One of the four sacred months in Islam is Muharram, on this month we should try our best to do only good deeds. Any good deed we do gives us double the reward we get on any other month, this includes prayer, fasting, charity, reciting the Quran, and all kind of worshiping Allah.
“The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram.'” (Muslim) The Prophet (saw) encourages us to take up a fast during Muharram, on the 9th and 10th (or 10th and 11th) days of the month.
Why do we fast on 9th and 10th Muharram?
When the prophet migrated to Madinah, he noticed that the Jewish who are living there fast on the 10th of Muharram. Therefore, he asked them why they fast on that day and their answer was to celebrate the day that Allah saved the prophet Moses and his followers from the phorone. From that day the prophet decided to fast on the tenth of Muharram. The prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said: “If I live till next year, I will fast on the 9th of Muharram”
In order to follow the instruction of the prophet, we should fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. And if you couldn’t fast on the 9th of Muharram then fast on the 11th of Muharram.
How many days do you fast for Ashura?
It is a sunnah to fast on the 9th and 10th days of Muharram. The prophet used to fast on the Day of Ashura, but one day he said: “If I live till next year, I will fast on the 9th of Muharram.”
Therefore we should fast on the 9th and 10th days of Muharram.
Fasting on Ashura hadith
The prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) instructed us to fast on the Day of Ashura. The Prophet said, “Fasting the Day of Ashura (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year.” (Muslim)
We should fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram as the prophet instructed us to do. Ibn Abbas used to say: “We should fast on two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram to distinguish ourselves from the Jewish community.”
Abu Hurairah narrated: “I asked the Prophet: ‘Which Prayer is the best after the obligatory Prayers?’ He said: ‘Prayer during the mid of the night.’ I asked: ‘Which fasting is the best after that Ramadan?’ He said, ‘The month of Allah that you call Muharram’.”
Imam Muslim narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) asked Allah to forgive the previous ear sins of anyone who fast on the day of Ashura. “Fasting on the Day of Ashura, I hope will expiate the sins of the previous year.”
Benefits of fasting on Ashura.
The prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) mentioned the virtues of fasting on the Day of Ashura in many hadiths.
When someone asked the prophet about the benefits of fasting on the Day of Ashura, his answer was: “It atones for the sins of the preceding year.”
Muslim reported that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said: “Fasting the Day of Ashura (is of great merits). I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year.”
Ibn Abbas narrated: “When the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) observed the fast of the Day of Ashura and ordered (the Sahabah) to fast, they said: “O Messenger of Allah! It is a day revered by Jews and Christians.” Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) said: “The coming year if Allah wills, we will fast on the ninth (also). But the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) died before the advent of the next year.”
Ibn Abbaas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa fasted on this day.” He said, “We are closer to Moosa than you.” So he fasted on this day and told the people to fast.
Ibn Abbas also narrated: “I never saw the Prophet keener to fast on any day other than the day of Ashura and any month than the month of Ramadan.”
Therefore, we should fast n the Day of Ashura to atone for our previous year’s sins and mistakes, and we should also fast on the 9th day of Muharram as the prophet instructed us to do.
The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, “Fasting the Day of Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed to) the previous year.”
During this day we should ask Allah for his forgiveness and mercy, try our best to worship Allah, read Quran, and do all kinds of good deeds.
Not just on the Day of Ashura, but during the month of Muharram, as it is one of the sacred months where every good deed we do is multiplied. Also stay away from committing any sins, and always ask Allah for his forgiveness.
Is fasting on Ashura haram?
No, fasting Ashura is not haram, rather it is a sunnah, the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used to fast the Day of Ashura and instructed all the Muslims to do the same. And it’s not compulsory to fast on Ashura, it is a Sunnah.
Dua for fasting on Ashura
There is no specific Dua to say on the day of Ashura, but here is a Dua you should say at the end of the Fast:
اللَّهُمَّ اِنِّى لَكَ صُمْتُ وَبِكَ امنْتُ وَعَليْكَ تَوَكّلتُ وَ عَلى رِزْقِكَ اَفْطَرْتُ
Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa alayka tawakkaltu wa ala rizq-ika-aftartu
O, Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You and I put my trust in You and I break my fast with Your sustenance