2) Mourning and grieving for the Karbala massacre was traditionally conceived as an objection to the cruelty of the so called Islamic government towards the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad whose only concern and intention was to reform the deviated religion of his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is still the case now, and shia Muslims commemorate that event, because of the great sacrifice of Hossein Ibn Ali for reforming Islam.
    3) Generally, mourning and being sad about an event such as loosing a great human is present in the Islamic theology. It is exactly the case with the Prophet Ya’ghoub for Prophet Yousef, and also the case of declaring the year in which Khadija (Prophet Muhammad’s wife) and Abou Taleb (Prophet Muhammad’s uncle) as Aam-ol-Hozn (Year of Grieve). Therefore, we could say that the Karbala massacre was so shocking that caused some Muslims to leave happiness in that day and exercise grieving instead.

    This discussion can be continued, if anyone was willing to ask further questions.

    May Allah help Muslims all over the world to unite according to our great commonalities (the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad Hadiths, etc) in order to beat Kuffar.

  • Jwaher Link Reply

    Sister Parvin – salamalaikum,

    Thanks for your comments. I do not consider myself religious by any account. I am the first one to say that Muslims should never get into arguments that split them apart but I have some serious questions and issues regarding some Shia beliefs. May be you can help all of us answer those –

    before I ask the questions, I want you to watch three videos that are posted on youtube – there are many more such videos but these are only indicative of the issues I want to address with my shia sisters and brothers.

    1) please search on the keyword “muharram lebanon” on youtube dot com – you will see a video titled “Muharram – Shiite Ritual” – watch that….
    2) go to site ahlelbayt dot com – scroll down and watch the video “Video: Shia Scholars…………..” – make sure to watch until the end..

    These are Shia scholars from around the world cursing sayyidana ayeshah. How can Shias justify the language used by Shia Scholars? We are not talking about some ignorant people off the street. In our religion, Allah tells us NEVER to curse even other gods – how can these scholars from many countries justify using foul language against the beloved wife of Prophet ? Even if she was not beloved, does this make sense to you to use this language for anyone?

    In the Muharram video where many Shiites in Lebanon are taking part in this ritual by the thousands, how can you justify the brutal hurting of children? Does that make sense?

    As for the beloved grandsons of the prophet, we all respect them but can they ever rise to the levels of the many prophets and messangers who were brutally murdered? If if if even there was justification of hurting yourself in mournings, the prophets mourning is more justified than the grandsons of a prophet.

    I hope I am not offending anyone but these are facts – ritual of thousands of people and Shiite scholars. Is that justified? Please watch those vides until the end. Also, if you think that they are isolated cases, you can find hundreds of similar videos of scholard and people from other parts of the world.

    I am not religious and do believe that everyone has their own beliefs but this behavior does not seem “religious” to me by any accounts.

    ~ Jwaher

    • Omer bin Abdulaziz Link Reply

      BarakAllah feeki for your reply.
      No one is a Muslim if he/she curses the Prophet (ASAW)’s companions and more so his wife – ummal momineen Aysha (RA).
      If he does, then he denies a verse from the Quran, which exonerates clears Ayesha (RA) of the blame the munafiqeen (hypocrites) leveled against her.
      And most of the Shias today do the same thing. How can then such people be called Muslims I wonder???

      And here’s a historical fact. Imam Zainul Abideen has no mention of the Karbala tragedy in his book or writings. The incident was highly exaggerated by the Persians, who have written most of Muslim history and messed it up completely so we stay divided.

  • Ashfaq Link Reply

    Lets come to a common terms between us.We don’t have to divide our selves as Sunnis or Shiets.At the time of our beloved prophet there was no such thing like this.If we divide our selves like this,then only every evil things comes in to our the time of the Prophet or Sahabas there was no deviation like this.If you would have asked this from them(Who are you?)They would have said I’m nothing but a Muslim.Please everyone of us should make an effort to have some dialogs and leave those differences and come to a same and fine platform which will stand along with the Qu’ran and the Sunna of our prophet.Jazakallahuhairan.

  • This is an extract of responses from some of the Islamic scholars – see references at the end –

    Fasting The 9th, 10th Or 10th and 11th of Muharram
    [A]: The fast of the day of ‘Ashura’ (tenth day of Muharram) is recommended, as its excellence has been mentioned in (a number of) ahaadeeth. From them, is the saying of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “Certainly the fast of the day of ‘Ashura’ is regarded by Allah as an expiation for the sins of the previous year.”
    Also, when the Prophet (Salla ‘Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) arrived in Madeenah he saw the Jews fasting (on this day), so when he asked them (about this), they said: “Certainly, this is the day when Allah made Moosaa victorious and destroyed Fir’own”. So the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “We have more of a right to Moosaa than you.” So he fasted (that day) and ordered it to be fasted.”
    As for the ninth, then it has not been confirmed that the Prophet (Sallallahu’alayhi wa sallam) fasted it, however, it has been narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaass (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) and others that the explanation (tafseer) of the day of
    ‘Ashura’ is that it is the ninth. And it has been narrated that he (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
    “If I am (still) here next year, then certainly I will fast the ninth (day of Muharram)” And in (another) narration: “along with the tenth (day of Muharram).”
    And he (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
    “Differ from the Jews; fast the day before it (the ninth) or the day after it (the eleventh).”
    So, this indicates that the fast of the ninth is legislated just as the tenth and it is recommended for the Muslims to increase in fasting during this month as in the saheeh hadeeth. The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The best of fasts after (the month of) Ramadhaan is the month of Allah which they refer to as Muharram.”
    On this day, the tenth of Muharram, there occurred an incident and that was the murder of al-Husayn (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu). And when he was murdered that day, the Raafidhah (commonly known as the Shee’ah) – may Allah disgrace them – (who are amongst those who exceed (their love for) ‘Alee (Ibn Abee Taalib) and his family such as al-Hasan and al-Husayn and their children), begun an innovation on that day which still exists today. And from their innovations are lamenting (loud weeping), obsequies (gathering as if for a funeral), afflicting oneself with cuts and acts of (the days of) ignorance (before Islaam), such as striking their cheeks and ripping their pockets (clothing), tearing out of the hair, supplicating with grief and distress throughout this day every year. They circulate many ahaadeeth regarding the day of ‘Ashura’ and its misfortune (concerning al-Husayn) and these ahaadeeth are lies against the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
    Then there was a nation called the Nawaasib, who were fanatics in contrast to the Shee’ah, who also began innovations. However, they were quite opposite to the Raafidhah. They would come out in their best garments and complete beauty and appearance, so as to irritate the Raafidhah, as they (also) circulated many ahaadeeth about the excellence of the day of ‘Ashura’, in (vast) contrast to the ahaadeeth which the Raafidhah had circulated. So, the Raafidhah say it is mentioned in the hadeeth: Whoever applies kohl (eyeliner – to the eyes) and beautifies (themselves) on the Day of ‘Ashura’, they are struck with ophthalmia. And the Nawaasib say: Whoever applies kohl (eyeliner – to the eyes) on the Day of ‘Ashura’ their eyes will never be struck with ophthalmia. And like this, they innovate and lie against the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and they act likewise. So, it is upon the Muslim not to be deceived by (any of) these (people). 1
    The Permissibility Of Fasting Only On The Day Of ‘Ashura’
    [Q]: Is it permissible to fast ‘Ashura’ just one day?
    A]: The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa: 2
    It is permissible to fast the day of ‘Ashura’ (tenth day of Muharram) just one day, however, it is better to fast the day before it or the day after it (also) and this is the established Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who said: “If I am (still) here next year, then certainly I shall fast the ninth (day of Muharram)” 3
    Ibn ‘Abbaas (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) said: “along with the tenth (day of Muharram)” And with Allah lies all the success, and may Allah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) family and his companions.

    1 Shaykh Ibn Jibreen Fataawa as-Siyaam – Page 94, Fatwa No.113,
    2 comprising Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Ibn Ghudayyaan Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Volume 10, Page 401, Fatwa No.13700
    3 Reported by Muslim, Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Abee Shaybah, at-Tahaawee, al-Bayhaqee
    and al-Baghawee
    The noble Shaykh ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked: what is the ruling on fasting on Friday?
    Fasting on a Friday is disliked, but not in the absoloute sense. So fasting on a Friday is disliked for the one who intended to fast it and singled it out for fasting [only] due to the saying of the prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
    “Do not single out the Friday for fasting nor its night for standing [in prayer – i.e. Thursday night]”
    As for if a person fasted coincidentally on a Friday due to it being a habitual practice of the person to fast, then there is no objection in that and the person is not at liberty. And likewise if he fasted the day before or the day after it [ i.e. Friday] there is no objection in that and the person is not at liberty, and there is no dislike [Islamically, in the matter]. An example of the first case: if it was from the habit of a person to fast one day and leave a day [fasting alternative days] and coincidentally fasted on a Friday, then there is no wrong/ objection in that. Likewise, if it was the persons habit to fast the day of ‘Arafah and coincidentally the day of ‘Arafah landed on a Friday, then there is no objection to him fasting on that Friday nor any restriction upon him because indeed he did not single out this day [to fast] merely because of it being a Friday but rather due to it being the day of ‘Arafah and likewise even if this day coincided with the day of ‘Ashura’ and he was limited to it [ i.e. to only fasting that day], then there is no objection in that [for him to fast] even though it would be better for him to also fast the day before or day after the day of ‘Ashura’.
    The second example: to fast the Thursday or Saturday along with the Friday. As for the one who fasted Friday without an eligible reason [such as it being other than a habit, or an act of sunnah that coincides with this day], then we say to him: if you wanted to fast Saturday [along with the Friday] then proceed with your fasting [on the Friday] and if you did not want to fast Saturday nor Thursday, then do not fast [on Friday] in accordance with what the messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered, and Allah is the Successful.
    Question: May the blessings of Allah be upon you, is it permissible to fast the day of Friday on its own?
    Response: The prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibited fasting the day of Friday on its own. One of his wives entered upon him or it was him who entered upon her and he found her fasting [on a Friday] so he asked her:
    “did you fast yesterday?”
    … and she replied: “no”
    …he asked her: “are you going to fast tomorrow?”
    … she replied: “no”
    …so he said: “break your fast”.
    But if Friday coincided with the day of ‘Arafah for example, and a person then fasted it [i.e. only the Friday], then there is no harm or objection [in doing so] because this man [questioner] fasted [the Friday] because of it being the day of ‘Arafah and not because it was merely a Friday [and] if Friday coincided with the day of ‘Ashura’ and he fasted it then there is no objection in him to singularly fast that that day since he fasted it because it is the day of ‘Ashura’ and not because it is merely a Friday. For this reason the prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
    “do not single out the day of Friday for fasting nor its night for standing [in prayer, i.e. Thursday night]” .
    So the matter has been determined with regards to a person who does this, particularly with regards to [fasting] the day of Friday and [standing in prayer on] the night of Friday [ i.e. Thursday night]

    Question : Is it permissible to fast ‘Ashura. just one day?
    Response: It is permissible to fast the day of ‘Ashura. (tenth day of Muharram) just one day, however, it is better to fast the day before it or the day after it (also) and this is the established Sunnah of the Prophet (sal-Allahu `alayhe wa sallam) who said:
    If I am (still) here next year, then certainly I shall fast the ninth (day of Muharram , [(reported by) Muslim, Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Abee Shaybah, at-Tahaawee, al-Bayhaqee and al-Baghawee]. Ibn ‘Abbaass (radhi-yAllahu ‘anhumaa) said:
    along with the tenth (day of Muharram.
    And with Allah lies all the success, and may Allah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

  • Yaqoob Link Reply

    Thanks Mos for providing such a beautiful comment which clearly distinguishes between sunni & other sects in Islam. Thanks to Iqrasense for a useful article like this which every muslim should be aware of.

  • N. abdul Salam Link Reply

    Jazakallah kairaljaza to for sending such relevant articles. Really you doing a great job for the cause of Allah. we muslims must fast such occassions and should not contradict for different reasons.

    Note: You should quote the hadith that what are the rewards for fasting on Ashura

  • Ashien Muneer Link Reply

    I have read that prophet Mohammed used to fast during Ramadan, day of Ashura, also three days in a month.Can anyone clarify as to which three days in a month we have to fast?Thanks.

    • aesha Link Reply

      13,14,15 of every month. Alternatively, one can fast on monday and thursday every week(it is sunnah)

  • Dawud Link Reply

    I studied the comments. I am a Shia from Iran. My dear brothers and sisters let’s not curse each other and discuss the points of difference by patience and reasoning and by clinging only to the HOLY QURAN not Ahadith and also not put them aside. Because a lot of Ahadith have been fabricated in order to serve one’s own purpose. We respect our Sunni brothers and sisters. But as you know the history is written by the conqureres and we were not conqureres. As a muslim and following the HOLY QURAN , we must think and elaborate on Ahadith. Consider the Hadith : ” The fast of the day of Ashura is regarded by Allah as an expiation for the sins of the previous year.” Now let’s answer the folllowing questions: 1. Can we find a proof from the HOLY Quran denoting that obligatory fasting will expiate the sins , let alone the one-day fasting in Ashura or we learn from the HOLY QURAN that all kinds of worship assigned by Allah are gifts and prepare us for performing our Islamic duties well. 2. Do not you think that such an idea will pave the way for committing sins in the previous year 2. Bokhari and Muslim were Iranians and they collected their numerous Ahadith after 200 Hejrat when the conflicts between Shias and Sunnis were on the height and each group had fabricated Ahadith in order to serve their purposes.

  • asim Link Reply

    in reply of ur qs .. i would like 2 tell u that , we r not fighting here.. we r here 2 find the truth.. and as we all r muslims we should know what is right and what is wrong 4 us.. being a muslim doesnt mean that u r shia or sunni, it means 2 follow what prophet Mohammed used to do.. and do it wisely. and that whatever diffrence were made should be clarified .. and make awareness among others and get them on right track.. practice what prophet mohammed did and let us not do something which he hasent told us 2 do.. understand what is right. i understand that things r difficult to understand but can answers..
    so let us all pray 2 allah and ask him for forgivness and show us the right path and do things which our rassul did and not what others did..

  • badarudheen Link Reply

    Assalamu Alaikum dear friends,
    I fully agree with the opinion of Mathew Collins. Mourning on tenth Muharram is not apractice followed by Rasulullah(s) and hence it is an innovation.

  • Parvin Link Reply

    Parvin | | IP:

    AlaikomoSalaam Sister Jwaher,

    I do apologize for the delay. I couldn’t watch the video about Prophet’s wife, due to technical problems, but I read the comments about it.

