In the name of Allah, all praise is due to Allah and may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His final Messenger Muhammad al-Mustafa, his family and Companions, especially the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, ‘Umar al-Faruq, ‘Uthman Dhu al-Nurayn and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Assadullah al-Ghalib.
Celebrating that day is an innovation (bid’ah), and making it an anniversary for mourning is an innovation.
By Ebn Hussein
Sunni-Salafi scholars have always condemned extremism (tatarruf) and exaggeration (ghuluww) that heretical sects have perpetuated, innovated and propagated in the name of (or in opposition of) the Ahlul-Bayt, peace be upon them. By pondering over the statements presented in this treatise, the non-biased reader will clearly realise that Sunnis (Ahlus-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah) are the middle path between two extremes; namely the extremism of Rafidism (Imamite Shi’ism) and that of Nasibism (the Nasibah or Nawasib i.e. those who embrace the hate of Ali (r) and his family as part of their faith).
Note: The following excerpts are censored by Shia scholars and propagandists, thus you won’t find them on Iranian state propaganda platforms and their mouthpieces, nor on Khamenei’s and his likes social media accounts nor will you ever hear such statements in Shia places of worship (Hussainias). Read, learn, contemplate and enjoy:
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (661 AH – 728 AH) said:
‘Because of the killing of al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), Shaytan caused the people to introduce two innovations: the innovation of mourning and wailing on the day of ‘Ashura’, by slapping the cheeks, weeping, and reciting eulogies. … and the innovation of rejoicing and celebrating. … So some introduced mourning and others introduced celebration, so they regarded the day of ‘Ashura’ as a day for wearing kohl, doing ghusl, spending on the family and making special foods. … And every innovation is a going astray. None of the four imams of the Muslims or any other (scholars) regarded either of these things as recommended (mustahabb).’
Source: Minhaj al-Sunnah (4/554) by Abul-‘Abbas Ibn Taymiyyah
أنَّ ما أحدثوه من البدع فهو منكر، وما أحدثه من يقابل بالبدعة البدعة وينسب إلى السنة هو أيضاً منكر مبتدع، والسنة ما سنَّه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وهي بريَّة مِن كلِّ بدعة، فما يُفعل يوم عاشوراء من اتخاذه عيدا بدعة أصلها من بدع النواصب، وما يفعل من اتخاذه مأتماً بدعة أشنع منها، وهي من البدع المعروفة في الروافض»
منهاج السنة النبوية(8/148 ـ 153
“The innovations in the religion by them are reprehensible, and what they have innovated by opposing bid’ah with bid’ah and attributing it to the Sunnah is also a reprehensible innovation in the religion. The Sunnah is what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) legislated and it (the Sunnah) is free and innocent of every bid’ah. Thus, taking ‘Ashura as a day of ‘Eid is a bid’ah that was introduced by the Nawasib (enemies of ‘Ali/Ahlul-Bayt) and taking it as a day of mourning is a bid’ah worse than the aforementioned one. It is from the known bida’ of the Rawafid (Shia).”
Source: Minhaj al-Sunnah by Ibn Taymiyyah
Ibn Taymiyyah (‘the Nasibi’) rejected all fabricated narrations that speak of ‘Eid-like acts (i.e. celebration) on the day of ‘Ashura. He basically ruined the life of the Nawasib who fabricated such nonsense:
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah:
“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any sahih hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or from his Companions. None of the imams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four imams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), nor from the Sahabah, nor from the Tabi’in; neither in any sahih report or in a da’if (weak) report; neither in the books of Sahih, nor in al-Sunan, nor in the Musnads. No hadith of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported ahadith like the one which says “Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of ‘Ashura’ will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath (does ghusl) on the day of ‘Ashura’ will not get sick in that year, etc.” They also narrated reports concerning the supposed virtues of praying on the day of ‘Ashura’, and other reports saying that on the day of ‘Ashura’ Adam repented, the Ark settled on Mount Judi, Yusuf returned to Ya’qub, Ibrahim was saved from the fire, the ram was provided for sacrifice instead of Isma’il, and so on. They also reported a fabricated hadith that is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), which says, “Whoever is generous to his family on the day of ‘Ashura’, Allah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.”’
