Voluntary fasting

“Allah’s Messenger [saws] ordered [the Muslims] to observe saum on the day of ‘Ashura’ and when fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed it became optional for one to observe saum on that day or not.”[47]

“The Prophet [saws] said, ‘Whoever wishes may observe saum on the day of ‘Ashura’.”[48]

“Where are your scholars, O people of Al-Madinah? I heard the Messenger of Allah [saws] say concerning this day: ‘This is the day of ‘Ashura’ and Allah [swt] has not enjoined you to fast [on this day] and I am fasting. So whoever among you wants to fast, let him do so and whoever among you does not want to fast let him not do so.’”[49]

And on the ninth day as well

“I [Al-Hakam bin Al-A’raj (ra)] came to Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) while he was reclining on his rida’ at ZamZam and said to him, ‘Tell me about the fast of ‘Ashura’.’ He said, ‘When you see the crescent of Muharram then count and fast on the ninth day.’ I said, ‘Is this how the Messenger of Allah [saws] used to fast it?’ He said, ‘Yes.’”[50]

“I [Abu Ghatafan bin Tarif Al-Murri (ra)] heard ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (ra) say, ‘When the Messenger of Allah [saws] fasted on the day of ‘Ashura’ and enjoined this fast they said, “O Messenger of Allah [saws] it is day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.” The Messenger of Allah [saws] said, “Next year – if Allah [swt] wills – we will fast on the ninth day.”’ He said, ‘But the next year the Messenger of Allah [saws] had passed away.’”[51]

Fasting some of the month of Sha’ban

“I [‘Abdullah bin Shaqiq (ra)] asked ‘A’ishah [ra] about the fasting of the Prophet [saws] and she said, He used to fast until we said, ‘He has fasted he has fasted.’ And he would not fast until we said, ‘He is not fasting he is not fasting.’ She said, ‘And I did not see him fast an entire month since he came to Al-Madinah unless it was Ramadan.’”[52]

“I [Umm Salamah (ra)] did not see the Prophet [saws] fasting two consecutive months except for Sha’ban and Ramadan.”[53]

“Allah’s Messenger [saws] used to observe saum till one would say that he would never stop observing saum till one would say that he would never observe saum. I never saw Allah’s Messenger [saws] observing saum for a whole month except the month of Ramadan and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha’ban.”[54]

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