    There are many points to mention, and I will elaborate on them here. Our main discussion was about Ashura, but as you mentioned something about another debate, I will first mention that.

    1) The majority of Shia scholars and clergies and the most important of them are in the institutions from Najaf, Qom, and Beirut. Each of them is considered as a school on its own, and although there are other schools in countries like Kuwait or other countries, they are not considered leading or important. Therefore, to be honest, I do not consider the so called scholars that have done such acts as really scholarly.

    2) Regarding Ashura, it should be noted that no Shia says that such acts are not done via some masses, but what I say is that such acts are Haram according to Shia scholars, and that is a general problem with masses (weather Sunni or Shia) that they are hardliner and radical. The duty of scholars in any religion is to try to elevate the status of masses, which has proved to be a difficult task, if not impossible! As an example, I shall mention some points from Imam Khomeini, the most influential shia scholars in Iran and probably the whole world in the twentieth century. Imam khomeini condemned such acts in Ashura. He decreed his followers going to Haj to pray behind the Sunni Imam and just similar to Sunnis. He ended the dispute regarding Prophet’s date of birth (Sunnis mostly believe it to be 12 Rabi’olAval and Shias mostly 17 Rabi’olAval) by declaring the week between them as the “Unity week” between Shia and Sunni. Shia scholars have constantly supported Palestine, although they are apparently Sunni, and the same goes for Chechnya and Bosnia. The policy in Iran is always around Muslim world, and regardless of political matters, we support Muslims all over the world.

    There is still much to say.
    I welcome any further comments
    Va aakhero da’vaanaa anel Hamdo leLlaahe Rabbel Aalamin.
    ??????? ??????????? ???? ????????? ?????? ????? ?????????????

  • faridehshiva Link Reply

    It is a historical fact that the holy Prophets’, (PBUH), beloved grandson
    and his family were slaughtered and martyred by yazid’s army
    on the 10th of moharram 61 Hijri.

    Whether you regard this as an occasion to celebrate in happiness
    or mourn the loss and the atrocities committed in the name of Islam
    is your own outlook.

  • Dr Farzana Link Reply

    Islam is a religion that has not allowed to mourn for its’ prophet; so what about his grandsons.

  • syed aun Link Reply

    does anyone know about what happened between the wall and door of the house of sorrow when the holy messenger had left this world? if you can justify this act performed by the followers of your khalifahs and your khalifahs themselves then surley i would welcome the ahlul sunna version of islam into my heart with open arms? before asking why we remember this death of husayn (not ali) at karbala do you actually know what happened?? if the hindus and sikhs of india can be reduced to tears then why cant those who call themselves the lovers of the rassulalah? ask yourself why the hindu women have a tradition of throwing milk towards hussayns processions of commemeration when they go past? ask yourselves why the poetic sentence “who has ever heard of children being thirsty betweem two rivers” causes such hurt in the hearts of the shia? ask yourselves why umme rubab the mother of the 6 month old baby spent a whole year sleeping in the open air once she and the others were finally set free by yazid and returned to madina? please listen to the lecture i recomended it is entitled origins of the fast of ashura.

  • syed aun Link Reply

    dr farzana – When hasnt islam allowed to mourn for its phrophet? Didnt prophet yaqub cry until his eyes went white and this was while prophet yusuf was still alive? The people of the sunna follow the tradition of the prophet.. dont we have a mourning period of 40 days when anyone passes from this world? Surely islam encourages mourning as it is a reminder that one day we will meet our end and this reminder brings us back to our purpose in life of this life as a test to decide where we will spend the next??

  • syed aun Link Reply

    The Holy Quran from the Chapter ADH-DHAARIYAAT we learn that Lady Sara (a.s.) struck her face when she was told that she would conceive a baby.

    “Then came forward his wife in grief, she smote her face and said (what! I) an old barren woman?”
    Quran 51:29

    Thus it is evident that smiting the face was not an objectionable act in the sight of Allah, otherwise Allah would have reprimanded her for doing so.

    From respected Sunni sources:
    Hadhrath Aisha regarded by Ahl’ul Sunnah as the most knowledgeable woman on Qur’an and Sunnah performed the following when the Prophet (S) left this earth:

    As narrated by al Tabari in History Volume 9 page 183 (English translation by Ismail Poonawalla)

    Abbas narrates:

    “I heard Aisha saying “The Messenger of God died on my bosom during my turn, I did not wrong anyone in regard to him. It was because of my ignorance and youthfulness that the Messenger of God died while he was in my lap. Then I laid his head on a pillow and got up beating my chest and slapping my face along with the women”.

    Need we say anymore? Would the wives of the Prophet (S) indulge in a Haraam activity?

    According to Musnad of Imam Ahmad Hanbal Vol. 6, page 274; Aisha mourned the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) with other women by beating her head

  • syed aun Link Reply

    From respected Sunni sources:
    Hadhrath Aisha regarded by Ahl’ul Sunnah as the most knowledgeable woman on Qur’an and Sunnah performed the following when the Prophet (S) left this earth:

    As narrated by al Tabari in History Volume 9 page 183 (English translation by Ismail Poonawalla)

    Abbas narrates:

    “I heard Aisha saying “The Messenger of God died on my bosom during my turn, I did not wrong anyone in regard to him. It was because of my ignorance and youthfulness that the Messenger of God died while he was in my lap. Then I laid his head on a pillow and got up beating my chest and slapping my face along with the women”.

    Need we say anymore? Would the wives of the Prophet (S) indulge in a Haraam activity?

    According to Musnad of Imam Ahmad Hanbal Vol. 6, page 274; Aisha mourned the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) with other women by beating her head!!! surely this makes it clear even by your own holy people… its also in the qur’an itslef-
    The Holy Quran from the Chapter ADH-DHAARIYAAT we learn that Lady Sara (a.s.) struck her face when she was told that she would conceive a baby.

    “Then came forward his wife in grief, she smote her face and said (what! I) an old barren woman?”
    Quran 51:29

    Thus it is evident that smiting the face was not an objectionable act in the sight of Allah, otherwise Allah would have reprimanded her for doing so.

  • Nasim Ahmad Link Reply

    syed aun,still street demonstrations, beating and cutting chest with blades,walking on fire,annual gathering day and night with mixing of men and women who are not mahram of course not justified.Your references need verification.Hindus and sikhs do alot such acts.They are millions of such ‘occasions’ to mourn to mourn.This is actually their culture.They even bow and pray to so called Tazias as they do for decorated statues of child Rama, Hanuman and others.I see a great resemblance.Did any Islamic personality since Adam alaihissalam do like this.Even Syedna Hussain RadiAllah anho did not do anything having a trace of similarity though he saw martyrdom of his father Syednsa Ali and his elder brother Syedna Hasan RadiAllah anhoma.Syedna hasan even made an agreement with the people who were against to his father in his life.Most important thing is fear of Allah and considering that it is his resources and gifts and energies that we waste on such occasions and it He who will ask and give us returns of our actions.Associations with great personalities will do nothing ( Al Baqrah Ayah 48).May Allah guide we all to right path.

  • The Nahjul Balagha is considered sacred by the Shia, which they consider the most reliable source for the words, sermons, and letters of Ali (???? ???? ???). Let us examine one of these sermons in particular, which is available on the popular Shia website,

    Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 126

    Ali says:

    “With regard to me, two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from rightfulness, and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from rightfulness. The best man with regard to me is he who is on the middle course. So be with him and be with the great majority of Muslims because Allah’s hand of protection is on keeping unity. You should beware of division because the one isolated from the group is a prey to Satan just as the one isolated from the flock of sheep is a prey to the wolf. Beware! Whoever calls to this course [of sectarianism], kill him, even though he may be under this headband of mine.”


    Let us now reflect on the words of Ali (???? ???? ???), line by line.

    “With regard to me, two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from rightfulness…”

    We could not possibly find a better description for the Shia than this. The Shia love Ali (???? ???? ???) so much that they exaggerate and exalt his status to a level of Shirk, thereby going away from rightfulness. The Shia give the names of Allah to Ali (???? ???? ???), calling him the Living “Ism-i Azam” of Allah, or the Living Supreme Name of Allah. They call Ali (???? ???? ???) the Mazhar Al Aja-ib (The Executor of Wonders) and Mushkil Kusha (the Remover of Hardships) . They exaggerate so much that they call Ali (???? ???? ???) to be the Yadullah (hand of Allah). They call him Asdadullah (unconquerable and ever-overpowering strength of Allah). They say Ali (???? ???? ???) was too powerful for even the angels to stop him, that all the atoms in the world submit to Ali (???? ???? ???), that Ali (???? ???? ???) is the speaking Quran, and is the Mirror of Allah.

    Look how loving Ali (???? ???? ???) too much has caused them to exaggerate his status like the Christians did with Jesus (???? ??????), and look how this leads to Shirk. It also leads to going away from rightfulness, such as how the Shia hate the wives and companions of the Prophet (???? ???? ???? ???? ?????). Ali (???? ???? ???) warned the Shia on this matter. And the source is the Shia’s very own Nahjul Balagha.

    “…and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from rightfulness. The best man with regard to me is he who is on the middle course. So be with him and be with the great majority of Muslims because Allah’s hand of protection is on keeping unity.”

    Ali (???? ???? ???) says not to hate him like the Nasibis (haters of Ahlel Bayt). He then says that the best of people are the ones who are on the middle course. Who else is that other than the mainstream Muslims (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah)? The Ahlus Sunnah loves Ali (???? ???? ???) deeply, and considers him one of the greatest Sahabah. On the other hand, the Ahlus Sunnah does not exaggerate by giving him characteristics of Allah, nor do they hate the wives or friends of the Prophet (???? ???? ???? ???? ?????).

    Ali (???? ???? ???) says be with the majority of Muslims because Allah’s hand of protection is on keeping unity. Can the Shia really get a clearer command than this? Who is the majority of the Muslims other than the orthodox Ahlus Sunnah? Ali (???? ???? ???) says be with the great majority of Muslims, not split up into these tiny Shia sects.

    “You should beware of division because the one isolated from the group is a prey to Satan just as the one isolated from the flock of sheep is a prey to the wolf.”

    So why is it then that the Shia have schismed from the Ummah? Are they not a prey of Shaitan’s now? And so it is that Shaitan has infiltrated the ranks of the Shia, leading so many millions of Shia astray. Why do the Shia not follow Ali (???? ???? ???) when he says to be with the great majority of Muslims?

    “Whoever calls to this course [of sectarianism], kill him, even though he may be under this headband of mine.”

    Even if someone claims to be a Shia’t Ali (i.e. under the headband of Ali), he really is an enemy of Ali (???? ???? ???) if he calls for sectarianism and the creation of a religious sect. This is Ali’s condemnation of all Shia sects that have split away from the mainstream Muslims. Ali (???? ???? ???) even commanded these heretics to be killed, so it can be seen that he has no compassion for any of these deviants even if they claim to love him.

  • syed aun Link Reply

    The extreme mourning of Hadrath Uways al-Qarni (ra)

    The most explicit proof of self-inflicted injury comes from Owais al-Qarni the great Muslim Sahabi, praised by both Shi’a and Sunni erudite. He had an immense love for the Holy Prophet (s). When the news reached him in Yemen that two teeth of the Holy Prophet (s) were broken in the battle of Ohad, he extracted all his teeth. When the Holy Prophet (s) got the news in Medina that Owais had struck down all his teeth, he (s) exclaimed, “Indeed Owais is our devoted friend”. This event can be found written in ‘Seerate Halbia’ vol II, page 295.

    The renowned Sunni Scholar Shiekh Farid al Din Attaar in ‘Tadhkhirathul Awliya’ Urdu translation page 17 and 18 writes:

    “Hadhrath Uways Qarni (ra) said to Hadhrath Umar Khattab (ra): ‘If you were true in friendship than why on the day when the holy teeth of the Prophet (s) were broken didn’t you break your teeth in companionship? Because, it is a condition of companionship.’ Then he showed his teeth all of which were broken and said ‘I broke all of my teeth without seeing you (O Prophet) and in the state of Ghaybah in your companionship. I had broken one tooth but couldn’t get satisfaction so kept on breaking them one by one until I had broken them all ‘”.

    The episode can also be found at a Sunni website:


    Had the breaking of teeth by Uways Qarni (ra) been in opposition to Shariah, Hadrath Umar would certainly have pointed it out at the time or at least commented and answered the accusation by Uways Qarni (ra) of his less than perfect companionship. The silence of Umar proves that he didn’t deem the act of breaking one’s teeth as done by Uways Qarni (ra) as opposed to Shariah but considered it an act of sincerity and also a proof of friendship.

    We should point out that breaking one’s teeth is a thousand times more painful than the beating of one’s chest for a few hours. It is more extreme than chest beating with chains or knives (Zanjeer) because those who have suffered from tooth ache will understand the immense pain that circulates in the mouth and head. Compare the removal of a tooth to the forced removal of a full set of teeth without the benefit of modern day anaesthetics and instruments. The pain must have been unbearable. This was clearly an act of great courage.

    Beating and mourning by Uthman’s wives and daughter

    We read in Tareekh Kamil Volume 3 page 89:

    “When Uthman was killed his killers intended to sever his head. His wives Naila and Umm’ul Baneen lay over him screamed and began to beat their faces”

    Narrations also record that Uthman’s daughter also acted likewise. As evidence we shall rely on the following Sunni works:

    Al Bidayah wa al Nihaya Volume 7 page 371

    Tareekh Tabari Volume 6 page 302

    Tareekh Hisham Kufi page 159

    “Ibn Jareer narrates that when the killer intended to sever Uthman’s head, the women began to scream and strike their faces. This included Uthman’s wives Naila, Ummul Baneen and daughter”.
    Al Bidayah wa al Nihaya, Volume 7, page 371

    If the wives of Uthman can mourn Uthman’s killing in this way then the Shi’a of Maula ‘Ali (as) can likewise mourn the slaying of Imam Husayn (as) in this way.

    • Mohammed Siddiqui Link Reply

      Dear Syed
      I can see how hardline you are by the way you address Uthman (radhiAllahu anhu).

      Regarding the story of Uwais al-qarni (ra) this is documented with in very weak and biased resources. Even if it were true then it cannot be taken as a guidance for the entire muslim world. In that case Shias should inflict more harm on themselves then what was inflicted upon Imam Hussain radhiAllahu anhu

      Secondly why did Ali radhiAllahu anhu did not remove his own teeth after Battle of Ohud. Was his love for prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam less than the love that uwais al-qarni (ra) had for prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam

      Islam is a deen of fitrah
      It doesn’t allow us anything that is harmful to us or our body because it is true deen from our creator Allas swt.

