Muharram is the first month of lunar calendar. “Muharram” means “sacred” which suggests that the sacristy of this month. There are four months which are called sacred in Quran and one of them is Muharram:
Almighty Allah states in the Holy Quraan:
As mentioned in starting lines the month of Muharram is among sacred months in Islam. This month is blessed with certain specific virtues. The Holy Prophet Mohammed Peace be upon him said:
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) reports in another hadith that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
It is not obligatory to fast in the month of Muharram but those who fast by their own choice will be entitled with great reward by Allah SWT. The above hadiths show the significance of fasting in the month of Muharram that after Ramadan month, it is the most rewarding month to fast. It is also not compulsory to attain reward by fasting the whole month, therefore each fast in the month of Muharram has its own merit. Therefore we should not miss the opportunity to get a maximum reward in this holy month.
The Day of Aashura
Although the whole month of Muharram is sacred but 10th Muharram is the most sacred day among all its days which is called “Aashura”. This is one of the most blessed and important days in Islam.
Ibn Abbas R.A reported that when the prophet Mohammed peace be upon him migrated to Medina he found jews fasting on the 10th day of Muharram. According to them, it was the day on which Prophet Musa and his followers crossed the river, and Pharoh was drowned. Upon hearing this Prophet Mohammed Peace be upon him said,
In other hadith, it is recommended to observe one additional fast before or after the fast on the day of Ashura. This means Muslims should fast two days that is 9th and 10th of Muharram or 10th or 11th of Muharram. The reason for one additional fast is that Prophet Mohammed wanted to distinguish Mulsim’s way of fasting from that of Jews of Medina.
Therefore, Muslims fast one more than with fast on the day of Ashurah. Some scholars also say that before the fasts of Ramadan these Ashura fasts were compulsory for Muslims.
Hazrat Ayesha R.A reported:
Later, fast on Ashura day was continued by Prophet Peace be Upon Him and he also encouraged his companions to fast on this day.
May Allah guide us all upon the Straight Path and save us from every act which brings His displeasure.