THE 10TH OF MUHARRAM (THE DAY OF ASHURA)
On this day, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was martyred. It is indeed the day of the calamitous misfortune and the day of grief for the Holy Imams (a.s.) and their adherents. Thus, the Shi’ah are required to stop earning any worldly benefit, stop storing anything in their houses, and devote themselves to weeping and mourning the misfortunes of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). They are thus required to hold consolation ceremonies in the same way as they do for their dead sons and relatives. They are also required to visit the holy tomb of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) with the famous form of Ziyarah (Ziyarat ‘Ashura’) that will be later on cited in this book. They are also required to invoke curse upon the enemies and slayers of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) and to express sympathy to each other, saying,
اَعْظَمَ اللّٰهُ اُجُورَنَا بِمُصَابِنَا بِالْحُسَيْنِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَ جَعَلَنَا وَ اِيَّاكُمْ مِنَ الطَّالِبِينَ بِثَارِهِ مَعَ وَلِيِّهِ الْاِمَامِ الْمَهْدِيِّ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَلَيْهِمُ [عَلَيْهِ] السَّلامُ.
The adherents (Shi’ah) of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) should confer the martyrdom of their Imam and should weep for him. It is narrated that when Prophet Moses (a.s.) was ordered to meet the Scholar, namely al-Khadir (a.s.),the first matter they discussed was the misfortune that the Household of Prophet Muhammad(a.s.) would face. They therefore wept heavily for these misfortunes.
Ibn ‘Abbas is reported to have said, “When I accompanied Imam Ali(a.s.) in Dhi-Qar, he took out a paper comprising the dictations of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and handwritten by Imam Ali(a.s.) himself. He read some segments of that paper and I heard. It contained the story of Imam al-Husayn’s martyrdom with full details of the way he would be killed, the person who would kill him, those who would support him, and those who would be martyred with him. Imam Ali(a.s.) then wept heavily and caused me to weep.”
There is not enough space in this book to mention a part of the story of Imam al-Husayn’s martyrdom; therefore, the complete story can be seen in the books specified for this respect. These books are called al-maqtal.
At any rate, if one offers water to people on this day at the holy tomb of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), his reward will be similar to the reward of one who offered water to the companions of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) at Karbala’. A great reward is also recorded for one who repeats Surah al-Tawheed one thousand times on this day. It is narrated that Almighty Allah shall have a merciful look at one who repeats this Surah one thousand times on this day.
Sayyid Ibn Tawus has mentioned a supplicatory prayer similar to Dua al-Ashraat to be said on this day. More specifically, this supplicatory prayer seems to be the same as Dua al-Ashraat but according to another narration.
Shaykh al-Tusi has mentioned that ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan reported from Imam al-Sadiq(a.s.) a four unit prayer and a supplicatory prayer to be offered and said at the first hours of this day; but on account of briefness, they will not be cited in this book. They, however, can be seen in the book of Zad al-Ma’ad.
The adherents of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) are required not to eat or drink anything on this day, but not in the intention of ritual fasting, and to break this abstention from food and drink with a meal that is usually offered to the unfortunate people, such as yoghurt, milk, or the like meals; and that should be at the last hour of this day after the afternoon time. In other words, they should avoid having rich or delicious meals on this day, for it is a day of misfortune. They are also required to put on clean dresses and to unfasten the buttons and raise their sleeves just like the unfortunate people.