The month of Sha’baan

The month of Sha’baan

Fasting on the day of doubt. The prohibition on fasting in the second half of Sha’baan. There is nothing wrong with making up missed Ramadaan fasts in the second half of Sha’baan. Does Allaah come down to the first heaven on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan?. Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan) should not be singled out for worship. Is it mustahabb to fast the whole of Sha’baan?. Fasting on the Day of Doubt with the intention of making up a missed Ramadaan fast . Gathering to eat and celebrate on the last day of Sha’baan. Delaying making up fasts. Encouragement to fast al-ayyaam al-beed and the month of Sha’baan. Delaying making up Ramadaan fasts until the next Ramadaan begins. He said: “If tomorrow is Ramadaan, then I will fast”. Does the one who fails to fast with no excuse have to make up the fast? . Delaying making up fasts until after the second Ramadaan – should she pay the fidyah before making it up?.

Fasting on the day of doubt
On the night of the thirtieth of Sha’ban we went out to sight the crescent, but the weather was cloudy so we could not see it. Should we fast the thirtieth day of Sha’baan, because it is a day concerning which there is some doubt?.
Praise be to Allaah.  

This is what is called the “day of doubt”, because there is doubt concerning it – is it the last day of Sha’baan or the first day of Ramadaan? Fasting on this day is haraam because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Fast when you see the new moon and break your fast when you see the new moon, and if you are not sure, then complete the number of Sha’baan as thirty days.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1909). 

‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir said: “Whoever fasts on the day concerning which there is doubt has disobeyed Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” This was narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 553. 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: “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, so a report such as this has the same status as a marfoo’ hadeeth.  

The scholars of the Standing Committee said concerning the day of doubt, “The Sunnah indicates that it is haraam to fast this day.” (Fataawa al-Lajnah, 10/117) 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after mentioning the difference of opinion concerning the ruling on fasting the day of doubt: “The most correct of these views is that it is haraam, but if it is proven to the ruler that it is obligatory to fast this day and he commands the people to fast, then no one should go against his opinion, and that means that no one should show that he is not fasting on that day, rather a person (who has a different opinion) may not fast, but he should do so secretly.” 

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/318.

Islam Q&A


The prohibition on fasting in the second half of Sha’baan
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.

Islam Q&A


There is nothing wrong with making up missed Ramadaan fasts in the second half of Sha’baan
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.

Islam Q&A


Does Allaah come down to the first heaven on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan?
Does Allaah come down to the first heaven on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgive all the people except two types, namely kaafirs and those engaged in disputes?.
Praise be to Allaah.  

This is mentioned in some ahaadeeth, but there is some scholarly difference of opinion as to the soundness of those ahaadeeth. There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan. 

It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbours hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1390. 

The “one who harbours hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother. 

In al-Zawaa’id it says: Its isnaad is da’eef, because ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Lahee’ah is da’eef (weak) and al-Waleed ibn Muslim is mudallis. 

There is also some idtiraab (weakness) in the hadeeth, as stated by al-Daaraqutni in al-‘Ilal, 6/50, 51. He said: This hadeeth is not proven. 

It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, ‘Aa’ishah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani and others, but the isnaads are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak. 

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said: 

Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed them as da’eef, and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh. 

Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261. 

Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allaah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in this general meaning. 

Hence, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allaah on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, he said to the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!” 

Narrated by Abu ‘Uthmaan al-Saabooni in I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah, no. 92. 

Al-‘Aqeeli (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to Allaah’s descending on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are ahaadeeth which are weak, but the reports that He descends every night are proven and saheeh, so the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in that, in sha Allaah. 

Al-Du’afa’, 3/29. 

See also the answer to question no. 8907

On this site you can also find an article by Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allaah have mercy on him) concerning the ruling on celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan. You can find it under the heading, Periodic Topics (under “Useful Material” on the Islam Q&A Library page).

Islam Q&A


Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan) should not be singled out for worship
I read in a book that fasting on the middle of Sha’baan is a kind of bid’ah, but in another book I read that one of the days on which it is mustahabb to fast is the middle of Sha’baan… what is the definitive ruling on this?

Praise be to Allaah. 