  • Ahmed Link Reply

    i request all my Shia brothers to stop such practices which not only hurting them physically but also discreting d image of islam.
    May Allah Almighty guide us all….ameen

  • Ayesha Link Reply

    Excellent reply Matthew Collins….We should remember the day of Karbala because there were Prophet’s family members but mourn every year makes no sense…Islam is a religion of peace n there’s no proves about beating chests etc in Huzoor’s life…n when our love ones kill then mouring on them comes naturally,we feel bad when the date of their deaths come every year but does beating make sense??

  • Asif Husain Link Reply

    I fail to understand why Mr Ahmad (#35) thinks that Islam’s image is sufferring because of mourning by Shia’s for the prophet’s family. Doesn’t he think that Islam is sufferring because a group of people have picked up weapons to teach the world in their own way?

  • Mughal Shabana Parveen Link Reply

    Jazakallah…… Proud to be a MUSLIM…..

  • nasim Link Reply

    On the day of judgement Allah will not Ask me about who killed Saiyadna Husain RA. Allah will instead ask us about our deeds (aamal) not Who Killed Saiyadana Husain . In history of Islam we do not criticize each other but we learn from our mistakes.

  • hadiza jibrin Link Reply

    alhamdulilah,i have benefited immensely from this comments n contributions.atleast i have an explanation in regards to 9th n 10th muharram.

  • Abdul Ghani Isa Link Reply

    This reminder is a very wonderful one at this time.This is what Muslims should enjoin one another to do. I would like to remind our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters that if the day of Aashura expiates the sins of the previous year, it does not precipitate the impulse of perpetrating more sins after the day of Aashura. Rather it should be a day for training ourselves on self restraint from all the prohibitions of Allah and His messenger. Here is also an opportunity to settle our grievances with our brothers and sisters in Islam before the big Day because Allah will not forgive the sins we commit against our fellow Muslims unless we seek their pardon and forgiveness. This should be known to all and sundry. May Allah forgive us all and admit us into the gardens of Edens.

  • Shaheen Link Reply

    Dear Muslim brothers & sisters!
    Assalam-o-alaikum! I m a sunni muslim and do not agree the way our shia brothers celebrate the Ashura as it is all against deeds of the Holy Prophet. However, I also do not agree that it is a good day from the perspective that the grand children of our beloved Prophet were assassinated by Muslims themselves. It is really a very bad example incident in the Islamic history which created major differences in muslim society. Also imagine that if someone kills your grand children, will you like him?

  • Basia Link Reply

    Salam alaykum – Thank you for this article..
    Alhamdulla I am a muslim that follows the sunna of the prophet (saws)

  • Taahir Link Reply

    To the author of article:

    Your ignorance of the signifance of ‘Ashura is indeed distressing. The martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) is the single most important event of ‘Ashura for the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). How does Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) being saved from the fire affect us? How does Prophet Adam (a.s.) being forgiven affect us? The simple answer: It neither benefits nor brings any significance to us as an ummah. BUT, how does Karbala and Imam Husayn (a.s.) affect us???? Think brother, were it not for the example of our venerable Imam and his companions, the laws of Yazid might have become Islamically acceptable as time passed by. If somebody did not take a stand, Islam would have been corrupt. Imam Husayn (a.s.) saved this ummah and saved Islam. With all due respect to Prophets Musa, Adam, Ebrahim (a.s.) etc., they made no difference to us as an ummah! ‘Ashura is about Imam Husayn (a.s.) and Karbala. Don’t fool people by propagating Wahhabi/Deobandi ideaology, making people believe that this corrupt notion is the view of Ahle Sunnah wa’l Jama’at. The true view is that ‘Ashura is significant for Imam Husayn (a.s.) FIRST, and then after him, all the other events. And Allah & His Rasool (s.a.w.) know best!

  • mohammed iqbal Link Reply

    dear brothers and sisters,

    I really appreciate the whole article and request all brothers and sisters to follow the correct path of our beloved Prophet {PBUH}
    in each and every field of our life.

  • Dr. Potre 'Azmia' D D Link Reply

    Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakatuhu, My Dear Muslim Brothers & Sisters,

    May Allah keep your Imaan glowing and burning! As Muslims, some of us know the importance of the days when to fast and why. However, on account of our frailties, as we face our day to day chores, we unintentionally forget the little acts of devotion that we can do without much effort yet to be rewarded with great blessings such as fasting at particular days. With your persistence to keep all of us awake to the callings of Islam, we are reminded. Allahu Akbar! What envious deeds! Shukran kathir.

    Your Sister,

    Haja Azmia

  • Mahmuda Link Reply

    thank you for this informative article.
    I would like to make a basic point clear;
    your body has a right over you, for which you will be accountable on the day of judgement. We must cherish the body with which we have been blessed by Allah SWT. Inflicting pain upon ourselves is wrong in ervery sense. We must seek medical help when we are sick, subsequently, we must take care of ourselves. In sorrow, we must seek sabr from Allah SWT, and so we must be happy with all we have been blessed with, and accept that which Allah SWT has decided for us. For with every difficulty follows ease. These are tests from Allah SWT and not for us to be unhappy, but to place all our faith in Allah SWT, for He knows best.
    Thank you brothers and sisters for reading this, and may Allah guide us all in our endeavours in life to reach the best place for us, Jannat.

  • TEXZLEM Link Reply


  • Shoukat Link Reply

    My dear muslims(Sunni or Shia or whatever you want to call yourselves).I am sure insha-allah one day we all will call ourselves
    only muslims and not sunnis,shias, etc etc. It is good to see that we are discussing each other here in a brotherly atmosphere. Surely we must ask clarifications and try to narrow some differences,though alhamdulilah i feel we are not having any major differences – as all of us are clear about allah’s oneness,about prophet(salallahu alayhi wa sallam ),about Quran.
    As per mourning in ashura , i think we should remember the sacrifice offered by the family of our prophet(SAW) – Husain (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) and other family members. But at the same time beating ourselves, using knives, taking out processessions with horses having some structure types(Particularly in India and Pakistan) – i think should not be done.
    The better way is to pray for the great martyrs of karbala and other great martyrs of islam and reconsile the great sacrifices they have offered for islam and unite ourselves to follow the right path of islam and face the other peoples who are not ready to follow the path of islam and try to divide us by hook or crook-as they know that only way of defeating muslims is to divide them- which insha-allah we will never allow now.

    May allah bless all of us

  • Aslam Link Reply

    I am of the view that Shia and Sunni are brothers and sisters of one another. Stop the “fiqh” of separation….no Sunni…No shia…onl Islaam.

  • Salam Alaikum, MashaAllah thank you for the different perspectives. this is very insightful information. I appreciate you all very much. May Allah Bless Our Ummah and Grant us peace and with it Harmony and the will to know when to hold our tongues and live for the betterment of our DEEN.

  • Muhammad Ali Akbar Link Reply

    Yes, Husein radiallahu anhu was the grandson of Rasulullah (pbuh) and yes he was killed unjustly, however there is no tradition what so ever in Islam of celebrating the martrydom and the killings of the pious. How so many Prophets in the past were killed:

    “…Whenever there came to them a Messenger with what they themselves desired not, – a group of them they called liars, and others among them they killed.” (Al Maidah: 70).

    Did our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ever celebrated these events? No! To argue that the these events existed is different to actually celebrate it. In fact doesn’t celebrating death remind us of another religion that celebrates and glorifies “the death of God?” (May Allah protect us such evil). Truely the deviated share similar traits.

  • Hamdan Link Reply

    Assalaam Alaikum

    Thankyou Muslim Brothers,

    All comments are usefull for us,
    Please don’t forget we have Quran and Propher Mohammed (SAW), if we follow this they are enough for success in the wordl and Akhera, Its not bad to know what happened to other muslims as well but we should never look for Islamic teachings outside Quran and Hadith.

  • Muhammad Kazaure Link Reply

    Jazakallah Khair for the awareness, May Allah (S.T.W) guide us, Ameen.

  • Ishad Link Reply

    May Allah subahana wa’tala re-unite the ummah of rasulallah saws.and indeed we need to put effort it and that can only be done by reviving the sunnah of rasulallah saws. To all my muslim brother, regardless of shia and sunni, let us testify to the shahadah ‘la ilaha illalla hu Muhammad rasulallah saws’ ‘wa ash shadu Allah ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharikalahu wa ash shadu anna muhammadan abduhu wa rasulu’

    Allah says in the quran “Undoubtedly, you have the best in the following of the Messenger, for him who yearns for Allah”
    Quran (Surah 33: Verse 21)

    “Say, If you love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you”
    Quran (Surah 3: Verse31)

    The truth is apparent my brothers and sisters, let us not split within ourselves and make our enemy firm against us.

    May lord of the al’amin guide us to Ihdinas siratal mustaqeem.

  • Mrs Hussain Link Reply


  • Rehana Link Reply

    Was just watching Ahle-Bayt TV (Shia Channel) on SKY 842 and it mentioned that the Sunni Hadith about us fasting on the day of Ashura for Prophet Musa is actually fabricated. Did Prohet Muhammed (PBUH) not get all his instructions from Allah? I am very confused now …. how do we know these Hadeeths r Authentic?

  • Syed A. shah Link Reply

    aslaam o alikum..
    the article is very informative and certainly good for the understanding of why these days are important for all muslims.
    But in the comments the dicussion went else where.. as usual our brothers and sisters have started to argue of who is right and who is wrong, and its been nearly 1400 years that people argue about it. I persoanly think that first of all the matter of shia and sunni is not a islamic issue. It has infact nothing to do with Islam. lets say if we agree that whatever shias say is correct and rest all are wrong, what will happen ?? will we start praying 3 times a day ?? or will we fast for 15 days in ramadhan ?? NO !!, no islamic order will change. On the contrary if, forinstance we agree that whatever sunnis say is right and rest are all wrong, what will happen then ?? again, are we going to start praying 7 times a day ?? or fast for over a month of ramadhan ?? again, no islamic order changes. So plz my brothers and sisters, stop making this a issue of islam. Islam is all that is in Quran and hadith. Quran is very clear about the orders that matter. When quran gave orders about nimaaz, its clearly written at 700 places ” wa aqeem us salaah” , similarly its very clearly written about zakat, ramdhan, about the khatm a nabooat. If this shia and sunni matter was to be so religious and islamic there would be orders about it in Quran or Hadith.. but there is none. So lets stop treating them as islamic issues. lets stop pointing our fingers and each other and be united. Allah says in surrah al baqarah ” who ever tries to make divisions in religion (islam) has nothing to do with Allah” so u can well imagine, what is the penalty for division. Dont call another muslim as a differnt party, and dont call ur self as a differnt party. We are all ONE.

  • amatou allah Link Reply

    Assalamou alaycom w rahmatou ALLAH w barakatouhou,

    I enjoyed this article very much. I think we should all fast the 9th and 10th of moharram as our phrophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However, I diagree with the practices of shia moslems which can have a bad image on our religion. If we want unity, we should focus on religious things that are common and not those that make us look bad.

  • Umar Hayatu Link Reply

    Thank you very much for all your articles. It has been very interesting and educative. Jazakallahu Kairan


  • the analyst. Link Reply

    I simply think that the differences between sunni and shiia sect are all political. Definitely now islamic. It was a struggle for power between people in those days. All people were good, and everyone was trying in his own way to make things better for Islamic empire. Speaking particularly of the battle of Karbala, or i would say the massacre of karbala, It was certainly the result of the battle between Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Ameer muawiah. They were both very pious sahaba and were both among ashra mobashra.
    The problem started after the death (killing) of Hazrat Usman Ghani. Hazrat Ali proclaimed khilafat and most of the people agreed and took oath on his hands. But Hazrat Ameer muawiah was of the opinion that first Hazrat Ali should bring justice to the killers of the Khalifah, and then he was ready to take oath on Ali’s hands. Also he mentioned that some of the people who were involved in the killing of Hazrat Usman, were in the army of Hazrat Ali and other govt positions. But on the contrary Hazrat Ali told him to first submitt and accept him (hazrat Ali) as khalifah and later we will see what happens to people. This argument eventually turned into a war. Hazrat Ali took some 200000 army with him to baghdad, first stating that he is not there to fight, but eventually attacked Baghdad. Many muslims got killed by the hands of other muslims. Many hafiz a quran died, and many katib a hadith died in that battle. And later after a few days they stopped the battle and both sides took their own khilafat. I wish there could be a deciding point in that battle and there would be no shia and sunni problem today.
    Now years after that when hazrat imam hussain appeard with almost same number of people at baghdad, saying that he is here to reform only and not to fight. Now yazid got scared as same was the case between their fathers. So out of the fear of battle he wanted to create a situation to repulse all these people back to madina.
    Now in those days muslim empire was expanding, and there were many enemies of islam. Many small and big empires who got defeated by the muslim armies were ready to take revenge in any way. Yazid’s political situation could never suggest him to kill the family of the Prophet (PBUH). He very well knew if he had done that then there is not political future for him. But the enemies of islam conspired and so this terribel, heartbreaking incidence happened.
    However it was, again, the matter is all political. A war between Baghdad and Madina has put such a crack between muslims that people in India and pakistan and other countries are ready to stab his muslim brother. It is such a shame.
    Today muslims are being crushed every where, i think we should stop these differences, and be one. Lets repect each other. If my brother loves Ali, let him do that. why should it be a problem for me. If my other brother loves Abu baqar, or ameer muawiah, let him do that, again, why should it be a problem for me.
    all is good, as long as we say ….. LA ILAHA ILALLAH, MUHAMMAD UR ROSOOL ALLAH.

  • syeda farha Link Reply

    Mashallah wonderful article…
    Praises be to ALLAH and may ALLAh forgive everyones’s sins, Ameen.
    Keep praying for humanity..

  • ayderus Link Reply



  • Abbas G Idriss Link Reply

    Assalamu Alaikum! This is a very educative and insight article.May Allah reward you and give you the rewards of those who fought Jihad.

    I have gone through the comments which are very interesting and encouraging.I quite aggree that whatever a Muslim will do should make sure he/she has reasons or backing from the Quaran and sunnah of our beloved prophet.As mathew collins mentioned,there is no basis for mourning any day that one dies.Also the grand father of Hussain did not mourn that day neither any of his deciples.So I advise that we should act within the confines of our religion as was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.May we be guided accordingly!

