Virtues of Muharram and Fasting on ‘Ashura’
Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so do not wrong yourselves therein … ” [Al-Qur’an 9:36]
RasulAllahSAW said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab which comes between Jumadah and Sha’ban.” [Bukhari]
Muharram is so called because it is a sacred month and to confirm its sanctity. Allah’s words (interpretation of the meaning): ” … so wrong not yourselves therein … ” mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
RasulAllahSAW said: “the best of fasting after Ramadhan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram.” [Muslim]
Ibn ‘AbbasRA said: “I never saw RasulAllahSAW so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Ashura’, and this month, meaning Ramadhan.” [Bukhari]
‘Abdullah ibn ‘AbbasRA said: “When RasulAllahSAW fasted on ‘Ashura’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ RasulAllahSAW said, ‘If I live to see the next year, insha Allah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ [Muslim]
RasulAllahSAW said: “The person who fasts on the day of ‘Ashura in Muharram, Allah will write for him worship of 60 years and in this worship is included fasts during days and nights in worship. Anyone who performs a Ghusl (full bath) on the day of ‘Ashura he will not be afflicted with any sickness except the sickness which leads to his pre ordained death and anyone who applies Surmah (Collyrium) to his eyes, his eyes will not suffer any pain during the entire year and anyone who visits a sick person on the day of Ashura it would be as if he visited all the progeny of AdamAS. Anyone who offers a drink of water once on the day of Ashura it would be considered that he did not disobey his Lord for even one batting of an eye lash. Anyone who performs on the day of ‘Ashura 4 Raka’h of Salat and recites after Surah Al Fatihah, Surah Al Ikhlas 50 times, AllahSWT will forgive his sins of the past 50 years as well as his sins of the next 50 years and Allah will reward him with 1,000 Palaces in a group above the Noor (Divine light). Abu HurairahRA has narrated that RasulAllahSAW said: the 4 Raka’h should be performed with 2 Salams and in each Raka’ah recite Surah Al Fatihah once and Surah Al Zilzaal once, and Surah Al Kaafiroon once, and Surah Al Ikhlas once and after the completion of the Salah recite Salatun Nabi (Durood) upon RasulAllahSAW 70 times.