Fasting The Day of Ashura

Somewhere a family sits huddled in the corner of a dwelling, some run down structure, or in a war torn city. A mother says to her child, “mommy it hurts.” “I know baby, I’ll find food tomorrow”, she replies, knowing that the chances of it actually happening are little to none.

They huddle in the dark, while dealing with the extreme pains of hunger. All the time they are wondering if they will make it through the night, as we smile and carry on without a worry in the world.

The first time one truly understands what it must be like to starve is when they fast for the first time, and they are then reminded of it every time afterwards. When one feels these pains, something amazing transpires within the heart, and it begins to bloom with compassion for others. It is one of the many wonderful benefits and blessings that a fasting Muslim can achieve and receive amongst the many. That new found understanding causes the person to reach out to humanity and strive to do justice and good deeds for others.

The day of Ashura is one of those times in a Muslims life, where one can grow closer to their fellow human beings, in understanding and compassion, while growing even closer to his or her Creator. These days that we Muslims have for fasting are opportunities to open the floodgates and allow knowledge of our deen, mercy, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and so much more to flow into ourselves! Why would you not fast the Day of Ashura? If we only but knew!

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) 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).

The day that Musa (Alahi Salam) led the children of Israel out of the clutches of the arrogant Pharaoh. A story of stories rich in lessons and beneficial advice! Who amongst us knows it all? Fast the day of Ashura and be reminded of the history behind it and the lessons that can be derived from it!

As with every single action of worship we have, there is a way to do it. Allahu Akbar! We have been told and taught everything we need to do! Our beloved prophet Muhammad sws advised us to fast in a manner, on this day that differs from those of the Jewish faith. They are fasting on the 10th, so it is the sunnah to differ from them in these matters. One should fast the day before and the day of, or the day of and the day after Ashura. It is also permissible to fast all three.

Remember brothers and sisters, this life is but a passing through, and we are but travellers. When arrive at the end of our journey, it is only our deeds that we can take with us. Please don’t miss out on such a great opportunity to have your minor sins wiped off the slate! And be a reminder to others by reminding them to fast the Day of Ashura as well, and Allah will increase your rewards. We ask Allah swt to forgive us our sins, and make us amongst the people of Jannah. Oh Allah! Forgive us our sins, for if you do not forgive us, who can forgive but you! Oh Allah! Do not test us with test that we might fail, and guide us to and upon the straight path! Ameen!

Contributed by brother Yusuf

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