There is no saheeh marfoo’ report that speaks of the virtue of the middle of Sha’baan that may be followed, not even  in the chapters on al-Fadaa’il (chapters on virtues in books of hadeeth etc.). Some maqtoo’ reports (reports whose isnaads do not go back further than the Taabi’een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi’een, and there are some ahaadeeth, the best of which are mawdoo’ (fabricated) or da’eef jiddan (very weak). These reports became very well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; these reports suggest that people’s lifespans are written on that day or that it is decided on that day who is to die in the coming year. On this basis, it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. One should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do these things. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen.

 If a person wants to pray qiyaam on this night as he does on other nights – without doing anything extra or singling this night out for anything – then that is OK. The same applies if he fasts the day of the fifteenth of Sha’baan because it happens to be one of the ayyaam al-beed, along with the fourteenth and thirteenth of the month, or because it happens to be a Monday or Thursday. If the fifteenth (of Sha’baan) coincides with a Monday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with that (fasting on that day), so long as he is not seeking extra reward that has not been proven (in the saheeh texts). And Allaah knows best.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid


Is it mustahabb to fast the whole of Sha’baan?
Is it Sunnah to fast the entire month of Sha’baan?
Praise be to Allaah.  

It is mustahabb to fast a great deal in the month of Sha’baan. 

It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast the whole of Sha’baan. 

Ahmad (26022), Abu Dawood (2336), al-Nasaa’i (2175) and Ibn Maajah (1648) narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fast two consecutive months apart from the fact that he used to join Sha’baan and Ramadaan.” 

According to a version narrated by Abu Dawood: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never used to fast any complete month in the year, apart from Sha’baan, which he used to join to Ramadaan.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2048. 

The apparent meaning of this hadeeth is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast the entire month of Sha’baan. 

But it was also narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’baan apart from a few days. 

Muslim (1156) narrated that Abu Salamah said: “I asked ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) about the fasting of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and she said: ‘He used to fast until we thought that he would always fast, then he would not fast until we thought that he would always not fast, but I never saw him fast in any month more than he fasted in Sha’baan. He used to fast all of Sha’baan, and he used to fast all of Sha’baan apart from a few days.’”

 The scholars differed as to the way of reconciling between these hadeeths. 

Some of them said that this had to do with differences of time – in some years the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted all of Sha’baan, and in other years he fasted all of that month apart from a few days. This was the view favoured by Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him). See Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 15/416. 

Others said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never fasted any month in full apart from Ramadaan, and they interpreted the hadeeth of Umm Salamah as meaning that he fasted all of Sha’baan apart from a few days. They said that this is possible from a linguistic point of view, that if a man fasts for most of a month it may be said that he fasted the whole month. 

Al-Haafiz said: 

The hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah explains what was said in the hadeeth of Umm Salamah, which says that he did fast any month of the year in full apart from Sha’baan which he used to join to Ramadaan; this means that he used to fast most of it. Al-Tirmidhi narrated that Ibn al-Mubaarak said: It is possible in the language of the Arabs, if a person fasts most of a month, to say that he fasted the whole month… 

Al-Teebi said: It may be interpreted as meaning that he used to fast all of Sha’baan sometimes and most of Sha’baan at other times, lest people think that it is obligatory to fast the entire month, like Ramadaan. 

Then al-Haafiz said: The former is the correct view – in other words, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast all of Sha’baan. He quoted as evidence for that the report narrated by Muslim (746) from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: “I do not know that the Prophet of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited the entire Qur’aan in one night, or spent an entire night in prayer until dawn, or fasted an entire month apart from Ramadaan.” 

And he quoted the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (1971) and Muslim (1157) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never fasted any month in full apart from Ramadaan.” 

Al-Sindi said in his commentary on the hadeeth of Umm Salamah: 

“He joined Sha’baan to Ramadaan” means that he fasted them both together. The apparent meaning is that he fasted all of Sha’baan… but there are reports which indicate something different. Hence it is to be understood as meaning that he used to fast most of it, so it was as if he fasted all of it and joined it to Ramadaan. 