  • Uzma Link Reply

    Masha’allah, very nice article. I was wondering about this myself, and now alhamdulilah it is so clear. May Allah bless you for your fasting, and thanks again IqraSense for doing such an awesome job. Keep up the great work! JazakAllah khair

  • Zakariyya Lawal Link Reply

    Alhamdu Lillah, the discussions above have indeed widen my horizon of understanding on the significance of the day of Ashura to both the Sunnis and Shias.It’s clear that both groups venerate the day out of love for Allah, Islam and expectation of reward from Allah.If that is so,why not take away all prejudices, give our brothers positive understanding, strike a balance by adhering to the practice of Prophet Muhammad PBUH on the issue and rest our case. We Muslims must focus more on issues that unite us rather than on what divide us. We shall remember the ayat of the Holy Quran which exhort the Muslims to “hold together to the rope of Allah (Islam) and be not divided”.
    Your brother,
    Zakariyya Lawal, Nigeria

  • Malika Link Reply

    I have really enjoyed reading the comments above … enjoyed it because we have had both Sunni’s and Shia’s commenting in such a nice and humble manner …. I can see we all want to understand each other … we all fear hurting each other’s feelings … and most importantly deep down we all want Unity …. a healthy debate is like above is ok coz no one said they r right or wrong … I was born and Sunni, but half of my family turned to Shia …. it left me in the lurch so I started learning about both Sects …. I too asked many questions, received many answers but nothing fulfilled that search inside me …. it then hit me that I was too busy pinpointing at what pthers were doing …. I sat down and thought about what I was doing, why I was practising the things I was …. like many of u that have said above there is no point of discussing issues that have no common basis ….. just stick to your life, to what is required of u … close ur eyes for a moment and imagine u r dead … how does the world see u, what r ur neighbours, friends, family saying about u … were u a good human being, did u pray, give charity, make a difference to ur community??? These questions r more important than why someone beats themselves, the people that do should question themselves as to what they r practising and why …. we will not be having a history test on the Day of Judgement … we can not change what has happened in history … we are not here to judge and decided whether the Sahabah’s will b cursed or not ….. Allah says he has creayed us for no other reason except to worship him, everything should b an act of worship just for Allah, when u smile at someone, hold the door open for someone ….. these r all an act of worship and should b just for Allah …. may Allah guide us and make us good muslims … Ameen

  • Zar Link Reply

    Assalaam Alaikum WR WB,

    Jazzak Allaah Khairan for posting such a wonderful articles and thoughts. Al-Hamdullillaah at the end of the day, we are all muslims therefore, it is very important and vital for every human being to increase thier knowledge & search for the truth; as therez a hadith from our beloved prophet Muhammad PBUH “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”
    We as muslims must always follow the Quran and the Sunnah of our last and final prophet PBUH.

    Thank You,

    May Allaah SWT make it easy for all humanity to find the truth insha’Allaah & bless those who are practicing muslims masha’Allaah!

  • ukhti Link Reply

    this article is good especially because it reminds us to fast, But I would wish that we muslims should dwell on what unites us and not what separates us as long us we all profess the kalimat tauwhid and inshaallah lord almighty will give all of us guidance.

  • For All Muslims who dont know why we are in sorrow on this Day and want to do maatam & Cry for our Imam… I am adding the wholes history which i can below and i also want to reply to them who dont know what Maatam is for us…


    The words Azadari and Majalis-e Aza has been exclusively used in connection with the remembrance ceremonies for the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. Majalis-e Aza, also known as Aza-e Husayn, includes mourning congregations, lamentations, matam and all such actions which express the emotions of grief and above all, repulsion against what Yazid stood for.

    The term majalis has both a grammatical meaning and a meaning which relates to Aza-e-Husayn. In its technical sense, a majalis is a meeting, a session or a gathering.

    The Azadari of Muharram was started by the family of Muhammad (the Ahl-ul-Bayt) after the death of Muhammad’s grandson Husayn ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Following the battle of Karbala, Muhammad’s granddaughter Zaynab binte Ali and sister of Husayn, began mourning for the fallen and making speeches against Husayn ibn Ali’s opponents: Ibn Ziyad and Yazid I. News of Husayn ibn Ali’s death was also spread by Imam Zain-ul-Abideen, who succeeded Husayn as the Shia Imam, via sermons and speeches throughout Iraq, Syria and Hejaz.

    Zainab and Zainu l-Abi Din informed the people that Yazid had martyred Imam Husayn and seventy-two of his companions including his six month old son Ali Asghar, and that their women and children were taken as prisoners to Syria. When word of mourning reached Yazid he decided to release the captive women and children from the prison in Damascus, out of fear of public revolt against his rule. He sent for Zainu l-Abi Din, informed him of the impending release and asked if he wished for anything further. Zain said he would consult with Zainab. She asked Yazid to provide a place where the people could mourn for Imam Husayn and others of Muhammad’s household. A house was provided, and here Zaynab binte Ali held the first Majlis-e Aza of Husayn and started the Mourning of Muharram

    History of the commemoration by Shi’a

    This day is well-known because of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali R.A (Razi Allah) the grandson of MuhammadPBUH and the third Shia Imam, along with members of his family and close friends at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680). Yazid I was in power then and wanted the Bay’ah (allegiance) of Husayn ibn Ali. Many Muslims believe Yazid was openly going against the teachings of Islam in public and changing the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.

    Husayn in his path toward Kufa encountered the army of Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad, the governor of Kufa. On October 10 680(Muharram 10, 61 AH), he and his small group of companions and family members, who were between 72 and 100 men of Husayn ibn Ali (the grandson of Muhammad). fought with a large army of perhaps more than 100,000 men under the command of Umar ibn Sa’ad, son of the founder of Kufa. Husayn and all of his men were killed. Some of the bodies of the dead, including that of Husayn, were then mutilated.

    Commemoration for Husayn ibn Ali began after Battle of Karbala. After the massacre, the Umayyad army looted Husayn’s camp and set off with his women and children for the court of Ibn Ziyad. A moving oration delivered by Zaynab in Kufa is recorded in some sources. The prisoners were next sent to the court of Yazid, Umayyad caliph, in Damascus, where one of his Syrian followers asked for Husayn’s daughter Fa?imah al-Kubra, and once again it was Zaynab who came to the rescue and protected her honour. The family remained in Yazid’s prison for a time. The first assembly (majlis) of Commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali is said to have been held by Zaynab in prison. In Damascus, too, she is reported to have delivered a poignant oration. The prison sentence ended when Hussain’s 4 year old daughter died in captivity, a young girl who would stand at the window of the prison and tell the ladies who would gather outside about the tragedy that befell her family. Her death caused an uproar in the city, and Yazid – fearful of a revolution that may have begun as a result – freed the captives.

    Just few years after Husayn’s death his grave became a pilgrimage site among Shi’a. A tradition of pilgrimage to the Imam Husayn Shrine and the other Karbala martyrs quickly developed, which is renown as Ziarat Ashura.The Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs tried to prevent construction of the shrines and discouraged pilgrimage to the sites. The tomb and its annexes were destroyed by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil in 850-851 and Shi’a pilgrimage was prohibited, but shrines in Karbala and Najaf were built by the Buwayhid emir ‘Adud al-Daula in 979-80

    It did not take long for public rites of remembrance for Husayn’s martyrdom to develop from the early pilgrimages. Under the Buyid dynasty, Mu’izz ad-Dawla officiated at public commemoration of Ashura in Baghdad. These commemorations were also encouraged in Egypt by the Fatimid caliph al-‘Aziz. From Seljuq times, Ashura rituals began to attract many participants from a variety of backgrounds, including Sunnis. With the recognition of Twelvers as the official religion by the Safavids, Mourning of Muharram extended throughout the first ten days of Muharram.

    Significance of Ashura for Shi’a Muslims

    Shi’a devotees congregate outside the Sydney Opera House, Australia to commemorate Imam Hussein.This day is of particular significance to Shi’a Muslims, who consider Hussein (the grandson of the Prophet) Ahl al-Bayt the third Imam and the rightful successor of Muhammad. Many Shi’as make pilgrimages on Ashura to the Mashhad al-Husayn, the shrine in Karbala, Iraq that is traditionally held to be Imam Hussein’s tomb. On this day Shi’a are in remembrance, and mourning attire is worn. They refrain from music, since Arabic culture generally considers music impolite during death rituals. It is a time for sorrow and respect of the person’s passing, and it is also a time for self-reflection, when one commits oneself to the mourning of the Imam Hussein completely. Weddings and parties are also never planned on this date by Shi’as. Shi’as also express mourning by crying and listening to poems about the tragedy and sermons on how Hussein and his family were martyred. This is intended to connect them with Hussein’s suffering and martyrdom, and the sacrifices he made to keep Islam alive. Hussein’s martyrdom is widely interpreted by Shi’a as a symbol of the struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression

    Shi’as believe the Battle of Karbala was between the forces of good and evil. Imam Hussain represented good while Yazid represented evil. Shi’as also believe the Battle of Karbala was fought to keep the Muslim religion untainted of any corruptions and they believed the path that Yazid was directing Islam was definitely for his own personal greed

    Shia refrain from drinking and eating in commemoration of Imam Hussein. This is known as Fakah, which is not a formal fast.

  • Ahmed ali Link Reply

    I did not knew about this my friends. about the fasting on these days and I thought it’s related to somwhere with ashura. This is the help from ALLAH to me that I came to know such a beuatifull prayer and it’s importance through my brothers.inshallah I will fast and tell my brothers and sisters also. Jazalallah keep it up.

  • Abdullah Link Reply

    ========> Assalamualaikum everyone <========== Thanks for writing a refreshing article on a very important subject. While, I very much applaud everyone's civilized way of discussing this, I also want to point out that there are some major RELIGIOUS differences between Shias and Sunnis. Although we Muslims WANT to be one, there are some fundamental differences that have to do with our underlying beliefs. We all can be ONE as long as we ALL can understand what is it that separates us. 1) First, everyone will notice that both Shias and Sunnis are trying to quote the prophet to suppport their arguments. This is EXACTLY where the differences lie. Sunnis follow a form of system which ensures that the Hadiths they are quoting are authentic. The system of chains of people, verifying that everyone in that chain is credible, etc. is the essence for Sunni Islam before they can rely on any of their religious verdicts, opionions, etc. The philosophy is that as obviously there have been so many people trying to quote the prophet and if there was no such science / art establiushed behind authenticaing the prophet's sayings, there would be a million versions of ISLAM. I believe there is an article on this topic (authenticating Hadith) on this blog somewhere. In quoting their hadiths, most hadiths of Shias are through Imams but there is no chain linking them to the prophet. Everyone can quote anything from the prophet - there must be a valid system to ensure the sayings are validated. 2) If you look at MANY of the Hadith of the prophet (saws) that Sunnis believe, a number of them are quoted by Abu Huraira, Ayesha and many others. The fact is that many Shias very much look down at both Abu Huraira and Ayesha. There are sites after sites and books after books and semons by Shia scholars (all in public domain) that curse Ayesha (the wife of our Prophet) and Abu Huraira. Similarly, Shia brothers and sisters also openly curse Sayyidina Omar and Abu Bakar. How then can there be UNITY OF FIQH, when the very people that Sunnis believe as taking the torch of the prophet are cursed by Shias? 3) About a week ago, I listened to a lecture on Iraqi TV by a Shia scholar who mentioned that the entire religion of Shia Islam is based on the concept of "Imam-ship" - That seemed quite strange to me. The so called IMAMs came after the prophet. Does that mean that the prophet did not complete the religion? Does that mean if the SHIA IMAMs would not have stipulated the religious laws, that there was nothing to follow? Final question - By looking at the religious rituals of Shias, I ask the question what would their religiuos rituals be if Sayyidina Hussein was not martyred? Does this mean that the religion of Islam as brought by Prophet (saws) was changed again after the martyrdom of Hussein? That does not make any sense - The prophet was clearly revelaved in the Quran that "This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (Chapter 5 - Al-Maeda - 3). 4) A question I want to ask Shais - Do you believe that a person would be looked down upon by Allah if he didnt mourn the martyrdom of Sayyidina Hussein? The prophet clearly told us (and it is in the Quran) all the criteria that will guarantee paradise and forgiveness. Do they get nullified just because Sunnis decide not to mourn for Sayyidina Hussein? Shias and Sunnis can and should live peacefully similar to living with other religions peacefully. But the point is that there are differences - we can not ignore them as they are there. The underlying fiqh is different and that is important to understand. Those difference are there irrespective of what I or others think. They are facts.

  • Chindo-Ahmad Abdullah Link Reply

    This is quiet informative.

  • In my opinion, Abdullah’s comment/contribution, the one before mine, need to be thoroughly read, digested and understood by all members for its uniqueness. I always wonder why we don’t want to call a spade ‘a spade’. To my mind, Shi’a and Sunni are two different worlds and entities. Of the fundamentals of Islam and their sources, the two different worlds only agree in about 20% oe even less. We should know that even on the pillars of Islam and articles of faith, Shi’a and Sunni significantly differ. They differ even on the concept of belief in Allah, the names and attributes of Allah, the concept of prophethood, the concept of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the issues of sahabah (companions of the prophet – saw), the issue of khilaafah (leadership after the Prophet – saw), the issue of the Shi’a infallable imams, etc. The question is: how can there be unity among the two worlds with all these fundamental issues not agreed upon? The most reliable books of the two worlds of religion contained these issues, undoubtedly.

    What I always advise is for the adherents of the two different worlds to understand their differences, tolerate one another and possibly come together to champion a common course when and where necessary. Of course, that is not to say that we do not have to counsel and admonish one another, advise and even bring out the fundamental errors of one another for corrective and not destructive purpose.

    The long popularised gimmick that the difference between Sunni and Shi’a is on trivialities is never true and cannot be true for ever. Otherwise, do we call disagreement on the concept of Allah and His messenger or the concept of the Qur’an trivial?

  • Malika Link Reply

    A question to Brother Mehdi …. a very interesting contribution …. but please can you kindly just answer few questions …
    1)Where did the difference in our Salah occur? Why do Sunni’s and Shia’s pray differently and how did your prayers develop? …..
    2)Prophet Muhammed knew during his lifetime that Imam Hussein will b martyred in such a way … then why did he(PBUH) not set such an example to us on how to mourn during Muharram?
    3)What is the significance of the procession/jaloos which includes walking of Zuljinah, Shrine, Alam .. is this not something the Hindus and Buddhists do?


