Is fasting recommended on the tenth of Muharram (Day of Ashura)?



Islamic Text

Yes, fasting the day of Ashura (tenth) together with the ninth or eleventh is recommended.

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، قَالَ: لَمَّا قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ المَدِينَةَ وَاليَهُودُ تَصُومُ يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ، فَسَأَلَهُمْ، فَقَالُوا: هَذَا اليَوْمُ الَّذِي ظَهَرَ فِيهِ مُوسَى عَلَى فِرْعَوْنَ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «نَحْنُ أَوْلَى بِمُوسَى مِنْهُمْ فَصُومُوهُ»

Sayidina (Abdullah) Ibn Abbas said, ‘When Allah’s Messenger ﷺ came to Madinah, he found the Jews observing the fast on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram). The Prophet ﷺ asked them (about it) and they replied, “This is the day in which Moses  defeated Pharaoh.” The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘We are closer to Moses  than they are, so fast on this day.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 4737).

In the Hadith above, not only do we find encouragement to fast on the day of Ashura, but there is also a powerful lesson with regards to how we should view previous Prophets (peace be upon them).

It is not obligatory to fast on the tenth of Muharram, but if a person does plan to fast it then he or she must ensure they fast the day before it or after it too. As it is Makruh (Tanzeehi) to fast the tenth alone.

“المسنون فهو صوم عاشوراء” فإنه يكفر السنة الماضية “مع” صوم “التاسع”
قوله: “مع صوم التاسع” أي أو الحادي عشر لما يأتي للمصنف فتنتفي الكراهة بضم يوم قبله أو بعده. (حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح).

Imam al-Shurunbulali: And the Sunnah fast is the day of Ashura, for it expiates for the sins of the previous year, together with the ninth.

Imam al-Tahtawi: His saying, ‘together with the ninth,’ meaning or the eleventh due to what the author will mention later, that it is no longer Makruh if a person adds a day before it (the tenth) or after it. (Haashiyah Tahtawi ala Maraaqi al-Falah).

And Allah (Most High) Knows Best.

– Answered by Shaykh Nooruddeen Rashid (08.08.2021)

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