Making up for supererogatory Sawm (fasts)

Question: I observe Sawm for three days every month. One month, I felt ill. Therefore, I could not observe Sawm (Fast). Do I have to make up or expiate for them?

Answer: There is no making up for the missed days of supererogatory Sawm even if a person missed them willingly. But it is better for the Muslim to continue doing good deeds according to the Saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): The deed liked most by Allaah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small. So you do not have to make up or expiate for your missed supererogatory Sawm… read more here.

Fasting on the Day of `Aashooraa’ (عاشوراء)

Question: What is obligatory for a Muslim to do on the Day of ‘Aashoora’ (10th of Muharram)? Should they pay Zakaat-ul-Fitr (obligatory charity paid before the Festival of Breaking the Fast) on that day?

Answer: It is permissible for a Muslim to observe Sawm (Fast) on the Day of ‘Aashoora’. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered his Sahaabah (Companions) to observe Sawm on that day. However, when the Sawm of Ramadaan was enjoined, it became permissible either to fast or not to fast on the Day of ‘Aashooraa’. There is no Zakaat-ul-Fitr due on the Day of ‘Aashooraa’, similar to that paid after Ramadan on the Day of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast)… read more here.

Fasting on the first nine days of Thul-Hijjah

Question: Is the Prophet (peace be upon him) authentically reported to have observed Sawm for the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah?

Answer: It is not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed Sawm the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah – better described as the nine days preceding `Eed-ul-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice). However, he (peace be upon him) urged people to do good deeds during these days. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have stated: “No good deed performed on other days are superior to those performed during these (first ten days of Thul-Hijjah).”.. read more here.

Voluntary Sawm and delaying making up for the missed obligatory Sawm

Question: What is the ruling on observing the optional Sawm (fast) of the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) while one has yet to make up for days of Sawm missed during Ramadaan?

Answer: If someone observes Sawm on the Day of `Arafah voluntarily while one has to make up for days of Sawm missed during Ramadaan, his Sawm is valid. However, it is encouraged by Sharee`ah not to delay compensation because one’s soul is in Allaah’s Hands and one does not know when death will come. Thus, observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as compensation for a missed day of Ramadaan is better than observing voluntary Sawm on that a day. Undoubtedly, obligatory acts of worship are to be given priority over supererogatory acts and should be given greater attention… read more here.

Making up for a missed day in Ramadaan by fasting the Day of `Arafah

Question: I broke my Sawm (fast) one day of Ramadaan due to severe illness. Is it permissible for me to make up for it on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) – the Day marking the Hajj – bearing in mind that I had already observed Sawm on that day?

Answer: If you have already observed Sawm on the Day of `Arafah to make up for the day you did not fast in Ramadaan, it will replace making up for the day you missed. However, it is preferable to make up for the days of Sawm one misses on a day other than the Day of `Arafah, so that one may dedicate oneself to Thikr (Remembrance of Allaah), Du`aa’ (supplication) and other acts of worship during Hajj or to fast it voluntarily outside of Hajj. By doing so, one may combine both virtues of observing Sawm voluntarily on the Day of `Arafah and compensation reconciling the opinions of scholars regarding whether compensating for days of Sawm missed during the first nine days of Thul-Hijjah is Makrooh (disliked)… read more here.

Multiplicity of intention for the same deed

Question: Is it permissible to perform an act of worship with more than one intention? For example, one may have to observe Sawm (Fast) to make up for a day missed during Ramadaan. Is it permissible to intend both, making up for that day and observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah), i.e. having two intentions; one for compensation and another for voluntary Sawm? Another example, may one combine the performance of Hajj and `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) at the time of Hajj? Please inform us, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: It is permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as the day one has to make up for, which replaces that day. However, by doing so, one will not receive the exclusive reward of observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah as there is no evidence to substantiate it. As for combining the performance of Hajj `Umrah, it is approved of by the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) statement: `Umrah has been incorporated in Hajj until the Day of Resurrection... read more here.

