Using observation instruments to sight the new moon

Question 30: It is impossible to see the new moon with the naked eye before 30 hours of its birth. After this period, it is impossible to see it because of the weather conditions. If this situation is taken into consideration, is it possible for the inhabitants of England to use astronomical information for this country in calculating the probable time of sighting the new moon and the beginning of the month of Ramadaan, or must we see the new moon (with naked eye) before starting to fast the blessed month of Ramadaan?

Answer: It is permissible to make use of observation instruments to sight the new moon, but it is not permissible to rely on astrological sciences in confirming the beginning or end of the month of Ramadaan… read more here.

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Not observing Sawm and finding out later that it is the first of Ramadaan

Question 29: The weather was overcast when the Mu’addin (caller to Prayer) announced Adaan (call to Prayer) which caused people to break their Sawm (Fasting). But after breaking the Sawm it turned out that the sun had not yet set. What is the ruling on Sawm under such circumstances?

Answer: The person to whom that happened should refrain from eating and drinking until the sun sets and has to make up for that day. This is the opinion of Jumhoor (dominant majority of scholars)… read more here.

Completion of Jumada II and Rajab does not mark the incompletion of Sha‘baan

Question 28: If Jumada II and Rajab were full 30-day months and the new moon could not be sighted on the 29th of Sha‘ban, should we act upon the most likely case which is the incompletion of the third month i.e., Sha‘baan will be 29 days in length?

Answer: It is not permissible to start observing Sawm (Fasting) except after ascertaining the beginning of the new month, either by completing thirty days of Sha‘baan or by sighting the new moon… read more here.

Fasting the Day of Doubt; Does it suffice instead of the first day of Ramadaan?

Question 27: The Sawm (Fasting) of Ramadaan began this year on Friday. Some people already observed Sawm on Thursday. But you gave a Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) that the missed day of Ramadaan should be made up for, as it was confirmed that Thursday was the first day of Ramadaan. Should those who observed Sawm on Thursday also make up for this missed day of Sawm? Will observing Sawm on Thursday, at the beginning of the month, be sufficient for them?

Answer: Anyone who observed Sawm on Thursday should make up for the day missed at the beginning of Ramadaan, as they did not observe it intending it to be part of the month of Ramadaan… read more here.

Impermissibility of Sawm on the Day of Doubt, even if the sky is overcast

Question 26: If it is cloudy or overcast, is it obligatory or prescribed to observe Sawm (Fasting) on the Day of Doubt (the 30th of Sha‘baan) as a precaution, in case the month has begun?

Answer: It is not permissible to perform Sawm on the Day of Doubt (so called because there is doubt concerning it – is it the last day of Sha’baan or the first day of Ramadaan), even if the sky is cloudy, because the Messenger (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Sawm on the 30th of Sha‘baan if it coincides with a day that is habitually fasted on

Question 25: If one observes Sawm (Fasting) or breaks Sawm on the thirtieth day of Sha‘baan without sighting the new moon; would their Sawm be valid? Would you please support your answer with evidence?

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim to fast on the thirtieth of Sha‘baan if sighting the new moon has not been confirmed on the eve of that day... read more here.

Fasting on the last day of Sha‘baan

Question 24: What is the ruling on Sawm (Fasting) the last day of the month of Sha‘baan, if the scholars in a certain country did not reach an Ijmaa‘ (consensus of opinion) on confirmed sighting of the new moon of Ramadan, but later discovered that it was truly the first day of Ramadan? This happened in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the year 1404 A.H. Some people fasted on sighting the new moon of the month of Ramadan or being told of the sighting by reliable witnesses. Their Sawm turned out to be valid, as was confirmed later. They started and ended Sawm based on the sighting of the new moon. Yet, some shaykhs issued Fatwas saying that the Sawm of those who did not see the new moon is invalid, as they acted contradictory to the Jamaa‘ah (majority group) of Muslims even if they were wrong. The Fatwas went on to say that only the Muslim scholars of each country are entitled to confirm the sighting of the new moon. It also says that the Sawm of a person who relies upon the opinion issued concerning sighting the new moon by other scholars than those of their residence country, is invalid and they have to make up for it.

