USING THE MISWAAK WHILE FASTING
By Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 2, Page 491, Fatwa No. 440;
al-Fataawa libni ‘Uthaymeen – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1, Page 167
Source http://www.fatwa-online. com
Question: What is the ruling concerning the one who fasts using a miswaak (tooth stick) after zawaal (when the sun is at its highest point and there is no shadow)?
Response: The use of the miswaak either before or after zawaal is a Sunnah as it is a Sunnah at other than these times. This is because the Hadeeth regarding the use of the miswaak is general and does not exempt the one who is fasting either before zawaal or after zawaal. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((The miswaak is a purifier for the mouth, (and) much liked by the Lord, . . .)). Also, he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((If it were not that I feared inconvenience for my Ummah, I would have ordered them to use the miswaak before each prayer)).
The Prophet has exhorted us to fast during the following days: six days of the month of Shawwal, first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah for those not performing the pilgrimage, month of Muharram.
Voluntary Fasts, six days of the month of Shawwal: Abu Ayyub al-Ansari reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be [rewarded] as if he had fasted the entire year.” This is related by “the group,” except for al-Bukhari and anNasa’i.
According to Ahmad, one may fast on these days consecutively or nonconsecutively, as neither practice is preferred over the other. Hanafiyyah and Shaf’iyyah maintain that it is preferable to fast on consecutive days after the ‘id.
Voluntary FastsThe first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, especially the day of Arafah, for those who are not performing the pilgrimage:
1. Abu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah is an expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of ‘Ashurah is an expiation for the year preceding it.” This is related by “the group,” except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi.
2. Hafsah reported: “There are five things that the Prophet never abandoned: fasting the day of ‘Ashurah, fasting the [first] ten [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting three days of every month and praying two rak’ah before the dawn prayer.” This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa’i.
3. ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “The day of ‘Arafah, the day of sacrifice, and the days of tashreeq are ‘ids for us–the people of Islam–and they are days of eating and drinking.” This is related by “the five,” except for Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi grades it sahih.
4. Abu Hurairah stated: “The Messenger of Allah forbade fasting on the day of ‘Arafah for one who is actually at ‘Arafah.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi comments: “The scholars prefer that the day of ‘Arafah be fasted unless one is actually at ‘Arafah.”
5. Umm al-Fadl said: “The people were in doubt over whether or not the Prophet was fasting on the day of ‘Arafah. I sent him some milk, and he drank it while he was delivering an address to the people at ‘Arafah.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Voluntary Fasts, Fasting during the month of Muharram, especially the day of ‘Ashurah and the days immediately preceding and following it: Abu Hurairah reported: “I asked the Prophet: ‘Which prayer is the best after the obligatory prayers?’ He said: ‘Prayer during the middle of the night.’ I asked: ‘Which fast is the best after the fast of Rarnadan?’ He said, ‘The month of Allah that you call Muharram.’ ” This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud.
Mu’awiyyah ibn Abu Sufyan reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Concerning the day of ‘Ashurah, it is not obligatory upon you to fast on it as I do. Whoever wishes may fast and whoever does not wish to is not obliged to do so.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
‘Aishah stated: “The tribe of Quraish used to fast on the day of ‘Ashurah in the days before Islam, as did the Prophet. When he came to Madinah, he still fasted on it and ordered the people to do likewise. Then, when fasting during the month of Ramadan becam obligatory, he said: ‘Whoever wishes may fast [‘Ashurah] and whoever wishes may leave it.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Ibn ‘Abbas reported: “The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashurah. He said to them: ‘What is this fast?’ They said: ‘A great day. Allah saved Moses and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore, Moses fasted on this day.’ The Prophet said: ‘We have more of a right to Moses than you,’ so he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day.” This is recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
According to al-Bukhari and Muslim, Musa al-Ash’ari reported: “The Jews would honor the day of ‘Ashurah as an ‘id. The Prophet said: ‘You [Muslims] are to fast on it.'”