The Day of `Arafah coinciding with a Saturday

Question: People here differed regarding observing Sawm (Fast) on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah) this year as it coincides with Saturday. Some said they observed Sawm on the Day of `Arafah because it was the Day of `Arafah not because it was Saturday on which observance of Sawm is prohibited. Others did not observe Sawm because it was Saturday, the Jews’ day of worship, and they wanted to act in contradiction to the Jews. As for myself, I was of the latter opinion. I am confused as to what the Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ruling is on this issue. I researched it in many religious and Sharee`ah books; however, I did not reach a decisive ruling on observing Sawm on such a day. I hope that Your Honor will guide me to the Shar`ee ruling and send it me in a written document. May Allaah reward you for this in this life and the Hereafter and for the beneficial knowledge you give to all Muslims.

Answer: Observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah on its own, whether it coincides with Saturday or otherwise, is permissible. In fact, coincidence with any day of the week will make no difference in this regard, as observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah is an independent Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet). Moreover, the Hadeeth prohibiting observing Sawm on Saturday is Da`eef (a Hadeeth that fails to reach the status of Hasan, due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) as it is Hadeeth Mudtarib (a Hadeeth with disagreement over a transmitter or the text) that conflicts with authentic Hadeeth... read more here.

The Day of `Arafah coinciding with a Friday

Question: Controversy arose among the seekers of religious knowledge, not to mention the masses, regarding observing Sawm (fast) on Friday if it coincides with the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah). Is it permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah alone if it happens to be on a Friday? Or, should a person observe Sawm on a day preceding or succeeding it, bearing in mind that the former case conflicts with the Hadeeth prohibiting the observance of Sawm on Friday alone? We hope that Your Eminence will make this issue clear providing the sound Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ruling. May Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: It is permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of `Arafah alone if it happens to be on a Friday without observing Sawm on a day preceding or succeeding it as the Prophet (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have urged people to observe Sawm on this day highlighting its superiority and the great reward for observing Sawm on it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Fasting the Day of `Arafah forgives the sins of two years: the previous and the following. As for the Day of `Aashoora’ i.e. the tenth of Muharram, it forgives the sins of the previous year. Related by Ahmad, Muslim and Aboo Daawood... read more here.

Fasting a day along with the Day of `Arafah

Question: May we, in our country, observe Sawm (fast) for two days as a precaution to be sure of observing Sawm on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah)? Radio broadcasts tell us that tomorrow is the Day of `Arafah, while it coincides with the 8th of Thul-Hijjah according to our calendar.

Answer: The Day of `Arafah is the day when pilgrims stand in `Arafah (performing one of the rituals of Hajj). Observing Sawm on this day is permissible except for a person who is actually performing Hajj. Thus, if you like, you may observe Sawm on this day... read more here.

Estimation of deeds is for Allaah alone

Question: If someone misses ten days of fasting in Ramadaan due to a Shar‘ee (Islaamic legal) excuse, and then fasts the six days of Shawwaal after Ramadaan without making up for the missed days of Ramadaan, will they attain the Thawaab (reward from Allaah) promised for fasting the whole month of Ramadaan then following it with fasting the six days of Shawwaal? Will it be as if they have fasted for the whole year? Guide us, and may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: Determining the rewards of the deeds performed by a servant of Allaah is the special domain of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He). If a servant seeks the reward of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He), and exerts themselves in their obedience to Allaah, their reward will not be lost. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost. Anyone who still has missed days of Ramadaan which they need to make up for should first fast them, and then fast the six days of Shawwaal. Following the Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan with six days of Shawwal will not be fulfilled unless one has first completed the Sawm of Ramadaan... read more here.

We hear that anyone who fasts regularly should not give up doing so, is it correct?

Question: If a person, who is used to fasting the six days of Shawwaal regularly, becomes sick, hindered, or feels lazy to fast them in one of the years, is this a sin? We hear that anyone who fasts them regularly should not give up doing so.

Answer: Fasting the Six Days of Shawwaal after the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) is an act of Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). It is not obligatory upon anyone who fasts them once or more to continually fast them. It is not a sin to abstain from fasting them... read more here.

Should the voluntary Sawm (Fast) of the six days of Shawwaal be observed directly after Ramadaan?

