Posted by: alqamardesigns | January 7, 2008

The Day of Ashura

History of The Day of Ashura (The 10th of Muharram)

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) arrived in Madinah in 622 CE, he found that the Jews there fasted on the 10th of Muharram and asked them the reason for their fasting on this day.

They said: “This is a blessed day. On this day Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Prophet Musa [Moses] fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah.”

The Prophet (sa) said: “We are closer to Musa than you are.” He fasted on that day and commanded Muslims to fast on this day. (Al-Bukhari)

Fasting The Day of Ashura and The Day before it (These are voluntary fasts, they are not obligatory)

When the Messenger of Allah (sa) fasted on `Ashura’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well.

They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that the Jews and Christians honour.’

The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: ‘If I live to see the next year, insha’Allah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allah (sa) passed away before the next year came.” (Reported by Muslim, 1916).

Al-Shaafa’i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: It is mustahabb [recommended] to fast both the ninth and the tenth, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted the tenth and intended to fast the ninth.

The intention behind this (fasting on the 9th of Muharram), is to be different from the Jews who limit their fasting to the 10th day. This was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas.

If ‘Ashoora’ coincides with a Friday, he may fast, because his intention is to fast ‘Ashoora’ and not to fast on a Friday. And Allaah is the Source of strength. (This is the opinion of Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, some other Sheikhs have adviced that if ‘Ashoora’ falls on a Friday one should either fast the day before it or after it, in order of avoiding singling out the Friday, as the Prophet (s) instructed us not to single out Fridays for fasting…wAllahu ‘Alam)

NB: You should not observe voluntary fasts when you still owe one or more days from Ramadaan, rather you should start with the fasts that you owe from Ramadaan, and then observe voluntary fasts.

The Reward for Fasting The Day of Ashura

The Prophet (sa) said: “For fasting the day of ‘Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for (the sins committed in) the year that went before.” [Reported by Muslim, 1976]

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah expiates for all minor sins, in other words this brings forgiveness for all sins except for major sins. (As they need separate repentance)

The Prophet (sa) used to be very keen to make sure he fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora’ because of its great status. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I never saw the Prophet (sa) so keen to make sure he fasted any day and preferring it over another except this day, the day of ‘Ashoora’, and this month – meaning Ramadaan. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1867.)

Stick to the Sunnah – and avoid all Innovations (Bid’aa)

You may of heard of some customs associated with `Ashura’ such as: cooking and eating certain foods, making specific dhikr, du’a or to read certain surahs a certain number of times, or to make nafl salaah, etc

^ NB: Specifying specific ibadah (worship) on specific days must be backed up with Evidence from one of two sources: The Book Of Allah (The Qur’aan) or the Hadiths (Sunnah of Our Prophet Muhammad – sa); otherwise this action becomes a Bid’aa and its reward becomes fruitless. If one simply wants to make dhikr or wants to read abit extra nafl salaats, there is nothing wrong with this, as this should be done all year round, but to specify it to this day – is innovation.

And you may of also heard of others who consider this day as a day of mourning, wailing, hitting themselves in honour of the Prophet Muhammads (sa) grandson Al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) who was killed.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Because of the killing of al-Husayn, the Shaytaan started to spread two kinds of bidah (innovation) amongst the people: the bidah of grieving and wailing on the Day of Aashooraa, striking the cheeks, screaming, weeping and reciting eulogies ; and the bidah of expressing happiness and joy. So some express grief and others express joy, so they started to like the idea of wearing kohl, taking a bath, spending on their families and preparing special kinds of food on the day of Aashooraa and every bidah is a going astray; none of the four imams of the Muslims or others approved of either of these things (either expressing grief or expressing joy)”

^ This is all Bid’aa, and we need to stay well away from it — and remember the deen of Islaam is complete and is in no need of any addition or alterations.

As Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta’alaa says: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maa’idah 5:3].

