The Story of ‘Ashura
Alhamdu Lillah the voluntary fasting of the days like Yawm Al-‘Ashura’, the six fasts of Shawwal, the fasting in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah etc are being revived and practiced again by the Muslims.
When I grew up as a child the only fasting that I ever knew about was the obligatory fast of Ramadan and that was it. Alhamdu Lillah as time passed, our knowledge grew and we have come to venerate the various special days that Allah has blessed us with.
So what then is the story behind ‘Ashura’? Many people, although they may be aware of the virtues of fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, are not aware of the story behind ‘Ashura’ and therefore I wanted to write a very short piece on the story of ‘Ashura’.
When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was in Makkah the people of Makkah used to change the Kiswah (the covering) of the Ka’bah and they used to fast on this day to seek the blessings of Allah. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also used to fast on this day with the Makkans and commanded his followers to do so.
When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) migrated to Madina he found the Jews also fasting on this day. So he (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked them why it is that they fasted. The Jews replied that this was the day in which Allah saved Musa (AS) and the children of Israel from the Pharoah and Musa (AS) fasted this day to give thanks to Allah. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said to them that he was closer to Musa (AS) than the Jews and that the Muslims were more worthy of following Musa (AS) as result of which he kept the fast of ‘Ashura’ and commanded the muslims to do so.
Before the fast of Ramadan was revealed, the fast of ‘Ashura’ was obligatory upon the Muslims. When Ramadan was made obligatory, the fast of ‘Ashura’ became a voluntary fast.
The rewards and virtues of fasting this day are many as indicated by the various ahadith that talk about the fast of ‘Ashura’.
Yawm Al-‘Ashura’ falls on the 10th of Muharram.
May Allah bless us on this day and grant us all the highest of rewards and make this day a source of good and blessings for all Muslims –