Why do Muslims fast on 9th and 10th Muharram – Fasting the day of Ashura

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Importance of Fasting 9th and 10th Muharram:

Fasting the day of Ashura or Fasting 9th and 10th Muharram has great value in Islam. We fast because it is the Sunnah of our Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him). He(PBUH) fasted due to the following:

  • When the Prophet Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him) emigrated to Madina he found the Jews fasting on the 10th of Muharram (the 1st month), who in were fasting because their Prophet Moses (AS) fasted in gratitude of Allah for saving him and his followers from the Pharaoh. There upon he started to fast as well and ordered the Muslims to fast too.
  • The next year, fasting was made mandatory by Allah in the month of Ramadan – the 9th month – thus the fast for 10th Muharram became non-obligatory yet remained important as the Prophet continued to keep fast on this day outside of Ramadan. He fasted on other days as well but this was one of the days when he recommended others fast too.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased  with him) said: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)  said, “The best time to fast after Ramadan is Allah’s month.

  • In the 10th year of his stay in Madina, the Prophet (SWT) said: “If I live, then IA next year I will  fast on both 9th and 10th Muharram as we should fast differently from  the Jews”

Hadith about Fasting 9th and 10th Muharram:

When the Prophet came to Medina, he found (the Jews) fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ (i.e. 10th of Muharram). They used to say: “This is a great day on which Allah saved Moses and drowned the folk of Pharaoh. Moses observed the fast on this day, as a sign of gratitude to Allah.” The Prophet said, “I am closer to Moses than they.” So, he observed the fast (on that day) and ordered the Muslims to fast on it. ”  – Narrated by Ibn Abbas (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith – 4.609)

Ibn’Abbas (Allah be pleased with both of them) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) arrived in Medina and found the Jews observing fast on the day of  Ashura. The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) said to them: What is the (significance) of this day that you observe fast on it? They said: It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Moses and his people, and drowned the Pharaoh and his people, So we observe fast out of gratitude . Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: We have more right, and we have a closer connection with Moses than you have; so Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) observed fast (on the day of  Ashura), and gave orders that it should be observed.

Fasting the day of Ashura
Ashura ka Roza

Abu Haraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is Allah’s month. al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.

Abu Hurairah reported: “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 of Ramadan?’ He said, ‘The month of Allah that you call Muharram’.” (Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud)

Imam At-Tirmidhi  reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) used to  say: We should fast on two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram to distinguish ourselves from the Jewish community. (At-Tirmidhi, Hadith  686)

Abu Qatada al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) was asked about fasting on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram), whereupon be said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year.

Conclusion:

So it is clear now the importance of fasting 9th and 10th Muharram. It is also call Ashura fasting and fasting the day of ashura.

References: Sahih Muslim, The Book of Fasting (Kitab Al-Sawm) , Quora.com

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