  • Talaat Link Reply

    Is it not shame to show all this sorrow for the death of the grandson of the prophet (p.b.u.h) and do not sow any sorrow for the death of our prophet himself? Who is more important to all Muslimes? Is it not shame that Allah (s.w.t.) and his prophet ordered us to unite then we ignore their oreders and we devide based on the death of our beloved grandson of the prophet? Is it not time yet that we roll back the time and go back to the time before that war between Moawieh and Ali may Allah be pleased with both of them? Is it not shame to allow history to devide Islam which was completed and perfected before the death of our prophet? Is it not time that we go back to the book of Allah, purify our hearts for his sake, unite and put an end to the laghters of our real enemies when they observe us fighting and arguing amongest ourselves? Is it not the time that we think about the answers to these questions???


  • Amini Link Reply

    Salaam aleikum.

    These comments are really educating. It appears fasting on the day of “ashura” was being practiced before Sayyidina Hussein was martyred. If there was no coincidence on the dates, the discussion would have been on whether mourning is acceptable and the way its been practiced. May somebody educate us more on this pls.

  • Matthew Collins Link Reply

    This is a follow up to my earlier comment last year to this article:

    Regarding the comment that the martyrdom of the Sahabah were by the kufaar and was expected, and the martyrdom on the day of Ashura was by other muslims and not expected and thus the two situations cannot be compared and that the reaction of the Prophet and the Sahabah left no instructions for such an event when it involves the death of members of his own family are both irrelevant and not entirely true for the following reasons.
    1. Allah told us in the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad told us on the same day in his Farewell Khutbah, that the Deen of Islam was complete. If a statement attributed to Jesus (‘Isaa) in the Gospel of John is to be believed, then Jesus (‘Isaa) stated that when Muhammad came “…he will guide you into all truth…”. These statements imply that ALL instructions for how muslims are to act in regards to EVERY situation we encounter are illustrated in some form in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. If the Prophet taught us in detail on what to do when we first wear a new shirt, or which shoe to put on first, or how to wipe our ass after going to the toilet, or which position we should take when we lay down to go to sleep, how to eat, how to drink, how to dress, how to greet each other, etc. then are we to believe that the Prophet that taught us all of this didn’t teach us how to handle grief (regardless of how that grief was caused)?

    My brothers and sisters in Islam, Prophet Muhammad did teach us how to deal with grief, even tragedy. Mourning is part of that, I will concede that fact. But mourning on the anniversary of the day of the event, generation after generation, embarking on yearly pilgrimages, inflicting injury upon oneself in remembrance of it are all things that are not found in Muhammad’s instructions and I find it hard to believe that he would condone such practices. As I recall the prophet limited the period of mourning the death (even of a loved one) to three days! After that, it is the sunnah to move on with your life and start living again. It isn’t something to commemorate as a yearly “celebration” …if I can even use that word to describe it.

    2. Prophet Muhammad (although not at the hands of fellow muslims) did suffer the loss of his nearest of kin, he lost his wife Khadijah, his son, his mother, his uncle as well as many who were close to him. All of these, whether they were muslims or not, and regardless of how they died, affected him. Allah even chastised him in the Qur’aan regarding mourning the loss of his uncle after he had died a non-muslim after a certain time had pasted. Personal loss was not unknown to him and if he would have condoned their annual remembrance with ceremonial mourning, this would have been a practice he would have initiated then. The simple fact is he didn’t and all these people died in differing circumstances. Never once was an exception made that altered the three days of mourning and then ignoring it on its annual return.

    3. To say that the Sahabah went in knowing they could be martyred and that Hussein et. al. didn’t is not entirely accurate. History has proven throughout time, culture, religion, ruler, form of government etc. that acting against the will of the majority and especially those in power is a dangerous one. The American Colonists who stood up against the King of Great Britain prior to 1776 knew that standing up to a king could cost them their lives and in fact, the British troops burned entire communities by locking them inside the town church and setting the building a blaze. It was acts like this that lead the Americans to declare Independence in 1776. To say that Hussein et. al. were unaware of the possible ramifications is to say that Hussein, et. al were extremely ignorant and unaware of any political history or to say that they were naive in the extreme. Anyone who reads the Qur’aan cannot help but notice the attacks, persecutions, and out right murders of the messengers of any challenge to the status quo in religious and political matters. I’m sure that among them there was at least one muslims who had read the Qur’aan and knew what had happened to the reformers sent by God to their people before them. If their wasn’t, then none of them had any business attempting any kind of reform to begin with because they obviously didn’t have sufficient knowledge of Islam to start with to even warrant an opinion of what is correct and what is not. It is true that they may not have expected events to go the way they did, but to say the possibility was completely unknown to them and the thought had never entered their minds would be totally unrealistic. I for one did not attend one of the political tea parties that occurred last year without the thought of being sent to jail and having a small chance of being executed by the Federal Government as a war criminal…and I live in the USA! To my knowledge nothing like that ever happened but there is always the possibility of something happening whenever you go up against a government in what should be a peaceful demonstration.

    On another subject, I’d like to thank Medhi for his account of history. I would like to comment on one thing he said though. Fasting on the 9th and 10th of Muharram are not required. However, they were encouraged by the Prophet, and if, as Medhi stated “Shia refrain from drinking and eating in commemoration of Imam Hussein. This is known as Fakah, which is not a formal fast.” If this is the only manner in which a Shia (and I am not saying that all do this) but for those that do practice this, and this is the only reason for their fast each year, then they are totally disregarding the instructions of the Prophet Muhammad and substituting something else in its place. I would encourage such Shia brothers and sisters to fast on the 9th and 10th because the Prophet Muhammad said so and for the reason he said so, at least in some of the years.

    Lastly, I would like to mention that I do appreciate history and I STRONGLY believe that history should never be forgotten or that the events of our past should be ignored. I am upset with Americans who believe that July 4th is America’s Independence Day because it isn’t. There is no such thing as an American Independence Day. In 1776, thirteen separate, distinctly different, and completely independent colonies declared that each one of them was a separate, sovereign, independent State. These thirteen sovereignties, instead of drafting thirteen separate declarations, instead decided to draft one joint declaration that declared each one of them to be an Independent State. It was another document entirely that allied these thirteen sovereign States into a political union, akin to the EU, UAE, UK etc. But even after that, the thirteen States still to this day remain separate, sovereign, States (in my opinion, whether they are free and independent any more or not are debatable). In addition history shows there was never an American “civil war” but rather that there was a war for a Confederation comprised of eleven Independent States to form a new union apart from the United States Confederation of States commonly called the United States of America.

    I am in no way saying that the events of Ashura and the martyrdom of Hussien et. al. are not important or should be forgotten, but the manner in which that event in history is commemorated every year by many of the Shia sect, I cannot condone. By all means, teach what happened, remember what their purpose was, etc. That is part of our heritage as both Sunni and Shia, but don’t turn it into a holiday that takes away from the holiday the Prophet wanted us to remember and celebrate with fasting.

    As-salaamu ‘alaykum

  • It is excellent and very informative article.

  • Mashallah such a nice article i request to all my Muslim brother’s & Sister’s that please fast on 9th and 10th muharram ul haram just for allah and his Rasool Muhammad salallaho alyehe wasallam .

    Subhaanallah allah ho akbar

  • Abu Thalha Link Reply

    Fasting is a great and honoured submission to Allah. It makes a day grand.

    On the other hand chest-beating and treating a great day, the day of Creation by the Grand Creator, as a day of sorrow need be pitied and avoided.

    May Allah turn our hearts towards the right path.

    Wallahu waliyyukum.

    Abu Thalha

  • sayyed7 Link Reply

    Assalamu Alaikum

    From the article and all the comments published so far, I can say that not all our brothers and sisters have a great knowledge of Islam. I do not advocate that I do either, but since we are all educated and willing to learn more, I would ask everyone to read about the history of Islam after the prophet (PBUH), and what kind of killings and disobedience was happening thought out history.

    I say to our brother, contributor no. 60 who mentioned Imam Ali and put him in the same line as Muawya who refused the bayat and rebelled against and fought Imam Ali who was the khalifa at that time (I would like to know what will your reaction be if Muaywya rebelled Against one of the Khulafa like Abu Baker or Omar or Uthman, would you say that both are in haven! But if your answer is no, please read more to gain more knowledge). We all know the special affection and companionship that Imam Ali had with the Rasool and the many Ayas in the Quran and Ahadeth Al-Rasool which made him the envy of all Sahaba. You made it sound as if Imam Ali was wrong and as if Imam Ali protected the Killers of Uthman, when in fact, what happened was the opposite, and let us not forget the saying of the prophet (PBUH) to Ali ” Ali is with Haq (righteousness) and the Haq is with Ali” every one knows how pious is Ali how knowledgeable in Quran was Ali and I could go on with all what Ali possessed. Comparing Muawya to Imam Ali is an insult to Islam as a whole, we should know what is right and wrong, we should be able to distinguish between tow armies who are fighting which one is on the right path and which one on the wrong path by recognizing who is fighting with who!. Let us not forget that Muawia and his father where one of the last people who embraced Islam after the liberation of Makah. Please brothers and sisters I ask myself first and ask you all to really read history and especially at the time of khelaft Ali (the four years that never been talked about and even discouraged by ulamma not to read about, because they regard it as years of fetna) but I am sure when you read about it you will know the truth.

    As regard mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. What I discovered was how ignorant a lot of people are about Ahlul Bayt who they mention in every salat twice x 5 = 10 times a day, yet they don’t know why they do it and who those ahlulbayt are!!!!!, quite few mentioned Karbala and Ashoura and associated with Imam Ali!!!!!!!! Can I inform all that the Battle of Karbala was between Imam HUSSAIN (the son of Ali) and His enemy (Yazeed ebna Muawia) (his grand mother was Hind who eat Sayydona Hamzha’s lever in the battle of Uohod)!

    I believe that prophet (PBUH) himself mourned Imam Hussain from the day he was born, and told his wives (Ummahat Al-Muslimin) about what was going to happen to his grandson in Karbala and as far as I can remember is that he gave one of his wives a bottle with some soil in it and said to her when this soil changes to blood, be sure that Hussain has been killed in Karbala. This I believe was mentioned in the Sehah and so many other stories, that is why I ask you all to go back and read the sehah and see what has been written about imam Hussain, rather than just read these comments which anyone can writ whatever they want to and proclaim that this is what Sunni/Shia belives!!!!!111

    I think some of the practices during the day of Ashora is wrong and should not be practiced and I can assure you that millions of Shia agree with me, but at the same time, all those millions and I am one of them believe that remembering what happen to the Master of Youths in Janna “as was narrated by the prophet in regard to Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain” should be done every year to learn again and again who was on (Haq) the right path and who was on (Batel) the wrong path

    I pray to Allah (SWT) for me and all the brothers and sister that we may become more knowledgeable in the Holy Quran and the history of Islam, so we can distinguish between right and wrong as it is so clear in the Quran

  • Kamal

    i completely agree with you, being a sunni muslim i feel there is a sinister campaign going on to depict Yazid as good person, i really fear that. i even have heard and seen one dr. zakir naik from india who claims to be a daee saying good words for yazid on record and praising him with the titles rahmatullah aalay, i mean how can you do that. i used to love and admire this guy but now he has lost my admiration.

    also this article doesn’t help in making things clear, yes we fast on the days of ashura because our beloved prophet told us to do so, but how on earth can we forget the awful murders of our beloved imam and his family members including children and as if it was not enough they even misbehaved with the female members.

    as for the mournings i consider fit to say that who feel love for prophet and his family (ahl-e-bayt) will keep on remembering those awful events and will keep their eyes moist with tears.

    it reminds me of a beautiful couplet in honour of imam husain (AS) by great poet of east Allama Iqbal:

    Qatl-e-Husain asl me marg e Yazid hai,
    Islam zinda hota he her Karbala ke baad

    english translation:
    Slaughter of Husain is in fact the death of Yazid,
    Islam is revitalized after each event like that of Karbala.”

  • KASHIF NAEEM Link Reply

    Excellent Article- May Allah guide us in the right path- Amen

  • Mian Tariq Link Reply

    Aslamo Alakum,

    These are the proven realities about Ashoora day and its importance at the time of Prophet Mohammad. (PBUH). One who deviates from these facts and observe beating and mourning on this day, is not causing any good to islam. All people of Shia sect should referain from these perverted tasks and innovations and observe fast as the sunnah of holy Prophet. We muslim should only be united, if we will follow the example of Holy Prophet, the salvation in the hereafter is attached to it. May Allah Almighty make us true muslims as the term muslim defined by Quran and Sunnah. Aameen

  • Shenaz Shaikh Link Reply

    Masha-allah, a very enlightening article for muslims and also for those who are interested in knowing islamic roots.

  • Bashir Link Reply

    I appreciate your contribution towards the truth (al-islam). jasakallah khairan

  • HK Link Reply

    I did not get to read all of the comments posted, but I would like to say that although Sunni’s may observe fasts on Ashura, they should also have the knowledge of what happened during Ashura at Imam Hussein’s time. Every Muslim should be aware of it, because it was a sacrifice made by the grandson of our beloved Prophet.
    Allah Hafiz

  • Muhideen Link Reply

    My dear brothers and sisters. please let us not allow anything to separate us be it sunni or shia. We are all muslims and followers of Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW. We all observe same salat, fast, zakat and holy pilgrimage to mecca…why should we be divided on what and what-not to do on ashoora, or on basis of sunni or shia. Please let’s unite for the sake of Allah His prophet and Islam. Jazakallahu khairan.

  • Muslim Link Reply

    Assalamu Alaikum
    First of all, I would like to thank the owners of the website for publishing this article.
    As Muslims we all should follow the right path taught us by the Prophets. Any beliefs or acts which is not recommended by Allah, Quran or Prophets (or which is not allowed in Islam) is sinful. The fast of Ashura, according to you is for mourning the death of Prophet (SAW)’s grand sons. I don’t want to critise Shias for that but beating and cutting is not recmmended(allowed). We fast on Ashura because it is the Sunnah of the Prophet but you harm yourselves on Ashura which is haraam.
    So, I request the Shia Muslims to please stop this type of disbeliefs and acts and follow “only” what our Prophet (SAW) and other prophets, Quran has taught us.

