Q. May we fast only on tenth Muharram?

A. No! One MUST fast on the 9th also. Alternatively, if one does not fast on the 9th, then together with the 10th, one must fast on the 11th as well. Take note of the following facts:

  • Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam commanded us to oppose the Kuffaar. On the JamiatNC website is a booklet on Halloween which explains the prohibition of Tashabbuh Bil Kuffaar (emulating the Kuffaar) in detail. It is due to such evil Tashabbuh, that fasting on the tenth alone is detestable.
  • With specific reference to fasting on tenth Muharram, Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam explicitly commanded us to oppose the Yahood. (Tahaawi, Bayhaqi, Tirmizi, Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq, etc.) In Musnad Ahmed, the narration is as follows: “Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: ‘Fast on the Day of Aashura and oppose the Jews. Fast also a day before it (i.e. the ninth also) or a day after it (i.e. the eleventh also).”
  • Of utmost significance is the fact that the command to fast the 11th or the 9th together with the 10th of Muharram is a Mansoos Hukm! In other words, even if the Jews and Christians do not fast on the Day of Aashura, we will still add the 9th or the 11th to it when we fast because Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam commanded us to do so. This has been the practice for the last fourteen centuries. If we have to reason otherwise, then many Shari Ahkaam will change. Performing Zuhr Salaat silently and Ramal in Tawaaf are two conspicuous examples.  
  • If a person fasts only on the tenth of Muharram despite knowing the command of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam to fast a day before or a day after Aashura also, then such a person will be deliberately ignoring the Command of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam which is dangerous for Imaan.
  • The Masnoon practice is to fast on two days and not just one. This has been the practice since the era of the Sahaabah Radhiyallahu Anhum based on the instructions of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. Any attempt to modify, alter, interpolate, adjust or change the Sunnah is in fact Bid’ah, thus impermissible.