Voluntary Fasting (al-Tatawwu')
1) The best fast, next to the
obligatory fasting, is to fast every other day. No one may fast more.
Abdullah Ibn Amr once told the
Prophet:"I have strength to fast". Ibe Porphet
the fast of David, no more." " Abdullah asked : "What is it ?"
Prophet answered: " Half the dahr."
In another version, according to
al-Bukhari, the Prophet answered : "Fast
one day and break the fast another." Abdullah
observed "But I can do better."
Prophet said : "There is nothing better."
2) Another good procedure in voluntary fasting is to fast
three days every month.
Abdullah said that the Prophet once
asked him "Abdullah, I was told that you spend the day in fasting and
the night in prayer." Abdullah answered in the affirmative, whereupon
the prophet commanded him "Do not do so. Fast one day and break it the
next. Pray part of the night and sleep the rest. You have an obligation
towards your body, your eyes and your wife. It is enough to fast three
days every month. Your reward is tenfold."
3) It is recommended to fast on Mondays and Thursdays-
provided the total
fasting days do not exceed the half-dahr fast:
said : "The Prophet used to fast Mondays and Thursdays."
4) It is also
recommended to fast six days during the month of shawwal (the month
The Prophet said : "Fasting in Ramadan
it with six days in Shawwal is tan tamount to the dahr Siyam (all
year round fast) whoever makes a good deed
is repaid tenfold."
5) It is recommended
to fast the Day of `Arafat (the days on which pilgrims stand at Mount
Prophet said: "The `Arafat fast redeems two years... one past and one
6) Among the
days of voluntary fasting is the Day of Ashoura. Ibn `Abbas said : "I
of no other day than Ashoura, which the Prophet fasted in recognition
its merits over all other days".
7) The month of Muharram is good for voluntary fasting. The
Prophet was asked about the best fast next to Ramadan. He said:
8) It is recommended to fast the greater part of Sha'ban. `Aisha
said : "The Prophet used to fast for a complete month only in Ramadan.
Next to that he fasted most often in Sha'ban."
1) Fasting is not permitted on the doubtful day.
2) The Day
of `Id al-Fitr (the day following the end of Ramadan) as it has been
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said that the Prophet had forbidden
fasting on two
days, namely, the day of al-Fitr and the day of al-Nahr the day the
3) The days of tashriq (the three days following the day of
is, the 11th, 12th and 13th of the month of Dhu'l-Hijja.
Ka'b Ibn Malik reported that he and Aws Ibn al-Hadthan were
the Prophet to announce to the people : "None but
a believer enters paradise... the days of Mina (i.e. during the
are days for eating and drinking".
Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas said that the Prophet had ordered him to
to the people that there is no fast during the day of Mina. A group of
'ulama consider fasting during those days to be reprehensible.
Friday should not - he a fasting day. The Prophet
said : "Do not devote Friday night for Qiyam (night-long prayer) or
5) The dahr fast (all the year round) is reprehensible. The
Prophet said : "He who fasts the whole year does not fast. Who fasts
dahr finds himself in hell".
A woman shall not perform the voluntary fast without the
her husband. The Prophet said "No woman shall
without her husband's permission except in Ramadan ."
Muslim (Hijra) calendar :