Ashura – Fasting to honor Moses

Category: Articles, Faith, Featured | Topic: ashura, fasting, prophet moses | Values: honesty, respect | Views: 13,762 | Comments: 21

Fasting on the day of Ashura is highly recommended based on the Hadith below.

Along with this we also remember this day as one of the most tragic events in Islamic history when Prophet Muhammad’s beloved grandson Imam Hussein along with his family were martyred while  standing up against injustice.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 202 – Narrated Ibn Abbas:

When the Prophet arrived at Medina, the Jews were observing the fast on ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) and they said, “This is the day when Moses became victorious over Pharaoh,” On that, the Prophet said to his companions, “You (Muslims) have more right to celebrate Moses’ victory than they have, so observe the fast on this day.”

It is also recommended to be generous on this day towards family members and parents because prophet Muhammad stated that whoever is generous on his family on the day of Ashura, then Allah is generous towards him for the whole year.

There are several other Hadith that refer to the importance of the day of Ashura.

O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds. Make the new year one of unity, cooperation and success.


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  1. And indeed now We have conveyed the Word (Quran) to them in

    order that they may remember.Those to whom We gave the Scripture

    the Torah and the Injil (Gospel) before it they (ie.scholars)

    believe in it (Quran).And when it is recited to them they say

    “We believe in it.Verily it is the truth from our Lord.Indeed

    even before it we have been from those who submit themselves to

    Allah in Islam as Muslims.These will be given their reward twice

    because they are patient and repel evil with good and spend in

    charity out of what We have provided them.It is said in Hadith

    “any man who has a slave girl whom he educates properly ,teaches

    good manners,manumits and marries her will get a double

    reward.Similarly if any man of the people of the Book (ie.Jews

    and Christians) believes in his own Prophet and then believes in

    me (Muhammad S.A.W) too he will also get double reward.This is

    glad tidings to all new converts who willingly embraced Islam

    they will have double reward as promised by Allah in Surah Qasas

    and confirmed by the Prophet (S.A.W).May Allah give us taufiq we

    become the means of hidayah to the entire Globe .

  2. They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords beside

    God and they took (also) as their Lord Messiah son of Mary while

    they (Jews and Christians) were only commanded in Torah and

    Gospel to worship non but only One Ilah (Allah) Laila ha

    illallah Glorified is He (far above) from having partners( with

    Him).Once while the Prophet was reciting the above Verse Adi Bin

    Hatim said Oh Prophet! They do not worship them (ie rabbis and

    monks) Allah’s Messenger said certainly they do (because) they

    made legal things illegal and illegal things legal as they

    followed them and by doing so they (are like) really worshiping

    them.As Muslims we don’t worship no body except Allah and we

    respect all the Prophets of God including of course Moses and

    Jesus Son of Mary (not God) this is why the Prophet told the

    Jews that he was more closer to Moses than them so he said he

    would also fast the Ashura 10th of MUharram to commemorate the

    deliverance of Moses and Bani Israel from the tyranny of

    Pharaoh.If you denied any of the Prophets then you will be

    regarded as not Muslim this is why we don’t discriminate

    especially against any of the Prophets they were all from the

    same God Allah so therefore we respect all of them but not

    worshiping them as this is Shirk associating partners with

    Allah.May Allah give us hidayah and we become the means of

    hidayah to the entire mankind.

  3. Aisha narrated a hadith that the pagans of Mecca also fasted Ashura during

    jahiliyyah. Why did the pagans fast this day? Where did they get this custom from?

    Narrated `Aisha:

    (The tribe of) Quraish used to fast on the day of Ashura’ in the Pre-Islamic period,

    and then Allah’s Apostle ordered (Muslims) to fast on it till the fasting in the month of

    Ramadan was prescribed; whereupon the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who wants to fast

    (on ‘Ashura’) may fast, and he who does not want to fast may not fast.”

    Bukhari 1893 (Arabic)

    (Book 30 Fasting hadith 3)

  4. Assalaamualaikum,

    According to most Ulemas, hadiths pertaining to “be generous to your Family or others,Using Khol and other practices” on the day of Ashura, are all fabricated Hadiths. As such I beg to differ wit the contents of this article as far as gthe generosity side ios concerned.

  5. Assaalamu alikum, as on this day our prophet Muhammed (pbuh) asked to be generous on the day of ashura but i want to know what we have to do to be generous on this day special, actually we are asked to geneorous every time with our family, so please if any brother suggest me, Jazak ALlah khair

  6. Assalaamu Aleikum!

    May Allah bless you all and give you noble brothers and sisters at Islamicity more energy,hikmah and all that you need to keep up the wonderful work you are doing for Islam and humanity at large.

    The martyredom of our beloved Imam Husain(ra) must be remembered among other things with the understanding that the forces of evil no matter how formidable they seem must never discourage or deter us from pursuing our noble aims and objectives: to keep the Kalimah of Allah highest at all times. Men of Allah never lose. Falsehood in the end will always perish and the good will remain. Was Salaam.

  7. sister aeysha. if we repeat the thing many times, some people will eventually take as gospel. that is how many cultural practices have entered islam, christianity and judaism. almost all islamic practices vary from one place to another. take for example the current cartoons issue where a person can be killed for insulting the prophet pbuh. whereas such a ruling came after prophet’s life and quran; to women covering their faces: we have a range of attire and each community fights till death to preserve its cultural edicts. so what is repeatedly recommended by ulemaa as ‘good practice’ ends up as compulsory in some communities. history is there to support what in say. we know shias who follow prophet’s progeny actually prepare daylight feasts after each sermon for those present and for the poor – they do not fast these days yet sunnis do but they do not share in hussain’s calamity. as a muslim we should aim to unite ourselves in one practice and one vision under the banner of islam. our current and historical state reflects this disunity. “hold fast to the rope of Allah and do not turn yourselves into groups”, as if Quran predicts this calamity which has befallen us. there i rest my case. peace.

