Salat for the Day of Ashura

The importance and special qualities of the Day of Ashura are well-established. What is less known (or forgotten) are prayers associated with the day.

To revive the practice of performing additional prayers during the nights and days of special occasions, we quote the following 3 prayers from Sayyiduna al-Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani’s  al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq.

If one is able to and possesses high spiritual resolve [himma], one may perform all 3 prayers at various times of the night and day of Ashura. Success is from Allah and He is the Guide!

Prayer 1

Transmitted on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be well pleased with him and his father), Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

If someone performs four cycles of ritual prayer [sallâ arba’a raka’ât] on the day of Ashura—reciting in each cycle the Opening Sura of the Book [fâtihat al-kitâb], one time, and the Sura that begins with “Qul Huwa Llâhu Ahad” [surat al-ikhlâs], fifty times—Allah (Exalted is He) will forgive him the sins of fifty bygone years, and of fifty years that are still in the future. Allah (Exalted is He) will also build for him, in the midst of the Heavenly Host [al-mala’ al-a’lâ], a thousand palaces of light.

Prayer 2

According to another traditional report [hadith] reported by Abu Huraira (may Allah be well pleased with him), the prayer [salât] prescription is as follows:

[The worshipper should perform] four cycles of ritual prayer [arba’a raka’ât], with two salutation [taslimatain], reciting in each cycle:

  • the Opening Sura of the Book [fâtihat al-kitâb], one time.
  • the Sura that begins with “Idhâ zulzilati l-ardu zilzâla-hâ” [surat al-zilzâl], one time.
  • the Sura that begins with “Qul yâ ayyuha l-kâfirun” [surat al-kâfirun], one time.
  • the Sura that begins with “Qul Huwa Llâhu Ahad” [surat al-ikhlâs], one time.

Then, when he has concluded his performance of the ritual prayer, he should invoke blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), seventy times.

Prayer 3 – salât al-khusamâ

The ritual prayer for one’s adversaries in litigation [salât al-khusamâ’] consists of four cycles [arba’a raka’ât], with only one salutation [taslima]. It is performed as follows:

  • In the first cycle, the worshipper must recite the Opening Sura of the Book [fâtihat al-kitâb] (one time) and “Qul Huwa Llâhu Ahad” [surat al-ikhlâs], eleven times.
  • In the second cycle, he must recite the Opening Sura of the Book [fâtihat al-kitâb] (one time), “Qul Huwa Llâhu Ahad” [surat al-ikhlâs], ten times, and “Qul yâ ayyuha l-kâfirun” [surat al-kâfirun], three times.
  • In the third cycle, he must recite the Opening Sura of the Book [fâtihat al-kitâb] (one time), “Qul Huwa Llâhu Ahad” [surat al-ikhlâs], ten times, and “Alhâ-kumu t-takâthuru” [surat at-takâthur], one time.
  • In the fourth cycle, he must recite the Opening Sura of the Book [fâtihat al-kitâb] (one time), “Qul Huwa Llâhu Ahad” [surat al-ikhlâs], fifteen times, and the Verse of the Throne [âyat al-kursi], one time.

Then he must donate the spiritual reward [earned by his performance of this prayer] to his adversaries in litigation [khusamâ], so that Allah may satisfy their claim on the Day of Resurrection [yawm al-qiyamâ], if Allah (Exalted is He) so wills.

He must perform this ritual prayer on seven specific occasions, namely:

  1. on the first night of [the month of] Rajab;
  2. on the night of the middle of [the month of] Sha’ban;
  3. on the last Friday of [the month of] Ramadan;
  4. on the Festival of Fast-break [Eid al-Fitr];
  5. on the Festival of Sacrifice [Eid al-Adha];
  6. on the Day of Arafa;
  7. on the Day of Ashura.

Regarding Virtuous Deeds

Imam al-Nawawi states in his al-Adhkar:

And he whom anything from the virtues of deeds reaches him should perform them, even though only once (in his lifetime) and even if the narration is weak.

In a narration recorded by Al-Hafiz Abu Musa Muhammad b. Bakr b. ‘Isa al-Madani in his book al-Waza’if, on the authority of Jabir b. Abdullah:

Whoever, a deed of virtue reaches him from Allah and he acts upon it out of faith and hope in reward, Allah will bestow that upon him, even though it was not like what he thought!

And Allah and His Messenger know best!

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