Fasting & Ramadan

`Ashura 10th day of Muharram

This Saturday (10/24) will insha’Allah mark the 10th day of Muharram, the day of `Ashura. The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said about `Ashura:

صيام يوم عاشوراء، إني أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله

“For fasting the day of `Ashura I hope Allah will expiate [sins] thereby for the year that came before it.” (Muslim)

The reason for fasting `Ashura is because this was the day that Allah saved Musa (`alayhi assalam) and the children of Israel from Pharoah, and the Jews at the time of the Prophet ﷺ would fast this day for this reason too (Bukhari).

Ibn `Abbas also quoted the Prophet ﷺ as saying, “If I live next year, I shall also fast on the 9th day,” (Musnad Ahmad). This is in order to distinguish the Muslim practices from the Jewish ones (Tirmidhi). An-Nawawi also mentioned that one of the reasons for fasting the 9th day is as a precaution because of the possibility of error when sighting the new moon. However, it is still permissible to only fast on the 10th day.

It should not be forced on one to fast it, because the Prophet ﷺ said: “Concerning the day of `Ashura, it is not obligatory upon you to fast on it as I do. Whoever wishes may fast and whoever does not wish to is not obliged to do so,” (Bukhari and Muslim). Although who of us doesn’t want all their minor sins expiated?

Please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters all over the world. May Allah accept the fasts and du`a’ of all those who choose to fast. Ameen.

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    • Salaam alaikm

      I just came across this fatwa by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradhawi which may be on some assistance inshAllah:

      Basically he says that the hadith about expiating sins did not specify minor or all sins, but he says scholars were of the opinion that it refers to minor sins only because of another hadith of the Prophet (pbuh):

      “الصلوات الخمس، والجمعة إلى الجمعة ورمضان إلى رمضان، مكفرات ما بينهن إذا اجتنبت الكبائر”
      “The five [daily] prayers, Friday to Friday, and Ramadan to Ramadan make atonement for what has happened since the previous one if major sins have been avoided.” (Saheeh Muslim)

      For if these great acts described require us to avoid the kaba’ir for our sins to be expiated, then it would seem that it applies to Ashura as well.

  • I’ve been reading that fasting the 9th and the 10th of Muharram is what the Prophet (saw) intended to do… but have also read / been told that we can fast either the 9th and 10th or the 10th and 11th (simply fast two days to distinguish ourselves from the Jewish tradition) … is one pair of days better than the other?

  • Is this the only significance of Ashura according to Imam Suhaib Webb and the authors on this site? I find it rather odd that there’s no mention of Karbala or Husain, considering it was also an event the Prophet (pbuh) warned about during his lifetime, according to so many of the Sahih books. I’m from a Sunni family, and I grew up aware of the Muslim significance of Ashura. I think it’s kind of a shame that modern-day scholars have chosen to abandon an event the Prophet himself spoke so seriously about. But, I’m happy to hear back from the authors of this post as to why that editorial decision was made.

  • Kamila, the article is clearly for the purpose of informing and reminding the populus of the significance of fasting and the associated merits. I wasn’t aware that the advent of Karbalaa was one of these reasons?

    • Hi HA,

      Thank you for your response.

      There’s no need to be aware of anything; Karbala does not have to do with fasting on Ashura, and I wasn’t saying that. The post is just titled, “Ashura,” not “fasting on Ashura” so I think I have fair reason to wonder why the battle of Karbala/Husain’s death wasn’t also mentioned considering it falls on Ashura and the purpose of the post is to educate readers on Ashura’s significance.

      I was just trying to understand the approach/perspective of the authors. Perhaps they don’t agree that the event on Ashura related to the Prophet’s grandson is significant to inform and remind the populus of. It’s their prerogative. It’s my first time reading this site, so I would just like to know their ideology a bit… and I’m still hoping someone responds.

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