Waikato Muslim Association Inc reminds its members to fast on Friday, as well as either Thursday or Saturday this week.
Friday is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year 1443. It is known as "Aashoora" (derived from the Arabic word for ten).
"Muharram is one of the four sacred months of the year, when warfare is forbidden," said Asad Mohsin, President of the Association.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to follow his Sunnah (example) and fast on 10 Muharram like the Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) used to do. This is the date when the Children of Israel were saved from Pharaoh, while he and his followers were drowned.
"Many Muslims will fast voluntarily from dawn to sunset and remember when Allah (God) saved the people of the Prophet Musa, peace be upon him," said Asad Mohsin.
When asked about the merit of fasting on the day of Aashoora, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had said "It expiates the sins of the preceding year."
"The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also encouraged Muslims to follow his Sunnah and fast on either the day before, or the day after, Aashoora," said Asad Mohsin.
This year Aashoora coincides with the closure of the Hamilton Mosque at 921 Heaphy Terrace, Claudelands, Hamilton for three days from 11.59pm on Tuesday 17 August. All of New Zealand is in COVID-19 alert level 4.