Making Up Missed Ramadhan in the Second Half of Sha’ban

Making Up Missed Ramadhan Fasts in the Second Half of Sha’ban

I had many days owing the Ramadhan fasts because of pregnancy and giving birth, which coincided with the time of Ramadhan. I have made them up, praise be to Allah, with the exception of the last seven days.

I fasted three of them in the second half of Sha’ban, and I want to do the rest before Ramadhan begins.

But I read on your site that it is not permissible to fast in the second half of Sha’ban, except for a person who habitually fasts. Please advise me, may Allah reward you. I want to know whether I should fast the rest of these days that I owe, or not. If the answer is no, then what is the ruling on the three days that I have already fasted – do I have to make them up again or not?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Sha’ban is halfway through, do not fast.”

[Narrated by Abu Dawud (3237); Ibn Hibban (1651); classified as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidzi].

There are some exceptions from this prohibition, as follows:

1 – One who observe the fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, which he may do even after halfway through Sha’ban. The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Do not anticipate Ramadan by fasting one or two days before it, except a man who fasts regularly, who should observe his usual fast.”

[Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1914; Muslim, 1082].

2 – A person who started fasting before halfway through Sha’baan, and connects what comes after the halfway point to what came before. This is not included in the prohibition either. The evidence for that is the words of ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’ban and fast all of Sha’ban except a little.”

[Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1970; Muslim, 1165. This version narrated by Muslim].

Al-Nawawi said: “He used to fast all of Sha’ban and fast all of Sha’ban except a little.” The second phrase is an explanation of the first, pointing out that by “all” what is meant is “most”.

This hadith indicates that it is permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’ban, but only for one who joins that to what came before the halfway point.

3 – An exception from this prohibition is also made for one who is making up missed Ramadan fasts.

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmu’ (6/399):

Our companions said: it is not correct to fast on the “day of doubt” just before Ramadhan, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion on this point … But if a person fasts it to make up a missed day or to fulfil a vow, or as an expiation, that is acceptable, because if it is permissible to observe a voluntary fast on that day, it is more likely to be permissible to observe an obligatory fast… and if a person has to make up a day from Ramadhan, then he has to fast it, because the time left for him to make it up has become very short.

The “day of doubt” is the thirtieth of Sha’ban if it has not been possible to sight the moon of the thirtieth because of cloud, fog, etc. It is called the “day of doubt” because there is some doubt concerning it – is it the last day of Sha’baan or the first day of Ramadhan?

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with making up a missed Ramadhan fast in the last half of Sha’ban. This is not included in the prohibition of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on fasting after halfway through Sha’ban.

So your fasting of those three days is valid, and you have to fast the remaining days before Ramadhan begins.

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted from Fatwa No:49884 published in Islam Q&A]

Bolehkah Puasa Qadha Dan Syawwal Digabungkan?

“…dan tidaklah hampir kepadaku seorang hambaKu dengan apa juapun, maka yang lebih ku sukai adalah mereka melaksanakan amalan fardhu atau wajib ke atas mereka, dan sentiasalah mereka ingin menghampirkan diri mereka kepadaKu dengan mengerjakan amalan sunat sehinggalah aku kasih kepadanya…” [Riwayat Al-Bukhari].

Bolehkah puasa Qadha dan Syawwal digabungkan?

Azamin Amin

KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Nov 2007(Harakah) – Isu keutamaan antara Sunat Syawwal dan Qadha seringkali menjadi perbincangan di kalangan umat Islam yang ingin menunaikan kewajipan dan perintah agamanya dan lazimnya menjadi persoalan ialah tentang penggabungannya dengan puasa ganti Ramadhan dan puasa yang perlu didahulukan.

Malah ada yang bertanya manakah yang lebih baik di antara puasa Sunat Syawwal dan puasa Qadha sedangkan telah terbukti dari hadis sebuah Qudsi yang sahih yang menuntut umat Islam mengutaamakan dahulu kewajipan menunaikan puasa ganti terlebih dahulu.

Sabda Rasullullah SAW berhubung puasa tersebut:

“…dan tidaklah hampir kepadaku seorang hambaKu dengan apa juapun, maka yang lebih ku sukai adalah mereka melaksanakan amalan fardhu atau wajib ke atas mereka, dan sentiasalah mereka ingin menghampirkan diri mereka kepadaKu dengan mengerjakan amalan sunat sehinggalah aku kasih kepadanya…” [Riwayat Al-Bukhari].

