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Archive for the ‘Fasting’ Category

Continuous Fasting

In case you don’t know about the different types of continuous fasting, here they are:

1) 3 days a month (middle of every Arabic month, 13th,14th and 15th)
2) Mondays and Thursdays
3) Fast of Dawood (every other days)

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As: Allah’s Apostle said to me, “O ‘Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you fast during the day and offer prayers all the night.” ‘Abdullah replied, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!” The Prophet said, “Don’t do that; fast for few days and then give it up for few days, offer prayers and also sleep at night, as your body has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you, and your guest has a right on you. And it is sufficient for you to fast three days in a month, as the reward of a good deed is multiplied ten times, so it will be like fasting throughout the year.” I insisted (on fasting) and so I was given a hard instruction. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have power.” The Prophet said, “Fast like the fasting of the Prophet David and do not fast more than that.” I said, “How was the fasting of the Prophet of Allah, David?” He said, “Half of the year,” (i.e. he used to fast on every alternate day).
Afterwards when ‘Abdullah became old, he used to say, “It would have been better for me if I had accepted the permission of the Prophet (which he gave me i.e. to fast only three days a month).”
Bukhari Hadeeth No. 1858

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Abu Qatada Ansari (Allaah be pleased with him) reported that Allaah’s Massenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) was asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: It is (the day) when I was born and revelation was sent down to me. Muslim No. 2606

Muslim No. 2600 – 2605 has various reporting of fasting on Mondays, and some don’t mention about Thursdays.

`Aa’ishah said : The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays”. [an-Nasaa’i; Sahih]

Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, 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]

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Fasting in Shawwal

Praise be to Allaah.

Fasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadaan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not waajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained this when he said: “Whoever fasts for six days after (Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).” According to another report: “Allaah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” (al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/421). It was also narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah with the wording: “Fasting for the month of Ramadaan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year.”

The Hanbali and Shaafa’i fuqaha’ explained that fasting six days of Shawwaal after fasting Ramadaan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to naafil fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it.

Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal is that is makes up for any shortfall in a person’s obligatory Ramadaan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his naafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salaah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salaah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allaah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).

And Allaah knows best.

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Allaah `azza wa jall, says in the Qur’aan, what means: “Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Qur’aan, 3:31]

This is a beautiful verse, named by some of the salaf as “the verse of the test”, as it tests how true one’s love of Allaah is. They explained that if one loves Allaah, then he must show that in his/her following of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. The verse tells us that those who follow the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, if sincere, can in shaa’ Allaah expect the following two:

– Allaah ta`aalaa loving them
– Allaah ta`aalaa forgiving their sins.

One of the ways to manifest our loving of Allaah, by following the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, is to do those acts that he, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, advised his Companions, and the Ummah in general, to do. A sunnah which is certainly relevant to us in these days is his, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, practice to fast six days in the month of Shawwaal.

Aboo Ayyoob al-Ansaaree narrated: Allaah’s Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: “He who fasts Ramadhaan, and six of Shawwaal, it will be (in terms of rewards) as if the fasted a whole year.” [Reported by Muslim, at-Tirmidhee, Aboo Daawood, Ahmad, Ibn Maajah]

So this is an established sunnah, which carries a great reward, even though we find a great Imaam differing in this issue. Ibn Rushd al-Qurtubee said that Maalik, raHimahumallaah considered this fast to be disapproved, “either because people might associate with Ramadhaan what is not a part of it, or either because the tradition had not reached him or it did not prove to be authentic for him, which is more likely.” [Bidaayat ul-Mujtahid] However, we know that Imaam Maalik said: “Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions: all that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it.” [Reported by Ibn `Abdul Barr, Ibn Hazm and al-Fulaanee]

In commenting on the above mentioned hadeeth, As-San`aanee said in Subul us-Salaam: “If the thirty days of Ramadhaan fasting are assimilated with the six days of fasting in Shawwaal, it altogether makes 36 days. According to Sharee`ah, each virtue is rewarded ten times. Therefore, if we multiply 36 with 10, it makes 360, a number which equals the days of a year. Some scholars are of the opinion that these six days of fasting in Shawwaal must be completed in a continuous order right after the end of Ramadhaan. Some believe that is enough to merely complete six days of fasting in Shawwaal (in any order, either successive or with intervals), an opinion which is deemed to be correct.”

Perhaps it is proper for us to pray these days on Mondays and Thursdays, as in that case we would be following another Sunnah: `Aa’isha, radhiallaahu `anhaa, narrated: “The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays”. [an-Nasaa’ee, Saheeh]

If it is easier for one to fast on weekends, then in that case one would still be following another sunnah at the same time: Umm Salama, radhiallaahu `anhaa, narrated: Allaah’s Messenger used to fast mostly on Saturday and Sunday, and he used to say: “They are the festival days for the mushrikeen, and I like to act contrary to them.” [an-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Khuzaymah, who graded it saheeh, and Ibn Hajar agreed]

But, again, this fast is not obligatory, rather only recommended. There is reward for whoever does it, and no blame upon anyone who leaves it.

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