Muharram (1st Month of Islamic Calendar)

Virtues of Ashura: 10th of Muharram | Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

Muḥarram and ʿĀshūrāʾ

What is the significance of Muḥarram and ʿĀshūrāʾ? Also should we not treat this as a sad
day and therefore lament and mourn the loss of the grandson of the Prophet? Fatwa No: 1441/1

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Muharram: Beginning of a new Year

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Muharram Contemporary Q&A Hadith Booklet

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Muharram, the Hijrah, and the Muslim calendar

Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia

The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be blessings and peace) over a span of twenty-three years. The Prophet recited each verse according to its pre-ordained order in the Lawh Mahfuz, or Protected Tablet. After the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) left this world, his Companions compiled, and thus preserved, the Qur’an in the very order it was recited during his life. Muslims have always held the view that this order of recitation was also divinely inspired and that the Companions preserved the pre-ordained order of recitation. The science that inevitably emerged from this is that of understanding the nazm, or literary arrangement, of the Qur’an. In his brilliant exegesis of the Qur’an, Tafsir Azizi, Shah Abdul Aziz, the erudite protégé and son of Shah Waliullah of Delhi, notes the genius of the Companions vis-à-vis their understanding the nazm of the Qur’an and hence their dexterity in fathoming the meaning of the Qur’an itself.

We must understand some historical facts about the pre-Islamic calendar. The year in which the Prophet Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace) was born was known as the Year of the Elephant. The Year of the Elephant was the year in which Abrahah came to Makkah with the intent to destroy the Ka‘bah. He failed miserably, as the Qur’an notes in Surat al-Fil (105). The Arabs used that year as a point of reference to number their years. But they did not agree to any standard when it came to numbering their months, even though their calendar was lunar. Even the period of the Hajj was not specified and, consequently, the sacred month of Muharram was also shifted every year. This meant that some years had thirteen months instead of twelve.

The responsibility for announcing the date of the Hajj was entrusted to a man from Banu Kinanah named Hudhayfah bin ‘Abd Fuqaym (better known as al-Qalammas). He would announce on the occasion of the Hajj when the next pilgrimage was to be performed, and which month the thirteenth month was to follow. The first Qalammas was an individual, but then the name became a title specific to the announcer.

The Arabs regarded the months of Rajab, Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram as months of peace and sanctity. But, with this calendar, these months also began to undergo changes, and it was one of the responsibilities of the Qalammas to announce what months would be the sacred months in the following year. When it suited the purposes of the warring tribes, the announcer would declare that their idols had prohibited fighting that year in the month of Muhurram; and the following year he would announce that the idols had now allowed fighting in the month of Muharram. So the month of Safar (which was not a sacred month) was either postponed or kept on its regular time according to the proclamation of the Qalammas. This was the practice known as al-nasi’ (postponing or transposing) in Arabic; the Qur’an addresses it in Surat al-Tawbah (9:36–37):

“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)—so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight ordinance. So wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together. But know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.

Verily the transposing (of a prohibited month) is an addition to disbelief. The disbelievers are led to wrong thereby. For they make it lawful one year, and forbidden another year, in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course seems pleasing to them. But Allah does not guide those who reject Faith.”

The Prophet, in his address at the Farewell Hajj, announced the abrogation of meddling with the months:

“O people! Time after undergoing a full revolution has returned to its original state,1 the day Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months; four of them are sacred. Three run consecutively—Dhul Qa‘dah, Dhul Hijjah, and Muharram—and the other is the Rajab of Mudar, which comes between Jamadul ‘Aakhir and Sha‘ban.”

So the twelve lunar months were ordained. Muharram was left as the first month of the Muslim calendar year. But the determination of the first year of the Muslim calendar did not come about until later. ‘Allamah Sakhawi gives the following details about the origin of the Islamic calendar:2

“A report on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas states that there existed no era in Madinah when the Prophet arrived there. People came to use an era a month or two after his arrival. This continued until Muhammad’s (upon him be blessings and peace) death. Then the use of an era was discontinued, and there was none during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and the first four years of the caliphate of ‘Umar. Then the (Muslim) era was established. ‘Umar is reported to have said to the assembled dignitaries among the men around Muhammad, “The income is considerable. What we have distributed has been without fixed dates. How can we remedy that?” One answer came from al-Hurmuzan. He had been king of al-Ahwaz. After his capture during the conquest of Persia, he had been brought to ‘Umar and accepted Islam. He said, “The Persians have a (method of) calculation which they call mahroz and ascribe to their Sassanid rulers. The word mahrozwas Arabized as mu’arrakh, and the infinitive ta’rikh was formed from it.”

Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Bukhari report through Maymun ibn Mihran that “an IOU payable in Sha‘ban was presented to ‘Umar. Thereupon ‘Umar asked, ‘Which Sha‘ban? The last one, the present one, or the coming one? Give the people something that they can understand.’” He then issued a regular directive and founded the present-day calendar in 16 AH, from which time the practice has been followed.3

Suyuti writes, with reference to Bukari’s Tarikh, that Umar asked Allah for Divine Providence (istikharah) for a month. Thereafter he consulted ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and had the Hijrah dates inserted in all administrative directives two and a half years after assuming the Caliphate, and this became the practice from 16 AH onward.

That ‘Umar deliberated for a whole month and asked for Divine Providence is proof that he attached great importance to making the right choice for the Muslim Ummah. That he consulted his advisors, especially Ali, proves that he had utmost confidence in the assembly with him and refused to act without their unequivocal support. The words of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) come to mind: “He who seeks Divine Providence [istikhara] will not be disappointed; he who seeks advice [istashara] will not regret.”

