Observin Sawm on `Ashura' and acting differently from the People of the Book
Q: It is narrated in a Hadith that
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to Madinah, he found
observing Sawm (Fast) on `Ashura’ (10th of Muharram). So, he observed Sawm during it and ordered that Sawm should be observed in it.
How can this be reconciled with his order to act differently from the way of People of the Book in many matters?
Upon arriving in Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him)
used to act like the People of the Book in matters where there was no revelation. Then, Allah legislated for him to act differently from the way of the People of the Book. Consequently, the Prophet ordered the Ummah (community based on one creed) to do so. One of these practices was the
Sawm of the Day of `Ashura'. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated:
If I live till next year I will fast the ninth,
i.e. Along with the tenth day. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated:
Be different from the Jews; fast a day before or after it.
(Part No. 9; Page No. 311) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.