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
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-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
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,
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