Ibn ‘Abbas reported: “The Messenger of Allah fasted on the day of ‘Ashurah and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.’ The Prophet said, ‘When the following year comes–Allah willing–we shall fast on the ninth.’ The death of the Prophet came before the following year.” This is recorded by Muslim and Abu Dawud. In one version the wording is: “If I remain until next year, we shall fast the ninth,” meaning, the tenth. This is related by Muslim and Abu Dawud.
The scholars have mentioned that the fast of ‘Ashurah is of three levels:
- 1. fasting three days–that is, on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of Muharram;
- 2. fasting on the 9th and 10th; and
- 3. fasting only on the 10th.
Being generous in providing household provisions on the day of ‘Arafah: Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever is generous to himself and to his family on the day of ‘Ashurah will have Allah’s generosity bestowed on him for the rest of the year.” This is related by al-Baihaqi in ash-Shu’ab and by Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr. The hadith has other chains, but they are all weak; however, strung together these chains strengthen the rank of the hadith, as as-Sakhawi said.
Fasting most of the month of Sha’ban (the month preceding Ramadan): The Prophet would fast most of the month of Sha’ban. ‘Aishah said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast a complete month save for Ramadan, and I have never seen him fast more in a month than he did in Sha’ban.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Usamah ibn Zaid inquired: “O Messenger of Allah, I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Sha’ban.” The Prophet responded: “That is a month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting.” This is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih.
Some people fast on the 15th of Sha’ban in particular, thinking that that day contains more virtues than the other days. This is an unsubstantiated claim.
Fasting during the “forbidden” months: The “forbidden” months (during which killing is forbidden) are Dhul-Qidah, DhulHijjah, Muharram, and Rajab. It is preferred to fast a lot during these months.
A man from Bahila came to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I am the man who came to you during the first year.” The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: “What has changed you? You used to be much more handsome!” He answered: “I did not eat save during the night since I left you.” The Messenger of Allah asked: “Why did you punish yourself? Fast during the month of patience [that is, Ramadan] and then one day of every month.” The man said: “Add something to that for me, for I have more strength than that.” The Prophet responded: “Fast two days [a month].” The man said: “Add more for me.” The Prophet said three times: “Fast from the forbidden months, then leave fasting.” He pointed with three of his fingers by clenching them and releasing them. This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi with a good chain.
Fasting during Rajab contains no more virtue than during any other month. There is no sound report from the sunnah that states that it has a special reward. All that has been related concerning it is not strong enough to be used as a proof. Ibn Hajr says: “There is no authentic hadith related to its virtues, not fasting during it or on certain days of it, nor concerning exclusively making night prayers during that month.”
Fasting Mondays and Thursdays: Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: “The actions are presented on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim or every believer, except for those who are boycotting each other. He says [about them]: ‘Leave them.’ ” This is related by Ahmad with a sahih chain. It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet, when asked about fasting on Monday, said: “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received revelations.”
Fasting three days of every month: Abu Dharr al-Ghafari reported: “The Messenger of Allah ordered us to fast for three days of every month–that is, on the days of the full moon (the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the lunar month). And he said: ‘It is like fasting the whole year.’ ” This is related by an-Nasa’i and by Ibn Hibban, who called it sahih. It is related that the Prophet would fast on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of one month and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the next month. He would also fast for three days at the beginning of the month, or on the first Thursday and the next two Mondays of the month.
Fasting one day and not fasting the next: Abu Salama ibn ‘Abdurrahman reported from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said to him: ‘I have been informed that you stay up in prayer during the night and fast during the day. ‘Abdullah answered: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said: “Fast and do not fast, pray and sleep, for your body, your wife, and your guests have a right upon you. It is sufficient for you to fast three days a month.” ‘Abdullah said: “I wanted to be stricter on myself and I said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have the strength to do more.” The Prophet said: “Then fast three days a week.” ‘Abdullah said: “I have the strength to do more!” The Prophet said: “Fast the fast of the Prophet David and do not do more than that!” ‘Abdullah inquired: “And what was the fast of David?” The Prophet replied: “He would fast one day and then not fast the next.” This is recorded by Ahmad and others.
