بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
When is Sha’bân
The month of Sha’bân is the eighth month which follows the sacred month of Rajab.
The deeds are taken up to Allâh in Sha’bân
حَدَّثَنِي أُسَامَةُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَمْ أَرَكَ تَصُومُ شَهْرًا مِنَ الشُّهُورِ مَا تَصُومُ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ . قَالَ “ ذَلِكَ شَهْرٌ يَغْفُلُ النَّاسُ عَنْهُ بَيْنَ رَجَبٍ وَرَمَضَانَ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ ”
Usâmah ibn Zayd said:”I said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Sha’bân.’ He said: ‘That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadân. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.” (Sunan An-Nasa’î 2357. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)
The prophet fasted all/most of the month of Sha’bân
عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَصُومُ مِنَ السَّنَةِ شَهْرًا تَامًّا إِلاَّ شَعْبَانَ يَصِلُهُ بِرَمَضَانَ
Umm Salamah narrated that she never saw the Prophet (ﷺ) fasting the whole month except Sha’bân which he combined with Ramadân. (Abû Dawûd 2336. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)
عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، قَالَتْ مَا رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصُومُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ إِلاَّ شَعْبَانَ وَرَمَضَانَ
Umm Salamah narrated: “I did not see the Prophet (ﷺ) fasting two consecutive months except for Sha’bân and Ramadân.” (Jâmi’ At-Tirmidhî 736. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصُومُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ لاَ يُفْطِرُ، وَيُفْطِرُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ لاَ يَصُومُ. فَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم اسْتَكْمَلَ صِيَامَ شَهْرٍ إِلاَّ رَمَضَانَ، وَمَا رَأَيْتُهُ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِي شَعْبَانَ
‘Âishâ narrated that Allâh Messenger (ﷺ) used to fast till one would say that he would never stop fasting, and he would abandon fasting till one would say that he would never fast. I never saw Allâhs Messenger (ﷺ) fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadân, and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha’bân. (Sahîh Bukhârî 1969)
نَّ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ حَدَّثَتْهُ قَالَتْ، لَمْ يَكُنِ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصُومُ شَهْرًا أَكْثَرَ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ، فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ يَصُومُ شَعْبَانَ كُلَّهُ، وَكَانَ يَقُولُ “ خُذُوا مِنَ الْعَمَلِ مَا تُطِيقُونَ، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَمَلُّ حَتَّى تَمَلُّوا، وَأَحَبُّ الصَّلاَةِ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا دُووِمَ عَلَيْهِ، وَإِنْ قَلَّتْ ” وَكَانَ إِذَا صَلَّى صَلاَةً دَاوَمَ عَلَيْهَا
‘Âishâ narrated: The Prophet (ﷺ) never fasted in any month more than in the month of Sha’bân . He used to say, “Do those deeds which you can do easily, as Allâh will not get tired (of giving rewards) till you get bored and tired (of performing religious deeds).” The most beloved prayer to the Prophet (ﷺ) was the one that was done regularly (throughout the life) even if it were little. And whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) offered a prayer he used to offer it regularly . (Sahîh Bukhârî 1970)
The ruling on fasting the second half of Sha’bân
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” إِذَا بَقِيَ نِصْفٌ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَلاَ تَصُومُوا ”
Abû Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allâh said: “When a half of Sha’bân remains then do not fast.” (Jâmi’ At-Tirmidhî 738. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)
Shaykh Ibn Bâz was asked:
Question: I read in Sahih Al-Jami` Hadith no. 397 verified by Al-Albany and reported by Al-Suyuty no. 398, which he ranked as Sahih (authentic) on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: When the first half of Sha`ban is over, do not fast until the advent of Ramadan. There is also another Hadith reported by Al-Suyuty no. 8757, ranked as Sahih and verified by Al-Albany in Sahih Al-Jami` no. 4638, on the authority of ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: The most beloved of months for him (peace be upon him) to fast in was Sha`ban, which he used to join with fasting in Ramadan. How can we reconcile the two Hadiths?
Answer: In the Name of Allâh, and all praise be to Allâh. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast the whole of Sha’bân except for a few days, as authentically reported from the Hadîth of ‘Âishâ and Um Salamah. As for the Hadîth that prohibits fasting after the middle of Sha’bân, it is Sahîh, as ranked by the knowledgeable brother, Shaykh Nâsir Al-Dîn Al-Albânî. What is meant is that it is not permissible to start fasting after the first half of Sha’bân is over. If a person fasts most or all of the month, they will be acting upon the Sunnah (acts, sayings or approvals of the Prophet). May Allah grant us success. (Majmû al-Fatâwâ 15, page 385)
Muhammad As-San’ânî: “One can fast compensatory fast or other obligatory fast. However, voluntary fasting is prohibited lest one should be subjected to exhaustion and weakness which may result the Ramadân obligatory fasting difficult for him.” (Subul As-Salâm 546)
The middle of Sha’bân
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ said :
There is no authentic Hadîth stating that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe Sawm on a certain day or days in Sha’bân. There are only some Da‘îf (weak) Hadîths about spending the eve of mid-Sha’bân in Salah and the day in Sawm, including the one reported by Ibn Mâjah in his Sunan (Hadîth compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
When it is the eve of mid-Sha’bân, you should spend its night in Salâh and its day in Sawm, for Allâh (Exalted be He) descends on it at sunset to the nearest heaven and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there anyone who asks for sustenance that I may provide for them? Is there any afflicted person that I may relieve them?’ and so on until the break of dawn.
