Fasting exclusively on 10 Muharram

Fasting exclusively on 10 Muharram

Fasting exclusively on 10th Muḥarram


I understand that it is preferable to avoid fasting exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. However, I have heard that according to the Ḥanafī school of thought, it is makrūh to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. Please can you clarify the matter.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


There are two opinions within the Ḥanafī school of thought regarding this.

(1) The first opinion is that it is makrūh (disliked) to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. This is because the Prophet of Allah ﷺ expressed his firm intention to also fast on 9th Muḥarram if he were to remain alive. The Prophet ﷺ said:

لئن بقيت إلى قابل لأصومن التاسع‏

“If I remain until the next year, I shall [also] fast the ninth [of Muḥarram].”[1]

Accordingly, ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbbās (d. 68/687-8) (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said:

صوموا التاسع والعاشر وخالفوا الیهود‏

“Fast on the ninth and tenth and oppose the Jews.”[2]

Thus, it is makrūh (disliked) to fast only on 10th Muḥarram according to many Ḥanafī scholars including ʿAllāmah Zayn al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. ca. 666/1267)[3], ʿAllāmah Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī (d. 855/1451)[4], ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām (d. 861/1457)[5], ʿAllāmah Shihāb al-Dīn al-Shilbī (d. 947/1540)[6], ʿAllāmah Ibn Nujaym (d. 969/1562)[7], ʿAllāmah Sirāj al-Dīn ibn Nujaym (d. 1005/1596)[8], ʿAllāmah Shurunbulālī (d. 1069/1659)[9], Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Shaykhīzādah (d. 1078/1667-8)[10], ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī (d. 1088/1677)[11] and ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿĀbidīn (d. 1252/1836)[12]. This is also the view adopted in al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah[13] and is the position of Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thanawī (d. 1362/1943)[14], Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī (d. 1417/1996)[15], Mufti Niẓām al-Dīn al-Aʿẓamī (d. 1420/2000)[16], Mufti ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Lājpūrī (d. 1422/2001)[17] and Mufti Raḍa al-Ḥaq (b. 1369/1950)[18]. It is however worth noting that this karāhah is tanzīhī, as mentioned by ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām[19], ʿAllāmah Ibn Nujaym[20], ʿAllāmah Ḥaṣkafī[21], ʿAllāmah Shurunbulālī[22] and ʿAllāmah Shilbī[23]. This means that a person is not sinful for the action but it is disliked. Nevertheless, if someone decides to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram will he be rewarded or not according to this opinion? I have not seen this explicitly in the earlier books. However, Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī[24], Mufti Nizām al-Dīn al-Aʿẓamī[25] and Mufti Raḍa al-Ḥaq[26] affirm that despite it being disliked, a person will be rewarded.

(2) The second opinion within the Ḥanafī School is that it is not makrūh (disliked) to fast exclusively on 10th Muḥarram. ʿAllāmah ʿAlā al-Dīn al-Kāsānī (d. 587/1191) writes, “Some of them [scholars] have disliked the sole fast of ʿĀshūrāʾ because of imitating the Jews. However, the general scholars have not disliked it because it is from the virtuous days. Thus, it is mustaḥab (desirable) to attain its virtue.”[27] This view is shared by ʿAllāmah Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī (d. 1352/1933)[28] as well as his student Shaykh Muḥammad Yūsuf Binorī (d. 1397/1977).[29] Other Ḥanafī Scholars who appear to be inclined to this view include Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq Muḥaddith Dehlawī (d. 1052/1642)[30], ʿAllāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad ʿUthmānī (d. 1369/1949)[31], Shaykh Ẓafar Aḥmad ʿUthmānī (d. 1394/1974)[32] and Mawlānā Khālid Sayf Allāh (b. 1376/1956 -)[33]. The principal evidence of these scholars is that the Prophet ﷺ sufficed with the fast of 10th Muḥarram throughout his time in Madīnah and outlined the virtues of fasting on this day. ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbbās (d. 68/687-8) (may Allah be pleased with them) said: “The Prophet ﷺ came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ʿĀshūrāʾ. He said, “What is this?” They said: “This is a righteous day, a day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Musā fasted on this day.” He said, “We have more right to Musā than you”, so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast.”[34] Similarly, ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbbās (may Allah be pleased with them) said: “I never saw the Prophet ﷺ seeking to fast on a day, giving it preference over others, except for this day the day of ʿĀshūrāʾ, and this month, referring to the month of Ramaḍān.”[35] The Prophet ﷺ said:

وصيام يوم عاشوراء أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله

“And fasting the day of ʿĀshūrāʾ, I hope from Allah that it will expiate for the previous year.”[36]

Thus, according to the second opinion, fasting only on 10th Muḥarram cannot be deemed makrūh (disliked) because the Prophet ﷺ only fasted on this day. This notwithstanding his desire and intention to also fast on 9th Muḥarram the following year.