Ahmad also related from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet said: “The fast most loved by Allah is the fast of David, and the most loved prayer is the prayer of David. He would sleep half the night, pray for a third of the night, and then sleep during the last sixth of the night. He would also fast one day and then eat on the next.”
It is permissible for one who is performing a voluntary fast to break his fast: Umm Hani reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, entered her room during the day of the conquest of Makkah. He was offered something to drink and he drank from it. Then he offered it to Umm Hani and she said: “I am fasting.” The Prophet said: “The one who is fasting voluntarily is in charge of himself. If you wish you may fast and if you wish you may break your fast.” This is recounted by Ahmad, ad-Daraqutni, and alBaihaqi. Al-Hakim also related it and said that its chain is sahih. The version he recorded states: “And if one wishes he may fast and if he wishes he may break his fast.”
Abu Juhaifah said: “The Prophet established the bond of brotherhood between Salman and Abu ad-Darda. Once, Salman visited Abu ad-Darda and saw Umm ad-Darda wearing very plain clothes. He said to her: ‘What’s happening to you?’ She said: ‘Your brother Abu ad-Darda has no need in this world.’ When Abu adDarda came, he prepared some food for Salman and said: ‘Eat, for I am fasting.’ Salman said: ‘I shall not eat until you eat.’ So he ate. When it was night, Abu ad-Darda got up to pray and Salman said, ‘Sleep,’ and he did so. Toward the end of the night Salman woke Abu ad-Darda and said, Pray now.’ And they prayed. Salman told him: ‘Your Lord has a right upon you, you have a right upon yourself, and so does your wife. Give each one its due right.’ Abu adDarda went to the Prophet and told him what Salman had said. The Prophet said: ‘Salman has said the truth.’ ” This is related by al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi.
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said: “I prepared food for the Prophet. He came to me with some of his companions. When the food was laid out, one of the men said: ‘I am fasting.’ The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Your brother has invited you and incurred expenses in your behalf.’ Then he asked [him], Break your fast and fast another day in its place if you wish.’ ” This is related by al-Baihaqi. Al-Hafidh says it has a hassan chain.
Most scholars maintain that one who is performing a voluntary fast can break it. It is, however, preferred to make up that day later on. The preceding view is clear and authentic hadith are support for that position.
THE FORBIDDEN DAYS TO FAST
There are some ahadith that explicitly prohibit fasting on certain days. These are:
The days of ‘id:
All scholars agree that such a fast is prohibited. It does not matter if the fast is obligatory or voluntary. ‘Umar testifies: “The Messenger of Allah has forbidden fasting on these two days. Concerning the ‘id of breaking the fast, it is for you to break your fast [of Ramadan]. On the ‘id of sacrifice, you should eat from what you sacrifice.” This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa’i, atTirmidhi, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah.
The Forbidden Days to Fast, the days of tashreeq (three days following the ‘Id al-Adha): It is not permissible to fast during the three days following the ‘Id al-Adha. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, sent ‘Abdullah ibn Hudhaqah to announce at Mina: “You are not to fast these days. They are days of eating and drinking and remembering Allah.” This is related by Ahmad with a good chain.
Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, sent a person to announce: “Do not fast on these days, as they are days of eating, drinking and rejoicing with one’s family.” At-Tabarani related it in al-‘Awsat.
The Shaf’iyyah allow fasting on the days of tashreeq if there is some reason for the fasting – that is, if it is due to an oath, for expiation, or for making up a missed day of Ramadan. Those fasts that have no special reason behind them are not allowed, and there is no disagreement on this point. The Shaf’iyyah applied the same reasoning that they used in saying that prayers that are performed for a specific reason are allowed to be performed during the prohibited times of prayer [for example, the prayer of salutation to the mosque, and so on].
The Forbidden Days to Fast, prohibited to single out Friday as a day of fasting: The day of Friday is a kind of weekly ‘id for Muslims and, therefore, it is prohibited to fast on that day. Most scholars say that this prohibition is one of dislike,9 not one of complete forbiddance. If one fasts on the day before or after it, or if it is a day that one customarily fasts on (for example, the 13th, 14th, or 15th of the month), or if it is the day of ‘Arafah or ‘Ashurah, then it is not disliked to fast on such a Friday.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah entered the room of Juwairiyah bint al-Harith while she was fasting on a Friday. He asked her: “Did you fast yesterday?” She answered, “No.” He said: “Do you plan to fast tomorrow?” She answered, “No.” Therefore he said: “Then break your fast.” This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa’i with a good chain.
