Saturday 20 Ṣafar 1441 - 19 October 2019
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Hadiths about the recommendation to fast the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah

Question

From the article on your website, entitled The First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, I understood that it is mustahabb to fast on the ninth day, but you did not say whether it is Sunnah to also fast on the other days of the ten. There are hadiths, of which I do not know the soundness, which speak of the virtue of these days and encourage doing a lot of deeds of obedience during them, including fasting.
These hadiths are as follows:
1- It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There are no days in this world in which worship is more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Fasting on one of these days is equivalent to fasting for a year, and one night of them is equal to Laylat al-Qadar.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and al-Bayhaqi.
2- It was narrated that Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: There are five things that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never failed to do: fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’, (fasting) the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, (fasting)three days of every (Hijri) month, praying two rak‘ahs before Fajr… Narrated by Ahmad and an-Nasaa’i.
From these hadiths I understand that it is only Sunnah to fast on the ninth day and indeed on the rest of the first ten days. Is this correct? Why is that not mentioned in the article? Are the hadiths I mentioned saheeh?
Praise be to Allah

Firstly: 

On our website we have previously stated that it is mustahabb to fast the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Please see the answers to questions no. 41633, 49042 and 84271 

Secondly: 

With regard to the hadith narrated from Abu Hurayrah, according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There are no days in this world in which worship is more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Fasting on one of these days is equivalent to fasting for a year, and one night of them is equal to Laylat al-Qadar.”

Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (no. 758); al-Bazzaar (no. 7816) and Ibn Maajah (1728) via Abu Bakr ibn Naafi‘ al-Basri, who said: Mas‘ood ibn Waasil told us, from Nahhaas ibn Qaham, from Qataadah, from Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyab, from Abu Hurayrah. 

This is a da‘eef isnaad because of an-Nahhaas ibn Qaham and Mas‘ood ibn Waasil. Hence the scholars of hadith unanimously agreed that it is to be classed as da‘eef. 

At-Tirmidhi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

This is a ghareeb hadith, which we know only from the hadith of Mas‘ood ibn Waasil, from an-Nahhaas. 

I asked Muhammad – i.e., al-Bukhaari – about this hadith and he did not know it except via this isnaad. 

Some of this was also narrated from Qataadah, from Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyab, from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in a mursal report. Yahya ibn Sa‘eed criticised Nahhaas ibn Qaham with regard to his memory. End quote. 

Al-Baghawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Its isnaad is da‘eef (end quote) 

Sharh as-Sunnah (2/624) 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

There is some weakness in it. End quote 

Sharh al-‘Umdah (2/555) 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Its isnaad is da‘eef. End quote. 

Fath al-Baari (2/534) 

It was classed as da‘eef by Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) in as-Silsilah ad-Da‘eefah (no. 5142). 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said – after quoting this and other hadiths on this topic –: 

Concerning the multiplication of the reward there are other, marfoo‘ hadiths, but they are fabricated. Therefore we turn away from them and similar fabricated reports about the virtues of the first ten days [of Dhu’l-Hijjah], of which there are many. End quote. 

Lataa’if al-Ma‘aarif (p. 262) 

Thirdly: 

With regard to the second hadith mentioned in the question – There are five things that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never failed to do… – it is based on the report narrated by Hunaydah ibn Khaalid al-Khuzaa‘i, from whom it was narrated via many isnaads, in several versions. 

The first isnaad is:

Hunaydah ibn Khaalid, from the Mother of the Believers Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her). 

It was narrated from him by al-Hurr ibn as-Sayyaah, and this version was narrated from al-Hurr by three narrators: 

1. ‘Amr ibn Qays al-Malaa’i

This was narrated by an-Nasaa’i in as-Sunan (2416), Ahmad in al-Musnad (44/59), at-Tabaraani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (23/205), Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (14/332), and Abu Ya‘la in al-Musnad (12/469) as follows: “There are four things that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never failed to do: fasting ‘Ashoora’, (fasting the first) ten (days of Dhu’l-Hijjah), fasting three days of every (Hijri) month, and praying two rak‘ahs before Fajr.” The one who narrated it from ‘Amr ibn Qays is Abu Ishaaq al-Ashja‘i, who is majhool (unknown), hence it was classed as da‘eef by the commentators on al-Musnad and by Shaykh al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (4/111). 

2. Zuhayr ibn Mu‘aawiyah Abu Khaythamah

This was narrated by an-Nasaa’i in al-Kubra (2/135). The version of Zuhayr is as follows: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast three days of every (hijri) month, the first Monday of the month, then (the first) Thursday, then the Thursday after that. 

3. Shurayk

This was narrated by an-Nasaa’i in al-Kubra (2/135), and Ahmad in al-Musnad (9/460 – Mu’sasat ar-Risaalah edn). Shurayk narrated it from Ibn ‘Umar with the wording of Zuhayr. 

