The month of Muharam is the first month of the islamic year, which takes its start date as the event Hijrah of the Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Madinah with his beloved companion Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq. It was another beloved companion, the second righteous Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab who decided that Muharam would be the first month of the Islamic calendar. So why is the month special and why is it an emphasised sunnah to fast on the 10th specifically?
In Sahih Muslim on Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet peace be upon him said:
“The best fast after Ramadan is the month of Muharram.”
When the Prophet peace be upon him: was asked about fasting on Ashura? He said:
“I hope Allah will expiate the sins of the year before”,
showing that it is more recommended than the rest of the days of the month.
In another hadith is shows it is also highly rewardable to fast on the ninth alongside the tenth:
“If I live until next year I will fast the ninth” means with the tenth.
If somebody asked: Why is the tenth day of Muharam stronger? The answer lies in the fact that it is the day when Allah saved Moses and his followers from the oppressive Pharaoh, as is proven in the saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet peace be upon him.
Do not dismiss any efforts in the way of Allah as small – Allah promises to multiply the reward of good actions.
O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allâh will bring it forth. Verily, Allâh is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Acquainted (with its place).[031:016]
The paths to doing good actions are numerous. Every muslim has a duty to exert effort to do good deeds and avoid the forbidden things.