Aashoora (10th Muharram)

Mufti Siraaj Desai


The word Aashoora comes from the Arabic word Ashr which means ten. Aashoora means the tenth. This is used specially for the 10th of Muharram to indicate that it is a day marked with special barakaat and blessings. 


Some Ulema mentioned that because Allah Ta’ala honoured 10 Prophets on this day, hence the word “tenth” was used specifically for the tenth day of Muharram. The 10 Ambiyaa (alaihimus-salaam) are as follows:


Nabi Moosa (A.S): On this day Allah Ta’ala saved Nabi Moosa and the Bani Isra-eel from Fir’oun by commanding the Red Sea to split open so that they could pass through safely. Fir’oun and his army were drowned in the same ocean.


Nabi Nooh (A.S): When the floods subsided, the ship of Nabi Nooh bearing himself and about 80 of his followers came to rest on Mt. Ararat in Eastern Turkey.They all disembarked in safety. It was the 10th Muharram.


Nabi Yunus (A.S): On the day of Aashoora Nabi Yunus was delivered from the belly of the gigantic fish that had swallowed him, after spending three days therein.


Nabi Adam (A.S): On this sacred day Almighty Allah accepted the taubah of our great father, Adam (May Allah’s Eternal Salutations be upon him and upon Our Messenger Muhammad).


Nabi Yusuf (A.S): This great Nabi was rescued from the well in which his brothers dumped him. At that stage Hazrat Yusuf was only 7 years of age.


Nabi Eesa (A.S):  This great Messenger of Allah was born on the 10th Muharram and on this day was he raised up to the heavens.


Nabi Dawood (A.S): Allah accepted his taubah on this day, after Dawood (alayhis salaam) had issued a verdict between two parties which though was fair and just, but was not of the standard expected from him by Allah Azza Wa Jall. 


Nabi Ayyoob (A.S): On this day Almighty Allah granted him total cure from a skin disease that lasted for 18 years.


Nabi Ya’qoob (A.S): On this day Allah Ta’ala gave him back his sight after he had become blind  due to excessive crying over the loss of his beloved son Yusuf (A.S)


Nabi Sulaiman  (A.S): On the 10th Muharram Allah Ta’ala granted Hazrat Sulaiman a kingdom which no one before nor after enjoyed: he ruled over man and jinn, over the wind, the birds, and the mountains.


Other Histrorical Events that Transpired on this Day


Before Islam the Quraish had committed a sin for which they were very remorseful. Some of their wise people suggested that they fast on the 10th Muharram as a means of compensation andforgiveness. (Fathul Baari) From this it emerges that the significance of the Day of Aashoora was known to the Arabs well before Islam, hence this suggestion.


The Quraish used to drape the cloth onto the Ka’ba on this day.


When NAbi Moosa and the Bani Isra-eel were saved from their enemies on this day, they started observing the 10 Muharram as a day of fasting. Likewise, Nabi Nooh (alayhis salaam) also instructed his followers to fast on this day as a token of thanksgiving unto Allah Ta’ala.


Ahadeeth on its Virtues


Rasoolullah (S.A.W) said: Regarding the Fast of Aashoora, I have hope in Allah that it will compensate for the previous year’s sins. (Muslim Shareef)


Rasoolullah (S.A.W) said: The best of fast after Ramadaan is fasting in the month of Muharram. (Muslim Shareef)


It is recorded in all but one of the six major works on hadith (i.e. Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmizhi, and Ibni Majah) that before Ramadaan the fast of Aashoora was compulsory. Later on when the fast of Ramadaan became faradh, this fast was considered as optional.


Rasoolullah (S.A.W) said: Whoever spends lavishly on his family on the Day of Aashoora, Allah will grant him lavish rizq for the rest of the year. (Bayhaqi)


Actions on Aashoora not Subtantiated from Hadith 

The following activities and practices are not supported by hadith nor by any of the former Ulema and Scholars:


Sharing gifts on this day. To share gifts is a sunnat practice and may be done at any time. Do not pick this particular day to exchange gifts.


Inviting family and friends for a meal. This is also a noble practice which may be done at any time. When people do it specially in Aashoora day, it becomes a bid’ah.


To believe that it is wrong to have ghusl on this day. This is a superstition that has no basis in Islam.


To believe it is wrong to apply surma or kajal on Aashoora. Also a superstition of the Jaahilyyah, and must be avoided.


To wear black in this day. A bid’ah that emanated from the Shiahs.


To mourn on this day, especially to mourn the death of Hazrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu). As we have proven above, Aashoora was a distinctive day long before Imam Husain. The significance of this day was ordained by Allah from the time He created the heavens and earth. Allah Ta’ala states in Surah Taubah (chapter 9), verse 36:  “The number of months according to Allah is twelve, since the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Among them four are sacred, so wrong not yourselves during these months..”  From this we learn that the sacred months were ordained right since the inception of the universe. It is, therefore, wrong from all aspects to believe the day of Aashoora only became sacred since the martyrdom of Hazrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu). Instead, Hazrat Imam Husain was so great and revered by Allah, that Allah Ta’ala granted him martyrdom on such a sacred day as Aashoora. This was the pinnacle of Hazrat Husain’s achievements.


Many fabricated stories have been invented by the Shias and those who think like them regarding Aashoora and the martyrdom of Imam Husain. Muslims must remember, the benchmark for stories and narrations of Deen is the hadith of Rasoolullah (S.A.W) and the narratives of the Sahaaba and Ulema after them. Anything that does not match these criteria must be compulsorily rejected.