Mengulas isu ini Ustaz Zaharuddin Abd Rahman berkata walaupun waktu bagi puasa Qadha adalah panjang, umat Islam tetap tidak pasti adakah mampu menunaikan sampai ke tarikh tertentu atau ajal menjelang dahulu.

“Seseorang yang mati sebelum mengganti puasa Ramadhannya tetapi sudah berpuasa sunat Syawwal akan pasti bermasalah kerana ia dikira masih berhutang dengan Allah SWT”.

“Tiada dalil gabungkan puasa sunat Syawwal dan Qadha dalam satu niat”

Bagaimanapun seseorang yang mati setelah berjaya menggantikan puasanya tetapi tidak sempat berpuasa sunat Syawwal, pastinya tiada sebarang masalah pun, malah mungkin ia juga mungkin boleh mendapat pahala sunat Syawal itu sekali,” katanya dalam laman webnya http://www.zaharuddin.net.

Beliau turut mengulas isu menggabungkan puasa qada dan syawwal yang sememangnya amat popular dan lazimnya dilakukan oleh rata-rata umat Islam.

“Tidak elok untuk menggabungkan kedua-duanya bagi mereka yang mampu (dari sudut kesihatan tubuh dan lain-lain) untuk memisahkannya. Ini kerana sepengetahuan saya tiada dalil yang spesifik membuktikan Nabi SAW pernah melakukannya atau menganjurkan kepada para sahabat untuk menggabungkannya,” katanya.

“Apabila Nabi, sahabat dan salaf soleh tidak melakukannya maka pastinya ia bukanlah amalan yang terpilih dan terbaik kerana pilihan Nabi SAW dan para sahabat selamanya adalah yang terbaik,” katanya.

Malah katanya terdapat juga hujah yang menyebabkan pandangan yang mengharuskan penggabungan ‘qadha dan ganti’ itu dipersoalkan, iaitu antaranya jika seseorang mengatakan boleh gabung puasa qada (yang wajib) dengan puasa syawwal (yang sunat) maka sudah tentu selepas ini timbul pula individu yang cuba menggabungkan solat wajib dengan solat sunat.

Atau ada yang akan beranggapan boleh gabungan solat Isyak dengan Tarawih, atau Subuh dengan ‘tahiyatul masjid’ atau dengan solat sunat fajar, atau solat Jumaat dengan solat sunat ‘tahiyatul masjid’,katanya.

Menurut Prof. Dr Syeikh Abd Malik As-Sa’dy (bekas Lajnah Fatwa Iraq) dan Prof Dr Mohd ‘Uqlah El-Ibrahim (Jordan), mereka berpendapat bahawa amalan wajib tidak boleh digabungkan dengan apa-apa amalan wajib atau sunat lain, kerana amalan wajib memerlukan tumpuan khusus yang tidak berbelah bahagi semasa pelaksanaannya dan ia perlu bagi mengangkat tuntutan kewajibannya.

Selain itu tindakan Aisyah ra yang melewatkan Qadha pula boleh dijadikan hujah bahawa beliau mengasingkan kedua-dua puasa Qadha dan Syawwal.

Amalan wajib (qadha) memerlukan niat yang ‘jazam’ (tepat dan pasti) maka tindakan mengabungkan ia dengan niat puasa sunat mungkin boleh merosakkan kepastiannya, kata Zaharuddin lagi.

Namun secara cermat beliau membuat kesimpulan dalam mengutarakan perbincangan ini iaitu adalah tidak elok digabungkan dan elok sangat didahulukan yang wajib (qadha) daripada sunat (Syawwal) tetapi menganggap sebagai rukhsah “keringanan” bagi mereka yang mempunyai kesukaran kerana uzur dan tidak mampu untuk mengasingkannya.

©Harakah

Observing the Fast of Six Days in Shawwal

Observing the Fast of Six Days in Shawwal

Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari RA reported that the Prophet SAW said:  “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal it would be as if he had fast perpetually.” [Muslim]

1. Can A Person Perform Fasting the Six Days Of Shawwal When He Still Has To Make Up From Ramadhan?

Praise be to Allah, The Lord of Al-A’lamin.

