Prayers & Fasting on the Day of Ashura – 10th of Muharram

The Day of Great Signs of Allah’s Power and Glory

By Allama Muhammad Shahid Raza (M.A)

Head Imam, The Islamic Centre, Leicester

Ashura day is the 10th day of Muharram (the first month of the Islamic calendar). Since the beginning of this world, Ashura day has been a very important day. On this day great signs of Allah’s power and glory have appeared in the world. On this day many Prophets were born and they were instituted to the office of prophecy. On this day, Prophets, Saints and Sincere servants of Allah were blessed with miracles and spiritual powers.
On Ashura Day the following have taken place:
1. Repentance of Prophet Adam (Allah’s blessing be upon him) was accepted by Allah

2. The ship of Prophet Nuh (Noah) (Allah’s blessing be upon him) came to rest on a mountain called Al-Judi.

3. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was born on this day.

4. He got the title Khalil-ullah (friend of Allah) on this day.

5. The fire in which Prophet Ibrahim (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was thrown by the king Namrud become cool and means of safety for Prophet Ibrahim, by the order of Allah.

6. Allah delivered Prophet Ayub (Job) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) from distress and he was restored to prosperity.

7. By the Grace of Allah, Prophet Yunas (Jonah) (Allah’s blessings be upon him), after being swallowed by a huge fish (whale) for forty days, was casted out on the shore.

8. Prophet Mussa (Moses) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) got victory over Pharaoh.

9. Prophet Suleman (Solomon) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was made a king to rule over mankind, Jins, Animals and the air.

10. Prophet Idris (Enoch) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) and Prophet Issa (Jesus) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) were lifted up alive.

11. Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of our beloved Prophet, got martyred at Karbala in Iraq.

12. The day of resurrection and judgement will take place on this day (Ashura)

 (Ghunia-Al-Talibeen & Tafseer-e-Sawi)   

Things to do on Ashura Day

It is Mustahab (desirable) to practice the following on Ashura day:

To give to charity
To offer Naf’l (optional) prayers
To read Surah Iklas 1000 times
To visit rightful Ullamas (Islamic Scholars)
To take a bath
To be kind to orphans
To provide food generously to family members
To apply Surmah (Collyrium) to the eyes
To cut nails
To visit the sick
To Invoke blessings (Dua)
To commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him)
 (Fazial Al-Shahoor Wal Ayyam)

Prayers for Ashura Day

1. Perform 2 rakaats Naf’l prayer, after having a bath. In each rakaat recite Surah Fatiha once, Surah Iklas 10 times. On completion of the prayer recite Ayaat-ul-kursi once and Darood Ibrahim 9 times followed by the Ashura Day dua.

2. Perform 6 rakaats Naf’l prayer.

In each rakaat recite the following once:

Surah Fatiha
Surah Wa-Shams
Surah Qadr
Surah Zulzilah
Surah Iklas
Surah Falaq
Surah Na’as

On completion of this prayer read surah Al-Kafiroon once in Sajdah and then invoke the blessings of Allah. It has been written in Ghuniya-Al-Talibeen that after performing this prayer whatever good is asked for Allah is granted.

3. Perform four rekaats Naf’l prayer

In each rekaat recite Surah Fatiha once and Surah Iklas 50 times. Allah will forgive 50 years of sins and a palace will be prepared in paradise. (Rahatul Kulub)  

To Hold Meetings on Ashura Day

Holding of religious meetings during the first 10 days of Muharram, specially on Ashura day, is lawful (Ja’iz) and it caries a lot of reward.In these meetings, speeches are made about the heroic deeds and virtues of the martyrs of Karbala. These meetings crease a sense of stability, peace and endurance in the hearts and minds of Muslims. On such occasions speeches should also include stories form the lives of Khulfa-e-rashedean (Rightful Caliphs) and other As-haabs (companions).

Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab

Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab is a way of sending rewards of good deeds to the souls of our beloved Muslim realtives, friends, scholars, Saints and Prophets who are no longer with us. Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab is lawful (Ja’iz) and strictly in accordance with the tenets of Islam. Some people, due to their ignorance, consider Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab as Haraam and Bida’at, but they are not right.On Ashura day, Muslims make Fatiha and Isal-e-Sawaab for the souls of Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him) and other martyrs of Karbala. For this purpose Muslims prepare sweet dishes, cold drinks (sharbat), fruit etc, and distribute these among relatives, friends and the poor.

Fasting on Ashura Day

Fasting on Ashura day carries a great reward. It is better to fast both 9th and 10th of Muharram. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) has said that this is the most rewarding fast next to Ramadhan. Our beloved Prophet has also said that fasting on Ashura day will compensate for one year’s sin.

(Tirmidhi Sharif) 

It is said that when Prophet Nuh (Allah’s blessings be upon him) landed safely on mount Judi, after the flood, he along with others, including birds and animals, observed a fast on Ashura day to thank Allah 


Hazrat Hafsah (Allah be pleased with her) is reported to have said that our beloved Prophet practised the following four things without fail:

1. Fasting on Ashura day

2. Fasting during the first nine days of Zil-Hajj

3. Fasting for 3 days in every month (13th, 14th and 15th of each Islamic month)

4. Two rakaat sunnah prayer of Fajr.

 (Nasai Sharif) 

Hazrat Ibne Umar (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that fasting on Ashura day is equivalent to the reward of fasting for one year.

(Ma Ssbata Bis-Sunnah)

In  the light of the above references all Muslims should observe fast on Ashura day.  


Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is God's month. al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.

*Sahih Muslim, The Book of Fasting (Kitab Al-Sawm) Rozey Ke Masayeel*

*** Hazrat Abdullah Bin Abbas RaziAllah Taala anho se rivayat hai ki Jab Roza rakha Rasoolallah Sallallaho alaihey wasallam Madiney Main Tashreef laye to Yahud ko dekha ki Aashurey Ke Din ka Roza Rakhte hain, Un se pucha ki Kyon rakte hain to unhoney kaha ki ye wo din hai Jab Allah taala ne Musa Alaihey Salam aur Banee Israeel ko firoun Par Galba (Victory) Diya Isliye Aaj hum Rozydar hain Iski Taazaim ke Liye ,To Nabee Sallallaho alaihey wasallam ne farmaya hum tum se ziyada dost hain aur Kareeb hain Musa Alaihey Salam ky, Phir Huqm ( Order) Diya Aap Sallallaho alaihey wasallam Ne is (10 muharram) Rozy ka.

Hazrat Ibn'Abbas (Allah be pleased with both of them) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) arrived in Medina and found the Jews observing fast on the day of 'Ashura, Said to them What is the (significance) of this day that you observe fast on it? They said: It is the day of great (significance) when Allah delivered Moses and his people, and drowned the Pharaoh and his people, So we observe fast out of gratitude . Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: We have more right, and we have a closer connection with Moses than you have; so Allah's Messenger (may gave orders that it should be observed.

*Sahih Muslim, The Book of Fasting (Kitab Al-Sawm) Rozey Ke Masayeel*

*** Abdullah Bin Abbas RaziAllah Taala anho se rivayat hai ki Jab Roza rakha Rasoolallah Sallallaho alaihey wasallam Ne Aashurey ke din(10 Muharram) ka aur Huqm (Order) Kiya is Rozey ka, to logo ne Arz ki Ya Rasoolallah Sallallaho alaihey wasallam ye din to aisa hai ki iski Taazim karte hain Yahud aur Nasara,To Aap Sallallaho alaihey wasallam Ne farmaya Ki Jab Agla Saal aayega to Inshallah Hum 9 ka Roza Rakhege,Aakhir Agla Saal na aane paya ki Aap Sallallaho alaihey wasallam Ne Wafat Payee.

*** Hazrat Ibn 'Abbas reported that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) fasted on the day of 'Ashura and commanded that it should he observed as a fast, they (his Companions) said to him: Messenger of Allah, it is a day which the Jews and Christians hold in high esteem. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When the next year comes, God willing, we would observe fast on the 9th But the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) died before the advent of the next year. ***

*Sahih Muslim, The Book of Fasting (Kitab Al-Sawm) Rozey Ke Masayeel*


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