There was no doubt that the beginning of the months was to be determined by the crescent. Both the Qur’an, in Surat al-Baqarah (2: 189)4 and the practice of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) confirm this beyond dispute. But ‘Umar was especially aware of how serious the matter was, since the Qur’an explicitly forbids believers from manipulating time. He wanted to make sure that the both the year he chose and the conference he enacted would stand the test of time—literally.

All nations and civilizations wish to remain constant and consistent in every theory they expound. If a civilization were to choose an inconsistent conference for measuring time itself, it would inevitably succumb to the pressures of time and seek modification and reform. Such was and still is the fate of what is now the “mainstream” Gregorian calendar now in use. The problem with the Gregorian calendar, as one author notes is the following:

“After every four hundred years seasonal changes occur and probably because of this fact the solar calendar requires constant modification. It is just not possible to remove this discrepancy.

“The League of Nations had set up a Special Committee at Geneva in 1923 charged with the formulation of a calendar that would be universally acceptable and would be reconcilable with seasonal changes. One of the recommendations of this Committee was that the year was to be divided into 13 months.5However, such a calendar would not be devised as the seasons in the hemispheres differ in their periodic occurrence. The proximity and the distance of the sun in the East and the West naturally give rise to substantial differences. Because of this inherent discrepancy, it was not possible for the solar calendar to gain universal acceptance.”6

Having already accepted the lunar cycles as a conference to determine the months, ‘Umar did not immediately find any specific mandate regarding fixing a year from which to chronicle Muslim history. Along with the other Companions, he looked to the life of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace). They wanted to give Islam its true place in history and that was not possible without revering the Prophet himself. It was their insatiable love for their leader that shook off any and every consideration that was not exclusive to him. They considered the year he was born and the year he died. They could not settle on those years, as the birth of a prophet was not exclusive to the Prophet Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace). Other prophets were born and they all passed away, save one, ‘Isa, who will also pass away after return. They considered the year when the Qur’an was first revealed. They did not choose that conference either, since revelation came to other prophets and was thus not exclusive to our Prophet. After a month of tremendous exertion (ijtihad) and through istikhara and istishara, ‘Umar was guided by the nazm, or order, of the Qur’an’s verses to a unique solution.

The verses in Surat al-Tawbah that speak of the year’s consisting of twelve months are followed by a didactic call toward sacrifice in the path of Allah.

“If you do not help (your leader), (it is no matter), for Allah did indeed help him, when the disbelievers drove him out. He had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, ‘Do not grieve, for indeed Allah is with us.’ Then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you did not see, and humbled to the depths the word of the disbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights. For Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.” (Surat al-Tawbah, 9:40)

‘Umar realized that there was a link between the story behind this verse and the previous verses that spoke of the twelve months. He saw the pre-ordained order of recitation as giving him an ordinance for his case. Time for Muslims had to be regulated by an acquired act of a human that transcended time itself. The revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet was not an acquired act. Human beings are not capable of following the act of revelation. Likewise, birth and death are divinely regulated and human beings cannot determine each other’s day of birth or death. Similarly, the Night of Isra and Mi‘raj (Ascension) was not something the Ummah could copy. Being the role model for Muslims in their affairs, the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) showed the community that if they followed his footsteps in matters related to time, they would be universally accepted. ‘Umar thus concluded that the Hijrah of the Prophet, the story of the Prophet’s flight and migration from Makkah to Madinah, was an act that could be and should be commemorated every year. It was a journey into the unknown; it was riddled with so many intangibles that they were almost uncountable. The Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) threw himself into the infinite mercy of the Unseen and voluntarily left all tangible consequences to the Creator of time (al-Dahr).

Being severely compromised by his own people in Makkah, Muhammad (upon him be blessings and peace), through Divine Providence, instructed his followers to migrate to Yathrib, a small town north of Makkah that later became known as Madinah. Muslims obliged, leaving their relatives and belongings in Makkah and seeking refuge in the unknown dimensions of Yathrib. The Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and his best companion, Abu Bakr, were among the last to leave Makkah. Their strategy was to hide in a cave south of Makkah called Thawr in the hope that the Makkans, if they launched a search for him, would veer northward. They did not. The Makkans found out that they had headed south and followed their trail all the way up to the mouth of the cave. There was nothing shielding the entrance of the cave except a flimsy spider’s web7that could have been broken by a mere sneeze. The defenseless companions of the cave were ironically guarded by something that cannot protect itself. “If they had entered,” said the Makkans, “they would have broken the web.” But it was their web that was broken.

These moments of extreme exposure had countless consequences for the two companions of the cave. History stood still, but time was re-energized by the words of the Prophet to the concerned Abu Bakr: “Do not grieve, for indeed Allah is with us.” Abu Bakr’s expedited and precarious grief was that if they were caught, history indeed would stand still, as Islam would definitely perish without Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace). The Prophet’s timeless faith in Allah embodied Divine Ordinance and Providence that still relentlessly withstands the test of modern times.

‘Umar saw this event as the axis about which Muslim time would revolve. He read the verse “If you do not help (your leader), it is no matter…” as pushing him to appreciate Allah’s assistance in time over time. From the outside looking in, a neutral observer would have called the end of Islam in the cave of Thawr. From a universal standpoint, ‘Umar observed the infinite powers of the Unseen delivering the living from imminent death in the cave. Islam’s apparent and imminent death was replaced by Islam’s sure birth and unchecked growth. The Qur’an repeatedly reminds us of this phenomenon: “He [Allah] extracts the living from the dead.” The Hijrah of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and, by association, of Abu Bakr rejuvenate believers every time they pass by that time of the year.