Ibn Hibbân ranked some Hadîths reported about the merit of spending the eve of mid-Sha’bân in Salâh as Sahîh, including the one reported in his Sahîh on the authority of ‘Âishah who said: I did not find the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) during one night, so I went out to search for him. I found him in Al-Baqi‘. He (peace be upon him) said (to her), ‘Did you fear being wronged by Allâh and His Messenger?’ She said, ‘O Messenger of Allâh, I thought that you had gone to one of your wives.’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘Verily, Allâh (Glorified and Exalted be He) descends on the eve of mid-Sha‘ban to the nearest heaven, and He forgives a number of people that exceeds the number of the sheep owned by Kalb (a tribe known for their sheep).’
Yet Al-Bukhârî and other scholars ranked this Hadîth as Da‘îf. Most scholars say that the Hadîths narrated about the merit of the eve of mid-Sha’bân and of Sawm on this day are Da‘îf. Ibn Hibbân is known among the Hadîth scholars for not being strict in ranking Hadîths as Sahîh.
To sum up, according to the expert scholars who verify Hadîth, there is no Sahîh Hadiîth among those narrated about the merit of spending the eve of mid-Sha’bân in Salâh and the day in Sawm. Thus, they negated the merit of spending the night in Salâh and the day in Sawm and considered this a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). But a group of worshippers glorified this night, relying on the Da‘îf Hadîths narrated about it, and people followed them as they thought highly of them. Some of them, out of excessive glorification paid to the eve of mid-Sha’bân, even said that it is the blessed night on which the Qur’ân was sent down and every matter of ordainment is decreed.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.
(Group 1, volume 3, part 3 (Aqîdah), page 63)
Fasting the day of doubt
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ لاَ تَقَدَّمُوا صَوْمَ رَمَضَانَ بِيَوْمٍ وَلاَ يَوْمَيْنِ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ صَوْمًا يَصُومُهُ رَجُلٌ فَلْيَصُمْ ذَلِكَ الصَّوْمَ ”
Narrated Abû Hurairah:The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) as saying: Do not fast one day or two days just before Ramadân, 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. (Abû Dawûd 2335. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)
Imâm An-Nawawî said: 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 hadîth of Abû Hurayrah [mentioned above]. If he does not have a reason, then it is harâm for him to fast on this day. (Al-Majmû’ 6/400)
Fasting 1 or 2 days before Ramadân
عَنْ صِلَةَ بْنِ زُفَرَ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ عَمَّارِ بْنِ يَاسِرٍ فَأُتِيَ بِشَاةٍ مَصْلِيَّةٍ فَقَالَ كُلُوا . فَتَنَحَّى بَعْضُ الْقَوْمِ فَقَالَ إِنِّي صَائِمٌ . فَقَالَ عَمَّارٌ مَنْ صَامَ الْيَوْمَ الَّذِي يَشُكُّ فِيهِ النَّاسُ فَقَدْ عَصَى أَبَا الْقَاسِمِ صلى الله عليه وسلم
Silah bin Zufar said:”We were with ‘Ammâr ibn Yâsir when a roasted sheep was brought and he said: ‘Eat.’ Someone among the people said: ‘I am fasting.’ So ‘Ammâr said: ‘Whoever fasts on a day in which there is doubt, then he has disobeyed Abul-Qâsim (the Prophet) .” (At-Tirmidhî 686. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ said:
Anyone who fasts on the 30th of Sha’bân, without the confirmed sighting of the new moon of Ramadân prescribed by Shari‘ah (Islamic law), and their Sawm coincides with the first day of Ramadân, it will not count for them as validly sufficient Sawm, as they did not base their Sawm on the Islamic basis and also because that is the Day of Doubt. The authentic Sunnah gave evidence for the prohibition of fasting on that day, so anyone who did this must make up for that day. Ibn Qudâmah (may Allah be merciful to him) said in this regard, “There is a third report from Ahmad that states that it must not be fasted and it does not compensate for Ramadân, if fasted.” This is the view held by the majority of the scholars, such as Abû Hanîfah, Mâlik, Al-Shafî’, and those who followed their opinions. Abû Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) said, “Fast when you see it (the new moon of Ramadan) and stop fasting when you see it (the new moon of Shawwâl); but if the clouds obstruct your sighting of the new moon, complete the month of Sha‘bân as thirty days.” (Related by Al-Bukhâri). It is related on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) said, “Fast when you see it (the new moon of Ramadân) and stop fasting when you see it (the new moon of Shawwâl); but if the clouds obstruct your sighting of the new moon, then calculate it thirty days.” (Related by Muslim) It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade fasting on the Day of Doubt (agreed upon by Al-Bukhâri and Muslim), and this is the Day of Doubt.
The basis of the ruling is that it is still the month of Sha’bân, and moving on to the next month cannot be based on doubt.” End of quoting from “Al-Mughnî”.
May Allâh grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
(The Permanent Committee, group 1, volume 10)