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July 29, 2010

4

CAN WE FAST AFTER THE MIDDLE OF SHABAN?

by Umm Muawiyah

Assalamu Alaikum.

Why can’t we fast after the middle of Shaban, you ask? Because there exists a hadeeth that seems to prohibit it.

We should do two things when we find any hadeeth:

1) Find out its authenticity.

2) Find its explanation.

So, what is the status and explanation of this hadeeth?

Here are three fatwas that explain this issue:

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/13726

Is it permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’baan? Because I heard that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade fasting after halfway through Sha’baan.

Praise be to Allaah.

Abu Dawood (3237), al-Tirmidhi (738) and Ibn Naajah (1651) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Sha’baan is half over, do not fast.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 590.

This hadeeth indicates that it is not allowed to fast after halfway through Sha’baan, i.e., starting from the sixteenth day of the month.

But there are reports that indicate that it is permissible to fast at this time. For example:

Al-Bukhaari (1914) and Muslim (1082) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast.”

This indicates that fasting after halfway through Sha’baan is permissible for someone who has the habit of fasting, such as a man who regularly fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, or who fasts alternate days, and the like.

Al-Bukhaari (1970) and Muslim (1156) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’baan, he used to fast Sha’baan except a few days.” This version was narrated by Muslim.

Al-Nawawi said: In the words, “He used to fast all of Sha’baan, he used to fast Sha’baan except a few days” the second phrase explains the first, and indicates that the word “all” means “most of”.

This hadeeth indicates that it is permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’baan, but only for those who are continuing after fasting before halfway through the month. The Shaafa’is followed all of these ahaadeeth and said:

It is not permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’baan except for those who have a habitual pattern of fasting, or who are continuing after fasting before halfway through the month.

According to most of the scholars, the prohibition here means that it is haraam.

See al-Majmoo’, 6/399-400; Fath al-Baari, 4/129

Some, such as al-Ruyaani, suggested that the prohibition here is to be understood as meaning that it is makrooh, not haraam.

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (p. 412):

“Chapter on the prohibition on anticipating Ramadaan by fasting after halfway through Sha’baan, except for one who is continuing after fasting before halfway through the month or who has a regular pattern of fasting such as fasting on Mondays and Thursdays”.

The majority of scholars are of the view that the hadeeth which forbids fasting after halfway through Sha’baan is da’eef (weak), and based on that they said that it is not makrooh to fast after halfway through Sha’baan.

Al-Haafiz said: The majority of scholars said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts after halfway through Sha’baan and they regarded the hadeeth concerning that as da’eef. Ahmad and Ibn Ma’een said that it is munkar. (From Fath al-Baari). Among those who classed it as da’eef were al-Bayhaqi and al-Tahhaawi.

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni that Imam Ahmad said concerning this hadeeth:

It is not sound. We asked ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Mahdi about it and he did not class it as saheeh, and he did not narrate it to me. He used to avoid talking about this hadeeth. Ahmad said: al-‘Ala’ is thiqah and none of his ahaadeeth are regarded as munkar apart from this one.

The al-‘Ala’ referred to here is al-‘Ala’ ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan who narrated this hadeeth from his father from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) responded in Tahdheeb al-Sunan to those who classed this hadeeth as da’eef and said that this hadeeth is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim. Even though al-‘Ala’ is the only one who narrated this hadeeth, that is not regarded as detrimental to the hadeeth, because al-‘Ala’ is thiqah; in his Saheeh, Muslim narrated a number of ahaadeeth from him, from his father from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him). Many Sunnahs are narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only through one person who is thiqah, but they have been accepted and followed by the ummah.

Then he said:

With regard to those who think that there is a contradiction between this hadeeth and the ahaadeeth which speak of fasting in Sha’baan, there is no contradiction. Those ahaadeeth speak of fasting half of it along with the previous half, and of habitual fasting during the second half of the month, whereas the hadeeth of al-‘Ala’ speaks of the prohibition on fasting deliberately only after the month is halfway over, not about fasts that a person observes regularly or that are a continuation after fasting during the first part of the month.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the hadeeth which says that fasting after halfway through Sha’baan is not allowed. He said:

This is a saheeh hadeeth as Shaykh Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani said. What is meant is that it is not allowed to start fasting after halfway through the month. But if a person fasts most or all of the month, then he is following the Sunnah.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 15/385).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in his commentary on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (3/394):

Even if the hadeeth is saheeh, the prohibition in it does not mean that this is haraam, rather it is simply makrooh, as some of the scholars have understood it to mean. But whoever has the habit of fasting regularly should fast, even if it is after halfway through Sha’baan.

In conclusion:

It is not allowed to fast during the second half of Sha’baan, and that is either makrooh or haraam, except for the one who has the habit of fasting regularly or who is continuing after fasting during the first half of Sha’baan. And Allaah knows best.

The reason for this prohibition is that continually fasting may make a person too weak to fast in Ramadaan.

If it is said that if he fasts from the beginning of the month he will become even weaker, the response is that whoever fasts from the beginning of Sha’baan will have gotten used to fasting so it will be less difficult for him to fast.

Al-Qaari said: The prohibition here means that it is disliked, as a mercy to this ummah lest they become too weak to fulfil their duty of fasting during Ramadaan in an energetic fashion. But those who fast all of Sha’baan will become used to fasting so it will not be difficult for them.

And Allaah knows best.

