Nov 23rd
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Fasting the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah

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This is an extract from the book "Al Jaami'u li Ahkaam is Siyaam" (A complete guide to the rules of fasting) by Sheikh Abu Iyaas Mahmood bin Abdul-Lateef bin Mahmood ('Uwaydhah). Please note this is a draft translation from Arabic. If any confusion arises from the translation then please refer to the original Arabic book.

In relation to fasting the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah then Al-'Amal As-Saalih (the righteous action) of which fasting is included is better in this nine days than Jihaad in the way of Allah except that a Mujaahid expends his body and wealth in it.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى has sworn by the ten nights of Dhul Hijjah in the first four ayaat of Surah Al-Fajr:


وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ

وَالشَّفْعِ وَالْوَتْرِ

وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَسْرِ

"By the Dawn,

And ten nights,

And the Even and the Odd,

And the night when it departs"

Imaam Ahmad (14565), An-Nasaa'i, Al-Bazzaar, At-Tabari, Ibn ul-Mundhir, Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Haakim who verified it as Saheeh narrated from Jaabir (ra) that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"Verily the ten are the ten of Al-Ad'haa (Dhul Hijjah), the Witr (odd) is the day of 'Arafah and the Shaf'i (even) is the day of slaughtering".

The following are a collection of Hadeeth that encourage the increase of good actions in it including As-Sawm:

a) Ibn Abbaas (ra) said that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"There are no days in which the righteous acts are more beloved to Allah than in these days, meaning the ten (of Dhul Hijjah). They asked: O Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, not even Jihaad in His سبحانه وتعالى way? He صلى الله عليه وسلم replied: Not even Jihaad in the way of Allah except for the man that goes out with his life and his money and does not return with either of them".

Ibn Maajah (1727), Abu Daawud, Ahmad, Ad-Daarami and Al-Bayhaqi.

At-Tirmidhi said that this hadeeth is: Hasan Ghareeb Saheeh.

At-Tabaraani (1777) in al-Mu'jam Al-Awsat narrated it from Ibn Mas'ood (ra) and (4398) from Abu Qataadah (ra).

b) Hunaidah bin Khaalid narrated from his wife from some of the wives of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم:

"That the Messenger of Allah use to fast nine from Dhul Hijjah, the day of 'Aashoorah and three days from every month: The first Monday and the following two Thursdays".

An-Nasaa'i (2417). Imaam Ahmad (26991) narrated the following Lafzh: That Hafsah (ra) said:

"There are four actions that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did not leave: the fast of 'Aashoorah, the ten (days of Dhul Hijjah), three days from every month and two Rak'ah before al-Ghadaa".

Abu Daawud (2437) narrated: "The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم would fast the nine days of Dhul Hijjah, the day of 'Aashoorah, three days from every month: the first Monday of the month and Thursday".

In relation to what was narrated from 'Aa'isha (ra) that: "I did not see the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم fasting in the ten (days of Dhul Hijjah) at all" recorded by Muslim (2789), Abu Daawud, An-Nasaa'i, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad.

Then this reflects the extent of the knowledge of 'Aa'isha (ra) in this issue. Her statement is negating whereas the other Ahaadeeth are affirming and the affirmation (Ithbaat) is always stronger than the negation (Nafy). The one who saw and knew about a thing has a proof over the one who did not see or know about it and therefore this hadeeth cannot abrogate the Ahaadeeth which affirm the fasting in these ten days.

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Abdul-Kareem said:

As-salamu alaikum,

The principles of tarjeeh (outweighing) is a complex topic and a scholar studies this as part of usul ul-fiqh. The Sheikh here uses a principle of tarjeeh which is, when a statement is negating and another affirming then the affirmation (Ithbaat) takes precedence over the negation (Nafy).

He is not outweighing on the basis of Aisha (ra) knowledge or comparing her to Hunaidah in terms of trustworthiness as all sahaba are trustworthy.
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September 23, 2013
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Saad Mustafa Zaman said:

Salam alaikum wa Rahmatullah. With regards to the last paragraph that weighs the validity of the hadeeth from A'isha (ra), I wish to submit my view on it. I consider her testimony to be stronger than the testimony of Hunaidah bin Khalid because: 1) A'isha (ra) was a far more noted narrator of ahadith, 2) she was the 3rd wife of the Prophet (saws) and lived 9 years with him, and 3) she was highly intelligent and most beloved to the Prophet (saws) after Khadijah (ra).

Firstly, Hunaidah's hadeeth does not specify which wife of the Prophet (saws) narrate the aforesaid hadeeth. It's obvious it is not Khadijah (ra) or A'isha (ra). Therefore, there is a degree of uncertainty about Hunaidah's hadeeth. Secondly, if the Prophet (saws) did fast in the 9 days of Dhul Hijjah, chances are that A'isha (ra) would've noticed it at least once during her 9 years of marriage to him! Finally, it appears that only Hunaidah narrated this hadeeth and not any of the other prominent sahabahs who spent so much time in the company of the Prophet (saws). Furthermore, the Hunaidah hadeeth was classified as da'eef in Nasab ar-Raayah but as saheeh by al-Albani. Undoubtedly, the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are the greatest of the year so if fasting during the first 9 days was recommended, the Prophet (saws) would definitely have done it at least once in his life and the sahabas would've noticed it.

I am not suggesting that it is wrong to fast during the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah but rather I believe that logic put forward by the article's author in favor of Hunaidah's hadeeth over A'isha's (ra) hadeeth is incorrect. And if we do conclude that A'isha's (ra) testimony is more relevant on this particular concern, then I would ask this follow-up question: Why DIDN'T the Prophet (saws) fast during the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah? Is there any wisdom behind that?

Jazaak'Allah khayran wa salaam alaikum wa rahmatullah.
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September 23, 2013
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Yusuf AR. Khateeb said:

This page is really excellent...
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October 25, 2012
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Muslim said:

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October 26, 2011
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