Section Twenty Three
أَللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ هذَا يَوْمٌ تَبَرَّكَتْ بِهِ بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ وَابْنُ آكِلَةِ الأَََكْبادِ، اللَّعِينُ ابْنُ اللَّعِينِ عَلَى لِسانِكَ وَلِسانِ نَبِيِّكَ فِي كُلِّ مَوْطِنٍ وَ مَوْقِفٍ وَقَفَ فِيهِ نَبِيُّكَ
“O’ Allah! This is the day (the Day of ‘Ashura) which the Bani Umayyah rejoiced upon (and is the day when the) son of the liver eater (the son of Hind Ibn Abu Sufyan – Mu’awiyah and his son Yazid) celebrated, the cursed son(s) (Yazid) of the cursed (Mu’awiyah), as said by You and Your Prophet at every place and occasion.”
In this section of the Ziyarat, we once again turn our attention to those specific people who are cursed by Allah, His Prophet and all who are given the permission to curse by Allah.
We are told that the Bani Umayah rejoiced on this day – the Day of ‘Ashura – however what exactly did they commemorate on this day? The books of history tell us that the following things were innovated into the faith during the time of Yazid and the rest of the corrupt leaders:
1. They considered this day as the one on which the sustenance is determined by Allah and the day when Allah would divide his blessings on His servants for the next year. It is for this reason that the Ahlul Bayt have advised their followers to refrain from work, school, etc... on this day.
2. They considered this day as a day of Eid and thus, encouraged their followers to clean their house, apply perfume, wear clean, new clothing and all of the other acts related to Eid. Again, the Ahlul Bayt have told us to mark this day in a solemn manner and with grief and sorrow with ‘modest’ and ‘simple’ dress.
3. The Bani Umayyah used to fast on this day and even still, many followers of the Bani Umayyah (those who make up a majority of the Muslims of the world) fast on the day of ‘Ashura claiming that the Prophet did so in respect of Prophet Musa! Again, the Shi’a are told that to fast on this day is highly discouraged, however we are recommended to keep a half-day fast (Faqqah) as a sign of grief and remembrance of the hunger and thirst felt on the day of ‘Ashura.
4. The fourth thing innovated in the faith was to make special Du’a for the greatness of the day and to ask for Barakat from Allah. Again, the followers of the Ahlul Bayt have been taught to make Du’a and the Ziyarat in which we recall the grief of the family and to ask Allah for benefits – but not of the material, worldly type.
In a long tradition from Imam al-Ridha he has cleared this lie (that the day of ‘Ashura is a day of celebration) and has said (at the end of the hadith), “...the person who takes the day of ‘Ashura as a happy one will be raised up on the Day of Judgement with Yazid and ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad and ‘Umar Ibn Sa’d in the lowest regions of the Hell Fire.”