_____________________________________________________________

http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/49884

I had many days owing of Ramadaan fasts because of pregnancy and giving birth, which coincided with the time of Ramadaan. I have made them up, praise be to Allaah, with the exception of the last seven days.
I fasted three of them in the second half of Sha’baan, and I want to do the rest before Ramadaan begins.
But I read on your site that it is not permissible to fast in the second half of Sha’baan, except for a person who habitually fasts. Please advise me, may Allaah 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
?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Sha’baan is halfway through, do not fast.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (3237); Ibn Hibaan (1651); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

There are some exceptions from this prohibition, as follows:

1 –One who has a habit of fasting, such as a man who habitually fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, which he may do even after halfway through Sha’baan. The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it, except a man who fasts regularly, who should observe his usual fast.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 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 ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’baan and fast all of Sha’baan except a little.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1970; Muslim, 1165. This version narrated by Muslim.

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

This hadeeth indicates that it is permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’baan, 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 Ramadaan fasts.

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

Our companions said: it is not correct to fast on the “day of doubt” just before Ramadaan, 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 Ramadaan, 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’baan 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 Ramadaan?

In conclusion:

There is nothing wrong with making up a missed Ramadaan fast in the last half of Sha’baan. This is not included in the prohibition of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on fasting after halfway through Sha’baan.

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

And Allaah knows best.

____________________________________________________________

http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/26850

I heard that it is not permissible for us to fast before Ramadaan. Is that true?

Praise be to Allaah.

There are ahaadeeth narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which forbid fasting in the second half of Sha’baan, except in two cases:

1 – Those who have a habitual pattern of fasting, such as a man who usually fasts on Mondays and Thursdays – he may continue to do so even in the second half of Sha’baan.

2 – If he joins fasts in the second half of Ramadaan to the first half, i.e., if he started to fast in the first half and continues to fast until Ramadaan begins, this is permissible. See question no. 13726.

These ahaadeeth include the following:

Al-Bukhaari (1914) and Muslim (1082) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast.”

Abu Dawood (3237), al-Tirmidhi (738) and Ibn Maajah (1651) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Sha’baan is half over, do not fast.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 590.

Al-Nawawi said:

The words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast,” clearly indicate that it is not allowed to anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, for those who do not have a habitual pattern of fasting or who are not continuing to fast after starting to fast before (in the first half of Sha’baan). If one is not continuing to fast or does not have a regular pattern of fasting, then it is haraam.

Al-Tirmidhi (686) and al-Nasaa’i (2188) narrated that ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Whoever fasts on the day concerning which there is doubt has disobeyed Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” See Question no. 13711.

Al-Haafiz said in Fath al-Baari:

It was understood from this that it is haraam to fast the day of doubt, because the Sahaabah would not say such a thing based on personal opinion.

The day of doubt is the thirtieth of Sha’baan if the new moon cannot be seen because of clouds etc. It is called the day of doubt because it could be the thirtieth of Sha’baan, or it could be the first day of Ramadaan. It is haraam to fast on this day, unless it coincides with a day on which a person habitually fasts.

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (6/400) concerning the ruling on fasting the day of doubt:

If a person observes a voluntary fast on this day, and he has a reason for doing so, such as having the habit of fasting every day, or of fasting alternate days, or fasting on particular days such as Mondays, and it happens to coincide with that day, then it is permissible for him to fast on this day; there is no difference of opinion among our companions regarding that. The evidence for that is the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah: “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast.” If he does not have a reason, then it is haraam for him to fast on this day.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in his commentary on the hadeeth “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins…”:

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) differed concerning this prohibition and whether it meant that this is haraam or makrooh. The correct view is that it means it is haraam, especially on the day of doubt.

Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 3/394.

Based on this, fasting in the second half of Sha’baan falls into two categories:

1-     Fasting from the sixteenth until the twenty-eighth. This is makrooh, except for those who have a habitual pattern of fasting.

2-     Fasting on the day of doubt, or one or two days before Ramadaan begins. This is haraam, except for one who has a habitual pattern of fasting.

And Allaah knows best.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. hanan
    Jul 20 2011

    assalamualikm…i wanna no wat if i fast aftr 15 shaban my lft farz roze????plz hlp me out wd authntic hadith…..

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Jul 21 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam Sister.

      Yes, you can (and should) make up your pending fasts before Ramadan.

      The proof of this can be found in the three fatwas that I’ve mentioned in this post.

      Reply
  2. Sister
    Sep 12 2011

    Assalamualikm… My brother is 14 and turns 15 in a few days, during ramadhan he missed 6 fasts due to illness, I would like to know if it’s farz for him to make up these missed fasts?

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Sep 12 2011

      Wa Alaikum Assalam Sister.

      When you say that he is 14, do you mean by the Gregorian calender or the Islamic calender?

      1) If it’s the Gregorian one, I think that would mean that he is already 15 according to the Islamic calender (as the lunar calender is earlier than the solar calender). A person who is 15 is definitely an adult and must make up any fasts that are missed.

      2) Assuming that you mean that he is not yet 15 according to the Islamic calender, if he entered puberty before missing those fasts, then he needs to make up those fasts. Here are the signs of puberty: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/70425

      3) If he is not Islamically 15 yet nor does he show any other signs of puberty, it would mean that he does not have to make up his fasts.

      You may also refer to this fatwa: http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/78591

      I hope that helps, insha-Allah.

      And Allah knows Better.

      Reply

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