The story of the Hijrah is preceded by an ordinance not to meddle with time. It would necessarily follow that the Hijrah was already ordained by Allah to be the conference upon which Muslims were to set their calendar. So by reading into the pre-ordained order of the verses of the Qur’an, ‘Umar and the Companions of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) found order in their world. By understanding the recited order of the Qur’an’s verses, ‘Umar and the Companions wrote their names in the annals of history and time.


1 This prophetic revelation that time (zaman) itself was in its own orbit (istadarah) is an abstract for those who wish to study the Islamic theory of time.

2 Hakim Muhammed Said, Hamdard Islamicus, 1981.

3 Ibid.

4 “They ask you concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage.”

5 The resurgence of the practice of al-nasi, or intercalation, in modern times?

6 Hakim Muhammed Said, Hamdard Islamicus, 1981.

7 The Qur’an itself states in the Chapter of the Spider: “Truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider’s house” (Surah al-Ankabut, 41: 29).


Mufti Muḥammad Taqi ‘Us̱mānī (DB)

Muharram is the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says, “The number of the months according to Allah is twelve (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified.”

These four months, according to the authentic traditions, are Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Quran are unanimous on this point, because the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, in his sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, declared: “One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab.”

The specific mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity, because the month of Ramadan is admittedly the most sanctified month in the year. But these four months were specifically termed as sanctified months for the simple reason that their sanctity was accepted even by the pagans of Makkah.

In fact, every month, out of the twelve, is originally equal to the other, and there is no inherent sanctity that may be attributed to one of them in comparison to the other months. When Allah Almighty chooses a particular time for His special blessings, the same acquires sanctity out of His grace.

Thus, the sanctity of these four months was recognized right from the days of Sayyidina Ibrahim, alayhi salam. Since the Pagans of Makkah attributed themselves to Sayyidina Ibrahim, alayhi salam, they observed the sanctity of these four months and despite their frequent tribal battles, they held it unlawful to fight in these months.

In the Shariah of our Noble Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the sanctity of these months was upheld and the Holy Quran referred to them as the “sanctified months”.

Muharram has certain other characteristics special to it, which are specified below.

Fasting During the Month

The Noble Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: ‘The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram.”

Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet one who fasts in these days out of his own will is entitled to a great reward by Allah Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are most rewardable ones among the Nafl or voluntary fasts.

The Hadith does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.

The Day of ‘Ashurah’

Although Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named ‘Ashurah’. According to the Holy Companion Ibn ‘Abbas, Radi-Allahu anhu. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses), alayhis salam, and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in its waters. On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “We are more closely rotated to Musa, alayhi salam, than you,” and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’. (Abu Dawood)

It is also reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ was obligatory for the Muslims. It was later that the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of ‘Ashura’ was made optional. Sayyidina ‘Aisha, Radi-Allahu anha, has said:

“When the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of ‘Ashura’ and directed the people to fast. But when the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadan and the obligatory nature of the fast of ‘Ashura’ was abandoned. Whoever so desires should fast on it and any other who so likes can avoid fasting on it.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

However, the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’ even after the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory. Abdullah ibn Musa, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, preferred the fast of ‘Ashura’ on the fasts of other days and preferred the fasts of Ramadhaan on the fast of ‘Ashura’. (Bukhari and Muslim)

In short, it is established through a number of authentic ahadith that fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and makes one entitled to a great reward.

According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of ‘Ashura’ should either be preceded or followed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is that the Jews used to fast on the day of’Ashura alone, and the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, wanted to distinguish the Muslim way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of ‘Ashura’.

Some traditions signify another feature of the day of ‘Ashura. According to these traditions, one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not very authentic according to the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.

What is mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashura.

Misconceptions and Baseless Traditions

However, there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to ‘Ashura’ that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these: This is the day on which Adam, alayhi salam, was created. This is the day when Ibrahim, alayhi salam, was born. This is the day when Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam, alayhi salam. This is the day when Qiyaamah (doomsday) will take place. Whoever takes bath on the day of ‘Ashura’ will never get ill.

All these and other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and the traditions referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.

Some people take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal on the day of ‘Ashura’. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.

Some other people attribute the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ to the martyrdom of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ was established during the days of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, much earlier than the birth of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu.

On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, that his martyrdom took place on the day of ‘Ashura’.

Another misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky month, for Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, was killed in it. It is for this misconception that people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again a baseless concept, which is contrary to the express teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. If the death of an eminent person on a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day of the year free from this bad luck because every day is associated with the demise of some eminent person. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, have liberated us from such superstitious beliefs.

Lamentations and Mourning

Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mouming ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu. As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of jahiliyyah (ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, stopped the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying “Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon”. A number of authentic Ahaadith are available on the subject. To quote only one of them:

“He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.” (Sahih Bukhari)

All the authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is impermissible. Even Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab, Radi-Allahu anha, at not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said, “My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.” (Al-Kamil, ibn al-Athir vol. 4 pg. 24)

It is evident from this advice of Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu, that this type of mourning is condemned even by the blessed person for the memory of whom these mourning ceremonies are held. Every Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the teachings of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and his beloved grand child Sayyidna Husain, Radi-Allahu anhu.