If it is asked, what is the reason for fasting a great deal during Sha’baan? The answer is: 

Al-Haafiz said: 

The reason in explained in the report narrated by al-Nasaa’i and Abu Dawood, and classed as saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah, according to which Usaamah ibn Zayd said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I do not see you fasting in any month more than in Sha’baan.’ He said, ‘That is a month concerning which many people are heedless, between Rajab and Ramadaan. It is the month is which people’s deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds, and I would like my deeds to be taken up whilst I am fasting.’” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i, 2221. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


Fasting on the Day of Doubt with the intention of making up a missed Ramadaan fast
I know that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not allow fasting on the Day of Doubt, and he forbade fasting two days before Ramadaan, but is it permissible for me to make up missed Ramadaan fasts on these two days?.
Praise be to Allaah.  

Yes, it is permissible to make up missed Ramadaan fasts on the day of doubt and one or two days before Ramadaan. 

It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade fasting the day of doubt, and he forbade anticipating Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but this prohibition does not apply to a person who has a habitual pattern of fasting, because the Prophet (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.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1914; Muslim, 1082. So if a person is used to fasting on Mondays, for example, and that coincides with the last day of Sha’baan, then it is permissible for him to observe that as a voluntary fast and it is not forbidden for him to do so. 

If it is permissible to observe a voluntary fast that one does regularly, then it is more appropriate that it should be permissible to make up a missed Ramadaan fast, because that is obligatory, and because it is not permissible to delay making up missed fasts until after the following Ramadaan. 

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’, 6/399: 

Our companions said: It is not correct to fast on the day of doubt when it is uncertain that Ramadaan has begun, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion on this point… But if a person fasts it to make up for a missed fast, or in fulfillment of a vow, or as an act of expiation (kafaarah), then it is permissible, because if it is permissible to observe a voluntary fast on that day for one who has a reason to do so, then it is more appropriate that one should be allowed to observe an obligatory fast.  This is like the time when it is forbidden to pray (when one may nevertheless offer a prayer for which there is a reason). And if a person still owes some missed Ramadaan fasts, then he has to observe those fasts, because the time for making it up has become very short.

Islam Q&A


Gathering to eat and celebrate on the last day of Sha’baan
Some families get together on the last night of Sha’baan and make food, and some of their lders recite poems for this occasion. What is the ruling on this getting together to eat?

Praise be to Allaah.

We put this question to Sahykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, who replied as follows:

I think that this is closer to bid’ah (innovation), and it should be disallowed rather than permitted, because it is being taken as an “Eid” (regular celebration). If it happened only once, then it is OK.

Our response is: we do not allow it.

And Allaah knows best.

Sahykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen


Delaying making up fasts
One year I did not fast the days when I had my monthly period, and I have not been able to fast them until now. Many years have gone by and I want to make up the fasts that I owe, but I do not know how many days I have to make up. What should I do?.
Praise be to Allaah.  

You have to do three things: 

1 – You have to repent to Allaah for this delay, and regret your past negligence; you must also resolve not to do such a thing again, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[al-Noor 24:31] 

This delay is a sin, so it is essential to repent to Allaah from that. 

2 – You must hasten to fast the number of days you think you missed, and (remember that) Allaah does not burden any person beyond his scope. However many days you think you missed, you have to fast that number of days. So if you think that it was ten days, then fast for ten days; if you think that it was more or less than that, fast as many days as you think, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”

[al-Baqarah 2:286] 

“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”

[al-Taghaabun 64:16]  

3 – Feed one poor person for each day if you can afford to do that, even if you give it all to one poor person. But if you are poor and cannot feed another person, then you do not have to do anything apart from fasting and repenting. 

What is meant by feeding a poor person here is giving half a saa’ of the local staple food for each day; half a saa’ is equivalent to one and a half kilograms. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Maqaalaat li’l-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/19.


Encouragement to fast al-ayyaam al-beed and the month of Sha’baan
I have developed the habit of fasting al-ayyaam al-beed each month, praise be to Allaah, but this month I did not fast. When I wanted to fast I was told that it is not permissible and is bid’ah. I fasted on Monday the 1st of the month, then I fasted on Wednesday the 19th of Sha’baan, and if Allaah wills I will fast tomorrow, Thursday, then I will have fasted three days. What is the ruling? And what is the ruling on fasting a great deal during the month of Sha’baan?.
Praise be to Allaah.  

