Mohammad, son of Hassan, narrates through his chain of narrators of Ali, son of Hussain, son of Fadhil, of Ya’qoub, son of Yazid, of Abi-Humam, of Abil-Hassan (may peace be upon him), who said: «The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) fasted the Day of Ashura.»
Wasa’el al-Shi’a, volume 10, page 457
What is the interpretation of this narration, please? And why did the Messenger (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) fast on Ashura?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
After consulting the Sheikh, he said that one of the things our Imams (may peace be upon them) have told us to do if we wish to become certain about a narration we find being attributed to them, is to look in ‘Sunni’ sources; if we find a similar narration being mentioned in their sources, we should reject it and know that it’s either a fabricated narration that was not issued by them (may peace be upon them), or that it was issued out of compulsory to drive away from the evil of the unjust. This narration of Imam al-Kadhim (may peace be upon him) falls into this category, and therefore we do not accept it. Rather we accept the narrations that we can not find any equals or parallels to in ‘Sunni’ sources.
Such as this narration that is narrated on behalf of Hussain, son of Abi-Ghandar, of his father, of Abi-Abdillah al-Sadiq (may peace be upon him):
I asked him about fasting the Day of Arafa. He said: It is a holiday for the Muslims, and a day of supplication, and which one may ask for one’s affairs. I said: What about fasting the Day of Ashura? He said: That is a day when Hussain (may peace be upon him) was killed! If you are happy about the tragedies of others, then fast!
Then he said:
The family of Umayya swore an oath that if Hussain (may peace be upon him) is killed, they shall take that day (when he is killed) as a holiday for themselves, in which they fast in thankfulness and fill their children with joy! That has become a tradition among the family of Abi-Sufyan till this day. That is why they fast on that day and bring the joy they felt on that day upon their people and family!
Then he said:
Fasting can not be for tragedies, and it is only in thankfulness for good health. Hussain (may peace be upon him) was afflicted by tragedy on the Day of Ashura. If you are one of those who are afflicted by tragedy for that day, then do not fast. And if you are one who is happy for the tragedies of others and one who is happy for the good health of Bani-Umayya, then fast in thankfulness for Allah (Exalted is He)!
Wasa’el al-Shi’a, by Al-Horr al-Amili, volume 10, page 462
Among these narrations is also the following narration on behalf of Zaid al-Nursi, who said:
I heard Ubayd, son of Zurara, ask Aba-Abdillah (Al-Sadiq – may peace be upon him) about fasting the Day of Ashura. He said: Whoever fasts on that day, his fate because of fasting that day shall be the same as the son of Marjana and the family of Ziyad! He (Ubayd) said: I said: What is their fate because of that day? He said: Hellfire! May Allah grant us refuge from the Hellfire and the deeds that bring us closer to Hellfire!
Al-Kafi, by Al-Kulayni, volume 4, page 147
Among them is also the following narration on behalf of Ja’far, son of Isa, who said:
I asked Al-Ridha (may peace be upon him) about fasting the Day of Ashura and what the people say about it. He said: Do you ask me about the fasting of the son of Marjana?! That is a day when the illegitimate sons from the family of Ziyad fasted in thankfulness for the killing of Hussain (may peace be upon him), and it is a day of calamity for the Family of Mohammad (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family), and a day of calamity for the people of Islam. Such a day is a calamity for the people of Islam and is not a day of fasting, nor a day to take blessings from.
The same source
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib