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Fasting the 2nd Half of Sha'baan

Question: Is it permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’baan? Because I heard that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade fasting after halfway through Sha’baan.

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Proof of Prohibition of Fasting the 2nd Half of Sha'baan

Proof 1:

Abu Dawood (3237), al-Tirmidhi (738) and Ibn Naajah (1651) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“When Sha’baan is half over, do not fast.”
[Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 590]

This hadeeth indicates that it is not allowed to fast after halfway through Sha’baan, i.e., starting from the sixteenth day of the month.

Proofs of Permissibility of Fasting the 2nd Half of Sha'baan

Proof 1:

Al-Bukhaari (1914) and Muslim (1082) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast.
This indicates that fasting after halfway through Sha’baan is permissible for someone who has the habit of fasting, such as a man who regularly fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, or who fasts alternate days, and the like.

Proof 2:

Al-Bukhaari (1970) and Muslim (1156) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:
“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’baan, he used to fast Sha’baan except a few days.” 
[This version was narrated by Muslim]

Al-Nawawi said:
In the words, “He used to fast all of Sha’baan, he used to fast Sha’baan except a few days” the second phrase explains the first, and indicates that the word “all” means “most of”.
This hadeeth indicates that it is permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’baan, but only for those who are continuing after fasting before halfway through the month.

Conclusion:

The Shaafa’is (scholars of the madhab of Imam Shaafi'ie) followed all of these ahaadeeth and said:

It is not permissible (scholars differ on the ruling of makrooh or haraam) to fast after halfway through Sha’baan except for those who have a habitual pattern of fasting, or who are continuing after fasting before halfway through the month.

And Allaah knows best.


Adapted From: "The prohibition on fasting in the second half of Sha’baan" by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid (http://www.islamqa.info)
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