‘Amr al-‘Ashari reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Verily, Friday is an ‘id for you, so do not fast on it unless you fast the day before or after it.” This is related by al-Bazzar with a good chain. ‘Ali counseled: “He who wants to [fast] voluntarily should fast on Thursday instead of Friday, for Friday is a day of eating, drinking, and remembrance.” This is related by Ibn Abu Shaibah with a good chain.
In the two Sahih (those of al-Bukhari and Muslim), Jabir reported that the Prophet said: “Do not fast on Friday unless you fast on it together with the day before or the day after.” Muslim’s version states: “Do not exclusively choose the night of Friday [Thursday night in English] as a special night for performing the night prayers. Also, do not exclusively choose Friday as a day of fasting unless it occurs on a day that you regularly fast.”
The Forbidden Days to Fast, prohibited to single out Saturday as a day of fasting: Busr as-Salmi related from his sister as-Sama’ that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: “Do not fast on Saturdays unless it is an obligatory fast. [You should not fast] even if you do not find anything [to eat] save some grape peelings or a branch of a tree to chew on.”
This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa’i, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim. Al-Hakim said that it is sahih according to the conditions of Muslim, while at-Tirmidhi called it hassan. AtTirmidhi said that what is disliked here is for a person to exclusively choose Saturday as a day of fasting, as it is the day that the Jews honor.
In contradiction with the preceding report, Umm Salamah claims: “The Prophet used to fast more often on Saturdays and Sundays than on the other days. He would say: ‘They are the ‘ids of the polytheists, and I love to differ from them.’ ” This is related by Ahmad, al-Baihaqi, al-Hakim, and Ibn Khuzaimah who called it sahih.
The Hanafiyyah, Shaf’iyyah, and Hanbaliyyah say it is disliked to fast on Saturday by itself due to the preceding evidence. Malik differs from them, but the hadith is proof against him.
The Forbidden Days to Fast, on the “day of doubt”: ‘Ammar ibn Yasir said: “Whoever fasts the ‘day of doubt has disobeyed Abu alQasim [the Prophet].” This is related by an-Nasa’i, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah.
Of its status, at-Tirmidhi says: “It is a hassan sahih hadith. Most of the knowledgeable people act in accordance with it. It is the opinion of Sufyan ath-Thauri, Malik ibn Anas, ‘Abdullah ibn alMubarak, ash-Shaf’i, Ahmad, and Ishaq. They all hate that one fasts on a ‘day of doubt.’ Most of them believe that if one fasts on such a day and it turns out to be Ramadan, then that day still has to be made up later. If such a day occurs during one’s regular fasting period, then it is permissible to fast on such a day.”
As related by “the group,” Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Do not precede Ramadan by fasting the day or two before it unless it is a day on which the person usually fasts.”
About this hadith, at-Tirmidhi says: “The hadith is hassan sahih and the scholars act in accordance with it. They dislike that a person should hasten Ramadan by fasting on the day before it. If a person usually fasts on a day and ‘the day of doubt’ occurs on that day, then there is no problem with his fasting on that day, in their opinion.”
The Forbidden Days to Fast, every day of the year: It is forbidden to do so because there are certain days of the year on which one is not allowed to fast. The Messenger of Allah said: “There is no [reward for] fasting for the one who perpetually fasts.” This is related by Ahrnad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim.
If one breaks his fast during the days of ‘id and the days of tashreeq, then his perpetual fasting would no longer be considered disliked. In his comments on this issue, at-Tirmidhi says: “A group of scholars dislike fasting every day if it includes the ‘ids [‘id al-Fitr, ‘id al-Adha] and the days of tashreeq. If one breaks his fast on those days, his action is no longer disliked, as he is no longer fasting the whole year.” The scholars are Malik, ash-Shaf’i, Ahrnad, and Ishaq.
