The Virtue Of Fasting ‘Ashoora': True Ashoora Expiate For Past Year?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
heard that fasting the day of ‘Ashoora' expiates for
the past year, is this true?
Does it expiate for everything, even major sins? What
is the reason for venerating this day?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Fasting the day of ‘Ashoora' does expiate for the past
year, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: "Fasting the day of ‘Arafah
I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year before
it and the year after it, and fasting the day of
‘Ashoora' I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the
year that came before it." Narrated by Muslim, 1162.
This is by the bounty that Allaah bestows upon us,
whereby fasting one day expiates for the sins of a
whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of great bounty.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) used to be very keen to make sure he fasted on
the day of ‘Ashoora' because of its great status. It
was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased
with him) said: I never saw the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) so keen to make sure
he fasted any day and preferring it over another
except this day, the day of ‘Ashoora', and this month
– meaning Ramadaan. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1867.
What is meant by being keen to make sure he fasted it
is so as to earn its reward.
With regard to the reason why the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the day of
‘Ashoora' and urged the people to do likewise is
mentioned in the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari
(1865) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with
him), who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews
fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora'. He said, "What is
this?" They said, "This is a good day, this is the day
when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their
enemy and Moosa fasted on this day." He said, "We have
closer to Moosa than you." So he fasted on this day
and told the people to fast.
The words "this is a good day" – according to a
version narrated by Muslim, "This is a great day when
Allaah saved Moosa and his people and drowned Pharaoh
and his people."
The words "so Moosa fasted on this day" – Muslim added
in his report: "In gratitude to Allaah, so that is we
fast on this day."
According to another version narrated by al-Bukhaari,
"So we fast it out of respect for it."
The words "and told the people to fast" – according to
another version narrated by al-Bukhaari, "He said to
his companions, ‘You are closer to Moosa than them, so
fast this day."
The expiation of sins that is achieved by fasting
‘Ashoora' refers to minor sins; with regard to major
sins, they need separate repentance.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah expiates for all minor
sins, in othr words this brings forgiveness for all
sins except for major sins.
Then he said:
Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah is an expiation for two
years, and the day of ‘Ashoora is an expiation for one
year, and if a person's Ameen coincides with the Ameen
of the angels, his previous sins will be forgiven…
Each of the things mentioned may bring expiation. If
he does something that expiates for minor sins he will
be expiated, and if there are no minor or major sins,
it will be recorded for him as good deeds and he will
rise in status thereby… If there is one or more major
sins and no minor sins, we hope that it will reduce
his major sins. Al-Majmoo' Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on
him) said: The expiation of purification, prayer, and
fasting Ramadaan, ‘Arafah and ‘Ashoora' applies to
minor sins only. Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5.