Lets fast on the 9th and the 10th or 10th and the 11th of Muharram (9th Muharram - Monday, 5th Dec 2011).
The Jews in Madinah fasted on the 10th Muharram because Allah (swt) saved Musa a.s and the Bani Israel on this day from the tyranny of Firaun, prophet Hazrat Mohammed (saw) was informed that they fasted on this day. He then instructed us to fast on the 9th as well.
Thus this will demonstrate a shift from the practice of the Jews. In the light of this, it is makruh to fast only on the 10th of Muharram only.Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (saw) said: "He who will be generous on his family on the day of Ashura, Allah Taala will be generous on him for the entire year." (Tabrani, Baihaqi).
Rewards for Fasting on the Day of Ashura.
Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (saw) said: "It is a compensation for the sins of the past year." All minor sins of the past year will be forgiven. The major sins are forgiven only when sincere taubat is made.
10 things to consider and perform on this day:
1. Take a bath
2. Wear surma ( a form of kohl/eye cosmetics -sunat to be applied at night, thrice on the right eye and twice on the left)
4. Sunat prayer (night of Ashura)
5. Bless the orphans
6. Make two Muslim people settle their arguments
7. Feed needy children
8. Look after the ill
9. Prayers for all the believers
10. Visit graves and tombs.
Recite zikir as much so your heart won't forget Allah..remember tht Allah only calls you in 3 ways in your life; when its azan, to call you for prayers, to perform Haj and also the call of death.
Suggestion, as this is my favorite :
"Radheetu billahi rabban, wa bil islami deenan, wa bi Muhammadin nabiyan wa rasoolan"
NOTE: It is meritorious that one spends freely on one's family, however the needy, orphans and widows should not be forgotten. Islam is simple,only us makes it complicated.
Appreciate if you would correct any of the notes above if you feel the need.