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Cannot fast last 15 days before Ramadan

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

is it true that one is not allowed to fast on the fifteen days before Ramadhan? Even if one has to cover up for not fasting in the previous Ramadhan because of some problems? 


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Cannot fast last 15 days before Ramadan

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 3.127

The Prophet (saws) would fast most of the month of Sha'ban. 'Aishah said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah (saws) fast a complete month save for Ramadan, and I have never seen him fast more in a month than he did in Sha'ban."

Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.


Usamah ibn Zaid inquired: "O Messenger of Allah (saws), I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Sha'ban." The Prophet (saws) responded: "That is a month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting."

Related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, and Ibn Khuzaimah.


Sahih Muslim Hadith 2581 Narrated by Aisha

Abu Salamah reported: ‘I asked Aisha about the fasting of the Messenger of Allah (saws). She said: ‘He used to observe fast (at times so continuously) that we said: ‘He has fasted (never to break)’, and he did not observe fast till we said: ‘He has given up perhaps never to fast’, and I never saw him observing (voluntary fasts) more in any other month than that of Sha'ban. (It appeared as if) he observed fast throughout the whole of Sha'ban except a few (days).’


In light of the above ahaadiths, it is evident that the Messenger of Allah (saws) would fast most of the month of Shaabaan, except for a few days before the arrival of Ramadan so as not to combine the count of the two months.


There is absolutely no harm if one fasts (voluntary or atonement) in the fifteen days prior to Ramadan, but one must try not to fast the last days of the month of Shaabaan so as to differentiate between the voluntary fasts of Shaabaan and the obligatory fasts of Ramadan.


Al-Muwatta Hadith 18.55

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard the people of knowledge telling people not to fast on the day in Shaban when there was doubt (about whether it was Shaban or Ramadan), if they intended by it the fast of Ramadan . They considered that whoever fasted on that day without having seen (the new moon) had to make up that day if it later became clear that it was part of Ramadan.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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