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An Email on Ashura – A Nice Refresher

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number10.jpgAn Email was sent out to a Muslim who recently accepted Islam explaining Ashura. It wasn’t as exhaustive as the article up on IslamQA, but reading over it gave me a nice refresh-reminder on why and how we fast on Ashura. See if the email helps you in any way for this year or years to come.

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Jan 17, 2008 12:37 PM
Subject: Fasting for Ashura

Assalaamu alaykum,

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Intro

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) lived in Medinah, he found the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashura. He asked them, “What is this fast?”

They replied, “A great day. God saved Moses and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore, Moses fasted on this day.”

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “We have more of a right to Moses than you,” so he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day.” He also said, “If I live next year, I shall also fast on the 9th day.”

Fasting on Ashura

As you know, there are obligatory acts that every Muslim has to do, like fasting the entire month of Ramadan. There are also some voluntary acts that the Prophet (pbuh) used to perform, and Muslims have been doing so since then in order to get more reward.

One of these voluntary acts is fasting on Ashura (pronounced ‘aah-SHUU-rah), which is the 10th of Muharram, the first month in the lunar calendar.

Why fast?

Firstly it’s to emulate the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), the best of mankind. This is what every Muslim should aim to do in life.

Secondly, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was very keen to fast this day because it had a lot of virtue to it and by fasting on it, it will wipe away all the minor sins we’ve committed in the past year. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “I hope from Allah that observing the fast of `Âshûrâ will expiate for the sins of the past year.”

We all commit sins, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. For those small sins that we’ve committed throughout the past year, fasting on Ashura can help to wipe them away, granted that Allah accepts the fast from us and we do it just to please Him and not anyone else.

Also one of the close companions of the Prophet, Ibn Abbas, said: “I never saw Allah’s Messenger show greater concern for a day of fasting, seeking its virtue over other days, than he did for the Day of `Âshûrâ’ and the month (of Ramadan).”

How to fast

Just like any other day of fasting in Ramadan, refraining from eating from before sunrise, (before the time for the Fajr prayer starts) until sunset (after the Maghrib prayer begins). If you want timings for prayer, check IslamicFinder.

We fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. Fasting on the 10th and 11th is also acceptable, and the minimum to fulfill this Prophetic tradition is fasting just on the 10th.

Inability to fast

If a person can’t fast due to sickness or menstruation, then they miss the ability to fast for this special occasion. For more on this, click here for an article from IslamToday. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said whoever intends to do something good but doesn’t do it, they are still rewarded.

If you’ve got any questions, let me know inshaAllah.

Enjoy your fasts :)
Your brother in Islam

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

SaqibSaab is an average Desi Muslim guy living in Chicago. He enjoys videography and design as side hobbies, and helps out with AlMaghrib Institute in Chicago, Wasat Studios, and other projects here and there. His go-around vehicle is a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta 5-speed Wolfburg Edition. Originally born in Michigan, he and his wife reside in Chicagoland with his parents who come from Bangalore, India. He blogs personally at SaqibSaab.com.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Sadiq Alam

    January 17, 2008 at 10:22 PM

    saalam.

    thanks for the info on ashura.

    peace!

  2. hijabhaven

    January 18, 2008 at 2:42 AM

    Assalamu’alaykum,
    Salaam Ashura! May those who have fasted have their sins forgiven.

  3. Riaz noor mahomed

    December 11, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    As salaam wa alikum. The information was really of great help. Thanx once again.

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