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The Light Filled Day

Ashura is derived from the Arabic words asha nura (the nun was removed to connect the words), which means to live a ‘light filled day’. It is also derived from ashara, which means ten. It will occur on Monday 9th September this year.

In Islamic tradition, Ashura means, “for the person who respects and honours this day on which God saved and helped His Prophets, then God will lighten their life or raise them to a lightened life.”

Ashura is a day of great historical interest, for on this day the following events happened to the Prophets of God, peace be upon them all:-

  • After his exile from Paradise, God, Glory be to Him, accepted the repentance of Adam.
  • Noah and his companions in the Ark were saved.
  • God extinguished the fire into which the Prophet Abraham was thrown by Nimrod.
  • God spoke to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments.
  • Moses and the nation of Israel were delivered from captivity, whilst the Pharaoh’s army was destroyed.
  • Job was restored from leprosy to good health.
  • Joseph was reunited with his father, the Prophet, Jacob.
  • Jonah was removed from the whale’s stomach.
  • David was forgiven.
  • The Kingdom of Soloman was restored.
  • Jesus was raised to Paradise.
  • Husayn, the Prophet’s Grandson was martyred.

When the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, arrived in Medina, he found that the Jews were fasting on the day of Ashura. The Prophet said, “it is a day of great significance when God delivered Moses and his people by drowning Pharaoh and his army. Musa fasted out of gratitude and we shall also observe it.” So the Prophet and his Companions fasted on this day.

The Prophet said that next year he would also fast the ninth day of Muharram but he passed away beforehand. This is why Mawlana Shaykh Nazim would fast these two days plus the first of Muharram.

This shows us that the Prophet was in complete agreement with the Prophet Moses, as well as the other Prophets. He would always endorse acts of worship by previous Prophets This stressed the affinity amongst the Messengers of God, showing that religious devotion is a constant flow from one generation to the next.

The Prophet said, “Whoever fasts Ashura, God will erase their past year’s sins.”

The worth of good deeds are magnified on this day.

Ashura is commemorated by sacrificing a sheep, Qurbani, and distributing it to the needy. By doing this, we follow the example of the Prophet and seek forgiveness for our past sins, protection from future sins and safety from difficulties both in this world and the Next.

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham says, “On the spiritual level, the Qurbani signifies slaughtering one’s self desires with the knife of courage against heart diseases such as hatred, jealousy, pride, greed, animosity and love for this world. The reward for such sacrifice comes from God Himself and cannot be counted.”

In many countries around the world, a special dessert called, ‘Ashura Pudding’ or ‘Noah’s Pudding’ is served on this day.