Question: Should the voluntary Sawm (Fast) of the six days of Shawwaal be observed directly after Ramadaan, following the day of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast), or is it permissible to start observing it several days after ‘Eed-ul-Fitr, during the month of Shawwaal?

Answer: It is not necessary to observe this Sawm directly after ‘Eed-ul-Fitr. It is permissible to start observing it one or more days afterwards. The six days can be observed either consecutively or separately during the month of Shawwaal, whichever is easier. This matter is open to choice, as this Sawm is Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship), not Fareedah (obligatory act)... read more here.

Fasting six days in Shawwaal after the end of Ramadaan

Question: What is your legal opinion on fasting six days in Shawwaal after the end of Ramadaan? I read in Muwatta’ Imam Malik that Imaam Maalik ibn Anas said, regarding the fasting of the six days of Shawwaal, that he never saw one of the scholars or jurists fasting on these days. He was also never informed that any of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) did this. The scholars also regarded it as Makrooh (disliked) and feared that it might be an act of Bid‘ah (innovation in religion), and that these days might be wrongly considered as part of Ramadaan. This was stated in the Muwatta’, vol. 1, no. 228.

Answer: It was authentically reported on the authority of Aboo Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who fasts Ramadaan and then follows it with six days of Shawwaal it is as if they fasted the whole year. (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Aboo Daawood, and Al-Tirmithee) This Hadeeth Saheeh (authentic Hadeeth) is evidence that fasting six days of Shawwaal is an act of Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet), which was acted upon by Al-Shaafi‘ee, Ahmad,and a group of other eminent scholars... read more here.

Permissibility of fasting the 13th, 14th and 15th, Mondays and Thursdays of lunar months

Question: My paternal grandmother observes Sawm (fast) three days a month plus every Monday and Thursday intending to do good deeds. However, she wasinformed that observing Sawm on these days is impermissible. We wish that Your Eminence will give us a fatwaa’ in this regard. May Allaah show mercy to you and reward you well!

Answer: Observing Sawm on Monday and Thursday is permissible. It is related by Aboo Daawood on the authority of Usaamah ibn Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with both of them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied to the question of why he always observed Sawm on Monday and Thursday saying: The works of the people are presented (to Allaah) on Monday and Thursday. In another narration: I would like my deeds to be shown (to Allaah) while I am fasting. This Hadeeth clearly indicates that observing Sawm on Monday and Thursday is permissible and is a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet). Moreover, observing Sawm for three days of every month is also a Sunnah as stated in the Hadeeth authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him)... read more here.

What is the ruling on breaking voluntary Sawm (fast); is it a sin?

Question: What is the ruling on breaking voluntary Sawm (fast); is it a sin?

Answer: A person observing voluntary Sawm may break it and will not have to make up for it. In fact, a person observing voluntary fast is given free rein regarding voluntary Sawm whether before or after commencing it... read more here.

Drinking water thinking it is still night while offering voluntary Sawm

Question: Today, Tuesday, is the fourth day of my fasting for the Six Days of Shawwaal. This morning, I woke up annoyed and looked at the clock; it was 04:15 A.M. The Athaan (call to Prayer) of Fajr (Dawn) Prayer is announced at 04:35 A.M. So I smoked a cigarette and drank some water and then went to the Masjid (mosque). I found someone sleeping there, so I woke him up to illuminate the Masjid in preparation for Fajr Prayer. The man told me that they had offered Fajr Prayer at its due time, i.e. at 4:55 A.M. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 5:30 A.M. And not 4:30 A.M. As I had first thought. However, I continued my Sawm (Fast). Can you tell me the ruling on this? May Allaah forgive you and me!

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, your Sawm on that day is not counted as valid by Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law). Your Sawm was spoiled because you drank some water after Fajr Prayer in error, neglecting to find out the exact time... read more here.

Discontinuing a habit of voluntary Sawm

Question: I am accustomed to observing voluntary Sawm (fast) for three days of every month. However, I sometimes get so tired that I cannot observe such a Sawm. Am I sinful for not observing it? Is the reward of the previous observance of Sawm recorded for me or does abandoning this Sawm decrease the reward? Is it obligatory on every person who observes Sawm for three days of every month to do so regularly?

