Clarification of the Fasts Surrounding 15th Sha’baan

When will be the 15th of Sha’baan 1445?

The 15th of Sha’baan in South Africa will correspond to Sunday the 25th of February 2024 at the time of Maghrib, thus the fast will be on Monday the 26th February 2024.

This calendar below gives us a clearer indication, however it is dedicated to the moon sighting of South Africa and similar areas:

Due to the earlier sighting of the Sha’baan moon in other parts of the world, Saturday night, the 24th of February 2024 will be the 15th of Sha’baan thus the desired fast for those countries will be on the Sunday 25th February 2024.

Clarification on the fasts surrounding the 15th of Sha’baan

Hadhrat Aa’ishah Radhiyalluhu Anha said,

مَا رَأَيْتُهُ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِي شَعْبَانَ‏

“I did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha’ban”

Bukhaari Shareef Hadith no.1969

A person who fasts three days every month gets the reward of fasting the entire month

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:

وَإِنَّ بِحَسْبِكَ أَنْ تَصُومَ كُلَّ شَهْرٍ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ، فَإِنَّ لَكَ بِكُلِّ حَسَنَةٍ عَشْرَ أَمْثَالِهَا، فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ صِيَامُ الدَّهْرِ

‘It is sufficient for you to fast three days every month. For indeed you have tenfold reward for every good deed. So indeed, that will be like fasting all the time.’

Sahih al-Bukhari, 1975

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said,

يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ إِذَا صُمْتَ مِنْ الشَّهْرِ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ فَصُمْ ثَلَاثَ عَشْرَةَ وَأَرْبَعَ عَشْرَةَ وَخَمْسَ عَشْرَةَ

“O Abu Dharr, if you are going to fast three days of the month, then fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth days.”

Tirmidhi

The reward for fasting these three days refers to every month and is not restricted to the month of Sha’baan. Thus Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam explains if one fasts these three days every month, he will be considered fasting his entire life

فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ صِيَامُ الدَّهْر

So indeed, that will be (like) fasting all the time.’

Bukhari

Thus to get the reward of fasting the entire month of Sha’baan, one should aspire to fast the 13th, 14th and 15th. However if one cannot and only fasts on the 14th and 15th, then this will also be good. If one cannot do that too, then to fast only on the 15th also is desirable.

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam loved that his actions be raised in a state where Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam was fasting:

قال: “ذاك شهر يغفل الناس عنه ، بين رجب ورمضان، وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين، فأحب أن يرفع عملي وأنا صائم”

أخرجه أحمد

Sayyiduna ‘Imran ibn Husayn (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) asked him:

‘Have you observed the fast of the middle of Sha’ban?’

When he replied in the negative, Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) instructed him to make up for it after Ramadan.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2737)

The word used in this particular version of the narration is: surrah – سرة – which translates as middle.

Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) has quoted this version of the above Hadith together with the Hadiths that discuss observing fasts on ayyamul bid (the 13th, 14th and 15th).(For more, see: Sharh Nawawi, Hadith: 2737 and Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1983)

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا كانت ليلة النصف من شعبان فقوموا ليلها وصوموا نهارها

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When it is the night of the middle of Sha’ban then spend the night in [Salah/’ibadah] and fast the [next] day.”

Ibn Majah, 1388

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