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Would you please explain the importance of fasting of 9th & 10th of Moharram? What is the historic background and why a muslim fast during these days?

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Would you please explain the importance of fasting of 9th & 10th of Moharram? What is the historic background and why a muslim fast during these days?


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The fasting of Muharram

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Abu Hurairah reported: "I asked the Prophet (saws): 'Which prayer is the best after the obligatory prayers?' He (saws) said: 'Prayer during the middle of the night.' I asked: 'Which fast is the best after the fast of Rarnadan?' He (saws) said, 'The month of Allah that you call Muharram.' "

Related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud.


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 5.172 Narrated by Aisha

Ashura' (i.e. the tenth of Muharram) was a day on which the tribe of Quraish used to fast in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance. The Prophet (saws) also used to fast on this day. So when he (saws) migrated to Medina, he fasted on it and ordered (the Muslims) to fast on it. When the fasting of Ramadan was enjoined, it became optional for the people to fast or not to fast on the day of Ashura.


Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Prophet (saws) came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of 'Ashurah. He (saws) said to them: 'What is this fast?' They said: 'A great day. Allah saved Moses and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore, Moses fasted on this day.' The Prophet (saws) said: 'We have more of a right to Moses than you,' so he (saws) fasted on that day also and ordered the believers to fast on that day."

Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.


According to al-Bukhari and Muslim, Musa al-Ash'ari reported: "The Jews would honor the day of 'Ashurah as an 'id. The Prophet (saws) said: 'You [Muslims] are to fast on it.'"


Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Messenger of Allah (saws) fasted on the day of 'Ashurah and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said: 'O Messenger of Allah (saws) , it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.' The Prophet (saws) said, 'When the following year comes--Allah willing--we shall fast (also) on the ninth.' The death of the Prophet (saws) came before the following year."

Related by Muslim and Abu Dawud.


The tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram holds a very significant place as it is recorded in history that not only did Allah Subhanah save the Noble Prophet Moses and the believers from the clutches of the Pharaoh, but it was on this day of Muharram that Allah Subhanah saved Prophet Noah (a.s.) and the believers from the flood, accepted the repentance and saved the Noble Prophet Yunus (a.s.) from the stomach of the fish, and cured the illness of the Noble Prophet Ayyub (a.s.).


The tenth of Muharram was a day which not only the pagans of Quraish, but also the Jews and the Christians of the time held in honor before the advent of Islam; and they commemorated this day by fasting. The Messenger of Allah (saws) declared that the believers, because of their true belief upon the Prophets of Allah, had more right to honor this day and he (saws) encouraged the believers to differ from the pagans and fast two days, either the 9th and the 10th or the 10th and the 11th, in commemoration of this great day.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.



Your brother and well wisher in Islam,




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