  8. As-salaam alaykum,

    While it is true that the fasting of Ashura coincides with the tragedy of Karbala, it is a most important event that happened on this day, and should not be forgotten or “glossed over” by muslim people. It is especially important in this time of difficulty and fitnah to remember the nobility and bravery of Imam Hussayn(as) who stood against the larger armies of the evildoers even while “his people” betrayed and abandoned him for fear of fighting fi sabilillah or the love of the evildoers’ wealth. Despite being hugely outnumbered he did not fear the vicious armies arrayed against him, nor did he fight for love of this dunya as his wicked adversaries were doing, his love and fear were for Allah ta’ala only. Imam Hussayn(as) couragously accepted defeat in this world only to gain ultimate victory in the next. I pray that the muslim people never forget the virtues of Hussayn(as), the weakness of “his people”, or the wickedness of his enemies.


  9. Ahmed Ashgar should read the article with insight before criticising that it is “highly recommended to fast”. No person with simple common sense can ever take the fast of Ashura to mean an obligatory fast as undertaken in the month of Ramadan. I am keeping the fast of Ashura both today and tomorrow. I know and have always known that it is a “highly recommended fast” never an obligatory fast.


  10. Bismillah,

    May Allah bless you for reminding the Muslim Community of the fasting in Muharram.And may Allah give us the strength and the “Taqwah” to observe it.

  11. Its really nice to see islamicity respect shia sensibilities. I think Imam Hussein martyrdom is a victory against evil and we Sunnis should respect it as an important part of islamic history. Especially in these times of sectarianism, it is nice to read this piece. I hope Islamicity will also focus on providing some articles that celebrate the traditions of our shia brothers. Please let this be a website where all muslims feel respected and welcomed, not just us Sunnis.

  12. obligatory fasting is ordered only during the month of ramadhan. there is no basis for fasting on ashura or any reference to this in quran. if we repeat it enough times others will start to follow it as if it is an obligatory fast as murtaza does here. we know that hussain was not fasting during the battle of karbalaa and he was the grand-son of the prophet pbuh. so, if fasting was recommended by his grand-father he would certainly be the first to carry it out. certainly fasting is spiritually a good thing even outside of ramadhan but one has to do it for the sake of one’s spiritual elevation and not for other reasons mentioned here. it becomes bida’a.

  13. On fasting of Ashura, there is no relation with Imam Hussein along with his family were martyred,..

    Abu Haraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is God’s month. al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.(Muslim Book 6, Number 2611)

    The day of Ashurah:

    Although the month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named Ashurah.

    According to the Holy companion Ibn Abbas. The Holy Prophet , when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in its water.

    On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet said, “We are more closely related to Musa than you” and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of Ashurah. (Abu Dawood)

    These are the Saheeh reports.

  14. Thank you for this information. I will fast on the 10th Muharram as informed by this article. Muslims all over the world are blessed by your website, Good is your work, and good will be your reward, and Allah is the best of reward givers.

  15. bismillahir rahmanir raheem

    Assalaam alaykum!

    Alhamdul’illah! Rasul Allah (SAW) said that fasting today relieves you of the sins of the previous year. So take advantage of this. And while you are at it, read the passages in the Quran about Musa and Phawron, gain knowledge, that is the inheritance.


  16. It is a great blessing and reward to fast in Muharram, for it is one of hte four blessed months in Islam. In fact, according to the Sunnah of rasool-Allah (saaw), to fast on the 9th and 10th, or 10th and 11th of Muharram is in following the prophet’s way. Furthermore to that, after Ramadan, the prophet (saaw) says that fasting in Muharram is the next best time to fast in meaning its reward. Another point is that the Prophet (saaw), after Ramadan, used to fast for the ENTIRE MONTH OF MUHARRAM! Allahu Akbar! And his companions, upon seeing our blessed and beloved prophet Muhammad (saaw), would do as he would do and would also observe fasting for Muharram.

    It is a month in which many events happened – The 10th of Muharram in particular is the day when Sayyidina Adam (as) was forgiven by Allah for sinning; when Sayyidina Nuh (as) left the Ark; when Sayyidina Ibrahim (as) was saved from the fire of the idol worshippers who were bent on killing him because he destroyed their idols, then Arch Angel Gibraeel (as) came and saved Sayyidina Ibrahim (as); and many many many other miraculous things happened in this month. In fact, the entire month of Muharram encases unimaginable Islamic dates in history – it is the month in which Hadhrat Omar (ra) was assasinated, and the month when Hadhrat Uthman (ra) was also assasinated. Many many other things happened in this month, so we as Muslims should remind ourselves of their historic dates and come to terms with ourselves and restrain from sinning in this month, for it holds a great deal of secrets and blessings for us, and Insha’Allah we will all remember these events together and cleanse ourselves and purify ourselves through fasting, Sadaqah and dhikr and du’a to Allah (SWT) and sending an abundance of durood upon rasool-Allah(saaw) Ameen.

    The martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) was sad, but it was more a victory of truth/haqq (Hussain obeying Allah) over Falsehood/batil (Yazid obeying himself)!