The precise rewards of the righteous deeds which people perform it in the most perfect manner for the sake of Allah SWT are something which would be known only to Allah the Exalted. If a person seeks the reward from Allah and strives to obey Him, his reward would not be lost, as Allah says:

“We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost.” [ Surah Al-Kahfi, 18:30].

If someone had missed some of the days of Ramadhan, he should perform that missed fast them first, then he would embark on the fasting of six days of Shawwal, because he cannot follow the fast of Ramadhan with six days of Shawwal unless he has duly completed his obligatory Ramadhan fast. [This is to attain as if you  had fast perpetually.]

[Fatawa Al-Lajnah Al-Da’imah, 10/392]

These days do not have to be fast immediately after Eid Al-Fitr; it is permissible to start doing it one or more days after Eid, and they may be done consecutively or separately during the month of Syawwal, according to what is easier for a person. There are plenty of options in finding a suitable day, as this is not obligatory, it is Sunnah.

Shaikh Muhammad Salih Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Fatawa Al-Siyam (438):

Whoever fasts the day of ‘Arafah, or the day of ‘Ashura’, but still owes days from Ramadhan, his fast is valid, but if he intends to fast this day to make up for a missed fast of Ramadhan, he will have two rewards: the reward for the day of ‘Arafah or ‘Ashura’ along with the reward for making up the missed fast. This has to do with voluntary fasts in general that are not attached to Ramadhan.

With regard to fasting the six days of Syawwal, they are associated to Ramadhan and can only do after making up missed Ramadhan fasts. If he fasts them before making up missed Ramadhan fasts he will not attain that reward, because the Prophet SAW said:

He who observed the fast of Ramadhan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal it would be as if he had fast perpetually. [Muslim (2614)]

It is well known that whoever still owes days from Ramadhan is not regarded as having fasted Ramadhan until he makes up the days he missed.

 

2. Is it permissible to Combine Making up Missed Ramadhan Fasts Six Days of Syawwal with One Intention?

Likewise it is not permissible to combine making up missed Ramadhan fasts with fasting six days of Syawwal with one intention. The fasting the six days of Syawwal can only be done after fasting of Ramadhan was performed in full. 

Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Fatawa Al-Siyam (438): The fasting the six days of Syawwal, are attached to Ramadhan and can only done after making up missed fasts of Ramadhan. If he fasts them before making up missed Ramadhan fasts he will not attain that reward. This is in accordance to a hadith reported by Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari RA which the Prophet SAW said:

He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal it would be as if he had fast perpetually.” [Muslim (2614)]

Therefore, it is well known that whoever still owes days from Ramadhan is not regarded as having fast Ramadhan until he makes up the days he missed.

Allah Knows Best.

© Islam Q&A

Observing Voluntary Fasts: When Still Owes Some Days From Ramadan?

Observing Voluntary Fasts: When Still Owes Some Days From Ramadan?

I did not fast some days in Ramadhan because of the period, and  have not made up the days I owe yet. Can I fast the first ten days of Zulhijjjah?.

All the Praise be to Allah.

The issue is known to the scholars as the issue of observing naafil fasts before making up missed Ramadan fasts. There is a difference of scholarly opinion concerning this issue. Some scholars views it is haram to observe naafil fasts before making up days that one owes, because it is a priority to observe  an obligatory action than a naafil one.

There are some of the scholars say that it is permissible, only in the case other than the the fast of six days of Syawwal.

Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Salih Al-‘Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him was asked about combining making up a missed obligation and doing something that is mustahabb naafil fast as follows: Is it permissible for a person to do the mustahabb naafil  and make up the obligatory action later on, or should he do the obligatory action first, such as fasting the day ‘Ashura’ which coincides with making up a missed Ramadhan fast?

With regard to obligatory and voluntary fasts, what is prescribed in shari’ah and it is to institute a priority with the obligatory fasts and then doing the naafil ones, because themissed  obligatory fast is a debt which must be paid, whereas the naafil fast is voluntary and is to be done if one can deal with it, otherwise therewould be no sin on one who owes it.

Based on this, we say to the one who owes a missed Ramadhan fast: make up what you owe before you observe a voluntary fast. If he observes a voluntary fast before making up what he owes then the correct view is that his voluntary fast is valid so long as there is still enough time to make up the missed fasts, because a person may make up missed Ramadhan fasts so long as there is still enough time for him to do so before the next Ramadhan comes. So long as there is still plenty of time, it is permissible for him to observe voluntary fasts.