It is reported from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” [Agreed upon]

Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (sa) used to say in his Friday khutbahs: “The best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sa). The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation (bid’ah) is a going-astray.” [Reported Muslim]

NB: For any action to be accepted by Allah it must meet the following 2 conditions:

  1. Sincerity of Intentions – it must be done soley for the sake of Allah, and for no other reason
  2. The action must be done the way Allah legislated, and the way His Prophet Muhammad (sa) legislated (clear evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah)

Who would refuse to Enter Paradise?

Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be please with him) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except those that refuse.” Those who were with him (the Sahaabah/companions) said, “And who will refuse?” He (sa) said: “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys me will have refused.” (Sahih Al- Bukhari)

May Allah accept from us all; allow us to gain the rewards of the day of Ashura and may He (SWT) gather us all together with our Prophet Muhammad (s) in Jannah. Ameen


Source: Adapted from Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid


  1. Jazakallah – The site look great. May Allah reward you. ill take some good time reading some of the articles etc.


  2. Wa Iyyak, Thankyou Nim. May Allah accept from us and you

  3. […] Post Taken From: AlQamar~ […]

  4. Jazaka’Allahu kahir for your beautiful post ya ukhti

  5. Ameen, Jazak’Allahu khair my sister.

  6. Assalamu alaykum. Been on your site after a while and MASHALLAH brilliant. Well done girl.

  7. Wa’alaykum asalaam my sister Shazia, Thanks for your comment! see you soon inshAllah

  8. Regarding the fasting on Ashura: If I accept what you have said than god forbid I have to accept that Holy Prophet (s) used to follow the Jews customs & inculcated in Muslims. Was the Holy prophet (s) send for following of the myths of the Jahilya.

  9. Asalaamu’alaykum moralandethics,

    We fast Ashura because the Prophet (s) adviced us to do so, we are not fasting that day to imitate the Jews, because in Islam we are forbidden to imitate the Jews and the Christians,or any Kafir.

    We Muslims are distinct from all aspects,..“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Abu Dawud]

    If you read the section on “The History of Ashura”,you see we are fasting this day because when asked why the Jews were fasting, they said because Allah saved the Children of Israel from Pharo and Prophet Musa fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah, and here the Prophet (s) said “We are closer to Musa than you are and adviced the Muslims to fast and also stated that the following year he would fast the day before it”…in order to be different from the Jews.

    We shouldn’t ask too many questions, or try and use our logic when it comes to the deen, and especially not deny authenthic Hadith – this is from Shaytan. We accept whatever comes to us from the Quran and Sunnah, as Allah says “The believers are those who say, we hear and we obey” and “Say O Muhammad, if you truely love Allah, then follow me, Allah will then love you and forgive you of your sins”

  10. “..and here the Prophet (s) said “We are closer to Musa than you are and adviced the Muslims to fast and also stated that the following year he would fast the day before it”…in order to be different from the Jews.”

    So you mean to say that
    1. After informing by jews Holy Prophet (s.a.w) came to know about this facts ?

    2. Holy Prophet (s.a.w) used to make/change the laws according to himself whenever needed ??

    I agree on the point that we should not question once we have accepted the tradition as authentic.

    Form the above points which I asked do you think this tradition is authentic ?

  11. The Prophet (s) made it sunnah to fast the day of Ashura and the day before – how, when, where and why.. does not negate the fact that it is. The hadith for that is found in Muslim, all aHadith found in Bukhari and Muslim are 100% authentic.. no scholar of Islam would deny that. So the question is not “do I think it is authentic”, it is with no doubt authentic.

    Everything the Prophet (s) said and did in terms of religion, was from Allah, it was not from his own desires. “He (Muhammad) does not speak of his own desire, it is no less than a revelation sent down to him.” [53:3-4], so when he made or changed any laws in Islam, it was done through the permission of Allah.

    One who denies aspects of Islam, stated in Quran or Hadith are tredding on dangerous grounds.

    ‘The Messenger (s) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers…. and they say, “We hear and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”’ [2:285]

  12. Instead of giving reply why did you delted my commenst.

  13. Asalaamualaykum Morals,

    I deleted your comments, because they made no sence.

    “O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you believe in Allah and the Last Day; that is best and more suitable to the end.” [4:59]

  14. […] Taken From: AlQamar If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! This entry was posted in […]

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