Why is Muharram called the month of Allah?


What is meant by ‘The month of Allah Muharram’? Why is it called the month of Allah?


The commentators of Hadith explain that Muharram is attributed to Allah to enhance the greatness of this month and to show the virtue of this month.

‘Allamah Suyuti (rahimahullah) further explains, The name Muharram is an Islamic name, contrary to the other months as their names remained as they were in the days of Jahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic era). Muharram was referred to as ‘Safar Al Awwal’. Allah changed the name to Muharram once Islam had come. Therefore this month is referred to as the month of Allah.

(Refer: Ad Dibaj ‘Ala Sahih Muslim ibn Al Hajjaj of ‘Allamah Suyuti, Hadith: 2747 and Tuhfatul Ahwadhi, Hadith: 740)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

Du’a when the new year begins


I have heard that the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) would recite a du’a for the new year. What is this du’a?


Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Hisham (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) would learn the following du’a for when the new month or new year would begin:

اللهم أَدْخِلْهُ عَلينا بِالأمْنِ وَالإيمان وَالسَّلامَةِ وَالإسْلام وَرِضْوَانٍ مِّنَ الرَّحْمن وِجوارٍ مِّنَ الشَّيْطان

Allahumma adkhilhu ‘alayna bil amni wal iman, was salamati wal islam, wa ridwanim minar Rahman, wa jiwarim minash shaytan


O Allah, bring this [month or year] upon us with security, iman, safety, Islam, your pleasure and protection from shaytan.

(Al-Mu’jamul Awsat of Tabarani, Hadith: 6237)

‘Allamah Haythami (rahimahullah) has ruled the chain as sound (hasan).

(Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 10 pg. 139-140)

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has graded the chain that was quoted by ‘Allamah Baghawi for this narration as authentic (sahih).

(Al-Isabah, no. 5007)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Spending on the family on ʿĀshūrā


What is the status of the narration that suggests that a person should generously spend on the family on ʿĀshūrā? Please clarify because people who do not believe in this are criticised whilst people who believe in this are accused of innovation.

Read the answer below or click on the following link for a PDF version: spending-on-the-family-on-ashura-10-muharram

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

من وسع على عياله يوم عاشوراء وسع الله عليه سائر سنته

“Whoever expands (his expenditure) on his family on the day of ʿĀshūrā (10th Muḥarram), Allah will expand (his sustenance and mercy) on him for his entire year”.

This narration has been transmitted via five companions with these or similar words: ʿAbd Allah ibn Masʿūd, Abū Hurayrah, Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī, Jābir ibn ʿAbd Allāh and ʿAbd Allāḥ ibn ʿUmar (May Allah be pleased with them all).[1]

The scholars have four views regarding the status of this narration:

  • The narration is ṣaḥīḥ (sound) – This is the view of Ḥāfiẓ Abū al-Faḍl ibn Nāṣir (d. 550 H.)[2], Ḥāfiẓ Suyuṭī (d. 911 H.)[3], ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī (d. 1088 H.)[4] and Allāmah Ṭaḥṭāwī (d. 1231 H.)[5].
  • The narration is ḥasan (agreeable) – This is the view of Ḥāfiẓ ʿIrāqī (d. 806 H.) who authored a treatise on this subject and concluded that the Ḥadīth of Jābir (May Allah be pleased with him) is at least ḥasan (agreeable).[6] His analysis has been relied upon and endorsed by later scholars including: Ḥāfiẓ Sakhāwī (d. 902 H.)[7], ʿAllāmah Qasṭalānī (d. 923 H.)[8], ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿIrāq (d. 963 H.)[9], ʿAllāmah Ibn Ḥajar al-Makkī (d. 974 H.)[10], ʿAllāmah Ṭāhir Pattanī (d. 986 H.)[11], ʿAllāmah Sirāj al-Dīn ibn Nujaym (d. 1005 H.)[12], Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī (d. 1014 H.)[13], ʿAllāmah Munāwī (d. 1031 H.)[14], ʿAllāmah Nūr al-Dīn al-Ḥalabī (d. 1044 H.)[15], Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq Muḥaddith Dehlawī (d. 1052 H.)[16], ʿAllāmah Zurqānī (d. 1122 H.)[17], ʿAllāmah ʿAjlūnī (d. 1162 H.)[18], ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿĀbidīn (d. 1252 H.)[19], ʿAllāmah Sharwānī (d. 1301 H.)[20] and ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-Ḥayy Laknawī (d. 1304 H.)[21].
  • The narration is weak – Our respected teacher Muḥaddith al-ʿAṣr Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī was requested by his teacher Shaykh al-Ḥadīth al-Mujaddid Mawlānā Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kandhelwī (d. 1402 H.) to research this narration. Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus concludes, “The truth according to me is that the narration is Maʿlūl (defective) with all its chains. And the chain that ʿIrāqī claimed is in accordance with the condition of (Imām) Muslim and he was followed in this view by Sakhāwī, Suyūṭī and al-Qārī is defective. Ibn Ḥajar has explicitly mentioned it is Munkar (unknown) in Lisān al-Mīzān.[22] The better chain according to me is what Bayhaqī has transmitted via Isḥāq ibn Rāhwayh through his chain from Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī (May Allah be pleased with him). However, that is also Maʿlūl (defective) due to the unidentified person (in the chain). Thus, the highest condition of this narration is that it is weak”.[23]

