Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3: The Forbidden Days to Fast
All scholars agree that such a fast is prohibited. It does not matter if thefast is obligatory or voluntary. 'Umar testifies: "The Messenger of Allahhas forbidden fasting on these two days. Concerning the 'id of breaking thefast, 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, atTirmizhi, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah.
It is not permissible to fast during the three days following the 'Idal-Azha. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,sent 'Abdullah ibn Huzhaqah to announce at Mina: "You are not to fastthese 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 aperson to announce: "Do not fast on these days, as they are days ofeating, drinking and rejoicing with one's family." At-Tabarani related itin al-'Awsat.
The Shaf'iyyah allow fasting on the days of tashreeq if there is some reasonfor the fasting - that is, if it is due to an oath, for expiation, or formaking up a missed day of Ramadan. Those fasts that have no special reasonbehind them are not allowed, and there is no disagreement on this point. TheShaf'iyyah applied the same reasoning that they used in saying that prayersthat are performed for a specific reason are allowed to be performed during theprohibited times of prayer [for example, the prayer of salutation to themosque, and so on].
The day of Friday is a kind of weekly 'id for Muslims and, therefore, it isprohibited to fast on that day. Most scholars say that this prohibition is oneof dislike,9 not one of complete forbiddance.
If one fasts on the day before or after it, or if it is a day that onecustomarily fasts on (for example, the 13th, 14th, or 15th of the month), or ifit is the day of 'Arafah or 'Ashurah, then it is not disliked to fast on such aFriday.
'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah entered the room ofJuwairiyah 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 Ahmadand 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 fastthe day before or after it." This is related by al-Bazzar with a goodchain.
'Ali counseled: "He who wants to [fast] voluntarily should fast onThursday instead of Friday, for Friday is a day of eating, drinking, andremembrance." This is related by Ibn Abu Shaibah with a good chain.
In the two Sahih (those of al-Bukhari and Muslim), Jabir reported that theProphet said: "Do not fast on Friday unless you fast on it together withthe day before or the day after." Muslim's version states: "Do notexclusively choose the night of Friday [Thursday night in English] as a specialnight for performing the night prayers. Also, do not exclusively choose Fridayas a day of fasting unless it occurs on a day that you regularly fast."
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 anobligatory fast. [You should not fast] even if you do not find anything [toeat] save some grape peelings or a branch of a tree to chew on."
This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmizhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, andal-Hakim. Al-Hakim said that it is sahih according to the conditions of Muslim,while at-Tirmizhi called it hassan. AtTirmizhi said that what is disliked hereis for a person to exclusively choose Saturday as a day of fasting, as it isthe day that the Jews honor.
In contradiction with the preceding report, Umm Salamah claims: "TheProphet used to fast more often on Saturdays and Sundays than on the otherdays. He would say: 'They are the 'ids of the polytheists, and I love to differfrom them.' " This is related by Ahmad, al-Baihaqi, al-Hakim, and IbnKhuzaimah who called it sahih.
The Hanafiyyah, Shaf'iyyah, and Hanbaliyyah say it is disliked to fast onSaturday by itself due to the preceding evidence. Malik differs from them, butthe hadith is proof against him.
'Ammar ibn Yasir said: "Whoever fasts the 'day of doubt has disobeyedAbu alQasim [the Prophet]." This is related by an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmizhi, AbuDawud, and Ibn Majah.
Of its status, at-Tirmizhi says: "It is a hassan sahih hadith. Most ofthe knowledgeable people act in accordance with it. It is the opinion of Sufyanath-Thauri, Malik ibn Anas, 'Abdullah ibn alMubarak, ash-Shaf'i, Ahmad, andIshaq. They all hate that one fasts on a 'day of doubt.' Most of them believethat if one fasts on such a day and it turns out to be Ramadan, then that daystill has to be made up later. If such a day occurs during one's regularfasting period, then it is permissible to fast on such a day."
As related by "the group," Abu Hurairah reported that theMessenger of Allah said: "Do not precede Ramadan by fasting the day or twobefore it unless it is a day on which the person usually fasts."
About this hadith, at-Tirmizhi says: "The hadith is hassan sahih andthe scholars act in accordance with it. They dislike that a person shouldhasten Ramadan by fasting on the day before it. If a person usually fasts on aday and 'the day of doubt' occurs on that day, then there is no problem withhis fasting on that day, in their opinion."
It is forbidden to do so because there are certain days of the year on whichone is not allowed to fast. The Messenger of Allah said: "There is no[reward for] fasting for the one who perpetually fasts." This is relatedby Ahrnad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim.
If one breaks his fast during the days of 'id and the days of tashreeq, thenhis perpetual fasting would no longer be considered disliked. In his commentson this issue, at-Tirmizhi says: "A group of scholars dislike fastingevery day if it includes the 'ids ['id al-Fitr, 'id al-Azha] and the days oftashreeq. If one breaks his fast on those days, his action is no longerdisliked, as he is no longer fasting the whole year." The scholars areMalik, 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 wasmentioned earlier.
The Messenger of Allah forbade a woman to fast if her husband was present untilhe gave her his perrnission to do so. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophetsaid: "A woman is not to fast [even] for one day while her husband ispresent except with his permission, unless it is during Ramadan." This isrelated by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim. The scholars have interpreted thisprohibition as one of forbiddance, and they allow the husband to end his wife'sfasting 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 inwhich case she does not need her husband's permission. Similarly, if she fastedwithout his permission because he was not present, he has the right to end herfast when he retums.
If the husband is sick or incapable of intercourse, it is permissible forthe woman to fast without his perrnission--that is, it is similar to the caseof where the husband is not present.
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 peoplesaid to him: "But you perform al-wisal, O Messenger of Allah!" Hesaid: "You are not like me in that matter. I spend the night in such astate that Allah feeds me and gives me to drink.. Devote yourselves to thedeeds which you can perform." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
The scholars say this prohibition implies that the act is disliked. Ahmadand Ishaq say that it is allowed to fast until the time of the pre-dawn meal aslong as it is not a hardship on the one fasting. This opinion is based on whatal-Bukhari recorded on the authority of Abu Sa'id al-Khudri: "TheMessenger of Allah said: 'Do not make al-wisal. If one of you insists on makingal-wisal, he may continue his fast [after sunset] until the time of thepre-dawn