Fasting and Ashura

The tenth day of Muharram, a month in the Islamic calendar, is the Day of Ashura for Muslims. It is one of the days that is desirable to fast according to many scholars, and it has been mentioned the virtue of that day. in many sayings of the profit (hadith).

The reason for fasting Ashura

The main reason behind fasting this Day of Ashura was that Allah Almighty has rescued Moses (peace be upon him) and his people from the Pharaoh. Al-Bukhari and a Muslim narrated about Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased upon them, he said:

(the Prophet, peace be upon him, came to al Madinah and saw the Jews fast on the Day of Ashura, he said: What is this? They said: “This is a blessed day, it is the same day that God saved the children of Israel from their enemy, so Moses fastened that day. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “We have more claim over Moses than you.” So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day).

The rule of fasting Ashura

Many of the hadiths have discussed the rule of fasting in the Day of Ashura. The hadiths state that fastening this day is totally optional. This option was mentioned in the Hadiths in order to clarify that fastening this day is not an obligation.

In Musnad Ahmed, there is a saying of Prophet (PBUH):

“If I was alive the next year, I would fasten the 9th and the 10th day of Moharram (meaning Ashura), but in the next year, he couldn’t do it since he (PBUH) was already dead. So Muslims followed the order of the prophet and fastened the day of Ashura and either a day before or a day after it.

Some scholars have said that it is hatred to fasten Ashura alone, and some said that it is permissible, and the Sheikh of Islam has stated that:

It is not hatred to fasten Ashura alone, and no doubt that the one should fast a day before or a day after, and does not fasten this day alone, but if a person could not fasten except Ashura only so it will be no need to fasten a day before or after

The virtue of fasting Ashura

About Abu Qatada, reported about the Prophet – PBUH- said:

(fasting Ashura erases the sins of the last year, and fasting Arafa erases the sins of two years: the past year and the future one).

and as narrated by the son of Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said:

(I have not seen the Prophet – peace be upon him – seeks for fastening a day like this day (Ashura)

Fasting Day of Ashura for the Shia and the Sunnah

For the Shia

The opinion of the twelve Shia scholars, including Ali al-Sistani, is that its hatred to fast on the Day of Ashura. And it is enough not to drink water this day to copy and feel the suffering of al Hussein and his family had on that tragic day.

For the Sunnah

It is desirable to fasten this day. There are many opinions about fastening the Day of Ashura, some said that it was a fasting day at Quraysh before Jahiliya but after imposing fasting Ramadan it became optional. And some books declared that the Prophet Muhammad fasted this day when he learned that the Jews of al Madinah fastened it. But other scholars refused this opinion as the day of Ashura for Muslims is different from the Ashura of Jews.

Some rejected this novel because the Jewish Ashura differed from the Muslim Ashura

The events occurred on the tenth of Muharram

Some historians talk about many events that occurred in the tenth of Muharram, such as that the Kaaba was worn before Islam on the Day of Ashura. And then became worn on the day of the sacrifice. The day on which God repented against Adam. And it is the day on which God saved Noah and sent him off the ship. And in which God saved his prophet Abraham from Nimrud, and in which God returned Joseph to Jacob. Also, in which God drowned Pharaoh and his soldiers and saved Moses and the children of Israel. Yet, none of these novels are true except that fastening this day is considered a great virtue.