This is similar to the case of obligatory prayers, such as if a person offers a naafil prayer before an obligatory prayer when there is still plenty of time, this is permissible.

Whoever fasts on The Day of ‘Arafah or ‘Ashura’, and still owes some days from Ramadhan, his fast is valid. But if he has the intention of fasting this day to make up for a missed Ramadhan fast, he will have two rewards – one for the day of ‘Arafah or ‘Ashura’ and another for making up the missed fast. This applies to all voluntary fasts that are not connected to Ramadhan.

With regard to fasting The Six Days Of Shawwal, these are inter connected to Ramadhan and can only be done after making up missed Ramadan fasts. If a person fasts these days before making up his missed Ramadhan fasts, he will not get the reward for them, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.”[ Al-Bukhari]  It is known that the one who still has some days to make up is not regarded as having fasted Ramadan until he makes up those days. Some people think that if they fear Shawwal is going to end soon and they fast the six days even though they still owe some days from Ramadhan, considering that this is acceptable in syari’ah. This is definitely a mistake, because these six days cannot be fasted until a person has made up the days that he owes from Ramadhan.

[Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaimin, 20/438].

Based on this, it is permissible for you to fast the first ten days of Zulhijjah as a naafil fast, but it is better to fast them with the intention of making up what you owe of Ramadhan, perhaps you will have two rewards from Allah the Exalted,insha Allah.

And Allah knows best.

[Exerpted from Islam Q&A]

Fasting During Month of Sya’ban

Fasting During Month of Sya’ban

By Imam Zaid

SYA’BAN is a month of good that introduces the great month of Ramadan. The Prophet, peace upon him, used to fast voluntarily during this month more so than in any other month. One of the motivations for that, as we will mention below, is that Sya’ban is the month during which the deeds performed by the servant ascend to God. What follows is a discussion around fasting during the month of Sya’ban.

Usama Ibn Zaid relates:  “The Prophet, peace and mercy of God upon him, used to fast so many days in succession that we said, ‘He will never break his fast.’ At other times he would go without fasting for so long until we said, ‘He will never again fast;’ except for two days, which he would fast even if they occurred during the times he was not fasting consecutive days. Furthermore, he would not fast in any month as many days as he fasted during Sya’ban. I said: ‘O Messenger of God! Sometimes you fast so much it is as if you will never break your fast, at other times you leave fasting for such a long stint it is as if you will never again fast [voluntarily]; except for two days that you always fast.’ He asked: ‘Which two days are those?’ I replied: ‘Monday and Thursday.The Prophet, peace upon him, said: ‘Those are two days in which the deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds are presented while I am fasting.’ I said: ‘I do not see you fasting in any month like you fast during Sya’ban.’ The Prophet, peace and mercy of God upon him, said: “That is a month occurring between Rajab and Ramadan that many people neglect. It is a month in which the deeds ascend to the Lord of the Worlds is He Mighty and Majesty, and I love for my deeds to ascend while I am fasting.”

[Related by Imam Ahmad and Imam Al-Nasa’ie]

The narrations conveying this meaning are numerous. Among the important points conveyed by the tradition narrated by Usama Ibn Zaid, may God be pleased with him, is that the Prophet, peace upon him, frequently fasted during Sya’ban, as is supported by a tradition mentioned by ‘Aishah, may God be pleased with her. She said: “I did not see the Messenger of God fast any month in its entirety except Ramadhan, and I did not see him fast as frequently in any other month as he did during Sya’ban.”

[Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Among the reasons for that, as mentioned in the initial tradition, is that Sya’ban is the month in which the deeds done throughout the year ascend to God. The Prophet, peace upon him, wished for his deeds to ascend while he was fasting. This should be sufficient motivation for all of us to fast some days of this month. Fasting purifies us of the physical dross that collects in our system and makes our spiritual faculties sharper. What could be a better state could we be in as our deeds are ascending to our Lord? However, there are other reasons to fast during this month, which we will present shortly.

