بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم —
Fasting on the day of ‘Ashūrā (10th of Muharram)
When the Prophet ﷺ arrived in Al-Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on the tenth day of Muharram. They used to say: "This is a great day on which Allāh saved Moses and drowned the folk of Pharaoh. Moses observed the fast on this day, as a sign of gratitude to Allāh." The Prophet ﷺ said, "I am closer to Moses than they." So, he observed the fast (on that day) and ordered the Muslims to fast on it. " - Narrated by Ibn Abbas (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith - 4.609)
In the Hadith of Ibn Abbas, may Allāh be please with him, whose authenticity is agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim it is stated that the Prophet ﷺ fasted on the Day of ‘Ashūrā and he ordered that the fast be performed on it, and when he was asked about the virtue of fasting on it, he Prophet ﷺ said, ''I anticipate that Allāh will wipe out the sins of the year before it, and the year after it'' (Reported By Muslim in the Book of Fasting)
However, after that, he commanded that the Muslims should be different from the Jews by fasting the tenth and the day before it, which is the ninth or the day after it, which is the eleventh.
Based upon this, it is preferable to fast on the tenth and to add a day before it or a day after it. Adding the ninth day to it is better than the eleventh.
So it is desirable that you should fast on the Day of ‘Ashūrā and likewise on the ninth.
Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen
Fatawa Arkanul-Islam- Question 442 pg 676.
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