THE MONTH OF MUHARRAM
The Rasul of Allah Ta’aala has described the fasts of this month as the best fasts after the month of Ramadaan. In a Hadith Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said:
“The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadaan is the fasting of Allah’s month of Muharram and the best of Salaats besides the Fardh (obligatory Salaat) is the Tahajjud Salaah (performed after midnight)”.
[Sahih Muslim, vol 1, pg 368].
FASTING ON THE DAY OF ASHURA (10TH OF MUHARRAM)
Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram
Ibn Abbaas (Radhiallahu-anhu) says:
“I did not see the messenger of Allah Ta’aala anxiously await the fast of any day, which he gave preference to over other days, but this day (i.e. the Day of Ashura) and this month (i.e. the month of Ramadaan)”
[Sahih Bukhari, vol 2, pg 268].
Ibn Abbaas (Radhiallahu-anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the Day of Ashura. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) inquired of them “What is the significance of this day on which you fast?” They replied: “This is a great day. On this day Allah Ta’aala saved Moosa and his people and drowned Firown and his nation”. Thus Moosa (Alaihis-Salaam) fasted on this day as a token of thanksgiving, therefore, we too fast on this day. The Rasul of Allah Ta’aala said:
“We are more worthy of Moosa (Alaihis-Salaam) and nearer to him than you”. Thereafter he fasted on this day and ordered his companions that a fast be kept on this day.
[Suhih Muslim, vol 1, pg 359].
From the above Hadith it is clear that the fast of Ashura is linked to the salvation of Moosa (Alaihis-Salaam). Besides this no other Hadith of this category (Sahih) explains the reason for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) having kept a fast on this day.
FORGIVENESS OF A YEARS SINS
With regards to the blessings of this fast, it is recorded in a narration of Sahih Muslim that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was asked regarding (the virtue of) the fast of Ashura. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) answered:
“It is compensation for the sins of the past year, i.e. the sins of the year that has just gone by will be forgiven”.
[Sahih Muslim, vol 1, pg 368].
OPPOSING THE JEWS.
Any act which bears a resemblance with the Jews and the Christians is frowned upon in the Shari’ah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Should I live the following year, I will definitely fast on the ninth also”.
[Sahih Muslim, vol 1, pg 359].
Hence it is important that either the ninth or eleventh of Muharram should be joined in keeping fast with the Day of Ashura. To fast only on the day of Ashura is Makrooh (reprehensible). However, the “Karahat” (reprehendsibility) is not severe. It is stated in Durrul Makhtar:
It is `Makrooh Tahrimi” to fast on the days of Eid and `Makrooh Tizihi’ to fast on the Day of Muharram only”.
[Durrul Mukhtar, vol 2, pg 114].
SPENDING FREELY ON ONE’S FAMILY
Besides fasting on the day of Ashura, being generous to one’s family and spendi