Ashura Fasting on 10 Muharram, Erasing Sins One Year Ago

By : Ali Farkhan Tsani, Senior Editor of MINA News Agency

Entering the beginning of the Islamic New Year Muharram 1445 Hijriyah, God willing, we will meet the main practice, namely Ashura fasting or sunnah fasting on the 10th of Muharram.

In an authentic hadith narrated by Muslim, it is stated that fasting in the month of Muharram is the best of fasts. As mentioned from Abu Hurairah, Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam said:

أَفْضَلُ الصِّيَامِ بَعْدَ رَمَضَانَ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ الْمُحَرَّمُ وَأَفْضَلُ الصَّلاَةِ بَعْدَ الْفَرِيضَةِ صَلاَةُ اللَّيْلِ

Meaning: “The most important fast after Ramadan is fasting in Allah’s month, Muharram. While the most important prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer (tahajud).” (Muslim HR).

According to scholars, Muharram is called ‘Shahrullah’ (the month of Allah). This shows the glory of the month.

The purpose of fasting in the month of Allah is Ashura Fasting on the 10th of Muharram. There are also those who argue are the days in the month of Muharram.

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Especially for Ashura Fasting, the 10th of Muharram, the priority of the reward can erase sins a year ago. This is as stated in the hadith:

وَسُئِلَ عَنْ صَوْمِ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ فَقَالَ « يُكَفِّرُ السَّنَةَ الْمَاضِيَةَ وَالْبَاقِيَةَ ». قَالَ وَسُئِلَ عَنْ صَوْمِ يَوْمِ عَاشُورَاءَ فَقَالَ « يُكَفِّرُ السَّنَةَ الْمَاضِيَةَ

Meaning: “And the Prophet was asked about the primacy of Fasting on Arafah, then he replied, “Fasting on Arafah erases the sins of the past year and the year to come.” He was also asked about the privilege of Fasting ‘Ashura? He replied, “The fast of ‘Ashura erased the sins of the past year.” (Muslim HR).

As for the beginning of the beginning of the Ashura fast during the time of the Prophet, it is mentioned in the hadith:

قَدِمَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْمَدِينَةَ فَرَأَى الْيَهُودَ تَصُومُ يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ فَقَالَ مَا هَذَا قَالُوا هَذَا يَوْمٌ صَالِحٌ هَذَا يَوْمٌ نَجَّى اللَّه بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مِنْ عَدُوِّهِمْ فَصَامَهُ مُوسَى شُكْرًا قَالَ فَأَنَا أَحَقُّ بِمُوسَى مِنْكُمْ نَحْنُ نَصُوْمُهُ تَعْظِيْمًا لَهُ

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Meaning: “The Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam arrived in Medina, then he saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He asked: “What is this?” They replied: “A good day, this is the day when Allah saved the Israelis from their enemies, so Prophet Musa fasted on that day as a form of gratitude. So he Rasulullah Shallahu alaihi wasallam said: “I have more right to Musa than you (Jews), so we will fast on that day as a form of our reverence for that day.” (HR Bukhari and Muslim).

In addition to fasting Ashura on the 10th of Muharram, the Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam also recommended, for those who wish, they can also fast on the 9th of Muharram, or it is called Tasu’ah Fasting.

This is as stated in the hadith from Ibn Abbas Radhiyallahu ‘Anhuma, that when the Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam fasted the day of ‘Ashura and encouraged Muslims to do so, at that time someone said,

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يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ يَوْمٌ تُعَظِّمُهُ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى.

Meaning: “O Messenger of Allah, today (the ninth day of Muharram) is a day that is glorified by Jews and Christians.” Then he said:

فَإِذَا كَانَ الْعَامُ الْمُقْبِلُ – إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ – صُمْنَا الْيَوْمَ التَّاسِعَ

“When next year comes – God willing (if Allah wills) – we will also fast on the ninth day.” Ibn Abbas said,

فَلَمْ يَأْتِ الْعَامُ الْمُقْبِلُ حَتَّى تُوُفِّىَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم

“Not until next year, the Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam has passed away.” (Muslim HR).

Why is it better to add fasting on the ninth day? Shaykh Imam An-Nawawi explained, the scholars said that the intention was to differentiate the Jews who fast only on the 10th of Muharram.

Hopefully, we can practice Ashura Fasting on the 10th of Muharram and get its virtue, which is to erase our sins one year ago. Amen. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)