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The Virtue Of Observing A Lot Of Naafil Fasts In The Month Of Muharram: Ruling On Singling Out ‘Ashoora For Fasting

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

Islamic Questions & Answers

Is it Sunnah to observe a lot of naafil [supererogatory] fasts in the month of Muharram? Is there anything special about this month compared with other months?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The month of Muharram is the first month of the Arabic year, and it is one of the four sacred months of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein"

[al-Tawbah 9:36]

al-Bukhaari (3167) and Muslim (1679) narrated from Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The division of time has turned to its original form which was current the day Allaah created the heavens and earth. The year consists of twelve months of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu'l-Qa'dah, Dhu'l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumada and Sha'baan."

It was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that the best fasting after Ramadaan is fasting in the month of Muharram. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The best fasting after Ramadaan is the month of Allaah Muharram, and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night." Narrated by Muslim, 1163.

With regard to the phrase "the month of Allaah", mentioning the month in conjunction with Allaah is a sign of its great status. Al-Qaari said: it seems that what is meant is all of the month of Muharram.

But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast any month in full apart from Ramadaan, so this hadeeth is to be understood as meaning that it is it is encouraged to fast a lot in the month of Muharram, not to fast the whole month.

And Allaah knows best.

Ruling On Singling Out ‘Ashoora For Fasting

Is it permissible to fast ‘Ashoora' only without fasting the day before or the day after?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said: Fasting the day of ‘Ashoora' is expiation for one year, and it is not makrooh to single out this day for fasting. Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5.

In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami it says: There is nothing wrong with fasting ‘Ashoora' on its own. Part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu'.

The Standing Committee was asked this question and replied as follows:

It is permissible to fast the day of ‘Ashoora' on its own, but it is better to fast the day before it or the day after it. This is the Sunnah that is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as he said, "If I am still alive next year, I will certainly fast the ninth." Narrated by Muslim, 1134.

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: He meant, along with the tenth.

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah li'l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa'l-Ifta', 11/401.

 

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