Ashura is a day that falls on the 10th day of the month of Muharram. Muharram as we covered in a previous post is the first Month of the Islamic Calendar. This is the day that Nabii Musa(Moses) freed the jews from Pharaoh, the muslims celebrate this day by fasting.
Ibn Abbas said: Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura.
He said, "What is this?"
They said, "This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musa fasted on this day. "
He said, "We have more right to Musa than you".
So the prophet fasted on that day and commanded the Muslims to fast as well on that day.[Bukhari, 1865].
However, this was before fasting for Ramadhan was introduced. When the command came down from Allah to fast during Ramadhan, the fasting on Ashura was made optional. Fasting is optional on this day, so happy fasting everybody, I leave you with this hadith below.
Ibn Abbas said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of Ashura, and this month, meaning Ramadhan." [Bukhari, 1867]