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Question Summary:
1. Authentic hadith that the Prophet ordered people to fast on the day of ashura. Is the Jewish calendar and the Islamic calendar the same?

Question Detail:

Salaam: A few questions raised in this regard. 1. Authentic hadith that the Prophet ordered people to fast on the day of ashura. (Not hadith quoted during the rule of the ummayad dynasty and the abbasid dynasty). 2. Is the Jewish calendar and the Islamic calendar the same? Do days that occur on one particular day in the jewish calendar re occur the same time in the Islamic calendar. --- The Jews had their own calendar and months. There is no logic in saying that they fasted on the 10th of Muharram - unless it could be proved that this date always coincided with a Jewish day of fast. 3. Can you quote hadith (with factual proof) that all the great attonment days you have specified fell on the day of ashura.The month in which God delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh was Abib (i.e. Rajab), as the Bible clearly says: "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night." (Deut., 16:1) The question is: How could the Jews transfer an event of Abib (originally coinciding with Rajab) to Muharram, in open defiance of their Torah? here is a point to ponder for the Muslims: The Prophet (s.a.w.) was sent with a religion to abrogate all previous religions and shari'ah. How was it that he deigned to imitate the custom of the Jews?

Answer :

1. The definition of an authentic hadith is : "That which is narrated by an Adil (Just), Dhabit (those with good memories), without any breaks in the chain of narrators and which is not Shaaz (Rare) neither is it Muallal(defective)."

This is the definition of an authentic narration and it is a definition which is agreed upon by all the authorities of Hadith. None of them mention a condition that it was not narrated during the Umayyad or Abasid rule.

The ahadith quoted in the answer 5269, fulfil these conditions.

2 & 3. The Jewish calendar and the Islamic calendar are both different, however both are lunar calendars, thus a day could appear on the same date on both calendars every year, even though this is not the case here.
In fact what really happened was the ignorant Jews began using the solar calendar and calculated their festivals and holidays accordingly, thus their Passover, now began to rotate throughout the solar year. When Nabi (SAW) came to Madina, he found them fasting on the day they said is the day wherein Moosa (AS) was saved, so Nabi (SAW) said that we will fast on the day in which Moosa (AS) was saved, which happens to be the 10th of Muharram. This does not mean that both the Muslims and the Jews were fasting every year on the same day and that both calendars had to match.
As for Nabi (SAW) fasting on the same day as the Jews and thus imitating them, it should be remembered that Nabi (SAW) and the Quraish were in the habit of fasting on Aashuraa, even before Islam.(Bukhari No.2002-With Fathul Bari .Darul Manaar) Now when the Jews said that they are fasting as Moosa (AS) was saved, Nabi (SAW) said that we are closer to him than you, thus this is all the more reason to fast on this day. thus the reason for fasting wasn't to imitate the Jews, as Nabi (SAW) had been keeping the fast before. Nabi (SAW) later ordered the Sahaba (RA) to fast on the 9th or the 11th as well, to show that we are not imitating them.(Fathul Bari Vol. 4 Pg.290-Darul Manaar,Faidhul Bari Vol.3 Pg.177)

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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