Imām Bayhaqī (d. 458 H.) writes that the chains of this narration are all weak but when combined they provide some strength[24], a view that is shared by Ḥāfiẓ Mundhirī (d. 656 H.)[25] and Qāḍī Shawkānī (d. 1250 H.)[26]. Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852 H.) is also of the view that the Ḥadīth is not fabricated.[27] ʿAllāmah Haythamī (d. 807 H.) appears to be of the view that the narration is extremely weak.[28]

  • The narration is baseless and fabricated – This is the view of Imām Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal (d. 241 H.)[29], Imām Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakam (d. 286 H.)[30], ʿAllāmah ʿUqaylī (d. 322 H.)[31], Ḥāfiẓ Abū al-Faḍl ibn Ṭāhir al-Maqdisī (d. 507 H.)[32], ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 H.)[33], Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (d. 728 H.)[34], Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 H.)[35], ʿAllāmah Ibn (Abī) al-ʿIzz (d. 792 H.?)[36], Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Rajab (d. 795 H.)[37], ʿAllāmah Majd al-Dīn al-Fīrozābādī (d. 817 H.)[38] and Muftī Rashīd Aḥmad Ludyānwī (d. 1422 H.)[39].

Thus, there is a difference of opinion among scholars regarding the status of this narration. The preferred view is that of our teacher Muḥaddith al-ʿAṣr Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī that the narration is weak. However, it is permissible to act upon weak narrations subject to certain conditions without overemphasising it.[40]

Scholars who have recommended the practice of increasing expenditure on the family on ʿĀshūrā include: Ibn Ḥabīb Mālikī (d. 238/9 H.)[41], ʿAllāmah Qarāfī Mālikī (d. 684 H.)[42], ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Ḥāj Mālikī (d. 737 H.)[43], ʿAllāmah Burhān ibn Mufliḥ Ḥanbalī (d. 884 H.)[44], ʿAllāmah Ḥaṭṭāb Mālikī (d. 954 H.)[45], ʿAllāmah Sirāj al-Dīn ibn Nujaym Ḥanafī (d. 1005 H.)[46], ʿAllāmah Munāwī Shāfiʿī (d. 1031 H.)[47], ʿAllāmah Bahūtī Ḥanbalī (d. 1051 H.)[48], ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī Ḥanafī (d. 1088 H.)[49], ʿAllāmah Kharashī Mālikī (d. 1101 H.)[50], Shaykh Dardīr Mālikī (d. 1201 H.)[51], Imam Ṣāwī Mālikī (d. 1241 H.)[52], Imam Sharwānī Shāfiʿī (d. 1301 H.) [53], Shaykh Ashraf ʿAlī Thanawī (d. 1362 H.)[54], Shaykh Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kandhelwī (d. 1402 H.), Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī (d. 1417 H.)[55], Mufti ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Lājpūrī (d. 1422 H.)[56] and others. There are also narrations from earlier scholars who are reported to have acted upon this narration. Examples include Muḥammad ibn al-Muntashir (n.d.), Ibrāhīm ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Muntashir (d. ca. 150 H.)[57], Shuʿbah ibn al-Ḥajjāj (d. 160 H.) and Sufyān ibn ʿUyaynah (d. 198 H.).[58]

However, one should avoid overemphasising this practice and regarding it necessary, as mentioned by the Mālikī scholars Imām Ibn al-Ḥāj (d. 737 H.), Imām Shāṭibī (d. 790 H.), Imām Ḥaṭṭāb (d. 954 H.), Imām Kharashī (d. 1101 H.) and others. Imām Ibn al-Ḥāj states that generosity on the family, relatives, orphans, poor and increasing expenditure and charity on ʿĀshūrā is recommended provided there is no Takalluf (pretentiousness) and it does not become a practice that is regarded as necessary, otherwise it will be disliked.[59]

Thus, one should not criticise those who do not act upon this narration or do not believe in its authenticity. Similarly, those who believe in the validity of the narration and act upon it should not be criticised. It is necessary to maintain appropriate etiquette because both views are held by great scholars and luminaries, to whom we shall remain indebted forever.

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn, UK

9 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1437 H. – 11 September 2016

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Sahib


[1] For a detailed analysis of these narrations and their sources, refer to al-Yawāqīt al-Ghāliyah (1: 326), also available on the following link:

[2] Al-Tawsiʿah ʿAlā al-ʿIyāl (8); al-Laāli al-Maṣnūʿah (2: 95).

[3] Al-Laāli al-Maṣnūʿah (2: 95); al-Durar al-Muntatharah (p. 186).

[4] Al-Durr al-Mukhtār (2: 419).

[5] Ḥāshiyah al-Ṭaḥṭāwī ʿAlā Marāqī al-Falāḥ (p. 681).

[6] Al-Tawsiʿah ʿAlā al-ʿIyāl (2).

[7] Al-Maqāṣid al-Ḥasanah (p. 674).

[8] Al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah (11: 280).

[9] Tanzīh al-Sharīʿah (2: 157).

[10] Ashraf al-Wasāʼil (p. 439); al-Ṣawāʿiq al-Muḥriqah (2: 536).

[11] Tadhkirah al-Mawḍūʿāt (p. 118).

[12] Al-Nahr al-Fāʼiq (2: 26).

[13] Jamʿ al-Wasāʼil (2: 106); Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ (4: 1349); al-Asrār al-Marfūʿah (p. 360).

[14] Fayḍ al-Qadīr (6: 235).

[15] Sharḥ Sifr al-Saʿādah (p. 543).

[16] Al-Sīrah al-Ḥalabiyyah (2: 185).

