UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance

Archive for December 17, 2010

Ashoura, Yom Kippur, and Day of Atonement

Jews, Muslims, and some Christians celebrate the same religious holiday.

‘According to Sunni tradition, Prophet Mohammad observed the Ashura fast in Mecca, as did the local population where it was a common practice from pre-Islamic times. When Prophet Muhammad led his followers to Medina, he found the Jews of that area fasting on the Day of Ashura, or Yom Kippur. At this juncture, the fast of that day became mandatory for the Muslims. However, numerous Sunni traditions in Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari confirm that fasting on Ashura was abandoned by Prophet Muhammad when the fasting of Ramadan was mandated. Ibn Hajar al-asqalani, in his commentary on Bukhari’s collection, says that the obligatoriness of the fast was superseded by fasting in Ramadan, a year after his migration to Medina. Today, Sunnis regard fasting on the 10th of Muharram as recommended, though not obligatory. Conversely, Shias regard fasting on that day as undesirable though not strictly forbidden.

The Ashura is commemorated for the following occasions which Muslims believe happened on the 10th Day of the Muharram:

  • The deliverance of Noah from the flood
  • Abraham was saved from Nimrod’s fire
  • Jacob’s blindness was healed and he was brought to Joseph on this day
  • Job was healed from his illness
  • Moses was saved from the impeding Pharaoh’s army
  • Jesus was brought up to heaven after attempts by the Romans to capture and crucify him failed.’


‘Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר or יום הכיפורים‎, IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpur]), also known as the Day of Atonement, is one of the holiest days of the year for the Jewish people. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days (or sometimes “the Days of Awe”). Boys under the age of 13, and girls under 12, are not required to fast from sundown to sun-up.

Yom Kippur is the tenth day of the month of Tishrei. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of Yom Kippur, one considers oneself absolved by God.’ (

‘The Christian Day of Atonement is based on the English translation of the Jewish Holy day Yom Kippur. In the original Hebrew, the Bible calls the day Yom Hakippurim (Hebrew for “Day of the Atonements”). The day is commemorated with a 25-hour fast by Jews, but normally a 24 hour fast by Christians who observe it. While not observed by the mainstream of professing Christianity, the Christian groups (mostly those with origins in the old Worldwide Church of God) that do observe it usually refer to it as the Day of Atonement’…[8]  (

Flagellation is allowed in Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam.

UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance