The problem with your list of evidence against the fasting on Ashura is that you're only using Shia sources and you're using the opinions of your Imams, who have a vested interested in not fasting during Ashura, since of course you should be mourning instead. We can't take the word of an Imam over the word of the Prophet (PBUH), who has said: "Whoever wishes may fast on the day of 'Ashura'." Thus, it became optional, but a fast was allowed nonetheless.
Well, no. You are referring to the hadith in which the Prophet (saw) narrates that ‘’Whoever wishes may fast on the day of Ashura.’’ There are a few things that can be seen sceptical in this hadith.
First of all: It’s quite ironic that the Jews of Medina were following the Arabic calendar that time, whereas they had their own calendar. So there is no logic in saying that they fasted on the 10th of Muharram - unless it could be proved that this date always coincided with a Jewish day of fast. Also the idea that the Prophet (saw) may have fasted on Ashura because he saw the Jews fasting on that day is ridiculous. From that perspective, the Prophet (saw) copied the Jews for a practice and he was the one who invented it (not Allah), whereas belief in the Prophet (saw) behaving in such a manner is impossible. Think like this: The Prophet (saw) was sent with a religion to abrogate all previous religions and Shari'ah. How was it that he deigned to imitate the custom of the Jews?
Now let us look closely at these fabricated traditions:
Sahih Bukhari, Book 60, Volume 6, Hadith 202:
Narrated Ibn Abbas: ‘’When the Prophet arrived at Medina, the Jews were observing the fast on ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) and they said: This is the day when Moses became victorious over Pharaoh, On that, the Prophet said to his companion: You (Muslims) have more right to celebrate Moses’ victory than they have, so observe the fast on this day.’’
Note: The Prophet (saw) came to Medina in the first year of the Hijra (622 AD). As for Ibn Abbas, he was born three years before Hijra (619 AD), which makes him four years old when the Prophet (saw) ‘supposedly’ said this hadith. It’s quite ironic that a child of such age experienced the event of Jewish fasting and can explain the whole event such accurately later on. In the Science of Hadith, the narration of a four-year-old boy is generally not accepted.
Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 58, Hadith 278:
Narrated Abu Musa: When the Prophet (saw) arrived at Medina, he noticed that some people among the Jews used to respect Ashura’ (i.e. 10th of Muharram) and fast on it. The Prophet (saw) then said: “We have more right to observe fast on this day”, and ordered that fasting should be observed on it.
Note: This man was not even present at the time when this so-called hadith was narrated. He was sent to Yemen by the Prophet (saw) to spread Islam. It is stated that there was no news of Abu Musa for more than a decade until following the conquest of Khaybar in the year of 628 (the seventh year after Hijra) when he came to Prophet Muhammad (saw) in Medina with more than fifty converts from Yemen including his two brothers Abu Ruhm and Abu Burdah. This was because the Prophet (saw) had sent him to Yemen to preach to his tribe. Hence, Abu Musa was not in Medina in the first year of Hijra, so how could he possibly narrate this hadith?
Sahih Muslim, Book 6, Hadith 2611:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: I heard the Prophet saying (saw) that ‘’The most excellent fast after Ramadan is God’s month, al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.’’
Note: Abu Hurairah also embraced Islam only some days before Khaybar and was not seen during that time. He and Abu Musa came back from Yemen and joined the Prophet (saw) at Khaybar (which happened in the seventh year of Hijra), while the Prophet (saw) entered Medina in the first year of Hijra. How can you narrate a hadith when you yourself were not even there? Since Abu Hurairah and Abu Musa returned in Khaybar on 628 CE, it can be seen that they also weren’t present during the (Jewish) fasting issue.
Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 31, Hadith 221
‘’Abd al-Rahman reported that he heard Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufyan delivering a sermon in Medina, when he came there (for Hajj). He delivered a sermon on the day of Ashura and said: People of Medina, where are your scholars? I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say on this very day: It is the day of ‘Ashura. Allah has not made fasting on This day obligatory for you but I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it may not observe it.’’
Note: Muawiya and his father Abu Sufyan became Muslims at the conquest of Mecca in the year of 630. How could he narrate a hadith from the Prophet (saw) seven or eight years before he became Muslim?
So now we come to the issue of when the Prophet (saw) entered Medina. The Holy Prophet (saw) did not enter Medina in Muharram. The Prophet (saw) entered Medina in Rabi al-Awwal. So if there was a fast that is supposed to be recommended, it shouldn’t be in Muharram, instead it should be in Rabi al-Awwal. It’s quite apparent that the narrators of the hadith in question confused the mathematics of the Calendar, which is why the fast (if it even exists), should be in the month of Rabi al-Awwal.
Despite all this, we see many people coming forward saying things like ‘’this is such an important Sunnah, we should follow this’’. You know what the irony of this is? No other Sunnah in the world has it being backed up with as much money as that which backs and encourages a fast on Ashura. See how many lectures, leaflets, articles etc. are produced annually on this matter, and how much money is made off of them. Have any of us ever seen leaflets or lectures as such about fasting in the month of Rajab? I certainly haven’t. But the tenth of Muharram, the printing press and photocopy machines all work at optimum efficiency. It’s ironic and sad at the same time. This shows that this is a political thing, originally designed to focus the attention away from the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as), and to consider it a blessed day. How can anyone stand on the Day of Judgment before the Prophet (saw) and consider the very day his Grandson was slaughtered, a blessed day?
- The Bani Umayyah were successful in bringing fabricated
traditions in Sunni hadith books, even their most ‘Sahih’ books like Bukhari
- In name of these Umayyad’s fabricated traditions, they started
denying/neglecting the Sunnah of Prophet (saw) i.e. his sorrow and his mourning
the calamities of Imam Hussain (as).
- In name of these Umayyad’s fabricated traditions, they deny the sorrow of Ashura and want to replace it with joy and happiness and declare it Eid.
The entire Muslim community has one choice:
- Either celebrate Ashura by fasting and
celebrating in allegiance to the Jews of Medina or
- Observe the calamity that befell the Pure Progeny of the Prophet (saw)
in a solemn and somber manner.
I rest my case.