[17] Sharḥ al-Zurqānī ʿAlā al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah (11: 280).

[18] Kashf al-Khafā (2: 284).

[19] Radd al-Muḥtār (6: 430; also see 2: 418).

[20] Ḥāshiyah al-Sharwānī ʿAlā Tuḥfah al-Muḥtāj (3: 455).

[21] Al-Āthār al-Marfūʿah (p. 97).

[22] Lisān al-Mīzān (6: 336).

[23] Al-Yawāqīt al-Ghāliyah (1: 333).

[24] Shuʿab al-Īmān (5: 333). ʿAllāmah Ibn Ḥajar al-Makkī suggests in al-Ṣawāʿiq al-Muḥriqah (2: 536) that the statement of Imām Bayhaqī suggests that the narration is Ḥasan (agreeable) according to him.

[25] Al-Targhīb Wa al-Tarhīb (2: 71).

[26] Al-Fawāʼid al-Majmūʿah (p. 98).

[27] Al-Maqāṣid al-Ḥasanah (p. 674).

[28] Majmaʿ al-Zawāʼid (3: 189).

[29] Minhāj al-Sunnah (7: 39); Laṭāʼif al-Maʿārif (p. 54); al-Manār al-Munīf (p. 111). It is worth noting that Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah (d. 1417 H.) has refuted those who suggest that the term “Lā Yaṣiḥḥ” (It is not ṣaḥīḥ) indicates that according to Imām Aḥmad the narration is weak. This is incorrect because this term refers to fabricated narrations when cited in books that specialise in fabricated and weak narrations. For further details, refer to Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāh’s footnotes of al-Manār al-Mūnīf (p. 112) and his introduction to Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī’s al-Maṣnūʿ Fī Maʿrifah al-Ḥadīth al-Mawḍūʿ (p. 27) where he has discussed this issue in detail. Our teacher Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī concurs and adds that Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyah has attributed the words “Lā Aṣla Lahū” (it has no basis) to Imām Aḥmad. Thus, there is no doubt that according to Imām Aḥmad, this narration is fabricated.

[30] Laṭāʼif al-Maʿārif (p. 54).

[31] Al-Ḍuʿafā al-Kabīr (3: 252).

[32] Tadhkirah al-Mawḍūʿāt (p. 97). Also see Aṭrāf Aḥādīth Kitāb al-Majrūḥīn (p. 362).

[33] Al-ʿIlal al-Mutanāhiyah (2: 62).

[34] Minhāj al-Sunnah (7: 39); Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā (25: 312).

[35] Al-Manār al-Munīf (p. 111).

[36] Al-Nahr al-Fāʼiq (2: 26); Radd al-Muḥtār (2: 418).

[37] Laṭāʼif al-Maʿārif (p. 54).

[38] Sifr al-Saʿādah (p. 144).

[39] Munkarāt Muḥarram (p. 15).

[40] See al-Iṣābah (5: 690); al-Qawl al-Badīʿ (p.195); al-Ajwibah al-Fāḍilah (p.55); al-Yawāqīt al-Ghāliyah (2: 296).

[41] Mawāhib al-Jalīl (2: 403); Fayḍ al-Qadīr (6: 235).

[42] Al-Dhakhīrah (2: 529).

[43] Al-Madkhal (1: 289).

[44] Al-Mubdiʿ (3: 49).

[45] Mawāhib al-Jalīl (2: 403).

[46] Al-Nahr al-Fāʼiq (2: 26).

[47] Fayḍ al-Qadīr (6: 235).

[48] Al-Rawḍ al-Murbiʿ (p. 239); Kashshāf al-Qināʿ (2: 329).

[49] Al-Durr al-Mukhtār (2: 418).

[50] Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar Khalīl Li al-Kharashī (2: 241).

[51] Al-Sharḥ al-Kabīr (1: 516).

[52] Bulghah al-Sālik (1: 691).

[53] Ḥāshiyah al-Sharwānī ʿAlā Tuḥfah al-Muḥtāj (3: 455).

[54] Imdād al-Fatāwā (5: 289).

[55] Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah (5: 487).

[56] Fatāwā Raḥīmiyyah (2: 112).

[57] Al-Wāfī Bi al-Wafayāt (6: 68).

[58] Al-Tawsiʿah ʿAlā al-ʿIyāl. Also see Shuʿāb al-Imān (5: 334); Laṭāʼif al-Maʿārif (p. 54).

[59] Al-Madkhal (1: 289). Also see Mawāhib al-Jalīl (2: 403) and Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar Khalīl Li al-Kharashī (2: 241). Imām Shāṭibī (d. 790 H.) writes in al-Iʿtiṣām (1: 450): “Saʿīd ibn Ḥassān said: “I was reading to Ibn Nāfiʿ, and when I passed the narration of expanding (wealth on ʿĀshūrā), he said to me: Burn it. I asked, why O Abū Muḥammad? He said: In fear of it being adopted as a Sunnah”. Imām Shāṭibī writes, “So these matters are permissible or recommended. However, they disliked practising it for fear of innovation, because adopting it as a Sunnah is through people practising it constantly and emphasising it.”

Fasting exclusively on 10th Muḥarram


I understand that it is preferable to avoid fasting exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. However, I have heard that according to the Ḥanafī school of thought, it is Makrūh to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. Please can you clarify the matter.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

There are two opinions within the Ḥanafī school of thought regarding this.

