Muslim Aid Media Centre

What is the Day of Ashura?

The Day of Ashura falls on the 10th day of Muharram (Monday 8th August): the first month of the Islamic calendar. This is a hugely significant day for Muslims around the world as they commemorate Allah (SWT) freeing Prophet Musa (AS) and the Children of Israel from Pharaoh.

The story of Musa

The Quran states that Musa (as) was sent by Allah (SWT) to the Pharaoh of Egypt and his establishments and the Israelites for guidance and warning.

Musa (AS) is mentioned more in the Qur'an than any other individual, and his life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other prophet.

Blessings of Ashura?

The reward of fasting the Day of Ashura is that Allah (SWT) forgives your sins from the previous year.

After years of torture and enslavement, the Israelites fled in the middle of the night to escape slavery until they reached the Red Sea. The Israelites exclaimed to Moses that they would be overtaken by Pharaoh and his army. The Qur'an narrates Allah (SWT) commanded Moses to strike the Red Sea with his staff, instructing them not to fear being overtaken or drowning. Upon striking the sea, it divided into two parts, that allowed the Israelites to pass through. Pharaoh witnessed the sea splitting alongside his army, but as they also tried to pass through, the sea closed in on them.

Musa (AS) therefore began the tradition of fasting on the Day of Ashura as a form of gratitude to Allah (SWT). Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told us to continue this tradition by fasting and in order to differentiate Muslims from other religious groups who fast on this day, the Prophet (SAW) encouraged us to fast on the ninth of Muharram as well as the tenth (Sunday 7th August and Monday 8th August).

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) ordered [the Muslims] to fast on the Day of Ashura, and when fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed, it became optional for one to fast on that day [Ashura] or not.

(Sahih Bukhari)

This is a great day when Allah saved Musa (as) and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people.

(Sahih Muslim)

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said, ‘’one who generously spends on his family on the day of Ashura, Allah (SWT) will be generous on him for the entire year (Baihaqi)

Giving Charity

Whoever fasts Ashura it is as if he fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year

(Ibn Rajab Lat’if al-Ma’arif)

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Written by Yusuf Kalam Fundraising Manager

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