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Bid’ahs common on ‘Ashura

Posted on: November 28, 2011

In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Bid’ahs common on ‘Ashura

Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, was asked about the things that people do on ‘Ashura, such as wearing kohl, taking a bath (ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (hubub), showing happiness and so on. Was any of this reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him, in a sahih hadith, or not? If nothing to that effect was reported in a sahih hadith, is doing these things bid’ah, or not? Is there any basis for what the other group do, such as grieving and mourning, going without anything to drink, eulogizing and wailing, reciting in a crazy manner, and rending their garments?

His reply was:

“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any sahih hadith from the Prophet, peace 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 be upon him, nor from the Companions, nor from those after them; neither in any sahih report or in a da’if (weak) report; neither in the books of Sahih, nor in as-Sunan, nor in the Musnad. 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,’ and so on. They also reported a fabricated hadith that is falsely attributed to the Prophet, peace 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.’ Reporting all of this from the Prophet, peace be upon him, is tantamount to lying.”

Then he discussed in brief the tribulations that had occurred in the early days of this Ummah and the killing of al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with him, and what the various sects had done because of this. Then he said:

“An ignorant, wrongful group – who were either heretics and hypocrites, or misguided and misled – made a show of allegiance to him 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 such as slapping their cheeks and rending their garments, grieving in the manner of the Jahiliyyah … 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 … 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 Nasibis 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 ‘Eid 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 (those who take it as a day of mourning) are worse in intention and more ignorant and more plainly wrong … Neither the Prophet, peace be upon him, nor his successors did any of these things on the day of ‘Ashura, they neither made it a day of mourning nor a day of celebration …

As for the other things, such as cooking special dishes with or without grains, or wearing new clothes, or spending money on one’s family, or buying the year’s supplies on that day, or doing special acts of worship such as special prayers or deliberately slaughtering an animal on that day, or saving some of the meat of the sacrifice to cook with grains, or wearing kohl and henna, or taking a bath (ghusl), or shaking hands with one another, or visiting one another, or visiting the mosques and shrines and so on  all of this is reprehensible bid’ah and is wrong. None of it has anything to do with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, or the way of the Khulafa’ ar-Rashidun.

It was not approved of by any of the imams of the Muslims, not Malik, not at-Thawri, not al-Layth ibn Sa’d, not Abu Hanifah, not al-Awza’i, not al-Shafi’i, not Ahmad ibn Hanbal, not Ishaq ibn Rahwayh, not any of the Imams and Scholars of the Muslims.” [Al-Fatawa al-Kubra]

Ibn al-Hajj, may Allah have mercy on him, mentioned that one bid’ah practiced on ‘Ashura was deliberately paying zakat on this day, late or early, or slaughtering a chicken just for this occasion, or – in the case of women – using henna. [Al-Madkhal]

We ask Allah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet, to make us live in Islam and die in a state of faith. May He help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. We ask Him to help us to remember Him and be thankful to Him, to worship Him properly and to accept our good deeds. May He make us of those who are pious and fear Him. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.

“O Allaah! Show us the truth as truth so that we may follow it, and show us falsehood as falsehood, so that we may abstain from it.”


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4 Responses to "Bid’ahs common on ‘Ashura"

I agree with everything in this article. It is not the “ruling” of the person who post this article but the ruling of Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Tayyimah who is agreed to be a well known scholar in most of the sects. He would never give a ruling without studying all the hadith and ayats related to the topic. After reading this I urge you guys to also study hadiths and ayats related to Muharram (including those mentioned in this article) and determine by yourself that did the prophet ever mourn like this, or did the four imams ever instruct us to do these acts.


I have subscribed to your blog because i think you will not talk on controversial affairs without research but now i see that you have no research in Islam so i am unsubscribing


Have you checked the definition to Bida? please do brother


Subhanallah. Islam is indeed in a big mess because of people who preach bigotry. Who’s a scholar to label people of another sect as heretics/hypocrites? It proves that it’s you who believes in hearsay and label people without thorough research.


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