`Āshūrā’ and the Jews of Medina at a Glance

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Day `Ashura means different things to different muslims. To some, this is the day of fasting, dedicated to the day when Moses and the children of Israel were saved. For some, this is a sad day of crying, in which al-Shusayn ibn Ali, the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), laid his life in disobedience of tyranny. For many, the majority is both.

However, scholars often reflected on how quickly the Jews observed on the 10th Muharram about 622CE, as recorded in our Ḥadith literature. Was it Pesach (Passover), Yom kippur or perhaps lesser fast like Asher b’Tevet?


Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah?s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

It is transmitted in the book of Imam Bukhari Sahih:


الله عدم النبي صلى الله النه الهه النه النه النه النه النه النش النش الشش الش وص وءءش وش ورء ام وف ورء ول الش الهه الهه الهه الوا: ا يوم صالح, هذا يوم نجى الله بني إسرائيل من مدس. قال: (فأنا أحق بموسى منكم) فصامه وأمر بصيامه


“Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما – may Allah be pleased with him) said:“ The Prophet ”entered Medina and watched the Jews fast on Day `Ashura (10 of Muharram). He asked, “What is this?” They said, “This is a righteous day. This is the day when God saved the children of Israel from their adversaries, therefore Moses fasted. ” The Prophet said: “I have the right to Moses more than them.” So he fasted and set the fast for that day. ”

READ MORE: Fasting the Day of Ashoura’

There is little need for speculation when today you can calculate and confirm the dates of Hijri and Gebraik. Muharram at 622CE was a month Average in the jewish calendar. In particular, the 10th place Muharram was 9th Averagebetter known to Jews as Tish`a b & # 39; Av (תִּשֽׁעָ בְּאָב). You can calculate the Gregorian date of the 10th Muharram one Anno hejiraethen convert this Gregorian date to the date of Judaism, mindful of the sunset, resulting in the 9th of Average, 4382.

Jewish exegesis Midrash Rabba, Eychah, Petichta 33 refers to the legend behind TTish`a b’Av and the holiday of Tu b’Av:

ר’ אבין ור’ יוחנן
אמרי יום שביטל החפר מן מתי מדבר, א”ר יסיף ר’ אבין ור’ יוחנן אמרי יום
שביטל החפר מן מתי מדבר, א”ר לוי כל ערב תשעה באב היה משה מוציא
,כרוז בכל המחנה ואומר צאו לחפור והיו יוצאין וחופרין קברות וישנין בהן
לשחרית היה מוציא כרוז ואומר קומו והפרישו המתים מן החיים והיו עומדים
ומוצאין עצמן חמשה עשר אלף בפרוטרוט /מספר מדויק/ , חסרו שש מאות
אלף, ובשנת הארבעים האחרון עשו כן ומצאו עצמן שלמים. אמרו: דומה
שטעינו בחשבון; וכן בעשור ובאחד עשר ובשנים עשר ושלשה עשר וארבע
עשר, כיון דאיתמלא סיהרא /התמלא הירח/ אמרו דומה שהקב”ה ביטל
.אותה גזירה מעלינו וחזרו ועשאוהו יום טוב

“Rav Abin and Rav Yochanan taught: the 15th of Average this is the day when the grave of the dead stopped. Rabbi Levi taught: on the eve of the 9th Average, Moses will announce throughout the camp: Go dig! The people of Israel will go and dig graves and sleep in them. When morning came, Moses declared: let those who live separate themselves from the dead. The living would have risen, separated from the dead, and counted – and every year 15,000 people died. In the 40th year after leaving Egypt, they did the same. But in the morning – no one died. Perhaps we calculated the date? They thought and slept again in their graves the next night, the 10th Average, and so on the 11th, and the 12th, and the 13th, and the 14th – when the moon was filled on the 15th, they declared: “Holy, blessed be He, canceled the decree. They made this day a holiday. ”

One may wonder about the numerous narratives on this subject that link the correlation between `Ashura and the children of Israel are saved from Pharaoh and Pharaoh, the drowned. This suggests that the background is more like Pesach (Easter), which marks the liberation of the Jews from Egypt and his pharaoh. However, the dates do not coincide between Easter and `Ashura until more than a decade after Hijra and even then Easter falls to 18th place Muharram, not the 10th.

READ MORE: The Benefits of Muharram Fasting that Every Muslim Must Know

In other narratives it is reported that the tribe of Quraysha would mean Day. `Ashura as well as the Jews, which is also recorded in the book of Imam Bukhari Sahih:

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها الت: كان يوم عاشوراء تصومه قريش في الجاهلية

“Āisha (رضي الله عنها – may Allah be pleased with her) said:” Quraysh fasted on the Day `Ashura in times of ignorance (before Islam) … “

Thus, in various narratives it is possible that the multiple verb قالوا, which means “they say”, may refer to non-Muslim Arabs as Quraysh, as it might refer to Jews. What is interesting is the prospect of the following answer:

ا يوم نجى الله بني إسرائيل من عدوهم

“This is the day when God saved the children of Israel from their adversaries.”

`Āshūrā’ 10th Muharram and the Jews of Medina at a Glance
`Āshūrā’ 10th Muharram and the Jews of Medina at a Glance

Of course, it is also possible that a Jew spoke of his ancestors and, therefore, referred to their enemy. However, it is also possible that it was Qurayshi, who simply linked what he thought was the source of the post, based on his limited and probably erroneous information about Jewish religious practices.

Ultimately, the most difficult proof is the calendar itself, which is relatively unchanged. If the Jews really fasted for Tish`a b’Av – it can be clearly seen by resorting to a Hebrew calculator on any Hijra, – then this denies the suspicions of our dear brothers from Shi’i that the post `Ashura was created by the Umayyads as a distraction from the martyrdom of our Master al-Ḥusayn (عليه السلام – Peace be upon him). It is noteworthy that such chronological accuracy was not only recorded, but preserved over the centuries and is evidence of the general truthfulness of the Sunnah.


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