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Q. What is the Shariah’s stance regarding fasting on only the 10th Muharram.  According to the Jamiatul Ulama KZN, fasting on only the 10th is valid their argument is:

“Accordingly, there are Ulama who opine and allow for fasting only on the 10th of Muharram as the Jews do not observe the fast on the same day as Muslims. Therefore, the fast of Muslims on the 10th of Muharram is distinguished from the Jews and hence there is no imitation of fasting on the same day as the Jews which was the basis for fasting a day before or after the 10th of Muharram.”

Please comment. We have always observed two fasts in relation to Aashura.


The opinion of some Ulama is incorrect. They have erred. A mere opinion is not valid Shar’i grounds for abrogating a Mansoos Hukm. The Jamiat KZN conceding the Nass says:

“Having said that, the fasting on the 10th of Muharram with a day before or after should still be adhered to according to many Ulama this was Rasulullah’s Sallallahu alayhi wasallam advice prior to his demise.”

When this was the advice, in fact command, of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), it is not permissible to scuttle it with mere opinion. Rasulullah’s advice is of pivotal importance and significance. In fact, he has commanded, not advised. Assuming that the Jews no longer fast on 10th Muharram, it will not be a valid reason for Muslims to discard the Command of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The disappearance of the ‘basis’ mentioned by the Jamiat, does not cancel the Hukm.

Zuhr and Asr Salaat are Sirri (Silent). The reason for this was the persecution/torture which Muslims were subjected to in Makkah. Hence, to be saved from such danger, these Salaats were performed in secret, hence silently. Despite this reason having disappeared with the domination of the Muslims and when they had migrated to Madina where they had no fear of being persecuted, the initial command of Sirr remained intact and was never abrogated because of the change of circumstances. Similarly, regardless of the change due to the Jewish calendar, the initial command remains intact and may not be abrogated by mere opinion. The opinion in this regard is baseless.

The idea of abrogating Shar’i ahkaam simply on the basis of the disappearance of the initial illat (rationale) is dangerous. It leads to cancellation of the Mansoos orders of the Shariah. The rational illat for the hurmat of pork is the rijs (filth causing disease) of the pig. If tomorrow the scientists establish measures to completely eliminate this element of rijs from pigs rendering pork diseased-free, then in terms of the logic expounded by the Jamiat, the hurmat of pork will fall away. In fact, claims of hygienic pig-farming have already been made in some countries.

The same convoluted logic can be applied to intoxicants. If only a little khamr which does not intoxicate is consumed, it will be permissible. In fact a moron sheikh in Egypt has categorically made this claim.

The Shariah must be observed as it has reached us by reliable transmission and authentic narration from the Sahaabah. Logic may not be utilized to re-interpret any aspect of the Deen. It is necessary to fast two days on the Aashura occasion. The contrary opinion is utterly baseless.  The advice, in fact Command, of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cannot be debunked on the basis of the logic and opinion proffered by Jamiat KZN.

12 Muharram 1440 - 22 September 2018


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