Muharram-ul-Haraam is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is the month of extreme greatness and blessings, especially the 10th of this month, that is, Ashura day. This day has been given extraordinary importance in Islam. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم observed fast himself on this day and also commanded blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم to observe fast on this day. (Derived from: Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, pp. 656, Hadees 2004)
Even before Islam people would respect this day and would observe fast on this day. We should also fast on Ashura day (10th Muharram-ul-Haraam) and should perform acts of worship abundantly. A few virtuous deeds which are performed on Ashura day are being mentioned below so that we can be persuaded to practise them.
Fast of Ashura erases sins
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: I hope from the mercy of Allah Almighty that the fast of Ashura erases the sins of one year before it. (Sahih Muslim, pp. 454, Hadees 2746)
Deed of Ashura night
When the night of Ashura comes, perform this deed: Offer four Nafl on the Ashura night; in every Rak’at after Surah Al-Fatihah, recite Ayat-ul-Kursi 1 time and complete Surah Al-Ikhlas (قُلْ ھُوَ اللّٰەُ اَحَدٌ) 3 times. After completing the Salah recite Surah Al-Ikhlas 100 times. By virtue of its blessing, you will be purified of sins and will get many great blessings in Paradise. (Jannati Zaywar, pp. 157, amended)
Prescription for increasing sustenance
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: One who spends generously on his children on the 10th Muharram, Allah Almighty will give him much the whole year. Sayyiduna Sufyan رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه has said: We acted upon the blessed Hadees and found the same. (Mishkat-ul-Masabih, vol. 1, pp. 365, Hadees 1926)
Virtues of Ashura day
Islamic scholars have written 10 things to be Mustahab on Ashura day: (1) Keeping fast (2) giving Sadaqah (3) offering Nafl Salah (4) reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas (قُلْ ھُوَ اللّٰەُ اَحَدٌ) one thousand times (5) beholding Islamic scholars (6) stroking the head of an orphan (7) to spend generously on family (8) performing Ghusl (9) Applying kohl (10) clipping nails (11) paying a visit to sick people (12) reconciling with enemies. (Jannati Zaywar, pp. 158, summarised)
Send Sawab to the martyrs of Karbala
On Ashura day, Sayyiduna Imam Husain رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ sacrificed his blessed life along with his companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم for the sake of serving Islam. So on this day, we should also arrange Quran Khuwani, do Zikr, recite Durood, give donations and Niyaz (provide food to Muslims).