Then Ibn Taymiyyah discussed the two misguided groups who were in Kufah, Iraq, both of whom took Ashura as a festival because of their bid’ah, the worse of them are the Rafidah who have turned the martyrdom of al-Husayn and the tragedy of Karbala into an annual carnival-like event of excessive mourning, self-flagellation, cosplay, and feast (where instead of fasting they drink and eat like the Nawasib!).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah:
“The Rafidi group made an outward show of allegiance to the Ahl al-Bayt although inwardly they were either heretics and disbelievers or ignorant and bound by whims and desires. The Nasibi group hated ‘Ali and his companions, because of the troubles and killings that had occurred. It is reported in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In (the tribe of) Thaqif there will be a liar and an oppressor…” The liar was al-Mukhtar ibn Abi ‘Ubayd al-Thaqafi, who made an outward show of allegiance to and support of the Ahl al-Bayt, and killed ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyaad, the governor of Iraq, who had equipped the party that killed al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them both); then he (al-Mukhtaar) made it clear that he was a liar, by claiming to be a prophet and that Jibreel (peace be upon him) brought revelation to him. People told Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Abbas about this, and said to one of them, “al-Mukhtaa ibn Abi ‘Ubayd is claiming to receive revelatio].” He said, “He is telling the truth, for Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Shall I inform you (O people) upon whom the shayatin (devils) descend? They descend upon every lying, sinful person.’ [al-Shu’ara’ 26:221].” [Translator’s note: the words translated as “receive revelation” and “descend” both come from the same root in Arabic]. They said to the other: “Al-Mukhtar is claiming that he receives inspiration.” He said, “he is telling the truth. ‘… And certainly, the shayatin (devils) do inspire their friends (from mankind) to dispute with you…’ [al-An’am 6:121 – interpretation of the meaning].” As for the oppressor , this was al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi, who was opposed to ‘Ali and his companions. Al-Hajjaj was a Nasibi and al-Mukhtaar was a Rafidi, and this Rafidi was a greater liar and more guilty of fabrication and heresy, because he claimed to be a prophet…”
Then Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) pays tribute to the martyr al-Husayn ibn Ali (may Allah be pleased with them both) and praises him and his lofty status and scolds the Rafidah for their hideous innovations in his name:
“When al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them both) was killed on the day of ‘Ashura’, he was killed by the sinful, wrongdoing group. Allah honoured al-Husayn with martyrdom, as He honoured other members of his family, and raised his status, as He honoured Hamzah, Ja’far, his father ‘Ali and others. Al-Husayn and his brother al-Hasan are the leaders of the youth of Paradise. High status can only be attained through suffering, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said, when he was asked which people suffer the most. He said, “The Prophets, then righteous people, then the next best and the next best. A man will suffer according to his level of faith. If his faith is solid, he will suffer more, but if his faith is shaky, he will suffer less. The believer will keep on suffering until he walks on the earth with no sin.” (reported by al-Tirmidhi and others). Al-Hasan and al-Husayn achieved what they achieved and reached the high status they reached by the help and decree of Allah. They did not suffer as much as their forefathers had, for they were born and raised during the glory days of Islam, and the Muslims respected and honoured them. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) died when they were still young, and Allah blessed them by testing them in such a manner that they would be able to catch up with the rest of their family members, as those who were of a higher status than them were also tested. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was better than them, and he was killed as a shahid (martyr). The killing of al-Husayn was one of the things that caused fitnah (tribulation) among the people, as was the killing of ‘Uthman, which was one of the greatest causes of fitnah, because of which the Ummah is still split today. Thus the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are three things, whoever is saved from them is truly saved: my death, the killing of a patient khalifah, and the Dajjaal (‘antichrist’).”
“An ignorant, wrongful group – who were either heretics and hypocrites, or misguided and misled – made a show of allegiance to him (al-Husayn) and the members of his household, so they took the day of ‘Ashura’ as a day of mourning and wailing, in which they openly displayed the rituals of Jahiliyyah (pagan pre-Islamic society of Arabia) such as slapping their cheeks and rending their garments, grieving in the manner of the Jahiliyyah. But what Allah has commanded us to do when disaster strikes – when the disaster is fresh – is to bear it with patience and fortitude, and to seek reward, and to remember that all things come from Allah and we must return to Him, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “… but give glad tidings to al-saabiroon (the patient ones), who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allah we belong and turly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those on whom are al-salawat (the blessings) (i.e., who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.” [al-Baqarah 2:155-157] .”