Another very important point that we can gain from these narrations is that The Prophet, peace upon him, did not fast perpetually, even though it would not have weakened him to do so. In this is an important lesson for us. We should balance between the days that we fast and the days that we refrain from fasting. Ibn Rajab mentions many reasons for this. Among them are the following:

1. For many people, excessive fasting leads to languidness that in turn makes it difficult for them to supplicate or invoke God or to undertake intense study. All four of the Sunni Imams mention that studying sacred knowledge is better than supererogatory prayers, and that supererogatory prayers are better than voluntary fasting. Hence, pursuing sacred knowledge is naturally better than voluntary fasting.

2. Just as fasting may make some people languid and hence affect their worship, it may weaken them and thereby compromise their ability to provide for their families or jeopardize their ability to fully satisfy their wives. This latter meaning is implied in the saying of the Prophet, peace upon him: “Surely your wife has a right over you.”

3. Similarly, a person’s body has a right over him, as indicated by the Prophet’s saying: “Indeed your body has a right over you. Be sure to give everyone so deserving his right.”

4. [Finally], a person’s life might be long, as indicated by the Prophet’s saying to ‘Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-‘As when the latter committed himself to fast every other day: “Perhaps you will live a long life.” This means whoever commits to an overly strenuous regimen of worship during his youth might not be able to maintain that regimen during his old age. If he tries his utmost to do so he might exhaust his body. On the other hand, if he abandons it he has left the best form of worship, that done most consistently. For this reason, the Prophet, peace upon him, mentioned: “Undertake religious practices you can bear. I swear by God, God does not become bored with you, rather you bring boredom upon yourself.” [1]

The important issue here is to understand that Islam does not demand that we torture our selves, and it places no virtue in doing so. When a desert Arab who had accepted Islam returned after a year’s absence to see the Prophet, peace upon him, his entire appearance had changed to such an extent that the Prophet, peace upon him, did not recognize him. When he finally realized who he was, the man said to him: “I have not eaten during the daytime since I entered Islam!” The Prophet, peace upon him, asked him: “Who ordered you to torture yourself!?”

[Related by Abu Dawud]

Another point mentioned by many of the scholars in that regard is that by fasting sometimes and then going some days without fasting, we never reach a state where we totally lose our appetite for food and thereby lose the physical challenge of fasting. For this reason the Fast of David, where the worshipper fasts every other day, is considered more virtuous than the fast of the individual who fasts perpetually, as the latter eventually feels no longing to eat during the day of his fast—he might even become sick were he to eat.

The tradition of Usama Ibn Zaid, may God be pleased with him, mentions that people’s deeds are presented to God on Mondays and Thursdays, and the Prophet, peace upon him, loved to have his deeds presented while he was fasting. There are many narrations that affirm this reality. Ibn Majah relates a tradition from the narrations of Abu Hurairah, may God be pleased with him. In it he mentions the Prophet, peace upon him, saying: “God forgives every Muslim on Monday and Thursday, except those who have broken relations with each other. He says, ‘Leave them until they reconcile.’ ” Imam Muslim mentions a similar narration from Abu Hurayrah, may God be pleased with him, in whom he mentions that the Prophet, peace upon him, said: “The Gates of Heaven are flung open on Monday and Thursday and every servant who has not ascribed partners to God is forgiven, except a man who harbors enmity against his brother. He [God] says, ‘Leave these two until they makeup.’ ” A different version of this tradition mentions at the end of the narration: “…and people who despise each other are left harboring their spite.”

These narrations emphasize the importance of maintaining good relations. There are other religiously significant actions where a reward is withheld from those who harbor enmity or have bad relations with their peers. Therefore, it is extremely important that we work to maintain good relations with each other, and avoid petty bickering. The opportunity to do much good for our souls is missed when we fail to maintain good relations with each other.

The presentation of people’s deeds mentioned in these narrations is a specific one that occurs on these particular days. It does not contradict the general presentation that occurs on a daily basis, as related in the following tradition: “By night and by day the angels follow each other in visiting you. They gather [before God] at the time of the morning and evening prayers. God asks those who spent the night among you, and He knows best the answer, ‘In what state did you leave my servants?’ They say, ‘We came to them while they were praying, and we departed from them while they were praying.”

 [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

There are other reasons we are encouraged to fast in Sya’ban, Ibn Rajab mentions a few. Among them, in summary:

1. People tend to neglect Sya’ban as it occurs between Rajab, one of the sacred months, and Ramadan, the great month of fasting and Qur’an. Therefore, we are encouraged to fast it by way of reviving it and not neglecting it.

