What is the Day of Ashura?
The Day of Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram, which is the first month in the Islamic calendar.
‘Ashura’ translates to ‘the tenth’ and is a significant and sacred day to Muslims, who reflect on the miracles and events that occurred during this month, including the miracle of Allah (SWT), allowing Prophet Musa (AS) and his followers to escape from Pharoah by splitting the Red Sea. Another highly significant event that occurred on this day was that Allah (SWT) created the heavens and the earth.
Due to this month being sacred, Muslims around the world strive to increase their good habits to reap the rewards of their worship. Good deeds in this month are said to be heavier than in other months, which acts as an incentive for Muslims to increase their worship. However, sins committed during this month can also be heavier on the scales, which means we should try to eliminate bad habits.
Other months are also important, and good deeds are recommended to do throughout the year, not just in some months. Follow the sunnah by performing good acts all year round.
Shia Muslims mourn on the Day of Ashura to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussain (RA), and some Shia Muslims re-enact this event as a way of reflecting on it. Hussain (RA) was killed for opposing Yazid and for refusing to support his corrupt government.
This led to Hussain (RA) choosing to leave Madina with his family and companions and going to Makkah to avoid being attacked by Yazid. However, Yazid followed Hussain (RA) with his army, despite Makkah being a holy land, which led to Hussain (RA) being forced out of Makkah and heading for Kufa, a city in Iraq. Before he arrived there, Yazid's army surrounded Hussain (RA), his family, and his companions, and demanded they support his government. Hussain refused to do so, and Yazid ordered his army to kill Hussain (RA) and his companions. This occurred on the Day of Ashura.
Sunni Muslims reflects on how Allah (SWT) saved Musa (AS) and his followers from Pharoah by splitting the Red Sea. In addition to this, there are many other events that occurred on the Day of Ashura, including Prophet Yunus (AS) escaping the belly of a whale, Prophet Yusuf (AS) getting out of the well that he was thrown in, and Prophet Isa (AS) being born. These events, including others, make the Day of Ashura a very significant day for Muslims all around the world.
The Importance of Fasting on the Day of Ashura
To fast on the 9th and 10th of Muharram, or the 10th and 11th of Muharram is recommended, as it differentiates from the Jewish practice of fasting just on the 10th. It is, however, permissible to fast just on the 10th.
Fasting on this day is particularly rewarding, as indicated in the hadith: “On the authority of Abu Qatadah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’, and he said, it expiates [wipes out the minor sins of] the past year” (Muslim).
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was eager to fast on the Day of Ashura, which encourages Muslims to fast on this day, too. Ubaydallah ibn Abi Yazid reported: Ibn Abbas, may Allah (SWT) be pleased with him, said, “I did not see the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as eager to fast a day and preferring it over others except for this Day of Ashura and this month of Ramadan.”
When is the Day of Ashura in 2023?
Depending on the sighting of the moon, the Day of Ashura is expected to fall on 28th July 2023.
Why Giving Charity on the Day of Ashura is Important
On the Day of Ashura, good deeds are heavier on the scales, which means, that by giving charity on this day, you can reap abundant rewards.
Donate to Orphans in Need today to sponsor an orphan, which will help them massively, and benefit you in the next life, Insha’Allah.