Tenth of Muharram


The tenth of Muharram is a very virtuous day. It is the Day of Ashura. On this Day Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) kept a fast and encouraged the Ummah to do so as well.

On this Day the Shia mourn the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husein (R.A.). However, even among the Shia, this practice was non-existent until 946. Thus during the time of the eleven Imaams of the Shia (the twelfth, according to the Shia belief went into hiding in his infancy and has not yet appeared) this practice of mourning the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husein (R.A.) was unheard of. Muiz-ud-Dawla, a famous Shia who held a prominent position in the court of the Abbasid Khalifa Al-Mustakfi Billah, had the Khalifa overthrown and placed another Khalifa, Al-Mutee, in his place. During the reign of Al-Mutee, Muiz-ud-Dawla established these Shia customs.

A Shia scholar, Justice Ameer Ali, confirms this. He writes:

"Muiz-ud-Dawla, although a patron of Arts and Literature was cruel by nature. He was a Shia and it was he who established the 10th Day of Muharram as a day of mourning in commemoration of the massacre of Karbala (History of Sacrens, pg.303 London 1951).

Hence the custom of mourning the martryrdom of Sayyidina Husein (R.A.) has no basis even according to Shia customs. As for the teachings of Islam, it is well known that mourning the dead is only permissible for three days after the demise of the person. Only a widow will mourn her husband for four months and ten days.

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