“It is reported in al-Sahih that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “he is not one of us who strikes his cheeks, rends his garments and prays with the prayer of Jahiliyyah.” And he said: “I have nothing to do with those who strike [their cheeks], shave [their heads] and rend [their garments].” And he said: “If the woman who wails does not repent before she dies, she will be raised up on the Day of Resurrection wearing trousers made of tar and a shirt of scabs.” In al-Musnad, it is reported from Fatimah bint al-Husayn, from her father al-Husayn, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no man who suffers a calamity, and when he remembers it, even if it is old, he says ‘Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return),’ but Allah will give a reward equal to the reward He gave him on the day he suffered the calamity.” This is how Allah honours the Believers. If the disaster suffered by al-Husayn, and other disasters, are mentioned after all this time, we should say “Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return),” as Allah and His Messenger commanded, so as to be given the reward like that earned on the day of the disaster itself. If Allah commanded us to be patient and steadfast and to seek reward at the time of the disaster, then how about after the passing of time? The Shaytan made this attractive to those who are misled, so they took the day of ‘Ashura’ as an occasion of mourning, when they grieve and wail, recite poems of grief and tell stories filled with lies. Whatever truth there may be in these stories serves no purpose other than the renewal of their grief and sectarian feeling, and the stirring up of hatred and hostility among the Muslims, which they do by cursing those who came before them, and telling many lies, and causing much trouble in the world. The various sects of Islam have never known any group tell more lies or cause more trouble or help the kuffar against the Muslims more than this misguided and evil group (i.e. the Rafidah Shia). They are even worse than the Khawarij who went beyond the pale of Islam. They are the ones of whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “They will kill the people of Islam and will leave alone the people who worship idols.” This group cooperated with the Jews, Christians and polytheists (mushrikoon) against the members of the Prophet’s household and his believing Ummah, and also helped the mushrik Turks and Tatars to do what they did in Baghdad and elsewhere to the descendants of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), i.e., the ‘Abbasid rulers and others, and the believers; the Turks and Tatars killed them, enslaved their women and destroyed their homes. The evil and harm that they do to the Muslims cannot be enumerated by any man, no matter how eloquent he is. Some others – either Naasibis who oppose and have enmity towards al-Husayn and his family or ignorant people who try to fight evil with evil, corruption with corruption, lies with lies and bid’ah with bid’ah – opposed them by fabricating reports in favour of making the day of ‘Ashura’ a day of celebration, by wearing kohl and henna, spending money on one’s children, cooking special dishes and other things that are done on Eids and special occasions. These people took the day of ‘Ashura’ as a festival like Eid, whereas the others took it as a day of mourning. Both are wrong, and both go against the Sunnah, even though the other group (the Rafidis) are worse in intention and more ignorant and more plainly wrong… But Allah commands us to be just and to treat others well. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Those of you who live after my death will see many disputes. I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-Rashidoon) who come after me. Hold onto it as if biting it with your eyeteeth. Beware of newly-innovated matters, for every innovation is a going astray.” Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) nor his rightly-guided successors (the khulafa’ al-Rashidoon) did any of these things on the day of ‘Ashura’, they neither made it a day of mourning nor a day of celebration.”
“The religion of Islam is based on two principles: that we should worship nothing besides Allah Alone, and that we should worship Him in the manner that He has prescribed, not by means of bid’ah or reprehensible innovations. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” [al-Kahf 18:110].
Righteous deeds are those which are loved by Allah and His Messenger, those which are prescribed in Islam and in the Sunnah. Thus ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say in his du’aa’: “O Allah, make all of my deeds righteous and make them purely for Your sake, and do not let there be any share for anyone or anything else in them.”
Source: The above is summarised from the words of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allah have mercy on him. Al-Fatawa al-Kubra, vol. 5
He also said:
“Nothing will benefit the later ones from this Ummah, except that which benefited the earlier ones (i.e., the companions).” Source: Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Qa’idah al-Jalilah
Hafidh ibn Kathir (701 AH – 774 AH) said:
“Every Muslim should mourn the killing of al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), for he is one of the leaders of the Muslims, one of the scholars of the Sahabah, and the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who was the best of his daughters. He was a devoted worshipper, and a courageous and generous man. But there is nothing good in what the Shi’ah do of expressing distress and grief, most of which may be done in order to show off. His father was better than him and he was killed, but they do not take his death as an anniversary as they do with the death of al-Husayn. His father was killed on a Friday as he was leaving the mosque after Fajr prayer, on the seventeenth of Ramadan in 40 AH. ‘Uthman was better than ‘Ali according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah, and he was killed when he was besieged in his house during the days of al-Tashriq in Dhu’l-Hijjah of 36 AH, with his throat cut from one jugular vein to the other, but the people did not take his death as an anniversary. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was better than ‘Ali and ‘Uthman, and he was killed as he was standing in the mihrab, praying Fajr and reciting Qur’an, but the people did not take his death as an anniversary. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq was better than him but the people did not take his death as an anniversary. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the leader of the sons of Adam in this world and the Hereafter, and Allah took him to Him as the Prophets died before him, but no one took the dates of their deaths as anniversaries on which they do what these ignorant Rafidis do on the day that al-Husayn was killed. … The best that can be said when remembering these and similar calamities is that which ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn narrated from his grandfather the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said: “There is no Muslim who is afflicted by a calamity and when he remembers it, even if it was in the dim and distant past, he says Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return), but Allah will give him a reward like that of the day when it befell him.”