(1) The first opinion is that it is Makrūh (disliked) to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. This is because the Prophet of Allah ﷺ expressed his firm intention to also fast on 9th Muḥarram if he were to remain alive. The Prophet ﷺ said:

لئن بقيت إلى قابل لأصومن التاسع‏

“If I remain until the next year, I shall (also) fast the ninth (of Muḥarram)”.[1]

Accordingly, ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbbās (May Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said:

صوموا التاسع والعاشر وخالفوا الیھود‏

“Fast on the ninth and tenth and oppose the Jews”.[2]

Thus, it is Makrūh (disliked) to fast only on 10th Muḥarram according to many Ḥanafī scholars including ʿAllāmah Zayn al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 666 H.)[3], ʿAllāmah Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī (d. 855 H.)[4], ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām (d. 861 H.)[5], ʿAllāmah Shihāb al-Dīn al-Shilbī (d. 947 H.)[6], ʿAllāmah Ibn Nujaym (d. 970 H.)[7], ʿAllāmah Sirāj al-Dīn ibn Nujaym (d. 1005 H.)[8], ʿAllāmah Shurunbulālī (d. 1069 H.)[9], Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Shaykhīzādah (d. 1078 H.)[10], ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī (d. 1088 H.)[11] and ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿĀbidīn (d. 1252 H.)[12]. This is also the view adopted in al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah[13] and is the position of Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thanawī (d. 1362 H.)[14], Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī (d. 1417 H.)[15], Mufti Niẓām al-Dīn al-Aʿẓamī (d. 1420 H.)[16], Mufti ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Lājpūrī (d. 1422 H.)[17] and Mufti Raḍa al-Ḥaq (b. 1369 H.? / 1950 CE -)[18]. It is however worth noting that this Karāhah is Tanzīhī, as mentioned by ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām[19], ʿAllāmah Ibn Nujaym[20], ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī[21], ʿAllāmah Shurunbulālī[22] and ʿAllāmah Shilbī[23]. This means that a person is not sinful for the action but it is disliked. Nevertheless, if someone decides to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram will he be rewarded or not according to this opinion? I have not seen this explicitly in the earlier books. However, Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī[24], Mufti Nizām al-Dīn al-Aʿẓamī[25] and Mufti Raḍa al-Ḥaq[26] affirm that despite it being disliked, a person will be rewarded.

(2) The second opinion within the Ḥanafī School is that it is not Makrūh (disliked) to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. ʿAllāmah ʿAlā al-Dīn al-Kāsānī (d. 587 H.) writes, “Some of them (scholars) have disliked the sole fast of ʿĀshūrā because of imitating the Jews. However, the general scholars have not disliked it because it is from the virtuous days. Thus, it is Mustaḥab (desirable) to attain its virtue.”[27] This view is shared by ʿAllāmah Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī (d. 1353 H.)[28] as well as his student Shaykh Muḥammad Yūsuf Binorī (d. 1397 H.)[29]. Other Ḥanafī Scholars who appear to be inclined to this view include Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq Muḥaddith Dehlawī (d. 1052 H.)[30], ʿAllāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad ʿUthmānī (d. 1369 H.)[31], Shaykh Ẓafar Aḥmad ʿUthmānī (d. 1394 H.)[32] and Mawlānā Khālid Sayf Allāh (b. 1376 H. -)[33]. The principal evidence of these scholars is that the Prophet ﷺ sufficed with the fast of 10th Muḥarram throughout his time in Madīnah and outlined the virtues of fasting on this day. ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbbās (May Allah be pleased with them) said: “The Prophet ﷺ came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ʿĀshūrā. He said, “What is this?” They said: “This is a righteous day, a day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musā fasted on this day.” He said, “We have more right to Musā than you,” so he fasted on that day and commanded (the Muslims) to fast”.[34] Similarly, ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbbās (May Allah be pleased with them) said: “I never saw the Prophet ﷺ seeking to fast on a day, giving it preference over others, except for this day the day of ʿĀshūrā, and this month, referring to the month of Ramadan”.[35] The Prophet ﷺ said:

وصيام يوم عاشوراء أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله

“And fasting the day of ʿĀshūrā, I hope from Allah that it will expiate for the previous year”.[36]

Thus, according to the second opinion, fasting only on 10th Muḥarram cannot be deemed as Makrūh (disliked) because the Prophet ﷺ only fasted on this day. This notwithstanding his desire and intention to also fast on 9th Muḥarram the following year.

In conclusion, both views exist within the Ḥanafī school of thought and both opinions are substantiated with evidences. A person should therefore attempt to fast on 9th and 10th Muḥarram. If, however, a person is unable to do so, then it is recommended that he fasts on the 10th and he will be rewarded.

Note 1

Ḥafiẓ Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 H.)[37], Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852 H.)[38], ʿAllāmah Qasṭalānī (d. 923 H.)[39], Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq Muḥaddith Dehlawī (d. 1052 H.)[40], ʿAllāmah Shawkānī (d. 1250 H.)[41] and others have outlined three levels of fasting for ʿĀshūrā in the following order:

  • 9th, 10th and 11th.
  • 9th and 10th as mentioned in most narrations.
  • Only 10th.

Some scholars have also mentioned 10th and 11th as an option which is better than the third option.[42]

Note 2

It is desirable to fast as many days as possible in the month of Muḥarram. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The best fasts after Ramadan is Allah’s month of Muḥarram”.[43]

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn, UK

7 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1437 H. – 9 September 2016

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Sahib


[1] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (1134).