Answer: Anyone who sights the new moon of Ramadaan on the night before the thirtieth of Sha‘baan or is told of the sighting by a reliable witness then fasts accordingly, their Sawm will be sufficient for them and they do not have to make up for it… read more here.

Permissibility to delay making up for Ramadaan until Sha‘baan, without an excuse

Question 23: Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to delay the Sawm (Fasting) of Ramadaan to the following year because of her menses or being in the state of postpartum period during Ramadaan? Does she have the right to delay it to the following year? If it is difficult for her to observe Sawm in the following year, does she have the right to fast it after two years for having excuses like sickness, inability to endure Sawm or make up for the missed days of Sawm?May a Muslim woman who cannot bare Sawm and it is hard for her to make up for the missed days of Sawm to pay a Fidyah (ransom) instead of Sawm or what should she do? Could you kindly advise; may Allaah reward you with the best!

Answer: It is permissible to delay making up for Ramadaan until Sha‘baan even without an excuse, but it is better to hasten in making up for these days. It is permissible for those women who break the Sawm during Ramadaan due to excuses such as menstruation or postpartum period to delay making up for these days because of sickness or general weakness which do not enable them to fast… read more here.

Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays after the 15th of Sha‘baan

Question 22: Is it permissible to observe Sawm (Fasting) on Mondays and Thursdays of Rajab and Sha‘baan? Is it permissible to observe Sawm after the fifteenth of Sha‘baan?

Answer: Observing Sawm on Mondays and Thursdays is not only restricted to Rajab or Sha‘baan, rather it is a Mandoob (commendable) act during all the months of the year… read more here.

Reconciliation of two Hadeeths on fasting after Sha‘baan is halfway over

Question 21: I read in “Saheeh Al-Jaami‘” Hadeeth no. 397 verified by Al-Albaanee and reported by Al-Suyyootee no. 398, which he ranked as Saheeh (authentic), on the authority of ‘Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: When Sha‘baan is half over, do not fast until the advent of Ramadaan. There is also another Hadeeth reported by Al-Suyyootee no. 8757, ranked as Sahih and verified byAl-Albaanee in “Saheeh Al-Jaami‘” no. 4638 on the authority of `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that she said: The most beloved of months for him (peace be upon him) to fast in was Sha‘baan which was continuous with his Sawm (Fasting) in Ramadaan. How can we reconcile the two Hadeeths?

Answer: Bismillaah [In the Name of Allaah], and all praise be to Allaah, to proceed; the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast the whole of Sha‘baan except for a few days, as authentically reported from the Hadeeth of `Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah… read more here.

Is it true that the Qur’aan was sent down on the night of mid-Sha‘baan?

Question 20: Allaah (Exalted be He) says (what means): Haaa.-Meeem. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’ân and none but Allaah (Alone) knows their meanings]. By the manifest Book (this Quraan) that makes things clear. We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. night of Al-Qadr, Soorah No. 97) in the month of Ramadaan – the 9th month of the Islaamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. I have read in “Tafseer Al-Jalalayn” by Jalaal Al-Deen Al-Mahallee and Jalaal Al-Deen Al-Suyutythe interpretation of Allaah’s Words: We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. night of Al-Qadr, Soorah No. 97) in the month of Ramadaan – the 9th month of the Islaamic calendar]. explaining that the Ayah (Qur’anic verse) refers to either Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) or the middle night of Sha‘baan, when the Qur’aan was sent down from the Mother of the Book (i.e. Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooz) in the seventh heaven to the nearest (lowest) heaven. I inquired about this matter and asked many shaykhs who told me that it denotes Laylat-ul-Qadr in Ramadaan. Kindly provide us with a clear explanation of this Aayah, may Allaah protect you!