2. Fasting during it is easier to hide. All observant Muslims are fasting in Ramadan, and many place great emphasis on fasting during Rajab. Therefore, those who fast Sha’ban are doing so against the expectations of most people and can therefore more easily hide the fact that they are fasting. There is great virtue, under normal circumstances in hiding our voluntary acts. One anecdote in this regard mentions a man who fasted voluntarily for forty years without anyone knowing it, even his family. Every morning he would leave home with two loaves of bread in his hand. He would give them away in charity. His family thought that he was eating them, and the people in the marketplace where he worked thought that he was selling them.

3. A third reason is related to the previous one. Because many people are fasting during Ramadan and Rajab, it is easier to fast then as large groups engaging in a particular act of worship make it easier for an individual to undertake that act. Hence, the increased difficulty of fasting during Sya’ban led the Prophet to place great emphasis on it. [2]

In conclusion, we encourage everyone able to do so to fast as much as possible during this month. By so doing we will revive the Sunnah of our Prophet, peace upon him, and bring much good to our souls and to our communities. May everyone be blessed to use these days as a preparation for the great month of Ramadan, and may our deeds ascend to God while we are in the very best spiritual state.

Footnotes:

1. See Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif fima li Mawasim al’Am min al-Wadha’if (Damascus: Dar Ibn Kathir, 1416/1996), p. 240-244.

2.  For a detailed articulation of these points see Ibn Rajab, pp. 250-256.

[Excerpted from New Islamic Directions]

Mi’raj and Fasting on the 27th of Rajab

By Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

It should be noted, first of all, that the exact date of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj is not known. There is no evidence to support the saying that it happened on 27th of Rajab.

Even if 27th of Rajab is the day of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj, there is no way to say that we have to fast that day, since we cannot innovate fasting on our own without having evidence from the sources of Syari`ah supporting it.

However, if a person customarily fasts on Mondays and Thursdays and 27th of Rajab falls on one of those two days, then there is nothing wrong in fasting on that day.

Elaborating on this issue, an eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:

Among the prohibited types of fasting is any kind of fasting people initiate on their own without any Syari`ah text or evidence. An example of this is the fasting on the 27th of Rajab thinking that it is the day that followed the night of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj.

Some people would fast on that day as a token of gratitude and thankfulness to Allah for the blessing of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj. It is really important for a Muslim to prove thankful in the remembrance of every event that brought blessings to the Muslim Ummah. These events are many indeed.

However, this thankfulness does not mean that a Muslim has to fast. Almighty Allah reminds Muslims of so many blessings He has given to them. Allah says: “O ye who believe! Remember Allah’s favor unto you when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a great wind and hosts ye could not see.” [Al-Ahzab 33: 9].  However, Almighty Allah did not ask them to fast and they never did.

In his book Zad Al-Ma`ad, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim wrote that Ibn Taimiyyah said, “It is not recorded that any Muslim attributed any merit or privilege to the night of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj. None of the Companions ever did so. That is why we cannot tell when exactly Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj happened.”

Ibn Al-Qayyim wrote, “There is no clear evidence of the exact month when it happened, or the exact date of it. There are, in fact, so many reports in this regard and none of them is decisive. There is no specific ritual pertaining to it.”

It is thus clear that there is no clear evidence that the night of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj is on the 27th of Rajab, despite of the common belief that it happened that day. 

 May Allah Almighty Guide us to the right path.

®Islam Online

Fasting in the month of Rajab

Is there any special virtue in fasting during the month of Rajab?

 

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

 

All the praise is due to Allah, the Lord of Al-‘Alamin. And May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet SAW, his household and the companions.

 

There two components that need to be look into issue of Rajab:

 

1. The Sacred month of Rajab

 

The month of Rajab is one of the sacred months of which Allah says:

 

“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” [At-Tawbah, 9:36]

 

The sacred months are: Rajab, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah and Muharram.

 

Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jamadil Akhir and Sya’ban. [Al-Bukhari (4662) and Muslim (1679)]

 

These months are called sacred for two reasons:

 

1.  It is forbidden to go to war unless is unless initiated by the enemy

 

2. The transgression of the sacred limits therein is worse than at other times.

 

Hence Allah has forbidden us to commit sins during these months, as He says :

 

“wrong not yourselves therein” [At-Tawbah, 9:36]

 

Although committing sins is haram and forbidden during these months and at other times, in these months it is more forbidden.