In conclusion, both views exist within the Ḥanafī school of thought and both opinions are substantiated with evidences. A person should therefore attempt to fast on 9th and 10th Muḥarram. If, however, a person is unable to do so, then it is recommended that he fasts on the 10th and he will be rewarded.

Note 1

Ḥafiẓ Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751/1350)[37], Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852/1449)[38], ʿAllāmah Qasṭalānī (d. 923/1517)[39], Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaq Muḥaddith Dehlawī (d. 1052/1642)[40], ʿAllāmah Shawkānī (d. 1250/1834)[41] and others have outlined three levels of fasting for ʿĀshūrāʾ in the following order:

  • 9th, 10th and 11th.
  • 9th and 10th as mentioned in most narrations.
  • Only 10th.

Some scholars have also mentioned 10th and 11th as an option which is better than the third option.[42]

Note 2

It is desirable to fast as many days as possible in the month of Muḥarram. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The best fasts after Ramaḍān is Allah’s month of Muḥarram.”[43]

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

7 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1437 / 9 September 2016

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Sahib


[1] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (1134).

[2] Muṣannaf ʿAbd al-Razzāq (7839); Sunan al-Tirmidhī (755); Sharḥ Maʿānī al-Āthār (3302); al-Sunan al-Kubrā (8404).

[3] Tuḥfat al-Mulūk (p. 150).

[4] Minḥat al-Sulūk (p. 187). In ʿUmdat al-Qārī (11: 117), ʿAllāmah ʿAynī has mentioned both views without indicating his preference.

[5] Fatḥ al-Qadīr (2: 303; 2: 350).

[6] Ḥāshiyah al-Shilbī ʿalā Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʾiq (1: 332).

[7] Al-Baḥr al-Rāʾiq (2: 277).

[8] Al-Nahr al-Fāʾiq (2: 5).

[9] Marāqī al-Falāḥ (p. 236); Ḥāshiyah al-Shurunbūlālī ʿalā Durar al-Ḥukkām (1: 197).

[10] Majmaʿ al-Anhur (1: 232).

[11] Radd al-Muḥtār (2: 375).

[12] Ibid.

[13] (1: 202). This view is attributed therein to Muḥīṭ of ʿĀllāmah Raḍī al-Dīn al-Sarakhsī (d. 571/1176).

[14] Behishtī Zeywar (p. 142); Imdād al-Fatāwā (2: 118). It is worth noting that this is his final stance on this issue as he was of the view initially that it is not makrūh.

[15] Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah (15: 224).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Fatāwā Raḥīmiyyah (2: 112).

[18] Fatāwā Dār al-ʿUlūm Zakariyyā (3: 319).

[19] Fatḥ al-Qadīr (2: 303).

[20] Al-Baḥr al-Rāʾiq (2: 277).

[21] Radd al-Muḥtār (2: 375).

[22] Marāqī al-Falāḥ (p. 236).

[23] Ḥāshiyah al-Shilbī ʿalā Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʾiq (1: 313).

[24] Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah (15: 224).

[25] Ibid.

[26] Fatāwā Dār al-ʿUlūm Zakariyyā (3: 319).

[27] Badāʾiʿ al-Ṣanāʾiʿ (2: 79).

[28] Al-ʿArf al-Shadhī (2: 177).

[29] Maʿārif al-Sunan (5: 434).

[30] Lamaʿāt al-Tanqīḥ (4: 472).

[31] Fatḥ al-Mulhim (5: 257).

[32] Iʿlāʾ al-Sunan (9: 179).

[33] Kitāb al-Fatāwā (3: 446).

[34] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (2004).

[35] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (2006).

[36] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (1162).

[37] Zād al-Maʿād (2: 72).

[38] Fatḥ al-Bārī (4: 246).

[39] Al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah (11: 277).

[40] Lamaʿāt al-Tanqīḥ (4: 472).

[41] Nayl al-Awṭār (4: 290).

[42] Nukhab al-Afkār (8: 422); Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ (4: 1412); al-ʿArf al-Shadhī (2: 177); Imdād al-Fatāwā (2: 118).

[43] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (1163).