Answer: Allah (Exalted is His Majesty) swears by His Glorious Book – the miracle and the inexcusable evidence He revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) to support his Message – that He sent down the Glorious Qur’aan in a blessed night full of bounties, namely, Laylat-ul-Qadr… read more here.

Desirability to fast the White Days even in Sha‘baan

Question 19: What is the ruling on fasting the White Days (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijri month) in Sha‘baan?

Answer: It is Mustahab (desirable) to fast these three days in Sha‘baan or any other months. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered `Abdullaah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas to do so… read more here.

Attending the celebration of mid-Sha‘baan although convinced of its impermissibility

Question 18: Is it permissible to attend celebrations that involve Bid‘ahs (innovations in religion) like celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday), the night of Mi‘raaj (Ascension to Heaven), and the 15th night of Sha‘baan, especially if the person believes that they are not permissible and intends to explain the truth for people?

Answer: First, Celebrating these days is not permissible. In fact, it is a condemned Bid‘ah (innovation in religion)… read more here.

Degree of reliability of the Hadeeths about the merit of mid-Sha‘baan

Question 17: Some scholars say that many Hadeeths were narrated about the merit of spending the night of mid-Sha‘ban in Salaah (Prayer) and its day in Sawm (Fasting). Are these Hadeeths Saheeh (authentic) or not? If there are Saheeh Hadeeths, please explain them to us in detail. If not, please advise, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: Many Saheeh Hadeeths were narrated about the merit of Sawm in Sha‘baan, but without making mention of a specific day. For example, there is a Hadeeth in the Two Saheeh (authentic) Books of Hadeeth (i.e. Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) which states that `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said… read more here.

Reciting Soorah Yaa-Seen and the Prophet’s birth narrative

Question 16: In some Masjids (mosques), people gather on the eve of the 15th of Sha‘baan to recite Soorah Yaa-Seen three times and read books about the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birth).

Answer: This is a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). It was authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Ruling on fasting the middle days of Sha‘baan

Question 15: What is the ruling on fasting the middle days of Sha‘baan, namely the 13th, 14th, and 15th days?

Answer: It is Mustahab (desirable) to observe Sawm (Fasting) on three days of every month (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree month), whether in Sha‘baan or any other month, because it was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded `Abdullaah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas to do so… read more here.

Special Sadaqah on the night of mid-Sha‘baan

Question 14: My father, when he was alive, instructed me to give in Sadaqah (voluntary charity) as much as I can on the eve of the 15th of Sha‘baan every year. I carried out his will up until now, but some people reproach me for this act. Is this Sadaqah given on the eve of 15th of Sha‘baan permissible according to my father’s will or not? Please enlighten us, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: Specifying this Sadaqah for the 15th of Sha‘baan every year is an impermissible act of Bid‘ah (innovation in religion), even if this is the will of your father… read more here.

Celebrating the Mawlid and mid-Sha‘baan

Question 13: Is it permissible to celebrate religious ‘Eids (festivals) such as the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) and the 15th night of Sha‘baan etc., according to the occasion?

Answer: (a) It is not permissible to celebrate innovated ‘Eeds.

(b) The Sunnah approves only two ‘Eeds in Islam, i.e. ‘Eed-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice) and ‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). During these two days, it is permissible for Muslims to rejoice and show happiness, and do the rituals that Allaah (Glorified be He) has ordained during them such as Salaat-ul-‘Eed (the Festival Prayer) and the like. But it is unlawful to practice any Haraam (prohibited) matters… read more here.

Mid-Sha‘baan night supplication

Question 12: What is the Du‘aa’ (supplication) reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said during the night of mid-Sha‘baan? Is it a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet) to gather in Masjids (mosques) during this night, say a certain Du‘aa’ and seek to draw closer to Allaah by doing good deeds?

Answer: There is not any authentic evidence that supports making a special Du‘aa’ or act of worship on the fifteenth night of Sha‘baan… read more here.

