Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan relates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) say: “ It is the day of ‘Ashura. Allah has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it.” Abu Qatada relates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]
The first month of this year is Muharram. In this month the 10th of Muharram is an excellent day. “It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Hazrat Musa and his people and drowned Pharoah and his people, and Sayyidina Musa observed fast out of gratitude. On this day: Allah accepted the repentance of Adam (‘Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise; Allah saved Nuh (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Ibrahim (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrood; And Allah spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Ayyub (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy); Yusuf (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (‘Alaihis-Salaam); Yunus (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of Israel was delivered from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day when Dawud (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was restored; Isa (‘Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah and Sayyidina al-Husayn (Radiyallahu ‘anh) (the Holy Prophet’s, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom.1
Worship Allah as much as you can on ‘Ashura. Whoever fasts on this day is like one who fasts all his life. Whoever clothes a naked person Allah will release him from a painful punishment. He who visits a sick person, Allah will grant him a reward that will not be decreased. Whoever places his hand on an orphan’s head, or feeds a hungry person or gives water to a thirsty man, Allah will feed him a feast from Paradise and will quench his thirst with Salsabil (a wine that does not intoxicate). And whoever takes a Ghusl on this day will enjoy excellent health and freedom from sickness and indolence. Whoever provides generously for his family on this day, Allah will be generous to him throughout this year.
O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds and gain their reward on ‘Ashura. Make the new year one of unity, cooperation and success for Muslims in this city and around the world. Ameen.