Firstly: 

Allaah has forbidden us to speak about Him without knowledge, and He mentions that alongside shirk and major sins. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawaahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge”

[al-A’raaf 7:33] 

An example of speaking about Allaah with no knowledge is what is mentioned in the question, that some people say it is a bid’ah (an innovation) to fast three days in Sha’baan in the manner described in the question. 

Secondly: it is mustahabb to fast three days each month, and it is best to fast the ayaam al-beed, which are the 13th, 14th and 15th of the month. 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: My close friend [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] advised me to do three things which I will not give up until I die: fasting three days of each month, praying Duha and going to sleep after Witr.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1124); Muslim (721). 

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “It is sufficient for you to fast three days every month, because for every good deed you will have (the reward of) ten like it, so that will be like fasting for a lifetime.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1874); Muslim (1159). 

It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “If you fast any part of the month, then fast the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (761); al-Nasaa’i (2424).

This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, and al-Albaani agreed with him in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 947. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

It was narrated in the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) to fast three days of each month. When should these fasts be observed, and should they be one after the other? 

He replied: 

It is permissible to fast these days one after the other or separately, and they may be at the beginning of the month, or in the middle, or at the end. The matter is braod in scope, praise be to Allaah, because the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not state any specific days. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was asked: Did the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fast three days of each month? She said: Yes. It was asked: In which part of the month did he fast? She said: He would not bother in which part of the month he would fast. Narrated by Muslim, (1160). But the 13th, 14th and 15th are better, because these are al-ayyaam al-beed. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 10/ question no. 376. 

Thirdly: Perhaps the one who told you not to fast on those days in this month (Sha’baan) said that because he knew that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade fasting in the latter part of Sha’baan. 

In the answer to question no. 49884 we have explained that this prohibition applies to one who is starting to fast in the latter part of Sha’baan and does not have a prior habit of fasting. 

But if a person starts to fast in the first half of Sha’baan and continues to fast in the latter half, or he has a prior habit of fasting, then there is nothing wrong with him fasting in the latter half of Sha’baan, such as one who has the habit of fasting three days each month, or fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. 

Based on this, there is nothing wrong with you fasting three days in Sha’baan, even if some of those happen to be in the latter half of the month. 

Fourthly: There is nothing wrong with fasting a great deal in Sha’baan, indeed that is Sunnah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast a great deal during this month. 

It was 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 until we thought he would not break his fast, and he used not to fast until we thought he would not fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fast a complete month except Ramadaan and I never saw him fast more than in Sha’baan. 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1868; Muslim, 1165. 

It was narrated from Abu Salamah that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast in any month more than Sha’baan, and he used to fast all of Sha’baan and he used to say: “Do as much of good deeds as you can, for Allaah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired.” And the most beloved of prayers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was that in which one persists even if it is little. When he offered a prayer he would persist in doing so. 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1869; Muslim, 782. 

See also question 49884, as referred to above. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


Delaying making up Ramadaan fasts until the next Ramadaan begins
I did not fast some days in Ramadaan because of my period. This happened a few years ago, and I have not fasted these days until now. What do I have to do?.
Praise be to Allaah.  

The imams are agreed that whoever does not fast some days of Ramadaan has to make up those days before the next Ramadaan comes. 

They quoted as evidence for that the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (1950) and Muslim (1146) from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: “I used to have fasts that I still owed from Ramadaan, and I could not make them up until Sha’baan, and that was because of the position of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [as a husband].” 

Al-Haafiz said: 

It may be understood from her keenness to fast them in Sha’baan that it is not permissible to delay making up fasts until the next Ramadaan begins. 

If a person delays making up fasts until Ramadaan begins, one of the following two scenarios must apply.  

1 – The delay is for a reason, such as being sick and the sickness lasting until the following Ramadaan begins. There is no sin on a person for delaying in this case, because he has an excuse, and he only has to make up the days missed. So he should make up the number of days that he did not fast. 

2 – There is no reason for the delay, such as when a person was able to make up the fasts but he did not do so before the following Ramadaan began. 

This person is sinning by failing to make up the fasts with no excuse. The imams are agreed that he must make up the fasts, but they differed as to whether along with making up the fasts he must also feed one poor person for each day or not. 

Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad said that he must feed a poor person, and they quoted as evidence for that the reports narrated from some of the Sahaabah such as Abu Hurayrah and Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them). 

Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was of the view that he does not have to feed a poor person as well as making up the fasts. 

He quoted as evidence the fact that Allaah commands the one who does not fast in Ramadaan only to make up the missed fasts, and He did not mention feeding a poor person. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”

[al-Baqarah 2:185] 

See al-Majmoo’, 6/366; al-Mughni, 4/400 

This second view was also favoured by Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him). He said in his Saheeh

Ibraaheem (i.e., al-Nakha’i) said: If a person neglects (to make up missed fasts) until the next Ramadaan comes, he should fast the missed days of both months. But he did not think that he has to feed a poor person. There was also a mursal report from Abu Hurayrah and Ibn ‘Abbaas which says that he should also feed a poor person. Then al-Bukhaari said: But Allaah does not mention feeding a poor person, rather He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”

[al-Baqarah 2:185] 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, when noting that it is not obligatory to feed a poor person: 

With regard to the words of the Sahaabah, their use as evidence is subject to further discussion if it goes against the apparent meaning of the Qur’aan. In this case, saying that it is obligatory to feed a poor person goes against the apparent meaning of the Qur’aan, because Allaah only enjoined making up the same number from other days, and He did not mention more than that. Based on this, we should not oblige the slaves of Allaah to do any more than they need to fulfil their duty. But what was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Abu Hurayrah may be interpreted as referring to what is mustahabb, not what is obligatory. The correct view with regard to this issue is that a person does not have to do anything more than making up the missed fasts, but he is sinning if he delays doing so. 

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/451. 

Based on this, then what is obligatory is to make up the fasts only, but if a person wants to be on the safe side and feed one poor person for each day missed, then that is good. 

The woman who asked this question – if she delayed making up the fasts with no excuse, has to repent to Allaah and resolve not to repeat this mistake in the future. 

And Allaah is the One Whom we ask to help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


He said: “If tomorrow is Ramadaan, then I will fast”
If no announcement had been made about the beginning of Ramadaan, and a person slept early and said: “If tomorrow is the first of Ramadaan then I am fasting,” is this intention sufficient and is his fast valid?.
Praise be to Allaah.

The fuqaha’ differed concerning this matter and there are two views, based on their difference of opinion about making an intention specific. The issue is, does he have to intend to fast specifically for Ramadaan, or is it sufficient for him to have the intention of fasting, whether he intends it as an obligatory or naafil fast?  

The majority of Maalikis, Shaafa’is and Hanbalis are of the view that he has to stipulate that he intends to fast for Ramadaan. 

The Hanafis are of the view that he does not have to have a specific intention. This was also narrated from Ahmad. 

Based on this view, the fast of one who says “If tomorrow is Ramadaan then this is my obligatory fast”  is valid. 

It says in al-Furoo’ (3/40): It is essential to form a specific intention for each obligatory fast, according to Maalik and al-Shaafa’i. This means that he should form the intention of fasting Ramadaan or making up a missed fast or fasting in fulfilment of a vow or as an expiation, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Each person will have but that which he intended.” 

Another view was also narrated from Imam Ahmad, which is that he does not have to form a specific intention for Ramadaan, which is similar to the view of Abu Haneefah, because specifying is for the purpose of distinguishing and the time of Ramadaan is already distinct from other times, therefore the general intention of fasting is valid. If someone wants to form the intention of observing an obligatory fast but he was not certain …  

When he said “If someone wants to form the intention of observing an obligatory fast but he was not certain”, such as if he formed his intention on the night of doubt by saying: “If tomorrow is Ramadaan then my fast will be obligatory and if it is not then it will be naafil,” this is not valid, according to the first view, until he is certain that he will fast tomorrow for Ramadaan. But according to the second view it is valid. End quote. 

It says in al-Insaaf (3/295): If his intention is “If tomorrow is Ramadaan it will be my obligatory fast otherwise it will be a naafil fast,” this is not valid. This is our view and it is the view of the majority of our companions. This is based on the fact that it is essential to form a specific opinion. It was narrated from Imam Ahmad that this is valid, and this is based on a report that says it is not essential to form a specific intention in the case of Ramadaan. This view was favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Taqiy al-Deen. It says in al-Faa’iq: This was supported by the author of al-Muharrar and by our Shaykh, and it is the favoured view. End quote. 