 

Al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) said (p. 373):

 

“In the phrase “wrong not yourselves therein”, the pronoun may be understood as referring to twelve months. Allah states that He has made them a measure of time for His slaves, which they may use for worshipping Him, and thank Allah for His blessings, and they serve the interests of His slaves, so beware of wronging yourselves therein.

 

The pronoun may also be understood as referring to the four sacred months, and this forbids them to wrong themselves in those months in particular, as well as it being forbidden to do wrong at all times, because it is more forbidden at this time, but it is worse at this time than at others.”.

 

2. Fasting in month of Rajab.

 

With regard to fasting the month of Rajab, there is no sahih hadith to indicate that there is any special virtue in fasting all or part of this month.

 

What some people do, singling out some days of Rajab for fasting, believing that they are better than others, has no basis in syari’ah.

 

But there is a report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which indicates that it is mustahabb to fast during the sacred months (and Rajab is one of the sacred months). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Fast some days of the sacred months and not others.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud, 2428; but classified as dha’if by al-Albani in dha’if Abi Dawud].

 

Even if this hadith were sahih, it indicates that it is mustahabb to fast during the sacred months. So if a person fasts during Rajab because of this, and he also fasts in the other sacred months, there is nothing wrong with it. But the singling out Rajab for fasting is not right.

 

Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmu’ Al-Fatawa (25/290):

 

“As for fasting in Rajab in particular, the ahadith concerning that are all dha’if (weak), and in fact mawdu’ (fabricated). The scholars do not rely on any of them. They are not among the dha’if ahadith which have been narrated concerning virtues, rather most of them are fabricated and false. In al-Musnad and elsewhere there is a hadith which says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enjoined fasting the sacred months, namely Rajab, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah and Muharram, but this has to do with the fasting during all of them, not just Rajab”.

 

Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

 

“Every hadith which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.” [Al-Manaar Al-Munif, P. 96]

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in Tabyeen Al-‘Ajab (p. 11)

 

There is no sahih hadith that would count as evidence which speaks of the virtue of the month of Rajab, or that speaks of fasting this month or part of it, or of spending any particular night of it in prayer.

 

Shaikh Sayyid Sabiq (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Fiqh al-Sunnah (1/282):

 

“Fasting in Rajab is no better than fasting in any other month, except that it is one of the sacred months. There is no report in the sahih Sunnah to suggest that there is anything special about fasting in this month. Whatever has been narrated concerning that is not fit to be quoted as evidence.”

 

Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimin (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer. He replied:

 

“Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a bid’ah (innovation), and every bid’ah is a going astray.”

 

[Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaimin, 20/440.]

 

Hence there is no authentic hadith from the Prophet SAW or from the sahabah to indicate that there is any particular virtue in fasting prescribed for Rajab.

 

The fasting that is prescribed in Rajab is the same as that prescribed in other months, with the possible options namely: fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and the three days of Al-Beed (the mid three days of the lunar month), or fasting on the alternate days (known as the fast of Prophet David), and fasting Sirar al-Shahar which some of the scholars said that Sirar Al-Shahar refers to the beginning of the month.

 

© Islam Q&A

The Days Prescribed To Observe Naafil Fast

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

All the Praise be to Allah.  Peace and blessing be peace upon his messenger Prophet Muhammad.

By His Wisdom, Allah has prescribed that His slaves should voluntarily seek to draw closer to Him, after performing the obligatory acts of worship, by doing more of the same kinds of acts of worship, and He has assigned to that great rewards, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that the Lord said:

“My slave does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My slave continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I will love him, When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, he seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.” [Al-Bukhari, 6502].

The Naafil Fast Fall into Various Main Categories:

1. General Voluntary Fast that is not restricted to any particular time or circumstances.

The Muslim may observe a voluntary fast on any day of the year that he wishes, except those which are known to be forbidden, such as the Two Eid Days, on which fasting is haram, and Aiyaam Al-Tashreeq (the three days following Eid al-Adha), on which fasting is haram except on Hajj for those who do not have a hadiy (animal for sacrifice). It is not permissible to  deliberately singling out Friday for fasting. One of the best forms of voluntary fasting is to fast alternate days for those who are able to do that, as it says in the hadith: “The most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of Dawud [David] (peace be upon him), and the most beloved fasting to Allah is the fasting of Dawud. He used to sleep half the night, stand in prayer for one-third of the night, and sleep for one-sixth, and he used to fast alternate days.” [Al-Bukhari, 1131; Muslim, 1159]. In order for this kind of fasting to be regarded as virtuous, it should not weaken a person and make him unable to do his primary duties, as it says in the hadith: “he used to fast alternate days, and he never ran away from battle (because he used to break his fast at times of jihad).” [Al-Bukhari, 1977; Muslim, 1159]

