Not relying too much on the reward for fasting
The virtues of Muharram and fasting on 'Aashooraa' – III
- Publish date:21/10/2015
Some people rely too much on things like fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ or the day of ‘Arafah, to the extent that some of them say: “Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of ‘Arafah will bring extra rewards.”
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of ‘Arafah and ‘Aashooraa’, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins.
Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed, he remembers it and relies on it. This is like the one who seeks Allah’s forgiveness with his tongue (i.e., by words only), and glorifies Allah by saying “Subhaanallaah” one hundred times a day, then he backbites Muslims and slanders their honor, and speaks all day long about things that are not pleasing to Allah. This person is always thinking about the virtues of making Thikr (remembering of Allah) but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, tell lies and slander others, or commit other sins of the tongue. They are completely deceived.” [Al-Mawsoo’ah Al-Fiqhiyyah]
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ when one still has days to make up from Ramadan
Muslim scholars differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before a person has made up days that he or she did not fast in Ramadan. The Hanafis said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up days from Ramadan, and it is not disliked to do so, because the missed days do not have to be made up straight away. The Maalikis and Shaafi’is said that it is permissible but is disliked, because it means that one is delaying something obligatory.
The Hanbalis said that it is Haraam (forbidden) to observe a voluntary fast before making up any fasts missed in Ramadan, and that a voluntary fast in such cases does not count, even if there is plenty of time to make up the obligatory fast. So a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up.
Bid’ahs (innovations) common on ‘Aashooraa’
Ibn Taymiyah was asked about the things that people do on ‘Aashooraa’, such as wearing kohl, taking a bath (Ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains, showing happiness and so on. Was any of this reported from the Prophet in an authentic narration, or not? If nothing to that effect was reported in an authentic Hadeeth, is doing these things Bid’ah or not? Is there any basis for what some groups do, such as grieving and mourning, going without anything to drink, eulogizing and wailing, reciting in a crazy manner, and rending their garments?
His reply was: ‘Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any authentic narration from the Prophet or from his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. None of the Imaams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four Imaams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet nor from the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, or the Taabi’een (companions’ successors ); neither in any authentic report or in a weak report; neither in the books of Saheeh, nor in An-Sunan or in the Musnads. No Hadeeth of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported narrations like the one which says: “Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not get sick in that year,” and so on. They also reported a fabricated narration that is falsely attributed to the Prophet which says: “Whoever is generous to his family on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, Allah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.” Attributing such fallacies to the Prophet is a grave sin.’
We ask Allah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet to make us live in Islam and die in a state of faith. May He help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. We ask Him to help us to remember Him and be thankful to Him, to worship Him properly and to accept our good deeds. May He make us of those who are pious and fear Him. Aameen.