Fasting on Ashura is not mandatory but significant.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged to fast on 9th and 10th Muharram.
It’s a meaningful expression of faith for Muslims.
Fasting on the Day of Ashura is not mandatory according to the Quran and Hadith; however, it holds great significance and is highly appreciated. This practice follows the example set by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his people 1400 years ago.
According to Abu Hurayrah – (Reported by Muslim, 1982),
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadhan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram.”
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a special fondness for fasting on the 9th and 10th of Muharram each year. When he migrated to Madinah, he observed that the Jews fasted on the 10th of Muharram in gratitude to Allah for saving Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) from Pharaoh. In light of this, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged his followers to fast on the 10th of Muharram as well.
“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. I am closer to Moses than they.” – Ibn Abbas (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith – 4.609)
The significance of fasting on the Day of Ashura is evident from a narration by Ibn Abbas, who highlighted its virtues.
“I never saw Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Aashoora’ and this month, meaning Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)
Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) recommended fasting on the 10th of Muharram, he also advised Muslims to distinguish their fasting from the Jews’ practice by fasting on the 9th of Muharram as well.
Despite being a voluntary act of worship, fasting on the Day of Ashura remains a meaningful and important expression of faith for Muslims.
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