See: al-Bahr al-Raa’iq, 2/280; Majma’ al-Anhaar, 1/233; Mughni al-Muhtaaj, 2/150; al-Mughni, 3/9; al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 5/165, 28/22.                                                                                             

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on the view of the author of al-Zaad: If his intention is, ‘If tomorrow is Ramadaan then it is my obligatory fast’, that is not valid. 

This issue is important and comes up frequently. For example: a man slept early on the night before the thirtieth of Sha’baan, and it is possible that this night may be the first of Ramadaan, so he said: ‘If tomorrow is Ramadaan then it will be my obligatory fast,’ or he said, ‘If tomorrow is Ramadaan then I am fasting,’ or, ‘If tomorrow is Ramadaan then it is my obligatory fast, and if it is not then it is an obligatory expiation’ and the like. Our view is that this is not valid, because his words, ‘If it is Ramadaan then it is my obligatory fast’ show a kind of uncertainty, but intentions must be based on certainty. So if he does not wake up until after dawn and he finds out that it is Ramadaan, then he has to make up this day, according to the author. 

The second view narrated from Imam Ahmad is that his fast is valid if he finds out that it is Ramadaan. This view was favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him). Perhaps this is included in the general meaning of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to Dubaa’ah bint al-Zubayr: “Go for Hajj, and stipulate that if you are prevented from continuing, you will exit ihraam at that point and Allaah will accept whatever you stipulate.” This man made his intention conditional because he did not know whether the next day would be Ramadaan, so his hesitation was based on uncertainty about the month, but there was no uncertainty about whether he would fast or not. Hence if he said on the night before the first of Ramadaan: ‘I may fast tomorrow or I may not,’ we say that this is not valid because it is uncertainty. … Based on this, if we go to sleep on the night before the thirtieth of Sha’baan , we may intend that if the next day is Ramadaan, we will fast. 

End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/375. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


Does the one who fails to fast with no excuse have to make up the fast?
I am 28 years old and I have never fasted a whole Ramadaan in my life. But now I intend to fast this year in sha Allaah. How should I make up for the fasts that I have missed?.
Praise be to Allaah.  

Fasting Ramadaan is one of the pillars of Islam, and it is not permissible for one who is required to fast not to do so, unless he has an excuse. Whoever does not fast due to a legitimate shar’i excuse, such as sickness, travelling or menstruation, and is able to fast, has to make up the missed fasts, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”

[al-Baqarah 2:185] 

The one who deliberately does not fast with no excuse is not like one who has an excuse in this regard. 

If a person delays an act of worship from the time when it is due, such as prayer or fasting, with no excuse, it is not valid and will not be accepted if he does it after the time specified for it in sharee’ah is over. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

What is the ruling on a Muslim who did not fast Ramadaan for many years although he did all the other duties required of him, and he has no reason why he should not fast. Does he have to make up those fasts if he repents? 

He replied: 

The correct view is that he does not have to make up those fasts if he repents, because with regard to every act of worship that is prescribed at a specific time, if a person delays it beyond that time deliberately with no excuse, Allaah will not accept it from him. So there is no point in making them up. But he has to repent to Allaah and do a lot of righteous deeds. Whoever repents, Allaah accepts his repentance.  

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 19, question no. 41 

This is the ruling on one who does not fast and has no excuse for that, i.e., he did not have any intention of fasting and he did not start fasting at all. 

With regard to one who starts a fast, then during the day he breaks the fast, he has to make up that day. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on breaking the fast during the day in Ramadaan with no excuse. 