[2] Muṣannaf ‘Abd al-Razzāq (7839); Sunan al-Tirmidhī (755); Sharḥ Maʿānī al-Āthār (3302); al-Sunan al-Kubrā (8404).

[3] Tuḥfah al-Mulūk (p. 150).

[4] Minḥah al-Sulūk (p. 187). In ʿUmdah al-Qārī (11: 117), ʿAllāmah ʿAynī has mentioned both views without indicating his preference.

[5] Fatḥ al-Qadīr (2: 303; 2: 350).

[6] Ḥāshiyah al-Shilbī ʿAlā Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʼiq (1: 332).

[7] Al-Baḥr al-Rāʼiq (2: 277).

[8] Al-Nahr al-Fāʼiq (2: 5).

[9] Marāqī al-Falāḥ (p. 236); Ḥāshiyah Shurunbūlālī ʿAlā Durar al-Ḥukkām (1: 197).

[10] Majmaʿ al-Anhur (1: 232).

[11] Radd al-Muḥtār (2: 375).

[12] Ibid.

[13] (1: 202).

[14] Behishtī Zeywar (p. 142); Imdād al-Fatāwā (2: 118). It is worth noting that this is his final stance on this issue as he was of the view initially that it is not Makrūh.

[15] Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah (15: 224).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Fatāwā Raḥīmiyyah (2: 112).

[18] Fatāwā Dār al-ʿUlūm Zakariyyā (3: 319).

[19] Fatḥ al-Qadīr (2: 303).

[20] Al-Baḥr al-Rāiq (2: 277).

[21] Radd al-Muḥtār (2: 375).

[22] Marāqī al-Falāḥ (p. 236).

[23] Ḥāshiyah al-Shilbī ʿAlā Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʼiq (1: 313).

[24] Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah (15: 224).

[25] Ibid.

[26] Fatāwā Dār al-ʿUlūm Zakariyyā (3: 319).

[27] Badāʼiʿ al-Ṣanāʼiʿ (2: 79).

[28] Al-ʿArf al-Shadhī (2: 177).

[29] Maʿārif al-Sunan (5: 434).

[30] Lamaʿāt al-Tanqīḥ (4: 472).

[31] Fatḥ al-Mulhim (5: 257).

[32] Iʿlā al-Sunan (9: 179).

[33] Kitāb al-Fatāwā (3: 446).

[34] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (2004).

[35] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (2006).

[36] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (1162).

[37] Zād al-Maʿād (2: 72).

[38] Fatḥ al-Bārī (4: 246).

[39] Al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah (11: 277).

[40] Lamaʿāt al-Tanqīḥ (4: 472).

[41] Nayl al-Awṭār (4: 290).

[42] Nukhab al-Afkār (8: 422); Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ (4: 1412); al-ʿArf al-Shadhī (2: 177); Imdād al-Fatāwā (2: 118).

[43] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (1163).

Applying Kohl (Surma) on 10th Muḥarram

Is Kohl (Surma) a Sunnah of 10th of Muḥarram?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Some Ḥanafī and Mālikī scholars have suggested it is desirable to use Kohl on ʿĀshūrā (10th Muḥarram) and suggest the narration in this regard is weak and not fabricated.[1]

However, the majority of scholars regard all the narrations regarding Kohl on ʿĀshūrā as fabricated.[2] This is the correct position. Imām al-Ḥākim (d. 405 H.) explains that there is no (authentic) narration regarding this and it is an innovation started by the murderers of Ḥusayn (May Allah be pleased with him).[3] Therefore, it is not a Sunnah.

Some Ḥanafī scholars have further stated that it is necessary to avoid Kohl because it has become a hallmark of those who bear hatred and enmity against the Ahl al-Bayt (the family of the Prophet (the family of the Prophet, may Allāh send blessings and send peace greetings upon them continually).[4]

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn, UK

9 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1437 H. – 11 September 2016

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Sahib


[1] Hidāyah (Fatḥ al-Qadīr, 2: 346); al-ʿInāyah (2: 331); al-Baḥr al-Rāʼiq (2: 302); al-Nahr al-Fāʼiq (2: 26); al-Asrār al-Marfūʿah (p. 474); Jamʿ al-Wasāʼil (2: 106); Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar Khalīl Li al-Kharashī (2: 241); Minaḥ al-Jalīl (2: 119).

[2] Al-Fatāwā al-Kubrā (1: 203); Minhāj al-Sunnah (4: 555, 8: 151); al-Manār al-Munīf (p. 111); al-Iʿtiṣām (1: 287); Laṭāif al-Maʿārif (p. 54); ʿUmdah al-Qārī (11: 118); al-Bināyah (4: 42); al-Maqāṣid al-Ḥasanah (p. 632); Tanzīh al-Sharīʿah (2: 157); al-Ṣawāʿiq al-Muḥriqah (2: 536); al-Iqnāʿ Fī Fiqh al-Imām Aḥmad (1: 318); Ḥāshiyah al-Sharwānī (3: 455); Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ (4: 1349); Fayḍ al-Qadīr (6: 82); Kashf al-Khafāʼ (2: 234); Radd al-Muḥtār (2: 418); al-Āthār al-Marfūʿah (p. 97); Imdād al-Fatāwā (5: 289); Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah (5: 487); Fatāwā Raḥīmiyyah (2: 112).

[3] Al-Mawḍūʿāt (2: 204); Tanzīh al-Sharīʿah (2: 157).

[4] Tanzīh al-Sharīʿah (2: 157); Fayḍ al-Qadīr (6: 235).