Is the night of mid-Sha‘baan the one meant in Soorah Al-Dukhaan?

Question 11: My question is about the 15th night of Sha`baan. Does the following Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) in Soorah Al-Dukhaan, saying: Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. refer to the 15th night of Sha`baan or Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree), the 27th night of Ramadaan? Is it Mustahab (desirable) during this night to offer `Ibaadah (worship), engage in Dikr (remembrance of Allaah), Qiyaam-ul-Layl (optional Prayer at night), recite Qur’aan and fast the 14th of Sha`baan?

Answer: First, the authentic explanation reported about the night mentioned in the Aayah is that it is Laylat-ul-Qadr, not the 15th night of Sha`ban. Second, it is not Mustahab to offer special `Ibaadah on the 15th night of Sha`baan… read more here.

Ruling on gifts sent to one’s fiance on religious occasions

Question 10: What is the Islamic ruling on certain customs that take place here in Egypt, for example, an engaged man sending some gifts to his fiancée on religious occasions, such as Rajab, Sha‘baan, Ramadaan, the Day of ‘Ashoorah’ (10th of Muharram),‘Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) and ‘Eed-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice). Is this act Fard (obligatory) or Sunnah (supererogatory)? Would it be considered wrong on the part of the people who do so?

Answer: Exchange of gifts between people is one of the means that creates love and affection and removes hatred and ill-will from the hearts; it is therefore encouraged by the Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law)… read more here.

Fasting the first half or the entire month of Sha‘baan

Question 9: I am a twenty-seven-year-old Saudi man. I went to prison and I began to worship Allaah. I observe Sawm (fasting) on Monday and Thursday of every week, on three days of every month, the whole month of Rajab; nine days of Dul-Hijjah; the ninth, tenth and eleventh of Muharram (i.e. the day of ‘Ashoorah’, a day before and a day after); six days of Shawwaal, and the middle of 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 Sahih (authentic) Hadith that proves them. But I found a Saheeh Hadeeth which states this in the book entitled “Tanbeeh Al-Ghafileen” 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 Hijri month), the ninth of Dul-Hijjah, the tenth of Muharram, in addition to a day before or after it… read more here.

Ruling on intention to observe Sawm, then falling ill

Question 8: A man intended to fast in the whole month of Sha‘baan, but during the month he fell ill which made him stop his Sawm (Fasting), although he had an intention of fasting in the entire of the month, will he receive the reward of this intention?

Answer: It is hoped that he receives the reward of this intention based on the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him)… read more here.

Visits made during Sha‘baan to the grave of Prophet Hood

Question 7: A brother from Hadramawt asks: During the month of Sha‘baan, people come to out town Hadramawt to visit the grave of Prophet Hood (Peace be upon him), whose grave is thought to be located in Al-Ahqaf, near Hadramawt. The journey there takes five hours by car. With this false belief, from our viewpoint, a great number of people, i.e. thousands of people, drive to this place, where they ascend a mountain to a room at the top of it that contains two or three graves. They lean against these graves, touch them, weep over them, call upon them and seek their blessings. When they have finished doing this they descend. They do this for about four days. They liken this practice to Sa‘ee (going between Saffaa and Marwah during Hajj). They appointed certain places incarnating the body of Prophet Hood (peace be upon him): There is a pebble they call the nose of Prophet Hud; there is another smooth one that has the trace of his foot, which is called Al-Dahqah and its length is about three cubits; and a third one is claimed to be his feet wherein women hoping for husbands put some pebbles in the hope that they will find what they aspire to and similarly this is practiced by wives hoping to have babies. They claim that it is advised that one should pay this visit and that the predecessors among the Awliyaa’ (pious people) established this visit and called people to make it, like for example, the Faaqih (Jurisprudent) immigrating to Allaah, Ahmad ibn ‘Eesaa, and so on. They continue in this way describing this practice. O Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez finally, we seek your instruction and advice. What should they do?

