Allah Hu Akbar الله أكبر
Fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’
‘Aashooraa’ is the 10th day of Muharram (the first month of the Islamic calendar). There is a great reward in fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. There are many Hadeeths that mention its great virtues. It is highly recommended to fast on this day, although it is not obligatory.
When the Prophet came to Madeenah, he found t...hat the Jews of Madeenah observing fasting on this day. The Prophet asked them the reason for their fast. They replied: “This is a blessed day. On this day, Allaah saved Moosa (Moses ) and the Children of Israel from their enemy and so Prophet Moosa fasted on this day.” The Prophet said: “I am worthier of Moosa than you are.” He fasted on that day and commanded the Muslims to fast on that day. [Al-Bukhaari]
Mu‘aawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyaan reported that he heard the Messenger of Allaah saying:“Concerning the day of ‘Aashooraa’, it is not obligatory upon you to fast on it as I do. Whoever wishes may fast and whoever does not wish, is not obliged to do so.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Fasting the 10th day of Muharram is of great merits. The Prophet said: “Fasting the day of ‘Aashooraa’ (is of great merits), I hope that Allaah will accept it as an expiation for the previous year.” [Muslim]
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “I never saw Allaah’s Messenger so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Aashooraa’ and this month, meaning Ramadhaan.”[Al-Bukhaari]
Abu Hurayrah reported: “I asked the Prophet : ‘Which prayer is the best after the obligatory prayers?’ He said: ‘Prayer during the middle of the night.’ I asked: ‘Which fast is the best after the fast of Ramadhaan?’ He said: ‘The month of Allaah that you call Muharram.’” [Muslim, Ahmad and Abu Daawood]
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ was obligatory in the beginning. In the second year of Hijrah (624 CE) when Allaah’s Command came that Muslims should fast the whole month of Ramadhaan, the Prophet sent someone to announce to people that fasting of ‘Aashooraa’ had become voluntary.
The Messenger of Allaah used to fast on this day with his people in Makkah before the fasting on the month of Ramadhaan was prescribed. When he migrated to Al-Madeenah, he found the Jews fasting on this day. He continued fasting on this day and ordered the Muslims to fast too until it became voluntary.
In another report, it is mentioned that Jews of Al-Madeenah used to hold feast on this day. The Prophet told his Companions to fast instead. [Al-Bukhaari]
‘Aa’ishah stated: “The tribe of Quraysh used to fast on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ in the days before Islam, as did the Prophet . When he came to Madeenah, he still fasted on it and ordered the people to do likewise. Then, when fasting during the month of Ramadhaan became obligatory, he.. said: ‘Whoever wishes may fast [‘Aashooraa’] and whoever wishes may leave it.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]