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September 21, 2018

DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on this Friday. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Yesterday was the day of Ashura, about which the messenger (saw) said:

Indeed the day of Ashura is from the days of Allah. “ [ Bukhari].

The are many spiritual connections to the day of Ashura, of them is that it was the day that Allah (swt) saved the prophet Musa and his followers from Bani Israel, from the oppression of Firaun [ The pharaoh ], and drowned him and his army after they had been shown a miracle of Allah. This event is mentioned in Surah Ash-Shu’araa:

When the two groups came face to face, the companions of Moses cried out, “We are overtaken for sure.” [Moses] said, "No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me." Then We inspired to Moses, "Strike with your staff the sea," and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. We drew the pursuers to that place, And We saved Moses and those with him, all together. Then We drowned the others. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And your Lord is certainly the Almighty, Most Merciful. [ Ash-Shu’araa, [26 : 61-68 ]

 And in Surah Taha ;

And We had inspired to Moses, "Travel by night with My servants and strike for them a dry path through the sea; you will not fear being overtaken [by Pharaoh] nor be afraid [of drowning]." Then Pharaoh pursued them with his soldiers—but how overwhelming were the waters that submerged them! And ˹so˺ Pharaoh led his people astray, and did not guide ˹them rightly˺. O Children of Israel! We saved you from your enemy, and made an appointment with you1 on the right side of Mount Ṭûr, and sent down to you manna and quails. ˹saying,˺ “Eat from the good things We have provided for you, but do not transgress in them, or My wrath will befall you. And whoever My wrath befalls is certainly doomed. But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance. [ 20: 77-82]

These days of Allah have lessons for us and reminders.  Allah (swt) commanded Musa (as) to remind his people about this great incident and great blessing that Allah (swt) had given them. Allah (swt) says in Surah Ibrahim:

 And remind them of the days of Allah. Indeed in that are signs for every constantly patient and grateful person. “ [14 : 5]

And for this reason Musa (as) made this day of Ashura a day of showing thanks to Allah for this blessing, and he fasted on that day and Bani Israel fasted with him out of thanks to Allah.

Our messenger (saw) connected us to this event when he entered Medinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura, as asked them why they were fasting they replied:

This is the day that Allah gave victory to Musa and Bani Isreal over Firaun, and we fast on this day to show its greatness. ‘ to this the messenger (saw) responded, “ We have more right to Musa than you. “ [ Bukhari].

So he (saw) commanded us to fast on the day of Ashura and made it from his Sunnah , and he said (saw) , “ Fasting on the day of Ashura is an expiation for the sins of the previous year.” [ Muslim ]

So there remains benefit and lessons in reminding one another about the days of Allah, like the day of Ashura, and the battle of Badr, and the conquest of Makkah and so on. There remain lessons for all believers in all times and all places in these events, how Allah (swt) helped the believers against the oppressors and wrongdoers. Allah (swt) said in Surah Ghafir:

“ Indeed, We will support Our messengers and those who believe during the life of this world and on the Day when the witnesses will stand - The Day their excuse will not benefit the wrongdoers, and they will have the curse, and they will have the worst home.” [ 40: 51-52 ]

Allah (swt) will give his support to his slaves, his close friends, his messengers and the believers against all oppressors. And how he deals with his enemies and the arrogant people on the earth is on display in these incidents. They have no power or might against him (swt).

Dear Brothers and Sisters

From the day of Ashura we learn lessons about having hope and positivity, and trusting in Allah. And to not lose hope against an oppressor. This event took place during a time when Musa was in the scariest and most powerless situation, and Firaun was in his most powerful position. And it only took a few moments for the whole situation to change, and for the oppressor to be destroyed and victory to come from Allah.

Allah (swt) provides victory to the oppressed, even if it after some time, and this is the way of Allah in his creation and will remain so until the day of judgement. So beware of oppressing or wronging anyone, even if it is a non Muslim. The messenger (saw) warned us:

 Beware of the prayer of the oppressed person – even it if is a disbeliever- as there is no barrier between it and Allah”. [ Hadith Hasan, Silsilah Sahihah]

If you find yourself in a powerful position and tempted to oppress or wrong someone then remember the power of Allah over you. And anyone who oppressed a slave of Allah should wait to see how Allah will deal with them. They should be prepared for the wrath and anger and punishment of Allah.

We ask Allah (swt) to protect us from him. And to teach us to lesson from his days and make us from his patient and grateful slaves. Ameen.