The Prophet approved of Hamzah al-Aslami’s nurnerous fasts when he told him: “Fast if you wish and break your fast if you wish.” This hadith was mentioned earlier.
The Forbidden Days to Fast, woman to fast while her husband is present except with his permission: The Messenger of Allah forbade a woman to fast if her husband was present until he gave her his perrnission to do so. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said: “A woman is not to fast [even] for one day while her husband is present except with his permission, unless it is during Ramadan.” This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim. The scholars have interpreted this prohibition as one of forbiddance, and they allow the husband to end his wife’s fasting if she fasted without his perrnission and he seeks his right [to sex] from her. This is also true, obviously, for days other than those of Ramadan in which case she does not need her husband’s permission. Similarly, if she fasted without his permission because he was not present, he has the right to end her fast when he returns.
If the husband is sick or incapable of intercourse, it is permissible for the woman to fast without his perrnission–that is, it is similar to the case of where the husband is not present.
The Forbidden Days to Fast, consecutive days without eating at all [al-wisal]: Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said: “Do not perforrn al-wisal.” He said that three times and the people said to him: “But you perform al-wisal, O Messenger of Allah!” He said: “You are not like me in that matter. I spend the night in such a state that Allah feeds me and gives me to drink.. Devote yourselves to the deeds which you can perform.” This is related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
The scholars say this prohibition implies that the act is disliked. Ahmad and Ishaq say that it is allowed to fast until the time of the pre-dawn meal as long as it is not a hardship on the one fasting. This opinion is based on what al-Bukhari recorded on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Do not make al-wisal. If one of you insists on making al-wisal, he may continued his fast [after sunset] until the time of the pre-dawn.
As we are beginning our new year with the great month of Muharram in which there is the great day of `Ashourah that the Muslims fast in revival of the practice of the Prophet Mousa alaihi as-Salam, I thought sharing with my dear brothers and sisters some important facts regarding voluntary fasting.
Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship of all time. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.
In prayer most of us pray Sunna [supererogatory/optional/voluntary] prayer before or after mandatory prayer, called Rawatib, such as four Rak`at before and two after, two after Maghrib and `Isha and the two rak`at of Fajr. These are prayers we pray before or after a mandatory prayer.
Similarly, there is a mandatory fasting and that is in Ramadhan. Just as the one performs the Rawatib before and after the Fardh prayer one should fast before and after Ramadhan, and just as the Rawatib were set by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam the in some specific manner and amount, the Nafl [optional] Fasting was also set by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. In this short article we shall review the fasting of some days that were recommended by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam.
1- Six days of the month of Shawwal:
Abu Ayyoub reported that the Messenger of Allah, saw said “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and then follows it by fasting six days during the month of Shawwal will be rewarded as if he had fasted the entire year. [Muslim, at-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood and Ahmad by way of Jabir] These days can be anytime during the month of Shawwal except the first day because it is unlawful to fast the day of Eid. These days do not have to be at beginning of the month nor do they have to be consecutive. Hence, Muslims should seize this opportunity and fast these six days to get Allah’s reward.
Why the fasting of six days of Shawal after Ramadhan equates that of the whole year? Some `Ulamaa’ say that the good deed is rewarded ten times. Thus fasting six days is like fasting 60 days, added to 30 days of Ramadhan times 10 (i.e. 300) it makes it a year.
2- The day of `Arafah:
This is for those who are not performing the Hajj (pilgrimage) . Abu Qatadah said : the Messenger of Allahs saw, said: “Fasting on the day of `Arafah is an expiation [of sins] for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it and the fasting the day of `Aashuraa’ is an expiation for the year preceding it. [Muslim, an-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood].
3- Fasting three days of every month:
`Amr Ibn Sharhabeel said : A man came to the Messenger of Allah, saw, and said : O Messenger of Allah! what do you say in a man who fasts the whole year [time], on this the Messenger of Allah, saw, said : I wish he would not eat anything during the year, he said what about two thirds of the year, he replied “more”, he said what about half of it, he said more and then said : Shall I not inform you of what takes away the whispers of the chest, they said yes tell us, he said ” fasting three days from every month. [an-Nasaa’i; Sahih] Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: “The Messenger of Allah, saw, said “Whoever fasts from every month three days, it is like fasting the whole year, then Allah revealed what backs this in His book “Whoever comes with a good deed, he is rewarded ten folds”, one day for ten. [Ibn Majah and at-Tirmithi].
Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: “The Messenger of Allah, saw, said “O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]”. [Ahmad, an-Nasaa’i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]
4- Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:
`Aa’ishah said : The Messenger of Allah, saw, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays”. [an-Nasaa’i; Sahih] Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, saw, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: “The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: “leave them for later.” [Ahmad; Hasan]
5- Fasting Tasu’a and `Aashuraa’:
Tasu`aa’ and `Aashuraa’ are respectively the ninth and the tenth day of the month of Muharram. Ibn Abbas reported: “The Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting the day of Ashura. He asked them: “Why are you fasting this day?” They said: “This is a great day. Allah saved Mousa (Moses) and the tribes of Israel from their enemies on this day and therefore Mousa fasted on it. “The Prophet said: “We have more of a right to Mousa than you.” So he fasted on that day also and ordered the people to fast on that day.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim].
When the Prophet, saw, fasted the day of Ashura, the people told him that this day is a day that Jews and Christians honor. The Prophet said: “When the following year comes, Allah willing, we shall fast both the ninth and the tenth day of Muharram (that is to be different from the Jews and the Christians.)” The Prophet, saw, died before the following year.”[Muslim].
6- Fasting during the month of Muharram:
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic year The month of Muharram is the first month of the lunar year. Abu Hurairah reported: “I asked the Prophet: “Which prayer is best after the obligatory prayers?” He said: “Prayer during the middle of the night.” I asked: “Which fast is best after the fast of Ramadhan?” He said: “Fasting during the month of Muharram.” [Muslim].
7-Fasting during the month of Sha`baan:
Sha`baan is the month before Ramadan Sha`baan `Aa’isha said: “I have never seen the Messenger of Allah, saw, completing the fast of a month as he did for Ramadhan, and I have never seen him fasting so much as he would in Sha`baan.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim] Fasting of a woman in her husband’s presence. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, saw, said : “A woman is not to fast [even] for one day while her husband is present except with his permission, unless it is during Ramadhaan.” [al-Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad] Intention for voluntary fasting As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything. `Aa’ishah said : The Prophet, saw, came to us one day and said, “Do you have any [food]?” We said “No”. He said: Therefore, I am Fasting”. [Muslim and Abu Dawood]
Breaking the fast when fasting voluntarily and making up voluntary fasting Ummu Hani reported that the Prophet, saw, entered her room during the day of the conquest of Makkah. He was offered something to drink and he drank from it. Then he offered it to me [Ummu Hani] and I said :” I am fasting”. The Prophet, saw, said : The one who is fasting voluntarily is in charge of himself. If you wish you may fast and if you wish you may break your fast”. [Ahmad, ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi, al-Hakim and at-Tirmithi]. In another narration, Ummu Hani said I am fasting but I dislike to return your leftover. He said: If it [the day you are fasting] is a making up for a day of Ramadhan then make up another day for it, and if it is a voluntary fasting day, then if you wish make it up and if you wish not don’t” [Ahmad and Abu Dawood] `Aishah said : The Prophet, saw, came to us one day and said, “Do you have any [food]?” We said “No”. He said: Therefore, I am Fasting and then he came to me after that day and I was gifted some Hais [a kind of food], so I left it for him, and he used to like al-Hais. She said :” O Messenger of Allah! we were gifted some Hais and I left some for you. He said” Bring it closer to me, though I woke up with the intention of fasting, I will eat from it. Then he said: The example of the voluntary fasting is like the man who takes out money [to give] for charity, if he likes he give it and if he likes he keep it. [Ibn Majah; Hasan]
It is clear that voluntary fasting was something very common among the Sahaba and in the previous nations of believers and the Prophets Dawood and Mousa alaihim as-salaam are good examples. Indeed it is the way of the Believers that we should strive to follow.