Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and is considered a sacred month. The Day of Ashura falls on the tenth day of Muharram.
The 10th of Muharram, also known as Ashura, is one of the most important days in the Islamic calendar. To understand the intense meaning of Ashura to Muslims all over the world, we have highlighted a number of key events that mark out this day as special.
Prophet Musa and His Following were Saved on this Day
It is understood that on the 10th of Muharram, the Prophet Musa (AS) was being pursued by Pharaoh, and in his bid to escape, he needed to lead his people across the red sea. As they approached the shore, the sea parted, opening up an escape route. Meanwhile, as they progressed across the seabed, behind them, the seas closed up again, destroying all non-believers who were in their pursuit.
“Then we inspired to Moses, ‘Strike with your staff the sea,’ and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. And we advanced thereto the pursuers. And we saved Moses and those with him, all together. Then we drowned the others. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is exalted in Might, the Merciful.” [Surah Ash Shu’arah, Verses 63-68].
Prophet Nuh and His Ark
Another reason why the 10th of Muharram is so important is that it was reported that the Prophet Nuh (AS) and his ark finally came to a rest on Mount Judi. It is reported that Allah (SWT) called out to Prophet Nuh (AS) and his followers to leave the ark, releasing the animals, birds and insects they had rescued.
Fasting on the 10th of Muharram, the Day of Ashura, is the most important fast after Ramadan. Muslims are also encouraged to fast on the days on either side as well, the 9th and the 11th of Muharram.
The belief is that fasting on the Day of Ashura expiates the past year’s sins and allows an individual to start again with a clean slate.
What Date is Ashura Day in 2023?
10th Muharram takes place in 2023 on Friday 28 July. Ashura fasting should commence at sundown on Thursday 27 July and continue until sundown on Friday 28 July, unless you have chosen to fast from the 9th of Muharram until the 11th of Muharram. In this case, your fast should commence at sundown on Wednesday 26 July, and finish at sundown on Saturday 29 July.
You can enhance your Ashura fasting and celebrate the 10th of Muharram by making a donation that lifts the lives of more vulnerable Muslims living in poverty. Donate to UK Islamic Mission to protect orphans and widows struggling to put food on the table.