2. Specific Voluntary Fast.

These are superior to general voluntary fast, and are of two types:

The first type is fasts which are specific to a type of person, such as young men who cannot get married,guarding chastity as mentioned in the hadith of ‘Abdallah Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him): “We were young men with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and we did not have anything (i.e., we could not afford to get married). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, then let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding chastity. And whoever is not able to do that, then let him fast, for that will be a shield for him.’” [Al-Bukhari, 5066; Muslim, 1400].

This kind of fasting is more emphasized so long as a person is single, and this prescription is more emphatic the more provocation there is. There is no mention of any specific number of days in this case.

The second type is fasts prescribed at specific times, which vary, with some being weekly, some monthly and some annual.

The weekly fasts are on Monday and Thursday, on which days fasting is mustahabb. It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was keen to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.” [An-Nasa’i, 2320; classified as sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jami’ Al-Sagheer, 4827]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and he said: “Those are two days on which people’s deeds are shown to the Lord of the Worlds, and I want my deeds to be shown to Him when I am fasting.” [An-Nasa’i, 2358; Ibn Majah, 1740; Ahmad, 8161; classified as sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jaami’, 1583]. He was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said, “On that day I was born and on that day revelation came to me.” [Muslim, 1162].

With regard to the monthly fasts, it is mustahabb to fast on three days of each month. It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “My close friend [i.e., the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)] advised me to do three things which I will never give up until I die: fasting three days each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after praying Witir.” [Al-Bukhari, 1178; Muslim, 721].

It is mustahabb to observe this fast in the middle of the hijri month, on the days called Aiyaam Al-Beed. It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to me, ‘If you fast any part of the month then fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.’” [An-Nasa’i, 2424; Ibn Majah, 1707; Ahmad, 210; classified as sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jaami’ Al-Sagheer, 673].

3. The Annual Voluntary Fast Observed On Specific Days

The specific days include the following:

1. The Day of ‘Ashura’ which is the tenth of Muharram. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’. He said, “I do not know of any day on the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fasted that was better than this day and any month that was better than this month, meaning Ramadhan.” [Al-Bukhari, 2006; Muslim, 1132]. It is Sunnah to fast the day before or the day after along with ‘Ashura’, in order to be different from the Jews.

2. The Day of ‘Arafah, which is the Ninth Day of Zulhijjah. It is mustahab only for those who are not standing in ‘Arafah itself, as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said concerning the virtue of the three fasts mentioned above: “The observance of three days’ fast every month and that of Ramadhan every year is equivalent to fasting for the entire year. I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of ‘Arafah may atone for the sins of the preceding and the coming years, and I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ may atone for the sins of the preceding year.” [Muslim, 1162].

4. The periods during which it is Sunnah to Observe the Naafil.

The period of fast include the following:

1. The month of Shawwal. It is Sunnah to fast six days of Shawwal, because the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhan then fasts six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.” [Muslim, 1164].

2. The month of Muharam: it is Sunnah to fast whatever one can of this month, because of the hadith: “The best of fasting after Ramadhan is the month of Allah Muharram, and the best of prayer after the obligatory prayers is prayer at night [Qiyamulail].” [Muslim, 1163].

3.The month of Sya’ban, as it was narrated that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast until we thought that he would never break his fast, and he would not fast until we thought that he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fast an entire month apart from Ramadhan, and the month in which I saw him fast the most was Sha’ban. He used to fast all of Sya’ban or all of it apart from a few days.”  [Al-Bukhari, 1969; Muslim, 1156].

Muslim who is keen to do good must realize the great virtue of performing voluntary fasts for the sake of Allah, as it says in the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will keep his face seventy years’ distance from Hell,” [An-Nasa’i, 2247; classified as sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Al-Nasa’i, 2121]

May  Allah  bless us.

©Islam Q&A

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