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Muslims observe Ashura fasting
Thursday November 14, 2013 7:14 PM, & Agencies

Muslims in Saudi Arabia and most other Arab and Muslim countries are observing the Ashura fasting on Muharram 10 on Thursday. They also observed fasting on Tasua, which falls on Muharram 9, yesterday.

In India and neighboring countries, Muslims will observe Ashura fasting on Friday. Thursday being Muharram 9, the Muslims in India and neighboring countries observed the fasting on Tasua.

The difference of a day between Indian and Arab states is becuase the Islamic calendar runs on lunar system, and the new month begins with sighting of moon.

Fasting the 9th and the 10th of Muharram is a Prophetic Sunnah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Fasting the day of 'Ashura', I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the previous year." (Reported by Muslim). Ibn Abbas also quotes the Prophet (PBUH) as saying, "If I live next year, I shall also fast on the 9th day." (Reported by Ahmad).

Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, stated the following: Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) fasted on the day of 'Ashura' and told the people to fast, they said, "O Messenger of Allah, this is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians."

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Next year, if Allah wills, we will fast on the ninth day." But by the time the following year came, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had passed away. (Reported by Muslim)

Imam Al-Shafi`i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaq, and others said: It is recommended to fast both the 9th and the 10th because the Prophet (PBUH) fasted the 10th and intended to fast the 9th.

Based on this, there are different ways of fasting 'Ashura', the least of which is to fast the 10th only, but it is better to fast the 9th as well.

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