Spending on one’s family on the day of ‘Ashura


What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding a person who increases his spending on his family on the Day of ‘Ashura? Some people have said that there is no basis for this, it is not a sunnah practice and all the ahadith narrated regarding this are not sahih.


All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

Firstly, let me commend you for this highly important question. Spending extra on one’s family on ‘Ashura, the 10th of Muharram, is an established sunnah of the blessed Prophet ﷺ. All the narrations that have been mentioned in this regard have been vigorously established by the great scholars of ahadith. All the Fuqaha of the Madhahib have also accepted it as a prophetic practice.

A group of the Sahaba have narrated this practice and classed it as a sunnah, including Jabir bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Masud, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Saeed al-Khudri and Abdullah bin Umar, May Allah ﷻ be pleased with them all.

From the many narrations on this subject, Jabir bin Abdullah’s narration is the most vigorously authenticated. Hafiz Abu Umar bin Abd al-Bar in his work ‘al-Isthidhkar’ has narrated this hadith from the isnad of Shu’ba from Abu Zubayr and then from Jabir bin Abdullah who narrated that from the Prophet ﷺ saying:

“Whoever increases his expenditure on his family on the day of ‘Ashura, Allah will increase his sustenance for the rest of that year.”

Jabir bin Abdullah, Abu Zubair and Shu’ba all said that by acting upon this hadith they found great blessings.

Hafiz Abu al-Hasan bin Qattan in ‘Fadha’il Arafa’ has said the chain of narration for this hadith is authentic. Imam Iraqi in ‘Juz al-Tuwasa’ has categorised the chain of this hadith to the standards of Imam Muslim. Sayyiduna Umar and Jabir bin Abdullah have narrated this sunnah and Muhammad bin al-Muntashar, who was mentioned as the amir of the people of Kufa by Ibn Uyayna, his son Ibrahim, Abu Zubayr, Shu’ba bin Hajjaj, Yahya bin Sa’id and Sufyan bin Uyayna have all narrated this hadith.

Imam Dar al-Qutni  in ‘al-Afrad’ and his son Abd al-Bar in ‘al-Isthidhkar’ have both narrated that Sayyiduna Umar bin al-Khatab said that: “Whoever increases his expenditure on his family on the day of ‘Ashura, Allah will increase his sustenance for the rest of that year.” Yahya bin Sa’id said we used to practice this, and we found it to be true.

Hafiz Iraqi and Hafiz Sakhawi in ‘al-Maqasid al-Hasana’ have said that the Isnad of this narration is strong.

Sufyan bin Uyanya said that we have been acting upon this hadith for fifty years and every year we find an increasement in our sustenance.

The ahadith relating to this practice have been ruled as strong, in their chain or by virtue of numerous weak narrations strengthening each other, by the great scholars of this ummah. This includes Imam Abd al-Malik bin Habib Maliki, Imam Bayhaqi, Imam Abu Musa Madini, Imam Abu al-Fadhl bin Nasir, Imam Iraqi, Imam ibn Hajar, Imam Sakhawi and Imam Suyuti. As mentioned previously, any ruling regarding the weakness of an individual chain has been superseded by the statement of strength due to the number of chains. For example, Imam Bayhaqi in ‘Shu’b al-Iman’ has said that although the chains narrated are weak, the narration becomes strengthened when all the chains are considered collectively. (Allah ﷻ Knows best).

Hafiz Abu Musa Madini has mentioned this hadith in ‘Fadhail al-Ayyam wa al-Shuhur’. He said that this hadith is Hasan. Similarly, Imam Hafiz ibn Mulaqqin has mentioned the same in ‘al-Tawdi li sarh al-Jami’ al-Sahih’. Imam Suyyuti has mentioned in ‘al-Durrar al-Muntathira fi al-Ahadith al-Mushtahira’ that this hadith is established and authentic.

The scholars have written many books in refuting those who reject this practice of the Prophet ﷺ. Such as Hafiz Abu al-Fadhl Iraqi in ‘al-Tawsi’at ala al-Iyal, Imam Suyyuti in ‘Fadhl al-Tawsi’at fi yawm Ashura’ and Hafiz Ahmad bin al-Sadiq al-Ghamari in ‘Hidaya al-Sughra, bi-tashih Hadith al-Tawsi’at ‘ala al-Iyal fi yawm ‘Ashura’.

According to all the four Madhahib, without any contention, increasing the money one spends in their family is mustahab. Imam Badr al-Din al-‘Ayni al-Hanafi mentions in his work ‘Nukhab al-Afkar’ that this is a momentous day, the Prophets considered this day as such (may peace be upon them all). Imam Sahib said spending on this day brings great returns in barakah. After this he mentioned the narration by Jabir bin Abdullah.

Allama Ibn Abidin al-Hanafi mentions in his invaluable compendium ‘Rad al-Mukhtar’: “Yes, the ‘hadith of increasing’ is a firmly established narration and vigorously authenticated, as Imam Suyyuti has mentioned in ‘al-Durr’.” Imam Ibn Arabi Maliki says in ‘al-Masalik fi sharh Muwatta Malik’: “Any money spent on this day especially for the sake of Allah ﷻ will bring an increased return. Spending one dirham will bring back ten.” Imam Sawi Maliki says in his ‘Hashiya ‘ala Sharh al-Saghir’: Increasing the amount one spends on their family on the Day of ‘Ashura is a mustahab action.

All of these statement by the great scholars of our tradition clearly show us that increasing the amount a person spends on their household on the Day of ‘Ashura is a firmly established sunnah of the blessed Messenger ﷺ. This practice has been narrated from the pious salaf and scholars from all four of the Madhahib.

And Allah ﷻ knows best

This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari

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