  • Muhammad Danish Link Reply

    There are so many customs in many other fiqah which can be debated like not going to graves and not saying Surah-e-Fatiha for their deads. If shias beat, they beat themselves not others then what is the problem with others…. but how many shias do u see blowing up all over the country against muslims? The people doing so are so called muslims but alhumdulillah not from shia sect. We mourn and cry on even Muhammad(S.A.W.S) so why not on his AhleBait(A.S). If others dont feel grief and mourn thats not our problem. So if u are such a lover of ALLAH and his prophet (s.a.w.s) go and preach to non muslims that will be much better for your aqibat.

  • Haifa Link Reply

    Brother, Dawoud.

    How do you pray according to Qur’an and Qur’an only? 🙂

  • Haifa Link Reply

    Brother danish,

    We are following the sunnah of the prophet, that’s why he was sent ..for us to follow HIS example.

    Allahumma salli ala Muhammed wa ala aal Muhammed kama sallayta ala Ibrahim wa ala Aal Ibrahim ennaka hamid majid.

    We just follow him..we don’t make up things and call it’ll never ever be part of deen..

    Allah knows best..and if it was something good for us to mourn the sahaba would’ve done it, wouldn’t they? 🙂

  • mohammed naeem Link Reply

    Assalama alaikum, Karbala incident is one of the greatest incident in the history. But what Allah says in Quran about Shaheed (martyred) that they are living and Allah provides them with rizq, they are in the form of beautiful birds and Allah has put those people’s (martyred people’s rooh(soul)) in them and they wander in paradise but want to inform their predecessors about their condition in paradise. On this Allah tells them that he will inform people on the earth about their conditions. So now why mourn for their martyrdom, we should be happy with their present condition in the heaven. jazakallah

  • Thani Link Reply

    We, the Muslims, are so divided that as large as our population is, we cannot speak with one voice. Its sad…. Why don’t we simply practice the religion of peace as preached by Rasoolillah (SAW) and leave all innovations that will only lead the practitioner astray out of the true religion, Islam.

  • ali abbasi Link Reply

    What happened in history may be important but not as important as compared to the following Verse of Quran.
    “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor unto you and have chosen for you as religion Al- Islam (Al-Maida ver.3)”
    After this aya, there was no need of prophet; if there is no need of prophet then there is no need of any one less than prophet i.e. IMAM’s.
    We see imams are the most fundamental faith of shia islam i.e. That the successor of Prophet Muhammad PBUH should be Ali (ra) but the Abu bakar, Umar and Uthman (ra) usurped the right to be the successor and if they were usurpers then Allah should have known it and should not reveal the verses like
    “Surely Allah was pleased with the believers when they were swearing allegiance to you (Prophet Muhammad) under the tree, and Allah knew what were in their hearts so he sent down on him the tranquility and rewarded them with a near victory” (Al Fath ver.18)
    Every one knows (undisputed history) that approx not less than 1400 companions including Abu bakar, Umar, Ali (ra) were swearing to death on the hand of Prophet Muhammad SAW upon a rumor of the murder of Uthman (ra); not to mention that on behalf of Usman (ra), Prophet Muhammad SAW put his hand. If Allah is please with them then so do each and every muslim.
    It is easy to corrupt the history my brothers and sister but it is impossible to change the words of Allah as we know the following aya of Quran
    “Verily, it is we who sent down the Quran and surely, we will guard it (Al Hijr .ver.9)
    “These are the verses of book and of a bright Quran (Al Hijr ver.1).
    Brothers and sisters, the book of ALLAH is Easy to understand for those who fear Allah and obey him and his messenger. Hold the book of Allah, take the judgment from it and one will never go astray. May Allah guide us to the right path, the path of those whom he favored not of those who earned his anger and not of those who have gone astray.



  • Usman Link Reply

    Mashaallah very useful article with very thoughtful comments. This was something which was on my mind to be clarified and I believe that many others would also have this confusion regarding Ashura in their minds. The article and comments really helped to have a clear comparison and knowledge about the importance of Ashura.

  • Bent Agah Link Reply

    Peace to all brother and sisters. There should be no problem if there is any difference between Shia and Sunni. Diversity teaches us more tolerance.
    Flagellation or flogging is the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body. It is imposed on an unwilling subject as a punishment, however it can be also submitted willingly or performed on oneself in religious ritual or other forms such as abused children self-flagellate to ease the pain of mental suffering post traumatic event. There is also some other forms. Religious ritual was done to relief from pain and sorrow related to martyrdom and death of someone NOT ORIGINATED BY SHIA. There is psychological aspect of it.

    One should question why self-flagellation is blamed on Shia brothers and sisters. Who gains from this? Why defame group of people. Is it correct to say all Sunni to be blamed for Al Qaeda reactions and mass killings? Is it correct to say all priests are child abusers? Any human with write frame of mind and without prejudiced and hate rate for other people would answer NO.

    Self-Flagellation which is not approved by Shia is not just done by small group of Shia. Many countries and religious etiology practice Self-Flagellation. For example in 11th century A.D. among Italian Hermits and Monastic reformers the Franciscans and Dominicans, It was a normal religious ritual and was practiced until few decades ago and expanded to other part of Europe to Germany, Poland, Spain. Today, it is practiced in Philippine, South America, China and other countries. It is in Engeel that before Prophet Jesus (A.S.) people practiced this ritual and Jesus (A.S.) told to his disciple to not practice that.

    There were times after Prophet (SAWS) that None-Arab Convert Muslim were taxed and taken as slave. Is it right blaming all Arabs for this action? NO

    I hope I get the chance to read more comments from Muslim from other cultures.

    What happened to Imam Hossein in Karbala is a very important event in Islam. He was killed for righteousness.

    Islam is not a religion belonging to one group of people. It is globalized. Islam teaches us about tolerance, peace, and compassion for one another. I was very surprised reading some comments lacking compassion for the death of Prophet (SAWS) family.

    Islam has respect for Christianity s and Jewdisum. Muslims, Jewish, and Christians lived centuries together in Middle East. Yes, together and had no problem. Pointing at other group since they do this and do that creates problem and is only self-serving ritual.

    With the globalization of poverty, there is more help needed for people come together and reach out to each other. I saw an event recently for 1st day of school where Muslim brother and sisters helping homeless children. News channel were showing the smile that these young brother and sisters brought to these children with their charitable school goods. It was so well done. God bless you for putting this event together. Your compassion and help for these children was well received by the community.

    Awareness only comes with following the truth. Righteousness is the only thing that helps to improve our knowledge.

  • MUshtaq Hussain Link Reply


    I have gone through responses given by brothers. I 100% agree with Mathew Collins and Abdullah. We as a muslim should follow Quran and Sunnah (What the Prophet sa said and did). ALLAH swat has choosen Prophet Mohammed “Rehmatal-lil-aalmeen” not only for muslimeen but for whole humanity. We should not act against Quran and Sunah and should be careful to say what Sunnnah is.

  • wasim tahir Link Reply

    MashaAllah this artical is very good jazakaallah khair

  • Kiran Link Reply

    Alhamdulillah this article is very useful..may Allah (swt) bless you with more knowledge of islam and help you to pass it on to others..ameen..i think it clarifies many misconceptions for the is almost inevitable that different muslims will have differing opinions regarding muharram and the fasts to be performed.

    In the end, all that should matter, as many of my brothers and sisters have already rightly stated before me, is that we are all one ummah. In the end, our final abode is with Allah (swt)..we will not get asked about the differences and similarities between shia and sunni muslims..what will be of importance is if we were united as an achieve that we must stand united and not differentiate between each other or consider one to be right and one to be wrong.

    Everyone has their own opinions regarding anything,whether that be an islamic issue or a cultural issue..what is important is that we respect each other and remember that we have been put in this world faced with a test..a test of our faith..a test to see if we can resist certain things in this world in order to have a better life in the hereafter..we must maintain our faith in Allah(swt) and act according to that which we have been taught in the holy Quran and hadith. it is these things which will grant us a place in jannat inshallah..pointing fingers at each other’s beliefs is not going to grant us that place we want in jannat..alhamdulillah Allah(swt) is the only one who can decide who is right and who is wrong and only Allah(swt) knows better..

    May Allah(swt) help us all to become good muslims and learn whatever we need to learn from the book which reveals all and clears every confusion..the holy Quran..

    Once again Jazakallah-khairun for this article and may Allah(swt)bless us all with the best of knowledge..ameen..

  • Ameena Bibi Link Reply

    jazakallah-khairan for this article which has so much information regardig Ashura.Insha allah i will fast 9th and 10th coming year.

  • mohamed meeran Link Reply

    Peace is Islam. Messenger said that muslims will divide into 73 groups and only one group (the one on path of Prophet Muhammad and following his Sunnah) would be following the right path. Lets practice togetherness.

  • Aaminah Link Reply

    Asalaam-Alia-Kum, we as Muslims should unite and burry our differences and show the world the beauty of Islam, a religion which preaches peace and tolerance. No religion is different, all preach tolerance.
    i want to thank those who r associated with Iqra, for their untiring effort to educate people about Islam.

  • dewdrop Link Reply

    great and very informative article

  • Muhammad Farhan Khan Link Reply

    Assalam-wa-Alaikum, to all muslim bro & sis i visited this site first time and found very knowledgable by islamic point of view which is a good thing. and may Allah bless upon them who are participating to run this site for spreading islamic knowledge in the world.


  • Nasim Link Reply

    Dear Brothers and Sisters
    This site is very informative. We should bury our differences and come to common terms with each other.Do jews still celebrate that ashura roza.

  • Musa Link Reply

    As a Sunni Muslim, I found Parvin’s comments very comforting. It is hard to see on the TV some of the extremes some of brother Shias are doing to themselves, but to know that these do not represent the general Shia theology is truly comforting! May Allah show those few the Right Way.

    Having said that, I think it is the westren media which is exagerating these extreme acts to disgrace Islam. So as much as they use those non-islamic suicide bombers against Islam, they also use such annual self-hurting act of some Shias.

    But at the end of the day, shia’s and sunni’s are muslims to the truth of what unites them all and that’s “laa Illaaha Illalaah Muhammadun Rasuul Allah”.

  • rayab Link Reply

    the acts of mourning that shia do today is BID’AT at all. we wil not find those acts done before 350 hijri year. those were atarted there after and any thing added in ISLAMIC SHARI’AT after the death of prophet and practiced as other religious deeds is considered BID’AT and it is unacceptable.

  • Mohammad Faizan Link Reply

    Assalmualaikum-wa-rahmatullah,I totally agree with my brother Kamal and really appreciate his views.I am a sunni muslim but still I believe that Karbala is an exremely significant day and we must remember the sacrifice of Imam Aali Muqaam (A.S.) though we should also fast on 10th Muharram.The Karbala is day at which the right(Haq) had prevailed the wrong(Batil) forever so this is extremely day not only for Muslims but for all oppressed people aroud the world.If we really love our beloved prophet(P.B.U.H.), we must also love his beloved Hussain.

  • ahmad radi Link Reply

    AsSalamualaikum, dear brothers & sisters in Islam.
    It take some time for me to finish this forum. As for me, I’m from Malaysia, quite far from The Holly Land and environment.
    In Malaysia, we follow sunni (Imam Syafie) and I read & know the history of sahabah including the tragedy of Karbala.
    So, please bro&sis, look forward and take steps that unite us and be cautious to act that is meant divided us and do not repeat the same mistake by earlier people.
    How bad happening by sahabah r.a.h surely according to the Prophet p.b.u.h word” my sahabah is like the star at night” and pls. not to single out them, though how bad the history was.
    Currently, we must think on how to improve fellow muslim around the world through da’awah, economy, contributions..etc
    with that, InsyaAllah , Islam will come to the heart of every people on earth before The Last Day.
    Radi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • hussaina Link Reply

    ma sha Allah….we fasted on those days…lets hope Allah has accepted our prayers….thanks for the reminder

  • Tiamiyu Ibn Lawal Link Reply

    Asalaamu Alaikum dear readers,

    I am now more informed about the differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims through these various contributors on the Ashura day celebrations/Fasting. We should NOT however allow the misguided Western Media tear us (Muslims) any more apart. Toeing midways in our beliefs should be our watchwords for it is only ALLAH who truelly knows who is worshorping Him. May Almighty Allah guide us aright. Amen.

  • umar thavheedh Link Reply


    Alhamdulillah ………….

    I can see a healthy discussion over here.

    I want to add some ideological thoughts behind this discussions

    Brothers Firstly,

    We fast on the day of Aashura and the reason is nothing but Rasool s.a.w has asked his ummath to do so.

    And there is a another hadees qudsi where Allah says that “Fasting is only for Allah” and there must not be any other reasons for fasting.
    whether shia or sunni, we need to understand that we fast for Allah to purify us and its a day of purity and a great day in islamic history when Allah swt saved his prophet Musa a.s from firauns army.

    It was a day when Allah swt helped Musa a.s to establish his deen “which is La ilaha illallah” and its a great day when firaun was demolished.

    If you see this issue simply then its very simple that firaun was dead . but if you go deeply about prophet hood it was a great day, IT WAS A FIGHT BETWEEN SHIRK AND THOUHEEDH, BETWEEN HAQ AND BAATHIL

    And according to SHIA muslims they show mourning for Imam hussains shahadath, YES not only SHIA muslims but every muslims should worry about karbala. And one hadees says that Imam hussain will be the leader for youths.



    Islam does not allows anybody to celebrate mourning for anything.

    The muslim ummah should understand that THE GRAND SON OF PROPHET WAS KILLED BY MUSLIMS ??????



    And the issue is not that yazid is right or wrong ? But the issue is the grandson of Prophet s.a.w was murdered, the issue is the ISLAMIC SYSTEM which came to relieve the world from imperialism was under trouble, the justice got murdered and if you ask me I WILL SAY KARBAL WAS THE TURNING POINT OF MUSLIMS HISTORY AND TILL TODAY WE ARE STRUGGLING.
    So we should understand that muslims should unite .

    Muslims should unite rather than fight between amongst ourselves or celebrating mourning at the extreme level

    May Allah give us the strength to establish his deen for which we were sent

    any controversies write to me on umarthavheedh @


  • Assalamualikum,

    I am from Malaysia and a sunni muslim. I only found out that I’m a sunni muslim, much later in my life. Before, I did not know about sunni or shia. A muslim is a muslim. Although now that I understand that am a sunni muslim, I still consider any shia as my brother and sister in Islam.
    On Asyura, we fasted in Malaysia, as what was asked by our beloved prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
    Yet I also grieve, whenever I read or remember Karbala.
    As I am writing now, I grieve because I remember Karbala.
    I love Rasululullah his family members and sahabah.
    I know he loves his daughter and his grandchildren.

