How Ashura Nurtures Noble Human Values

Every year, Muslims mark Ashura on the 10th day of Muharram.

Muslims and other faith communities celebrate the day of Ashura. The Jews, for example, used to celebrate this day too.

Also, Quraysh (Prophet Muhammad’s tribe) used to fast on the day of Ashura in the pre-Islamic period. Moreover,  Allah’s Messenger too used to fast on this day. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) migrated to Madinah, he found the Jews observing fast on the day of Ashura.

The Messenger of Allah said to them: “What is the (significance of)  this day that you observe fast on it?”

They said, “It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered (Prophet) Musa and his people, and drowned the Pharaoh and his people, and Musa observed fast out of gratitude and we also observe it.”

Upon this the Messenger of Allah said:

“We have more right, and we have a closer connection with Musa than you have”.

So, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) observed fast (on the day of Ashura), and gave orders that it should be observed. (Muslim)

Before the obligation of fasting the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad had declared it obligatory on Muslims to fast on the day of Ashura.

“When fasting in Ramadan became obligatory, the Prophet made fasting on Ashura an optional, though recommended, act of worship”. (Muslim)

For Muslims, fasting on the day of Ashura is so virtuous and blessed. Ibn Abbas said,

“I never saw Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of Ashura, and this month, meaning Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)

In another hadith , we read that fasting the day of Ashura expiates the sins of the previous year as the Prophet (PBUH) said

“Fasting the day of `Ashura’ (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year.” (Muslim)

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