He replied: 

Breaking the fast during the day in Ramadaan with no excuse is a major sin, which makes a person a faasiq (rebellious evildoer). He has to repent to Allaah and make up the day when he broke the fast. This means that if he fasted then during the day he broke the fast with no excuse, then he is a sinner, and he has to make up that day when he broke the fast, because when he started the fast it became binding upon him to complete it, as in the case of a vow. But if he deliberately did not start to fast at all with no excuse, then he does not have to make it up, because that will be of no benefit to him, for it will never be accepted from him. The basic principle with regard to every act of worship that is connected to a specific time is that if it is delayed beyond that time with no excuse, it will not be accepted, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.” And this is a transgression of the sacred limits of Allaah, and transgressing the sacred limits of Allaah is zulm (wrongdoing), and the wrongdoer’s deeds are not accepted. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allaah, then such are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)”

[al-Baqarah 2:229] 

If he did this act of worship before the time for it began, it would not be accepted from him, and by the same token if he does it after the time for it is over, it will not be accepted from him, unless he had an excuse. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 19, question no. 45. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


Delaying making up fasts until after the second Ramadaan – should she pay the fidyah before making it up?
A sister has asked me a question. A new Ramadaan came while she did not make up fasting six missed days of the previous Ramadaan. She asked what she should do. After I asked about this matter and read, I told her that she should make up those days by fasting and giving fidyah (feeding a poor person) for every day she missed. So we gave about one kilo and half of wheat for every day, the whole six days at once to some orphans live nearby. She still has not made up fasting the days she missed yet. Is the quantity of fidyah we gave correct? And is it right give it before making up fasting the missed days?.
Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

The fidyah (ransom) can only be paid to the poor and needy. Based on that, if these orphans were poor, it was permissible to give it to them, but if they were independent of means, it is not permissible to give it to them and you have to pay it again. 

You did well to give it in the form of food, because this is the basic principle with regard to that which Allaah has enjoined should be given in the form of food, and the fidyah cannot be given in the form of money. This is the correct view with regard to giving food in the case of offering expiation for breaking a vow, zihaar (a jaahili form of divorce), paying zakaat al-fitr, and other cases in which Allaah has enjoined giving food. 

Secondly: 

With regard to the question at hand, which is giving food as well as making up missed fasts for a person when another Ramadaan comes before they made up the fasts they owed, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. We have discussed this matter in detail in the answer to question no. 26865, in which we explained that if a person delays making up missed fasts until the next Ramadaan because of an excuse such as ongoing illness, travel, pregnancy or breastfeeding, then he or she only has to make up the fasts, but if there was no excuse, then the one who delayed it has to repent and seek forgiveness, and – according to the majority of scholars – he has to offer a fidyah by feeding one poor person for each day, as well as making up the fasts. We stated that the correct view is that the fidyah is not required, but if one does that in order to be on the safe side, that is good. 

Here we will explain another point, which is what is mentioned in your question, that it is permissible to pay the fidyah before starting to make up the fasts, because the fidyah is connected to the delay in making up the fasts, and it is not connected to beginning to make them up.  

Based on this, it is permissible to pay the fidyah the day when one is going to make up a missed fast, or before or after that. 

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (28/76): 

Making up missed Ramadaan fasts may be done at any time but the majority limited it to a specific time, which is before the next Ramadaan comes, because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: I would owe fasts from Ramadaan and I would not be able to make them up until Sha’baan, because of my concern for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Similarly the first prayer should not be delayed until the time of the next prayer.  

According to the majority it is not permissible to delay making up missed Ramadaan fasts until the next Ramadaan with no excuse, because of this hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah. If one delays it he must offer the fidyah, feeding one poor person for each day, because of the reports narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with them) who said concerning one who owes fasts but did not fast them until the next Ramadaan came: He must make them up and feed a poor person for each day. This is the fidyah for delaying it. … And it is permissible to give the food before making up the fast, at the same time, or afterwards. End quote.

 But it is better – according to those who say it is obligatory to offer the fidyah for delaying making up the fasts, or who think that is more on the safe side, to give it before making up the fasts, so as to hasten to do good and so as to avoid the consequences of delaying, such as forgetting.  

Al-Mardaawi al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

He may give to the poor whatever is required for expiation, and it is permissible to give the food before making up the fast, at the same time or afterwards. al-Majd – i.e., Ibn Taymiyah the grandfather of Shaykh al-Islam – said: It is better to do it before, in our opinion, so as to hasten to do good and to avoid the consequences of delaying. End quote. 

Al-Insaaf (3/333). 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
The month of Sha’baan