  • Seher Sayed Link Reply

    Parvin and all others…….We all have our own beliefs…if one does not follow the others belief,we have no problems against it,but why oppose or talk about things where knowledge is not complete?
    Imam Hussein(a.s) is the other name for humanity……we mourn out of love for the Prophet’s grandson….If he wanted he could have made the skies shed water and quench the thrist of everyone at Karbala but then our tears for the martyrs woudn’t be the same…we would not realise the lessons of sacrifize,love,purity,belief,truth…the battle of Karbala teaches us….Till people mourn for Imam Hussein and his family,we can be assured humanity lives on….
    Beliefs are different and so are the ways we project them,thus one must not comment on what a Sunni or Shia must do….i mean no offence to anyone..but anyone who knows about the whole battle of Karbala and the fate of the family of Imam Hussein is sure to grieve,in any way it may be….The tears are one of the reasons Islam is alive today..thats all….sorry if I offended anyone….

  • lawal Link Reply

    assalamu alaikum
    i believe that this type of debate is healthy and appropriate. it will make genuine followers on both sides to appreciate the view point of one another.
    note that faith is ablessing and if Allah had willed he will make all mankind to be believers.
    most at times differences of fiqh are blown out of propotions to achieve certain aims.
    if you read through the quran you will observe that highly religious people made one “error/mistake” or the other in their lives and that did not diminish their status but had only shown that afterall they are human.angels were not sent as prophets.
    pls read the stories of Adam,Noah,Moses,(AS) once more.Let us learn to appreciate one another .
    May Allah guide us aright,ameen.

  • karimi Link Reply

    My sister Malika, Assalamu Alaikum
    You’d asked a few questions from our brother, Mehdi, to which I found no answer. That’s why I thought I might be able to help.
    With regard to your first question, the first changes in Azan were initiated by Umar Rdiallah anh. He omitted “Hayya alaa khair ei amal” which means: Hurry up for the best dead which refers to Salaat. His justification was that if people regard salat as the best dead they might refrain to go for Jihad (Islamic war). Instead he added ” Assalat khairun men Annaum” for Subh Salaat which means that “Salat is better than sleeping”. It happened when one of Sahabah came to awaken him for Subh Salat. He used this statement: ” Assalat khairun men Annaum” . Umar Rdiallah anh approved it and put it into Azan. With regard to ghabz alyadain or putting the hands before the chest while praying, Here is the story: After Umar Rdiallah anh attacked to Iran he saw Iranian soldires keeping their arms before them. He asked the reason and was told that it is a symbol for respect and submission. Umar Rdiallah anh approved the idea and ordered to add it to Salat as a sign of respect and submission. In other aspects of Salat there are very meager differences between shi’a and sunni muslims as you might have seen in Hajj. Regarding your second question, there were many events to which Rasul Allah just referred without much elaboration. For instance his famous hadith stating that “after me my Ummah will divide into 72 sects among whom only one group will come to salvation” . He never declared which sect he exactly meant. This is exactly the case with lack of Ahadith about the way people should mourn over Karbala martyres. Your last question was mbiguous to me but as far as I understood you mean building shrines and commemorating Imams and the way they are done. The philosophy behind them is Ta’zim Sha’aer Allah which has been emphasized in Islam. Muslims should frequently remind themselves and others what the right path is and who its representatives are. That’s why we repeat this two times in every salaat: Ihdina Seraat al mustaghim.
    Since Muslims are widely spread over the world, they do that differently due to different cultures and traditions; some with Alam which stand for the Islam flag at the time of Hussain Alaih Assalam, Some with Mourning attire to indicate Islam leaders are so dear to us like members of our families, etc. What matters is the sacred purpose for which they sacrificed their lives and families, that is saving Islam from deviatons.
    I hope Allah will guide and keep us in the straight path. Amin

  • Anonymous Link Reply

    We are all muslims and we should follow the commendments of Allah s.w.t. We all agree that Allah s.w.t. is the all knowing all seeing. Allah s.w.t. knew what was going to happen to Hazrat Hussein and yet He did not tell Prophet Muhammad (saws) to tell the people to mourn that day, neither did he mourn the day that would one day come ( Hazrat Hussein’s shahadat at Qarbala). As brother Abdullah mentioned the hadiaths the sunnis quote have been verified through a chain of reliable sources but the quotes that the brothers and sisters who are shia quote are dependendent on the interpretations of the shia Imams. Post #81 stated that the prophet mourned his grandson from before his grandson was martyred, yet this is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran. One post mentioned that Hazrat Aisha beat her face when the beloved Prophet died, that is not the case. This is from Sahih Bukhari:

    Volume 2, Book 23, Number 471:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    During his sickness, Allah’s Apostle was asking repeatedly, “Where am I today? Where will I be tomorrow?” And I was waiting for the day of my turn (impatiently). Then, when my turn came, Allah took his soul away (in my lap) between my chest and arms and he was buried in my house.

  • naveed Link Reply

    It is my personal opinion / observation that there are no authentic references available that during the life of Ali as well as Fatima and their son Hussain and Hassan had beat own self on the death of any person. There are no references availbale in the history of great sahaba’s that people followed 10th Moharram just like today. So if shia want’s to mourn this day please specify and tell the people about act of sahaba specially ali , hussain, and others.


  • Rehan Link Reply

    As from every act of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), it is clear that 10th of Muharram is not the day of sorrow or sadness. As we know that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) knows that after their death, their grandson Hussain (R.A.) will also die in a battle, but the Prophet (S.A.W.) never told us to be sad on that day and to beat oneself. So what all Shias do does not seem to sanctioned by Islamic teachings. If Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.) didn’t show any such extreme level of remorse on the death of his son Ibrahim (R.A.) but just only a few drops of tears from their eyes, how can Shias go to extremes for Hussien?. Why was there no day of mourning established by the Prophet for his own son Ibrahim? May ALLAH guide us all.

  • Dr Arif Link Reply

    nice article, thank you…….

  • jauro Link Reply

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    Brothers and Sisters in Islam, the practices of shi’ites on the day of Ashura even according to even Shia books are INNOVATIONS; The Prophet (AS) is reported as saying: ” He is not of Us who slap his cheek, and tear his cloths (when some thing befall him) ” (Biharul Anwar 79/93, mustadarakul wasa’il 2/452), and Imam Assadiq is reported as saying: “It is not proper to cry for a deceased, but most of the people don’t know that” (Alkafi lil Kulainiy, 3/226, Wasa’ilus shi’ah 3/273)so those practices are not part of islam and have nothing to do with it (refer to “kullul hulul ind Aalir Rasul p 148-151”)

  • Anonymous Link Reply

    I have read the almost all the comments given above and with much grief I am writing that those people who call themselves muslims and say that Imam Hussain’s sacrifice was nothing and his shahadat should not be mourned. Let one of their dear ones leave them then I will ask them if they will mourn or not? We mourn and not only we, all this universe will mourn on Imam Hussian(a.s), his children and his companians till the day of judgement comes. No one can say this is against Islam. They don’t have any knowledge at all that what Imam Hussian(a.s) was for his Grandfather and call themselves the followers of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). Imam Hussin’s sacrifice was not for him or even for his family it was for entire Islam. But I think that people writing such comments cannot recognize this great act due to Yazeedi blood in their viens.

  • Saima Link Reply

    Thank you Sister Samreen for a lovely view of the Shia Sect … being open-minded, I could see where u were coming from …. but just a few questions …. could you just say a few words about the Aqeedah of Shi’ism in general …. The concept of Imamat constitutes a fundamental principle in Shia Theology. Do not the Shia’s believe that as Allah has raised a chain of Prophethood, in the same manner Allah has set up a chain of Imamat and these Imams too are free from sin and are innocent. These pious people who Sunni’s have great respect for as the Family of the Prophet (P) have never claimed Imamate, please can you cite references from the Sunnah or Quran that confirms this claim.
    Another thing that does not make sense to me is, if Allah has finalised the line of Prohets and we have the best example in the Prophet Muhammed (P) that covers everything possible from our lives to deaths, would it not make sense to follow him directly, to follow his Sunnah, hand in hand with the Quran … of course the love and respect for the Ahle Baith is there, but when we have the Hadeeths to follow, how do u follow the Ahle Baith? …
    The Kalimah that includes ‘Ali (RA) Wali Allah’ is this the Kalimah that Rasool (P) said? is that how the many Azaans were said in his time? …. Because as far as my mind understands is that you are saying that Prophet Muhammad (P) basically said that his Sunnah is there, but still open to changes in the coming years … I also ponder over the fact that Rasool (P) spent 23 years spreading Islam only for Shia’s to come and say that on the demise of the beloved Prophet(P) all the Sahabahs and muslims turned their faces away from Islam and only the Ahle Baith were left?!?! meaning the hardwork and hardships of our Prophet (P)were left fruitless …. I think Shi’ism have the basics correct but then they have gone slightly off the track … I am sorry Sister Samreen and other Shia Brothers and Sisters, I do not mean to attack u personally but would just like to understand … May Allah forgive me if I have said anything wrong … JazakAllah.

  • Irshad Ahmad Wani Link Reply

    Dear Brothers


    It is really appreciating for the writer of this article who have try to make the clear cut distinction between the ideologies of two large groups of muslims on the concept of Ashura, the great day in the Islamic history and the practices followed thereupon.I think by reading and pondering over the contents and the references (Ahadits) embeded in this article one can make the right choice of the path to be followed. May Allaha give us guidence to understant what is right and what is wrong and help is to spur from the innovations which has been inducted in our religion by the enemies of this great religion . Aamin

  • Salma Link Reply

    Salam – This has been a good discussion but no matter how we slice what we have, we are still left with the following core issues – If I am wrong, I do need to be corrected –

    1) Our Shia brothers and sisters have provided a LOT of references. BUT at the end its ALL HISTORICAL references and since they do not have a sound system of quoting Hadith and events, all the references have little weight. If I am ignorant on this topic, I do need to be corrected and I would like someone to answer this question which was raised earlier. WHAT SYSTEMS OR METHODOLOGY DO SHIAs HAVE TO AUTHENTICATE ALL THE REFERENCES? At the end, you can quote anything from anyone but unless you have a sound basis, it has no value. The Sunnis have one system but Shias dont – Please elaborate –

    2) All Sunnis respect Hussein, Ali, etc. BUT UNLIKE Shias, their religion has not been entirely consumed by their deaths. As someone else suggested, many messengers have died ALONG with the son of the prophet – but the prophet didnt establish religious practices behind their deaths. RESPECT THEM, HONOR THEM, REMEMBER THEM,,,, BUT PLEASE DONT MAKE IT PART OF YOUR RELIGION BECAUSE THE PROPHET NEVER DID.

    3) Finally, there is no point in arguing any of this. We all need to respect each other by knowing that we have different religious beliefs. Sunnis and Shias can never be the same. If there was a way, it would have worked by now BUT it hasnt. All we can do is to move on by recognizing that we are different in certain ways and instead need to focus on where we are the SAME and build bridges of trust and friendship based on what is common between us. If we try to challenge each other’s religious practices, we will get NO WHERE.

  • Omar Bahar Link Reply

    Masha Allah going through the comments, it relives history.

    Does the Quran mention anything on Sunnis & Shiates?

    We should endevoar to strengthen our religious beliefs through the Quran. One should read it and importantly understand it. One should go through the English translation of the Quran to grasp the reality of the Islam religion.

    I strongly urge Muslims brothers & sisters to do the above and understand Islam in its truest form.

    Follow the basics in Islam for e.g., offer the 5 times prayer at regular times and offer fast during the month of Ramadhan and offer Zikr day and night and you could be self assured to illuminate your life accordingly through Almighty’s Allah blessings.

    Almighty Allah will always be your Guide, Mentor, Protector, Sustaniner & Companion at all times of your life if one follows the basics and you could be rest assured to enter Paradise.

    May Almighty Allah Pour his choicest blessings upon all the brothers & sisters of Islam.

  • In my opinion, everyone should fast during that time. I’ve made a post on encouraging everyone on the site to fast as well.

  • Naseem Link Reply

    I am a Shia, but I do believe that the practice of mourning- the way it is practised is wrong. If you believe that Imam Husain did not die, but was martyred, he died for a cause- he died believing in what was right. This is the message that we have to carry with us- to do what is right regardless of personal hardships. why do we cry for him? He chose his death. Remember him with good deeds. donate blood on that day, rather than flooding the streets with blood. go out and help the orphans. do something lasting. be a true muslim.

  • sameera Link Reply

    Sister Salma, all the references that I quoted in my article are from sunni books. I have not quoted anything from any shia sources. There is enough evidence in the books of Ahle sunnah without having to refer to any other books. We also have a system of authenticating Ahadiths. A very strong sytem where the character and weightage of the narrator is verified before the hadith is confirmed as being authentic. Most of our ahadith are from the Ahle baith whose character and nobilty cannot be questioned.
    Sister Saima, we shias believe in the Imamate not because the religion was not perfected but because the Prophet declared his successor Ali(AS) as the Imam/leader after him. After the Prophet(SAWS), who would the muslims have referred to know the correct interpretation of the Quran? The best people who could guide were the Ahle baith. And the Prophet SAWS) on his return from his last Haj had stopped at a place called Ghadeer e khum and declared Hazrat Ali(AS) to be his successsor. All the muslims present there including the sahaba pledged allegience to Ali(AS) in front of the Prophet(SAWS). But after the death of the Prophet(SAWS) when Hazrat Ali (AS) and his uncle Abbas were preparing for the funeral the sahabas along with other people met at saqifa to discuss a successor. Every tribe wanted a successor from their tribe..there were arguments and then finally Abu Bakar(RA) was declared the caliph. All this can be found in a lot of sunni books including sahih Bukhari where the incident at Ghadeer e khum is clearly mentioned. Why did the sahabas disobey the Prophet after he clearly declared his successor?
    None of the Hashimites or the close sahabas of the Prophet accepted this caliphate. There is a lot pertaining to this. I cannot write everything here. But if you want further references I can provide them.
    Commerating Karbala is a reminder for everyone. It is today due to that great sacrifice that Islam is still alive, that we are still muslims. By trying to belittle the sacrifices of Hussain(AS) we will gain no benefit. To mourn is human.. dosnt matter what caste, religion or nation you belong to. We watch movies and cry, but when our eyes tear up in the memory of Hussain then it is considered to be wrong???… If crying was wrong then Allah would not have given us this emotion. I think you dont need religion to understand this.. common sense should be enough.

  • Saima Link Reply

    JazakAllah sister Sameera for ur nice response.