Answer: First, The location of the grave of Allaah’s Prophet, Hood (Peace be upon him), is not known. Their claim that this grave belongs to Prophet Hood in Al-Ahqaf is baseless. The only known graves among those attributed to the Prophets are that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that of Ibrahim Al-Khaleel (Abraham, peace be upon him) in the well-known cave in Al-Khaleel, the Levant, Palestine… read more here.

Ruling on fasting in Muharram, Sha‘baan and the 10 Days of Dul-Hijjah

Question 6:  What is the religious ruling on observing Sawm (Fasting) on the last Ten Days of Dul-Hijjah and the whole of the months of Muharram and Sha‘baan? Answer us, may Allaah confer His Blessings upon you!

Answer: Bismillaah [In the Name of Allaah] and all praise is due to Him. It is Mashroo‘ (Islaamically permissible) to fast in the month of Muharram and Sha‘baan… read more here.

Missed fasts must be made up for before the next Ramadaan

Question 5: If Ramadaan comes and someone still has days of Sawm (Fasting) to make up for from the previous Ramadaan, are they considered sinful for not having made up the days before the start of the next Ramadaan? Do they have to make a Kaffaarah (expiation) or not?

Answer: Everyone who has days to make up from previous Ramadaan has to make up for those days before the next Ramadaan… read more here.

Slaughtering a sacrifice in Sha‘baan

Question 4: Since my young age, I am accustomed to slaughter a sacrifice, or to put it more accurately, to give its meat away as Sadaqah (voluntary charity) in the month of Sha‘baan, on any of its nights? Is there anything wrong in doing so? Please enlighten me, may Allaah enlighten you!

Answer: Sadaqah, especially Sadaqah Jaariyah (ongoing charity), is among the greatest acts of obedience that draw us closer to Allaah, but on condition that giving Sadaqah is done according to the teachings of Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law)… read more here.

Sha‘baan, an overlooked month

Question 3: There are days on which we voluntarily observe Sawm (Fasting) in Rajab. Should these days be in the beginning, middle, or end of the month?

Answer: No specific Hadeeths were authentically reported about the merit of Sawm in Rajab, except that which was related by Al-Nasaa’ee and ‘Aboo Daawood, and ranked as Saheeh (authentic) by Ibn Khuzaymah, on the authority of Usaamah who said… read more here.

The Hadeeth: “Rajab is the Month of Allaah and Sha‘baan is my month”

Question 2: What is the opinion of Hadeeh scholars on the following Athar (narration from the Companions): “Rajab is the Month of Allaah, Sha‘baan is my month and Ramadaan is the month of my Ummah (nation based on one creed)”? And is this a Hadeeth Saheeh (authentic Hadeeth): “O Allaah! To You do I complain of my weakness, my helplessness, and disregard of people towards me…”?

Answer: Firstly: The narration, “Rajab is the Month of Allaah, Sha‘baan is my month and Ramadaan is the month of my nation” is a Hadeeth Mawdoo‘ (fabricated Hadeeth)… read more here.

Knowing the first day of Sha‘baan

Question 1: How can we sight the crescent moon of Ramadan in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? I would like to know the way of sighting the new moon. Who is officially responsible for announcing the sighting of the new moon?

Question: Is the radio broadcast among the Shar‘ee (Islaamic legal) means that one can rely on to begin Sawm (Fasting) when announced? Does the radio broadcast meet the legal conditions required in the witness who confirm the sighting of the new moon in order to commence observing Sawm based on such announcement?

Question: Are telephone and telegraphs considered official Shar‘ee means of communication that can be trusted in this regard, though one does not know the person who is talking or the person sending the telegraph?

Answer: Due to the importance of knowing the first day of the month of Shaa‘ban because of being related to the month of Ramadaan, the Ministry of Justice sends a circulated note to all courts during the month of Rajab that all judges should inform people to sight the crescent moon of the month of Sha‘baan… read more here.