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It is the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to fast on the day of Ashura which is the 10th Muharram.
Can we fast only on the 10th Muharram?
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ fasted on the day of Ashura 10th Muharram only throughout his life.
However, 2 months before his death on 11 Hijri Sahaba told him that Jews also fast on this day upon which Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: When the next year comes, God willing, we would observe fast on the 9th. But he died before the advent of the next year. – Sahih Muslim 1134
Keeping this hadith in mind, it is recommended to fast for 2 days on Ashura;
- 9th and 10th of Muharram.
- 10th and 1ath of Muharram.
Best fasting after Ramadan
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘The best fasting after the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah, Al-Muharram, and the best prayer is prayer at night.” – Sunan an-Nasa’i 1613
10th Muharram fasting is not fard
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of ‘Ashura’) may do so, and whoever wishes to leave it can do so.” – Sahih al-Bukhari 1592
Atone for the sins of the previous year
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: fasting on the day of Ashura’ may atone for the sins of the preceding year. – Sahih Muslim 1162a
Prophet Muhammad never gave up Ashura fasting
Hafsah رضي الله عنها said: “There are four things which the Prophet never gave up: Fasting ‘Ashura’, (fasting during) the ten days, (fasting) three days of each month, and praying two Rak’ahs before Al-Ghadah (Fajr).” – Sunan an-Nasa’i 2416