  • i am happy to see some reasonable comment, but not happy to see some unknowledgeable ones. therefore, i am advising muslim brothers to understand both the sunni and shia concept of the event of ashura, make analysis before making a comment. so that the person will not make a sentimental comment. because islam belongs to Allah. inna dina inda lahil islam.

  • mohd azam Link Reply

    assalam alekum to u all
    gud 2 c lot of people here,on a single platform.i m thankful 2 all who have posted here,it added a lot 2 my knowledge.i don’t want 2 say more bt request u all 2 pls respect everyones feeling and stand united for ISLAM as MUSLIMS not divide into different sects.
    may ALLAH bless all of us n show the right path.

  • Javed Link Reply

    Assalamalikuim, sister Samia,
    You said why dont we keep the roza the whole year why only on 9th and 10th dear sister for enlightening your knowledge, sunna is to be practised as per Rasool direction, we cant invent anything new in deen, therefore if he said keep fast on ashura thats it, the chpater closes, and this fast is nothing to do with what happened in karbala, of which no authentoc report is avalable, if you argue why only on 9th than i have given u the reason its hadis, on contrary why dont youll do matam 365 days why on 10th muharram only, you have invented these act in religion, islam never told you to do this act neither in quran or in authentic hadis you will find this. rasool have not done this act, and above all its beyond common sense to do such act, you said dont follw yazeed mother etc etc, history is history be it european history the world history or islamic you wont find anything AUTHENTIC, its only quran n sahih hadis, however we arent following that lady we are follwoing our prophet who did fast and the reason is joined with Moosa alisalam, its long back what has mother of yazeed to do with Moosa alisalam ??? dont mix things sister our stand is clear we fast as rasool did, where is mother of yazeed in between ? if as per your argument she had fasted because according to you yazeed killed Imam HASSAN & HUSAIN (R.A.) then who cares about them? What postion does yazeed mother or even yazeed have in islam can you tell me, its NIL. islam was completed during the time of prophet we cant add in deen, if you think doing matam is part of deen whereas its not ordained by the prophet that means you know islam better than the prophet ? dont make HISTORY that to uncertain a part of islam or deen, we dont have any right to alter the deen, if you say mamtam is correct and its perfect then i just by seeing it reject islam as totally, my comon sense does not allow me to follow such act, above all may i ask you what do youll say in matam, YA ALI HUM NA THE (Oh ALi we weren’t there!). May i ask you what youll would have done if you were there?

    May i ask you sister in the grave will you be asked who killed imam Hassan and Husain (R.A.) ? will on the day of judgment you will be asked this question ? no then why are we divided so much on this issue that to based on HISTORY where you find different historians have different view, than can you tell one good reason why should i belive in you history only ? dear sister islam is not based on histrory ? its a complete way of life of dos and donts given by the prophet, out of which many sects that are going to come will bound to alter it, and rightly said by the prophet all will go to hell except 1. Lets not be in those. For that study islam with unprejduice mind. you will find different imam saying diff things if you are confused what is right or wrong its simple ask Allah for guidance, and than keep you mind open, see what comes your way. Its you who classify your self in return i have to say myself sunni, BUT if you check up islam you wont find these 2 words either shia or sunni, sounds like i am dr zakir students right ? no sister !!! iam aware of islamic teaching much much before him, what he says on genral basis iam aware from my childhood, as i kept asking Allah for guidance as i knew the nuts muslims are divided, and i want to be on the right track, yesteday it slef i was listening to a shias speech abusing Aboo Backer and Umar (R.A.) Sister is it common sense? Allah has told in quran not to abuse even the false gods that they worship beside him, so then where does the question comes of abusing each other. islam doesnt say you have to believe in AbboBAKER or Umar (R.A.) in oder to go to jannah, in same way its not even OBLIGATORY ON ME TO BELIVE IN HAZRAT ALI (R.A.) TO GO TO JANNAH !!!!!!!!!!!


  • Maryam Link Reply


    Thing is, there are many tragedies that happened with the prophet (pbuh) and his family and followers when he first started calling people to the truth – Islam. The food ban, the hardship and struggle, people used to throw stones at him until his sandals were drenched in blood…Whey don’t we mourn for him? Why don’t we do matam for him and all the other people that suffered with him and died? I respect peoples’ views but we need to think logically about this. We’re intelligent Muslims so we really need to start thinking for ourselves rather than just following our forefathers. And for those who are independent in their thought process with regards to doing matam on Ashura, how will this benefit you? Our bodies are a blessing from Allah aza wajal, we should protect them internally and externally.

    Hassan and Hussain (r.a) are ”the youth of Paradise” Please take a moment to ponder on this. Don’t be influenced by others and swayed by emotion, I just want to know, where is the sense in this?!

    This Dunya is temporary, our eternal abode is the hereafter. Thank Allah aza wajal we have the Qur’an, if we didn’t, we would be completely lost.

    We need to go back to the Qur’an.

    We need to refrain from following such rituals because this won’t take us to Jannah, the Qur’an will.

    When someone you love passes away, it is only natural to cry and to abstain from eating. There is no reward for it, but Allah aza wajal understands your grief, he knows that you are in an unstable state, shocked perhaps…but as time passes, Al-hamdulillah we move on, back to normal you could say.

    BUT we’re talking about the beloved grandson of the prophet (pbuh). Yes, hearing the story of Karbala every Muharram can make one very emotional…that is perfectly acceptable, but doing matam?!

    We need to get our priorities straight. First of all, we need to understand the Qur’an. Secondly, we need to know that regardless of what any hadith says about the events that took place, who killed who etc. we will never know the complete truth because that is only with Allah aza wajal. So we need to focus on ISLAM! Our IMAAN, our WORSHIP to NO ONE BUT ALLAH!!!

  • Masha-allah.. i love it and very clear that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) wanted that all muslims earn some blessings..


  • Mariam Link Reply

    Just the information I need. JazakAllah.

  • Ahlul Sunnaah Wal Jam'aah Link Reply

    The hadith you quoted regarding our mother Aaisha (Radi Allaahu Ta’ala An’ha) beating herself IS FABRICATED. We dont accept anything that is direct contravention of Qur’aan and other established ahaadith. History can go to the junkyard if it goes against the Qur’aan and sahih ahaadith (Sunni Version of course). Is Qu’raan a book of history? Definitely not, only select a few Messengers have been mentioned and that too repeatedly to reinforce and strengthen beliefs and offer lesson after to Muslims. In history there is a definite chronological order that has to followed. I am not denying history per se, but only highlighting the fact that its importance is only in the light of Qur’aan and Hadith. Period.
    Coming Over to the concept of Imamat or Waliyaat. CAN THE SHIAS PROVE FROM A SINGLE VERSE IN THE QUR’AAN THAT Imaamat or waliyat IS ONLY FOR THE DESCENDENTS OF NABI (Peace Be Upon him). Allaah Says The Following
    And indeed We have written in Az-Zabûr [i.e. all the revealed Holy Books – the Taurât (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Psalms, the Qur’ân] after (We have already written in) Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz (the Book, that is in the heaven with Allâh), that My righteous slaves shall inherit the land (i.e. the land of Paradise). (105)
    Allaah Mentioned Righteous Slaves that can or can not be amongst the Ahlul Bayt(May Allaah Be Pleased with them all). IT IS A GENERAL AYAAH. Nowhere is it specifically mentioned that this belongs to Ahlul Bayt ONLY.
    Allâh has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islâm). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieves after this, they are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh). (Suraah An-Noor, Chapter 24, Verse 55)
    The Laystakhlifannahum – from which word khilafat can also be derived again NEGATING IMAAMAT.

    Regarding ahaadith posted above of ghadir e khum
    read the following link
    As far as interpretation of Qur’aan is concerned Messenger Muh’ammad (Peace Be Upon him) and Companions (Both the Non Ahlul Bait and Ahlul Bait) (Radi Allaahu A’nhum Ajma’een) are the interpretation
    And when it is said to them (hypocrites): “Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad Peace be upon him , Al-Ansâr and Al-Muhajirûn) have believed,” they say: “Shall we believe as the fools have believed?” Verily, they are the fools, but they know not (Suraah Al-Baqaraah, Chapter 2, Verse 13)
    Allâh has forgiven the Prophet (Peace Be Upon him), the Muhajirûn (Muslim emigrants who left their homes and came to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (Muslims of Al-Madinah) who followed him (Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon him) in the time of distress (Tabûk expedition), after the hearts of a party of them had nearly deviated (from the Right Path), but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them full of Kindness, Most Merciful (Suraah At-Tawbaah, 117)
    (And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking Bounties from Allâh and to please Him. and helping Allâh (i.e. helping His religion) and His Messenger (Muhammad – Peace Be Upon him). Such are indeed the truthful (to what they say). (8) And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes (in Al-Madinah) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given (from the booty of Banu An-Nadîr), and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful. (9) And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful. (10)
    Suraah Hashr, Chapter 59, Verse 8-10
    Indeed, Allâh was pleased with the believers when they gave the Bai’âh (pledge) to you (O Muhammad – Peace Be Upon him) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-Sakinah (calmness and tranquillity) upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory, (18)
    All Praise To Allaah Alone

    Subh’aankalla Humma Wa Bihamdika Nashhaddu Al Laa ilaaha illa anta nastaghfiruka wa natoobu illayk

  • Bintu Muhammad Mofio Link Reply

    Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil-aalameen,this is quite enlightening and beneficial!Jaza kumullaahu khayran,wassalaam.

  • Ziauddin Ahmed Link Reply

    Dear Friends:

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    One scholar has advised that it is incorrect to write the word “InshaAllah” or “Insha’Allah” which means creation (building) of Allah (Naoo’z Billah). The word ‘Insha’ in Arabic language means creation, building or generation. Therefore, it is better to write it in three (3) words separated by spaces: In Shaa ALLAH ?? ?? ????? means IF ALLAH WILLS, writing the name of ALLAH always in Capital letters. May ALLAH (SWT) Guide us and always Keep us on the Right Path, Ameen. Thank you.

  • Assalamu Alaikum ! May Allah reward all those who contributed on this topic.I particularly appreciate & enjoyed the piece by Matthew Collins.

  • Sikander Gulzar Link Reply

    Dear friends Assalamu Alaikum,
    having read many of the comments it is great to see that nobody has lost their temper. Alhamdulillah. Here is my point of view. Whether you are Sunni or Shia as long as you believe in “La ilaha illAllah Muhammadur rasulullah” then we are one family. We have common ground. We are all Muslims. SubhnAllah. The difference is Political, Not religious. Through the ages this difference has been exploited and politicized and has just got bigger and bigger. Like warring families at loggerheads there has to come a time when someone intervenes and says stop acting like children shake hand and move on. I know this is a very simplified thought but we can’t continue to keep insulting each other, the Sahabas or anyone else for that matter. We need to be just Muslims once again and not sunni or shia.

    I have a thought to ponder over. Lets suppose we are standing in front of the prophet (saw) himself one day and on one side are the Shias and on the other side are the sunnis and the shias say come to our masjid and the sunnis say come to our masjid. What would our prophet (saw) say? Remember, he is the leader of the sunnis and the shias! Would he be upset at our fighting? What do you think he might say? Something that comes to mind is:

    One year, there was a flood in Mecca which destroyed the walls of Kaaba. Quraish, who took the control over this house, decided to repair it. Once they built the walls, a serious dispute raised amongst them, which was going to cause a bloody war. Each tribe wanted the honour of putting the sacred stone of Hajar al-Aswad in its place. Finally an old man who was highly respected by the Quraish tribe suggested that the first man, who entered the mosque area, should become the judge between them. Everyone accepted this suggestion. Meanwhile, Prophet Muhammad (saw) entered the mosque and the great men of Quraish accepted that he should be the judge.

    The Prophet (saw) commanded them to widen a peace of cloth on the ground. Then he put Hajar al-Aswad on it and called the head of every tribe to take one corner of the cloth.

    When they picked up the cloth by the wall, the Prophet (saw) took the stone and put it in its place. With this wise judgment he put an end to the probable bloody war.

    Similarly if the Prophet (saw) says I will not visit your masajids until you settle your differences how will we feel and what would we do??? Would we not put an end to this enmity once and for all? If we come behind the banner of “La ilaha illAllah Muhammadur rasulullah” once again and there is no shia or sunni masjid but just a masjid where we all pray together then it wouldn’t matter which masjid the prophet (saw) prays in because we would have united.

    I have often pondered over this thought and it is sad to see people being so hostile and judgmental over the smallest of things such as standing in qiyamm and holding your arms below the naval or above the naval or pointing the finger in tashahhud and moving it or keeping it still. How pointless is such criticism, who are we to judge, only Allah swa knows best what is in our hearts. I hope I have not hurt anyone’s feelings in writing my thoughts and this was not my intention, just something to ponder over.

    Soon our journey will end and we will be in front of our creator.

    Lets start the movement to unite not divide. “La ilaha illAllah Muhammadur rasulullah”

  • Karishma Link Reply

    We are ALL Muslims regardless of how we practice our religion. NO one has the right to judge the other. Only ALLAH(swt) can do that on Judgement Day. We mourn the death of our Imam Hussein(as) because of the tragedy in Karbala. I don’t “beat” myself nor do I cut myself during Muharram BUT I do shed tears for my beloved Imam HUSSEIN(as) Just like I shed tears for my beloved Prophet(pbuh). Please stop passing judgement on each other. We all were born the same way….AS HUMAN BEINGS. I respect all beliefs in every religion because who am I to say what is right or wrong. ONLY when you go to the afterlife you will know what is right or wrong. So until then, practice your beliefs in peace & let others practice theirs as well. Oh and BTW the person who said that SHIAS only fast for 15 days needs to get their information correct. We fast for 30 days just like our SUNNI brothers & sisters. I’m not here to offend or teach anyone anything. Just here to say that as human beings, it is our right to live together peacefully. Especially as Muslims because if we are fighting & killing each other, what does that show for our religion? Other religions won’t differentiate between SHIAS & SUNNIS, they will ONLY look at us as MUSLIMS KILLING MUSLIMS. This is just my opionion so please don’t BASH me or be rude. I did enjoy the comments I read from both side & learned a lot too. May ALLAH(swt) bring peace between the 2 sects of Islam….AMEEN!!

  • syed jamal h shah Link Reply

    MashaALLAH,very breif but comprehensive article explaining the importance of Ashura and highlighting the difference between the two faiths.I beleive as muslim we must adhere to the commandment of Allah SWT and His Prophet.JazakAllah o khair.

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