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Did the Prophet (SAAW) fast on 10th Muharram?

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Author Topic: Did the Prophet (SAAW) fast on 10th Muharram?  (Read 5467 times)
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« on: November 18, 2012, 04:03:04 am »

Walaikum Salaam, and thank you very much for this informative elucidation, sister.  Yes, I realize that fasting is prescribed in several situations in the Noble Quran, as you have quoted, as penance or punishments for certain mistakes or in lieu of our inability to perform certain duties commanded by Allah.  Therefore, Allah has specified those situations and of course there's no confusion about that. 

As for Verse 19:26 of Surah Maryam, quote "Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any mortal."  Here fast refers to the 'fast of silence,' that is, not talking to anyone nor answering any questions of others.  It doesn't refer to the fast of abstaining from food.  This was the time when Virgin Maryam was about to give birth to Essa son of Virgin Maryam.  Therefore if you read the preceding verses from V.19:22-30 (which I quote below), these verses mention that before giving birth to Essa, Virgin Maryam withdrew to a far-away place in seclusion.  At that stage Allah did not want others to ask questions from Virgin Maryam because Allah's plan was to show the miracle to the people of that community through Essa by making him to talk from the cradle as a baby.  Until that time, his mother, Virgin Maryam, was commanded by Allah to remain silent.  That's what the verse means when it says "vowed a fast unto the Beneficent,"

Quoting Verses 19:22-30
"And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place. (19:22).
And the pangs of childbirth drove her unto the trunk of the palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died ere this and had become a thing of naught, forgotten!  (19:23).   
Then (one) cried unto her from below her, saying: Grieve not! Thy Lord hath placed a rivulet beneath thee, (19:24).
And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee, thou wilt cause ripe dates to fall upon thee. (19:25).
So eat and drink and be consoled. And if thou meetest any mortal, say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent, and may not speak this day to any mortal. (19:26).
Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing.  (19:27).
O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot.  (19:28).
Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy ?  (19:29).
He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet," (19:30).

I will also quote Maududi's tafsir of V.19:26.  That too reflects much the same meaning.

Maududi's translation of V.19:26
so eat and drink and refresh your eyes; and if you see a man, say to him, `As I have vowed to observe the fast (of silence) for the sake of the Merciful, I wi l l not speak to anyone today.'

Tafsir by Maududi of V.19:26
"That is, "You need not say anything with regard to the child. It is now Our responsibility to answer the critics." This also indicates why Mary was so sad and grieved. Had she been married and given birth to her first baby like any other mother, there was no occasion to tell her to observe "a fast of silence", though it was a common custom among the Jews."

All of of the Verses you quoted on fasting as penance to make up for certain mistakes is perfectly true.  What I mean is that the imams have added too many fasts with a lot of emphasis, almost like fard.  They tell us to fast for the whole of Rajab.  Then they tell us to fast for certain days of Shaban, sometimes almost half of Shaban.  Then after Ramadan, they tell us to fast 6 more days after the first 3 days of Shawaal.  They also say to fast on the Day of Arafat on month of Zil-Hajj for those who don't go for Hajj.  Then they also say to fast on 9th & 10th of Muharram taken from the false hadith I quoted in the post.  Some imams say that we must fast every Monday throughout the year.  While they say so much, Allah only says to fast every Ramadan as an annual obligation.

Like I said, if someone personally decides at an individual level to fast additionally after or before Ramadan as their own personal desire to worship Allah, that's perfectly alright.  For example, if I feel very depressed and I decide to fast tomorrow because it comforts my heart and makes me feel close to Allah, that's very good and I have every right to fast.  But that's my personal choice and not a Quranic obligation from Allah, even though if Allah wishes He might give me extra blessings for it.  So, I can fast myself but I should not generalize it and force others to fast as a rule.  That would be bid'ah and unfortunately this seems to be the attitude of our imams.  They make their personal choice a necessity not only for themselves but for everyone.  As a result, people get so involved in following these bid'ah rules that they don't give too much attention to the fard commandment of Allah.  Some people who strictly observe fasts on Rajab and Shaban (which are not fard) get so tired that by the time Ramadan arrives, they get ill and end up missing some of their fard fasts because of the exhaustion caused by Rajab and Shaban fasting.
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