Ibn Abi Haatim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

I asked my father and Abu Zar‘ah about the hadith: It was narrated by Shurayk, from al-Hurr ibn as-Sayyaah, from Ibn ‘Umar, that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast of each (hijri) month the (first) Monday, the Thursday that followed it, then the Monday that followed that. 

They said: This is wrong; rather it is al-Hurr ibn Sayyaah, from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid, from his wife, from Umm Salamah, from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote. 

Al-‘Ilal (1/231) 

The commentators on al-Musnad said: 

Its isnaad is da‘eef. Shurayk – who is ibn ‘Abdullah an-Nakha‘i – had a poor memory.  End quote. 

Al-Musnad (9/460) 

The second isnaad is:

From Hunaydah ibn Khaalid, from his wife, from one of the wives of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

This was narrated by Abu ‘Awaanah, from al-Hurr ibn as-Sayyaah, from Hunaydah. With this isnaad it was narrated by Abu Dawood (no. 2437), an-Nasaa’i (2372 and 2418), Ahmad (37/24 and 44/69), al-Bayhaqi in as-Sunan al-Kubra (4/284), and at-Tahhaawi in  Sharh Ma‘aani al-Athaar (2/76). Its wording in the report narrated by Abu Dawood is:

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, the day of ‘Ashoora’, and three days of every (hijri) month: the first Monday of the month and the (following) Thursday. 

The third isnaad is:

From Hunaydah, from his mother, from Umm Salamah 

Via Muhammad ibn Fudayl, who said: al-Hasan ibn ‘Ubaydullah told us: from Hunaydah al-Khuzaa‘i, from his mother, from Umm Salamah who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to enjoin us to fast three days: the first Thursday, and Monday and Monday. According to one report, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to instruct me to fast three days of every (hijri) month: Monday, Thursday and the Monday of the following week. According to yet another report: the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to instruct me to fast three days of every (hijri) month, the first of which was Monday, and Friday, and Thursday.

Narrated by Ahmad (44/82); Abu Ya‘la in al-Musnad (12/315); Abu Dawod (2452); an-Nasaa’i (4/221). There is no mention in this report of fasting the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah or the day of ‘Ashoora’; rather it speaks only of fasting three days of every (hijri) month. 

The fourth isnaad:

From Hunaydah, from his wife, from Umm Salamah, 

Via ‘Abd ar-Raheem ibn Sulaymaan, from al-Hasan ibn ‘Ubaydullah, from al-Hurr ibn Sayyaah, from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid, from his wife, from Umm Salamah – with the wording mentioned above. This was narrated by at-Tabaraani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (23/216 and 23/420), and by Abu Ya‘la in al-Musnad. 

The fifth isnaad:

From Hunaydah ibn Khaalid who said: I entered upon the Mother of the Believers – and he did not mention her name – 

Via Zuhayr ibn Mu‘aawiyah, from al-Hurr ibn as-Sayyaah. He said: I heard Hunaydah al-Khuzaa‘i say: I entered upon the Mother of the Believers and heard her say: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast three days of every (hijri) month, the first Monday of the month, then the Thursday, then the following Thursday.

Narrated by an-Nasaa’i (no. 2415). 

To conclude, the critics of the hadith differed as to the classification of this hadith because each of these versions has its own isnaad and text. 

The hadith was classed as da‘eef by az-Zayla‘i in Nasb ar-Raayah (2/157); the commentators on Musnad Ahmad; Shaykh Ibn Baaz in Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (15/417) – because of the variations in its isnaad and text. Perhaps this is the soundest ruling concerning the verdict on this hadith. 

In Saheeh Abi Dawood (7/196-199), Shaykh al-Albaani classed as saheeh the two reports of Zuhayr ibn Mu‘aawiyah and Abu ‘Awaanah from al-Hurr ibn as-Sayyaah. 

It says in al-‘Ilal by ad-Daaraqutni (15/121-122): 

Hunaydah ibn Khaalid al-Khuzaa‘i was asked about the hadith from Hafsah, who said: There are four things that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never failed to do: fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’, (fasting) the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, (fasting)three days of every (Hijri) month, and praying two rak‘ahs before Fajr. 

He said:

It was narrated by al-Hurr ibn as-Sayyaah, from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid al-Khuzaa‘i, from Hafsah. 

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ubaydullah narrated it via a different isnaad: It was narrated by ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Sulaymaan, from al-Hasan ibn ‘Ubaydullah, from his mother, from Umm Salaamah. It was also narrated by Abu ‘Awaanah, from al-Hurr ibn as-Sayyaah, from Hunaydah, from his wife, from one of the wives of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), but he did not mention her name. End quote. 

And Allah knows best.

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