Regarded as the second holiest month of the year, second only to Ramadhan, the entry into the month of Muharram ushers in the new year for us Muslims worldwide in accordance with the Hijri Calendar. It marks the day Prophet Muhammad (SAW) migrated from Makkah to Madinah. As with any Islamic event, the dates are different every year due to the nature of the Hijri Calendar being a lunar calendar as opposed to the solar Gregorian Calendar. The timing or day of the event depends on the sightings of the moons.
Muharram which when translated means “banned, forbidden, prohibited or illicit”, is considered to be a month symbolizing peace and reflection for the Muslim community. Historically, keeping to its name, it is forbidden to wage wars during this month.
In essence, the word “Ashura” means tenth which is fitting as the day of Ashura falls on the 10th of Muharram. It marks the day that Prophet Musa (AS) crossed the Red Sea with his people under Allah (SWT)’s protection, saving them from the Pharoah. Ashura is set to fall on Saturday, 29 August 2020.
“The fast of Ashura wipes out the sins of the previous year.”
It is also Mustahab (preferable) and advised by the Prophet (SAW) that we fast the day before and/or after Ashura:
This is to distance ourselves from reenacting the practices of the Jewish faith, where they only fast on the 10th of Muharram. Fasting only on the 10th of Muharram is Makruh (disliked) unless of valid reasons.
Let us follow the advice of our beloved Prophet (SAW) and may Allah (SWT) give us ease and guidance to perform our ibadah and forgive our sins. In Shaa Allah.