And he said:
“The Rafidis went to extremes in the state of the Buyids (Iranian Zaydis who were affected by Twelverism) in the year 400 and thereabouts. The drums were beaten in Baghdad and other cities on the day of ‘Ashura’, and sand and straw was strewn in the streets and marketplaces, and sackcloth was hung on the shops, and the people expressed grief and wept. Many of them did not drink water that night, in sympathy with al-Husayn, because he was killed when he was thirsty. Then the women went out barefaced, wailing and slapping their faces and chests, walking barefoot in the marketplaces, and other reprehensible innovations… What they intended by these and similar actions is to impugn the state of Banu Umayyah (the Umayyads), because he was killed during their era.
On the day of ‘Ashura, the Nasibis of Syria do the opposite of what the Rafidis and Shi’ah do. They used to cook grains on the day of ‘Ashura and do ghusl and perfume themselves, and wear their finest garments, and they took that day as an Eid for which they made all kinds of food, and expressed happiness and joy, intending thereby to annoy the Rafidis and be different from them.”
Source: al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah (8/220-221)
Shaykh Nasir al-Din al-Albani (1914 – 1999) said:
وأما الأحاديث الواردة في الفرح والسرور والتوسعة على الأهل والعيال، فكانت من نصيب النواصب المُبغِضين للحسين بن علي رضي الله عنه، فركّبوا أحاديث فيها إظهار الفرح والسرور يوم عاشوراء؛ فرحاً بمقتله عليه رضوان الله، وهذه خيبة وجهل،
تمام المنة في التعليق على فقه السنة (ص 410
“…the narrations regarding expressing joy and happiness (on ‘Ashura) and spending on the family are from the Nawasib, the haters of al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). They (i.e. Nawasib) fabricated ahadith in support of expressing joy and happiness on the day of ‘Ashura; being happy for his killing, may Allah grant him (al-Husayn) paradise. This is frustration and ignorance (jahl)…”
Source: Tamam al-Minna, pg. 410
He also says:
الممكن أن يكونوا من أعداء الحسين رضي الله عنه، الذين وضعوا الأحاديث في فضل الإطعام، والاكتحال، وغير ذلك يوم عاشوراء، معارضة منهم للشيعة الذين جعلوا هذا اليوم يوم حزن على الحسين رضي الله عنه،
تمام المنة – محمد ناصر الألباني – الصفحة ٤١٢
“…it is possible that these [ahadith in praise of celebrating on the day of ‘Ashura) are from the enemies of al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) who fabricated narrations regarding the merits of making special food, wearing kohl etc. on the day of ‘Ashura, all in opposition to the Shi’ah who have taken the that day as a day of mourning al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him)…”
Source: Tamam al-Minnah by Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, pg, 412
As it is clear, Shaykh al-Albani, an expert on the field of Hadith, weakened and rejected all hadith in praise of celebrating the day of ‘Ashura as done by the Nawasib. However, of course like other Sunni scholars he authenticated the reliable narrations regarding the mertis of fasting on ‘Ashura (note: Rafidis often misquote him in his Tamam al-Minnah where he mentions how someone else claimed that fasting on ‘Ashura is a bid’ah of the Nawasib! This is a disingenuous misquotation and fasting the day of ‘Ashura is a proven Muhammadan Sunnah and tradition of the Ahlul-Bayt in Sunni and Shia narrations>>>).
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen (1925 – 2001) said:
وأما يوم عاشوراء فإن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم سئل عن صومه، فقال: “يكفر السنة الماضية” يعني التي قبله، وليس في هذا اليوم شيء من شعائر الأعياد. وكما أنه ليس فيه شيء من شعائر الأعياد فليس فيه شيء من شعائر الأحزان أيضاً، فإظهار الحزن أو الفرح في هذا اليوم كلاهما خلاف السنة، ولم يرد عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في هذا اليوم إلا صيامه مع أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم أمر أن نصوم يوماً قبله أو يوماً بعده حتى نخالف اليهود الذين كانوا يصومونه وحده.
مجموع فتاوى و رسائل الشيخ محمد صالح العثيمين المجلد الثاني – باب البدعة
“As for the day of ‘Ashura, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about fasting on that day: “it expiates the minor sins of the past year.” And this day (of ‘Ashura) does not contain any form and symbol of celebration whatsoever. And just like it does not contain any form and symbol of celebration, it does also not contain any form or symbol of grief and sorrow (i.e. wailing and mourning). Thus, both – expressing grief and sorrow or joy and happiness on that day – oppose the Sunnah and nothing has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon) regarding [the merits] of that day except to fast…”
Source: Majmu’ Fatawa wa Risalah by Muhammad Salih al-‘Uthaymeen, vol. 2, chapter: al-Bid’ah
Al-Hamdulillah ‘ala ni’matil-Islam was-Sunnah.