10 Things Recommended to do on the Day of Ashura

Bismillah ar-rahman ar-raheem. Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullahi ta'ala wa barakatu. The Eve and the Day of Ashura mark a tremendously emotional time for many lovers and followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, and his pure, immaculate family. Hundreds of millions across the world gathered to listen to the tragedy of Karbala and the story of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, his family as well as companions expressing their mourning through the Husayni rituals ashaa'ru al--Husaynia.. This is very important and it is great to see and should not stop. But we should not also forget the recommended deeds and adab, etiquettes, of the Eve and the Day of Ashura as well.

Here are ten things to keep in mind amongst others. Number one, on the Eve of the 10th of Muharram, year 61 AH, Imam Husayn alayhi as-salam, as well as his companions, felt the sweetness of the remembrance of Allah through recitation of the Qur'an and worship of the Almighty Subhana wa ta'ala.

It is therefore encouraged to follow on their footsteps tonight. It is highly encouraged as well to stay up in worship, for we are told the reward will be that of all the worship of the Angels combined, as well as the reward equalling seventy years of 'ibadah. Several prayers had been recommended on the Eve of Ashura. One of them is as follows; a four unit salah done as two units each time in each raka' after Surah al-Fatiha to recite 50 times Surah al-Ikhlas (qul huwa Allahu ahad). Afterwards, recite salawaat and ask Allah to distance the mercy of his from the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt, alayhum as-salam. In other words, to do l'an, do not forget to perform Salat ul-Layl as well on the Eve of Ashura.

Two, we must not forget the Holy Qur'an during Muharram and especially on the Eve as well as the Day of Ashura itself. The mesmerizing words of the Almighty was constantly on the lips of Imam al-Husayn, alayhi as-salam, during this time. Recite some chapters on the Eve and the day itself, and write down notes of reflection too.

On the Day of Ashura recite Surah al-Ikhlas as much as possible. We are told 1000 times of its recitation on Ashura day brings down the abundant mercy of the Almighty, subhana wa ta'ala.

Three, a man by the name of Abdullah ibn Sinan states: I arrived in the presence of my master, Imam as-Sadiq, alayhi as-salam, on the Day of Ashura and found him pale and grief stricken with tears streaming from his eyes like falling pearls. Ashura, therefore should be a day of grief and sorrow, and this should be evident in our interactions and what we do. It is a day whereby the believers are encouraged to shed the tears and remember the musiba, the tragedy, of Karbala throughout. Imam al-Ridha, alayhi as-salam is reported to have said: the one for whom the Day of Ashura is a day of tragedy, grief and weeping, Allah, the Almighty the Glorious, should make the Day of Judgment a day of joy and happiness for them. Attendance of Majlis, as well as processions and the taking part in the shaa'ir al-Husaynia. The Husayni rituals are highly encouraged as well.

Four, believers on Ashura Day should refrain from eating and drinking until the afternoon, yet they should not fast. Ashura day was emphasized as a day of fasting by Bani Umayyah, who would regularly celebrate on the 10th of Muharram.

Five, the Ahlul Bayt have emphasized the need to make Ashura different in that we should not be seeking the pleasure of this world, on this day. Imam al-Ridha, alayhi as-salam, is reported to have said: One who refrains from seeking his worldly desires on the the day of Ashura, Allah shall grant him his desires of this world as well as the hereafter. Hence, take the day off work and focus on remembering Karbala.

Six, it is recommended to either visit the shrine of Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam or recite Ziarat Ashura. Now the ziarat should be recited in full and without omissions, and if one is not able to repeat certain parts 100 times, they should say the line and then utter 100 times. However, the actual recitation, as per instructions, is indeed rewarding. In Mafatih al-Jinan Sheik Al-Qummi, Ala Allahu ta'ala maqamah, also presents the lesser well-known ziarat Ashura, which he names Ziarat Ashura al-Ghair Mashura. Try to recite this as well. Do not forget other ziarahs such as Ziarat Warith.

Seven, when seeing other believers, it is recommended to console each other by saying Adhama Allahu ujurana wa ujurakum bi musabinah bil Husayn, alayhi as-salam. Wa ja'alana min al-talibeen bi tha'rihi ma' waliyihi al-Imam al-Mahdi, ajala Allahu farajahu al-shareef min aali Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa aalahi wa sallam. You could say this in your own language, such as in English. May Allah make our reward and your reward great for our grief for Husayn peace be upon him. May He place us and you from those who help His cause with His representative, the guided Imam from the family of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his family.

Eight, to ask Allah subhana wa ta'ala to withdraw his mercy through la'an from the killers of Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam. It is mentioned that this should be said one thousand times on Ashura Day. This also serves as an important reminder for us all to stand against all forms of oppression as well as injustice.

Number nine, Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam had several amazing du'as recited on the 10th of Muharram and throughout the day. Recite and reflect the first du'a that the Imam, alayhi as-salam uttered, which starts with allahumma anta thiqati fi qulli karb, wa anta reja'i fi qulli shidda. There is a link to a lecture I was honored to give on this du'a as well as the du'a translated into English beneath this video. There is something special about reciting this du'a as well as the final du'a of Imam Husayn on the day of Ashura itself.

Ten, we must not forget during this time what Imam, alayhi as-salam stood and died for. Make a list of all that has inspired you this Muharram. How will this make a positive difference? For example, the grandson of the Holy Prophet stopped the fight to attend to his prayers. He was showered with arrows and lost a few of his companions who were defending him whilst remembering Allah subhana wa ta'ala in salah, are we protective of this beautiful act of devotion?

Don't forget, also on the day of Ashura to remember his grandson Imam Sahib al-Asr wa az-Zaman, Al-Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance, who is mourning like no other human being.

As-salam 'ala al-Husayn, wa 'ala Ali ibn al-Husayn, wa 'ala awlad al-Husayn, wa 'ala ashab al-Husayn.