As the 10th of Muharram, otherwise known as The Day of Ashoora, approaches it got me thinking and reflecting about the way Allah can open up possibilities we thought could never happen. Subhana’Allah, Glory be to Allah, He is so Amazing and truly does make miracles occur every day and sends down signs for us to see.
Fasting on this day is recommended as part of the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as related in the following hadith;
Fasting on Muharram 10, known as the Day of ‘Ashura’, expiates for the sins of the past year. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) arrived in Madinah in 622 CE, he found that the Jews there fasted on Muharram 10 and asked them the reason for their fasting on this day. They said,” This is a blessed day. On this day Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Prophet Musa [Moses] fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah.”
“We are closer to Musa than you are.”
He fasted on that day and commanded Muslims to fast on this day. (Al-Bukhari) The following year, Allah commanded the Muslims to fast the month of Ramadan, and the fasting of ‘Ashura’ became optional. It is also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) intended to fast on the ninth and tenth. Ibn ‘Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah fasted on the day of ‘Ashura’ and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said, “O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.” The Prophet said, “When the following year comes, Allah willing, we shall fast on the ninth.” The death of the Prophet came before the following year. (Muslim and Abu Dawud)
Let us just briefly take a moment to imagine the moment the children of Israel were leaving Egypt with Firaun and his frightening army following shortly behind. The children of Israel, weak and oppressed for many years, on foot, from elderly and sick to babies in arms, while soldiers advance on horseback and with weapons. Imagine, that moment when they reach the sea and there is no where to run to, no where to hide. Imagine how fast and hard the hearts were beating in their chests. It would seem that there is no way out of this terrible situation. It would seem as if this is the end, perhaps many thought they were about to die.
And then, something amazing happens! Something HUGE. Something unimaginable!
So We revealed to Musa, “Strike the sea with your staff.” And it split in two, each part like a towering cliff. And We brought the others right up to it. We rescued Musa and all those who were with him. Then We drowned the rest. There is certainly a Sign in that yet most of them are not believers. Truly your Lord is the Almighty, the Most Merciful.
And with that wonderful, amazing moment, Allah saved the oppressed from their oppressors and they were free to worship Allah without fear. Allah has preserved this amazing story in His Books, the Bible and The Qur’an as a lesson for mankind for all those who remain on this earth until the Day of Judgement. This story is for us, as Allah says in the above verse, is a sign for us to reflect upon.
As we make a commitment to change our lives around, to seek to continuously improve our character and our relationship with Allah, we must reflect on this historical moment. Allah wants us to know that He can make anything possible and get us out of any difficulty if we totally rely and depend upon Him. Allah wants us to know this, so that we may trust in Him and increase our faith in His powers and abilities. Indeed Allah is able to do everything. Sometimes, we can get down and feel as though there is no solution to our problems. It may feel as though every one and every thing is going against us. But so long as we keep turning back to Allah, we must know that our Lord will free us from our difficulties and that no one or no thing can harm us. All is All- Mighty, All Powerful.
”And whosoever has Taqwa (consciousness of Allah), He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him (sources) he never could imagine…” ( Qur’an. 65:2-3)
So now that we know this, what next? Well as the verse above says, those who are conscious of Allah receive the help of Allah to get out of difficulty. As we try to better ourselves as Muslims increasing taqwa is the key to staying away from sins and doing more good deeds. When we know with conviction that Allah is All Aware and Ever Watchful over us, this should be enough for us to change. One way to increase our taqwa of Allah is to fast, as this helps us become more conscious of Allah, as Allah says in the Qur’an;
“O believers! Fasting has been made obligatory for you just as it was made obligatory for those before you so that you may attain taqwa” (Qur’an: 2:183-187)
Fasting brings us closer to Allah and helps us to be more mindful of our actions, something we need if we really want to become better Muslims. Fasting on The Day of Ashura, is a means for us to cleanse ourselves of our sins and be grateful to Allah for all His blessings upon us. So with all this in mind, take time to reflect on this sign of Allah to increase your faith in Allah and become better people insha’Allah and always remember, that no matter how impossible things might seem sometimes, Allah can get us out of any situation if we depend entirely upon Him. Allah is truly Amazing and Capable of Everything. He will make a way out, he will save us from our enemies and He will provide us with all the things we need to move on and move forwards. So turn to Allah and trust Him in all that you do.
By Lynne Ali-Northcott