Answer: You will receive the reward of the previous Sawm you observed. Moreover, you are not sinful for abandoning voluntary Sawm... read more here.

Fasting three days each month as a substitution for fasting Mondays and Thursdays

Question: Is observing Sawm (Fast) on the White Days sufficient for the Sawm of Monday and Thursday as well?

Answer: The Sawm of the White Days i.e. (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree month) and the weekly Sawm of Mondays and Thursdays is an independent legitimate form of `Ibaadah (worship). Whichever sort of Sawm someone intends, they are rewarded for it... read more here.

The best days for voluntary Sawm and the best months for paying Zakaah

Question: Which days are most recommendable to observe voluntary Sawm (Fast) and which months are most recommendable to pay Zakaah (obligatory charity)?

Answer: The most recommendable days to observe voluntary Sawm are Mondays, Thursdays, the White Days (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree [lunar] month), the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah, especially the Day of `Arafah (9th of Thul-Hijjah), the 10th of Muharram along with one day before or after it, and the six days of Shawwaal... read more here.

The days permissible for voluntary (fast) Sawm

Question: I am a 27 year-old Saudi man. I went to prison and I began to worship Allaah. I observe Sawm (Fast) on Monday and Thursday of every week; on three days of every month; the whole month of Rajab; nine days of Thul-Hijjah; the Day of `Ashoorah’ (10th of Muharram) and a day before and after it; six days of Shawwaal; and mid-Sha‘baan. It is claimed that Sawm should be observed in Ramadaan only, and the rest is a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion), and there is no Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth that proves them. But I found a Saheeh Hadeeth which states this in the book entitled Tanbeeh Al-Ghaafileen by Shaykh Aboo Al-Layth Al-Samarqandee. Please advise whether Sawm on these days is really a Bid‘ah, given that my colleagues in prison say so.

Answer: Sawm on Mondays and Thursdays, three days of every month (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree month), the ninth of Thul-Hijjah, the tenth of Muharram, in addition to a day before or after it, and six days of Shawwaal, every year, all this is Sunnah (supererogatory acts of worship following the example of the Prophet) established by authority of Saheeh Hadeeths... read more here.

Is it permissible to observe voluntary Sawm (Fast) with two intentions?

Question: Is it permissible to observe voluntary Sawm (Fast) with two intentions: the first to make up for missed days of Ramadaan and the second to apply an act of Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet)? Is the Sawm of a traveller or an ill person who can fast valid or not?

Answer: It is not permissible to observe voluntary Sawm with two intentions: one to make up for missed fasts and another to perform an act of Sunnah. It is better for a person who is travelling a distance over which it is permissible to shorten Salaah (Prayer) not to observe Sawm. However, it is unobjectionable to observe Sawm in such a case, which will discharge the obligation. It is better for an ill person, if Sawm will be too hard for them, not to observe Sawm.

Furthermore, if it is certain or probable that Sawm will cause harmful effects or results in death, it will be obligatory to refrain from Sawm so as to avert harm and hardship. Later on, a traveller or an ill person must make up for the days of Ramadaan they have missed. However, if they observe Sawm despite difficulty, it will discharge the obligation… read more here.

Offering voluntary Sawm before making up for the obligatory fasts

Question: A person had to make up for days missed in Ramadaan but instead he fasted voluntarily, later he made up for the missed days, is this sufficient for him?

Answer: Whoever observes voluntary Sawm (Fast) before making up for the missed days of Ramadaan, then compensates for the obligatory days, there is nothing wrong with that. However, he should have made up for the missed days of Ramadaan first, then it is up to him to fast voluntarily, for the obligatory Sawm is more important… read more here.

Collective Iftaar banquet after voluntary fast

Question: A group working in the field of Da`wah (calling to Islaam) in most of the Algerian universities prepares announcements of communal Iftar (breaking the Fast) on Sundays. They fast on Mondays then convene in a hall and break their Sawm (Fast) together. We inquired about this act, the answer was that they do it for the sake of Da`wah as a means of unifying Muslims. Now, what is the religious ruling in this regard? Is it one of innovated Bid`ahs (innovation in religion), or not?

Answer: If the situation is as you described in the question, there is nothing wrong with the said gathering or announcing it… read more here.