What is the Day of Ashura?
It is the tenth day of the month of Muharram of every year, the occasion of fasting, thanks to Allah Almighty for saving Moses, peace be upon him, and his people from Pharaoh on the tenth day of Muharram.
It is desirable to fast, following the example of the Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him.
This day the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the Companions fasted it, and Moses, peace be upon him, fasted it before that. This day is of great merit. On this day, Allah Almighty saved (Prophet) Musa and drowned the people of Firaun (the Pharoah), and so Prophet Moses fasted on this day to give thanks to Allah.
We are encouraged to increase our good deeds like giving more to charity, reciting the Holy Quran. In the month of Muharram, there is also a fast, prescribed by the Prophet (PBUH).
– This is from the grace of Allah Almighty upon us that He granted us by fasting one day the expiation for the sins of a whole year of great bounty. So, we should hasten to seize this grace and start our new year with obedience and competition for good deeds.
It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope, will expiate for the sins of the previous year.” Sunan Ibn Majah
-The most excellent fast after Ramadan is in Allah’s month al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.
Levels of fasting on the Day of Ashura:
–Fasting the Day before Ashura and the Day of Ashura and the Day after Ashura.
It is a perfect level for fasting Ashura.
– Fasting the Day of Ashura and also a day before it.
It is a mustahabb to fast a day before it or a day after it in order to disagree with the Jews. It is desirable to fast the ninth of Muharram for those who fasted the tenth:
Ibn ‘Abbas reported that when the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) fasted on the day of ‘Ashura and commanded that it should be observed as a fast, they (his Companions) said to him:
Messenger of Allah (PBUH), is a day which the Jews and Christians hold in high esteem. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: When the next year comes, Allah willing, we would observe fast on the 9th But the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) died before the advent of the next year. Sahih Muslim.
-Fasting the Day of Ashura only.
Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said: Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’ is expiation for one year, and it is not makrooh to single out this day for fasting. Al-Fataawa al-Kubra.
In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, it says: There is nothing wrong with fasting ‘Ashura’, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’.
The Standing Committee was asked this question and replied as follows:
It is permissible to fast the day of ‘Ashura’ on its own, but it is better to fast the day before it or the day after it. This is the Sunnah that is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as he said, “If I am still alive next year, I will certainly fast the ninth.” Narrated by Muslim.
We ask Allah Almighty to follow the sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) in all deeds. You must therefore follow sunnah. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty, is an innovation, and every innovation is an error.