As-salamu alaykum, dear brothers and sisters. As the sacred month of Muharram progresses, we are about to approach one of the most significant days in the Islamic calendar - Ashura.
This auspicious day, which falls on the 10th of Muharram, is recognized for various historical events, but most notably, it is the day when Prophet Musa (Moses) and his followers were saved from Pharaoh by the grace of Allah.
In line with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), fasting on Ashura is highly recommended. In Hadith reported by Muslim and Bukhari, the Prophet (PBUH) said, "For fasting the day of Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the past year." (Muslim, 1976)
Fasting on this day, thus, becomes a means for us to seek forgiveness for our past sins and a way to draw closer to Allah.
Fasting for Ashura - A Guide:
Intention: Niyyah (intention) is fundamental to Islamic practices, including fasting. When preparing to fast for Ashura, start by making a sincere intention in your heart. Remember, it is not obligatory to say the intention out loud.
Sehri (Pre-Dawn Meal): Wake up before Fajr (dawn) and partake in a nourishing pre-dawn meal, or Sehri. Consuming wholesome food will provide the energy you need to sustain the day-long fast.
Fasting: Just like in Ramadan, refrain from eating, drinking, and other invalidating actions from dawn to sunset.
Additional Fasts: While fasting on the day of Ashura alone is commendable, the Prophet (PBUH) suggested fasting an additional day - either the 9th or the 11th of Muharram - to distinguish ourselves from other faith traditions.
Dua (Prayer): During the fasting hours, engage in prayer and supplication, seeking Allah's mercy and forgiveness.
Iftar (Breaking the Fast): At sunset, break your fast traditionally with dates and water or any available food, then perform the Maghrib salah.
While fasting on Ashura is a voluntary act of worship, it brings enormous blessings and holds significant weight in our spiritual journey. It serves as a reminder of the divine intervention that aided Prophet Musa and his people, reinforcing our faith in Allah's mercy and His power to deliver us from difficulties.
As we prepare to fast for Ashura tomorrow, let's take this opportunity to engage in deep reflection and spiritual cleansing. May our fasts be accepted, our sins forgiven, and our iman (faith) strengthened.
In conclusion, fasting on Ashura is a beautiful tradition, steeped in historical and spiritual significance. May we embrace it with sincere hearts and receive its blessings, insha'Allah.
And Allah knows best.