Virtues of Muharram and Fasting on ‘Ashura’
Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says:
“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 says:” … so wrong not yourselves therein … “ meanin: 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 in 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]
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.