Muharram and Fasting the Day of Ashura

 

Muharram and Fasting the Day of Ashura

It is Sunnah to fast the 9th and 10th of Muharram (corresponding to Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd October 2014).

Muharram is a one of the four sacred months mentioned by the Prophet ?.

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Abu Bakra reported that the Prophet ?said: Time has turned back to how it was when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year has 12 months, four of which are sacred; three consecutive ones: Dhul Qa`dah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram and Rajab the one which comes between Jumaada and Sha`ban.[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet ?said: The most virtuous fast after the fasting of Ramadan is the fast of Allahs month Al-Muharram and the most virtuous prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer. [Muslim]

Before the advent of Islam the Quraish used to fast the tenth of Muharram which is known as Ashura. The Prophet ?used to fast it also along with the Muslims until the obligation of fasting Ramadan was revealedand they left it.Some continued to fast it and others did not due to Muharram being a sacred month. It was after the Prophet ?went to Medinah that the virtue of fasting Ashura was made known to him.

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Ibn Abbaas reported that when the Prophet ?came to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting Ashura so he asked them, What is this day you are fasting? They said: This is a great day; it is the day on which Allah saved Musa and his people and drowned Fir`awn and his people, so Musa fasted in gratitude to Allah and we fast it. The Prophet?said: We are closer to Musa than you are. So the Messenger ?fasted on that day and ordered that it be fasted. [Muslim]

From these hadiths we know that the Prophet ?encouraged the Muslims to fast the tenth day of Muharram. However we should differ from the Jews in our actions as they fasted this day too. This is done by fasting the 9thof al-Muharramtoo.

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When the Prophet ?fasted on Ashura, the Companions said: Indeed it is a day that the Jews and Christians venerate. The Prophet ?replied: In the coming year we will fast the ninth if Allah wills. The narrator said that the Prophet ?died before the next year. [Muslim and others]

As for the virtue of fasting Ashura, it is as the Prophet ?said:

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I ask Allah that it fasting the day of Arafah will expiate the sins of the year before it and the year after it and I ask Allah that the fasting of the day of Ashura will expiate the sins of the year before it. [Muslim]

Therefore, in summary; it is encouraged to fast in the month of Muharram, especially the tenth day know as Ashura. Anyone who intends to fast Ashura should fast the 9thof Muharram along with it, in order to differ from the Jews and Christians. Whoever fasts the day of Ashura, his sins from the previous year will be forgiven and he will be rewarded for following a Sunnah of the Prophet ?.

May Allah increase us all in good and righteous actions in this sacred month, may He accept our deeds from us and may He pardon us all for our shortcomings. Ameen

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