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Continuity and Balance (Ahadith 1685 – 1689)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 190:

Narrated ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa):

Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) 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 Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan, and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha’ban.


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 191:

Narrated ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa):

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) never fasted in any month more than in the month of Sha’ban. He used to say, “Do those deeds which you can do easily, as Allah will not get tired (of giving rewards) till you get bored and tired (of performing religious deeds).” The most beloved prayer to the Prophet was the one that was done regularly (throughout the life) even if it were little. And whenever the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) offered a prayer he used to offer it regularly .


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 192:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) never fasted a full month except the month of Ramadan, and he used to fast till one could say, “By Allah, he will never stop fasting,” and he would abandon fasting till one would say, “By Allah, he will never fast.”


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 193:

Narrated Anas (radiallaahu `anhu):

Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to leave fasting in a certain month till we thought that he would not fast in that month, and he used to fast in another month till we thought he would not stop fasting at all in that month. And if one wanted to see him praying at night, one could see him (in that condition), and if one wanted to see him sleeping at night, one could see him (in that condition) too.


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 194:

Narrated Humaid:

I asked Anas (radiallaahu `anhu) about the fasting of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). He said “Whenever I liked to see the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) fasting in any month, I could see that, and whenever I liked to see him not fasting, I could see that too, and if I liked to see him praying in any night, I could see that, and if I liked to see him sleeping, I could see that, too.” Anas (radiallaahu `anhu) further said, “I never touched silk or velvet softer than the hand of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and never smelled musk or perfumed smoke more pleasant than the smell of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).”

After reading all these narrations, the one who wants to overdo fasting and praying at night (or any other form of worship), and give up all the good of this world (zuhd) needs to answer one question: Is he more righteous than the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)?

Continuity and balance. These two things will take you a long way inshaAllah. Whatever little/more you do of worship, continue it. And don’t overdo anything – not even worship. :)

As for the fiqh of fasting in Sha`baan, a summary has been posted here.

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Fasting in Sha`baan – A Summary (Hadith No. 1633)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 138:

Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “None of you should fast a day or two before the month of Ramadan unless he has the habit of fasting (Nawafil) (and if his fasting coincides with that day) then he can fast that day.”

Ruling on Fasting in Sha`baan

The basic ruling regarding fasting in Sha`baan is an this Hadith:

“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’s no restriction on fasting in the first half of Sha`baan. The ruling in the above hadith is only concerning the second half.

Why the Prohibition?

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.

Exceptions to the Rule

If any of the following apply to you, you MAY fast in the second half of Sha`baan:

  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.

[IslamQA]

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