Virtues of Muharram and Fasting on ‘Ashura’


The beginning of the Islamic year is marked by the virtues of Muharram. The month is unique for the sacrifices made by the beloved people of ALLAH Almighty. The sanctity of the month is within the name of the month i.e. Muharram which means sacred. It is said in Quran – as the interpretation of the meaning is ” … so wrong not yourselves therein … ” which clearly means that every Muslim man and woman should not wrong themselves in these sacred months. A good deed is expected to be rewarded at a greater scale and a bad deed is to be accountable for punishment at a greater scale during the sacred months.

Spend More Time in Good Deeds:

Although it is up to ALLAH the almighty to decide when and where he grants His creation with His blessings and when he decides to hold them accountable for a wrong doing. ALLAH being the ultimate judge can chooses among His people the messenger and ranks his angels and selects from among the speech the remembrance of Him (Zikr). ALLAH also has specified the times of the year and some sacred nights when he listens to his creation the most.

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Indulgence in Worship:

Indulge yourself in spiritual activities; it will help you stay calm and happy. During the month of Muharam it is advised that all men and women revert to the ALLAH almighty for his blessings. It is quoted by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him); “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadhan is fasting ALLAH’s month of Muharram”. [Reported by Muslim, 1982]. It is interpreted that “ALLAH’s month” connected to the name of the month Muharram is attaching great significance to the month.


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  • Ibn ‘Abbas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when ALLAH saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musa fasted on this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Musa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” [Reported by al-Bukhari, 1865]
  • This is a righteous day” – in a report narrated by Muslim, [the Jews said:]
  • This is a great day, on which ALLAH saved Musa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people.” “Musa fasted on this day” – a report narrated by Muslim adds: “ … in thanksgiving to ALLAH, so we fast on this day.”
  • According to a report narrated by al-Bukhari: ” … so we fast on this day to venerate it.”
  • A version narrated by Imam Ahmad adds: “This is the day on which the Ark settled on Mount Judi, so Nuh fasted this day in thanksgiving,” and “commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day“.
  • According to another report also narrated by al-Bukhari: “He said to his Companions: ‘You have more right to Musa than they do, so fast on that day.’


This narrates the significance of Ashura, the people of Quraish fasted even before the significance of the day was known. Now that we know the importance of the day we should fast. According to Shariah all obligatory fasts i.e. any fasts not observed during the month of Ramadan should be observed and then the voluntary fasts should be kept as these fasts are not Farz on us. Muslims have the opportunity to fast at Ashura and gain Allah Almighty’s blessings as at this day great people of Islam sacrificed their lives in the name of Allah and to pay tribute to this day we should fast.

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