The significance of Ashura or 10th of Muharram

The word Ashura means tenth. In Islamic terms, the tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Hijri year, is referred to as Ashura. Significance of Ashura and the Prophet ﷺ’s practice on this day has been clearly stated in the Hadith.

Ibn Abbas said: “The Prophet ﷺ came to Madinah and saw Jews fasting on Ashura. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musa fasted on this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Musa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day.” (Bukhari)

Although nafl, according to other Hadith, after the fast of Ramadan, the fast of Ashura is the most prestigious one in the sight of Allah Almighty. Ummul Mu’mineen Saiyeda Ayesha رضي الله عنها said (meaning): I did not see the Messenger ﷺ of Allah prefer the fast of the day of Ashura to the fast of any other day (except Ramadan’s fast). Bukhari

There is a narration in the Ibn Majah that the Messenger ﷺ of Allah said (meaning), By fasting on the day of Ashura, I hope for forgiveness from Allah for the sins of the past year. Ibn Majah

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said (meaning), If I live next year, I will definitely fast on the ninth day. Muslim
So that this worship does not resemble that of the Jews, a total of two days of fasting should be observed on the day before or after the 10th of Muharram.

Therefore, the teachings of 10th Muharram or Ashura are:

1. Gratefulness, i.e., being thankful to Allah Almighty for His bounties. And a great form to express gratitude is to fast. Just as our Prophet ﷺ has done fasting on the 10th Muharram.

2. Fasting on the 10th of Muharram as a sign of following the beloved Prophet ﷺ

3. Even while acting upon something good, Muslims should be careful and cautious that their actions may not become an imitation of the unbelievers. For this reason, we should add up another day to fast with the 10th of Muharram so that our fast does not resemble the Jews, who also fast on this day.

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