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Fasting / The virtues of fasting in Sha’ban

The virtues of fasting in Sha’ban

publish date : 2014-07-02 | Views : 2067
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. What are the virtues of fasting in Sha’ban?

فضل الصيام في شعبان

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.   Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.   As to what follows:   In response to your question, we say:   It has been transmitted in the Sahihayn from the hadith of  ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she narrated, “I did not see the Prophet (peace be upon him) fasting a whole month except Ramadan.” ( al-Bukhari [1969] and Muslim [1156]). Therefore, it was not established from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he fasted for a whole month except Ramadan. The hadith which states:  “I did not see him fasting in any month more than he did in Sha’ban” ( al-Bukhari [1969] and Muslim [1156]), means that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast the most in Sha’ban, and this was a voluntary fast and preparation for Ramadan. This is the wisdom for fasting in this month. Other opinions about this have been stated but what is meant is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast much in Sha’ban and this indicates that the fasting of Sha’ban is equally virtuous whether it is  observed at the beginning of the month or its end. It has been transmitted in the Sahihayn from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that he narrated, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Do not fast one day or two days just before Ramadan, except in the case of a man who has been in the habit of observing the particular fast, for he may fast on that day.” ( al-Bukhari [1914] and Muslim [1082]). This proves that the prohibition applies to fasting a day or two before Ramadan  for a person who does that as a precautionary measure not to miss Ramadan, because that will lead to wrongfully lengthening Ramadan. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Except in the case of a man who has been in the habit of observing the particular fast, for he may fast on that day.” This shows that if this is a regular fast like fasting on Monday and Thursday, and this Monday falls before the onset of Ramadan by one or two days, or for example, a person who habitually fasts three days a month, and does not get an opportunity to do so except a day or two before the onset of Ramadan; in this case there is no problem, because that is his habit and he did not fast as a precautionary measure not to miss Ramadan.   There  remains the last issue in the hadith of  Abu Hurairah and others in the Sunan which states that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When the middle of Sha'ban comes, do not fast” (At-Tirmithi  2337) . The isnad  of this hadith is not authentic therefore the prohibition of fasting after the middle of Sha’ban is not correct. It also contradicts what is indicated by the hadith of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) which states, “Do not fast one day or two days just before Ramadan.” Thus based on this, fast  as much as you like in the month of Sha’ban whether in the beginning of the month or at the end. However, do not fast  before the onset of Ramadan by a day or two as a precautionary measure not to miss Ramadan. However, if you fast because it is your habit, there is no problem. 

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