Hazrat Sheikh-ul Hadeeth Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi
In this chapter
the voluntary – nafl fasting -
Saum of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa ale hi wasallam is discussed. It was the noble practice
of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam to observe many siyaam (fasts). At times Sayyidina
Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam continually observed fasts for many days. The virtues of fasting have
been mentioned in many kitaabs - books. In every command of Allah there are thousands of benefits and wisdom. The
human mind and lofty thinking cannot reach the wisdom of the All Wise Allah. Every person can grasp the religious- deeni
and worldy - dunyawi benefits of Allah's commands only till where it can think loftily. The wisdom of Allah is
much higher than this. In the manner that all other commandments are filled with thousands of benefits, likewise is the saum,
a few of its benefits are apparent and self-evident, one of which is beneficence and sympathy. One who remains hungry, can
feel what a hungry person experiences. The difficulties the hungry confront. In such a state one creates a passion to help
the hungry, and the feeling to help the poor is also sensed. More than this, it subdues one's animalistic passions and
urges. Many a time when these tendencies irritate a human being, it results in degrading a human religiously as well as materially.
Maulana Rumi (Rh) explains this in the following couplets:
'This love which the people have today, is not the love which good people have. This is a mischief to fill
the stomach. When the stomach is filled, then unlawful deeds come to mind, and when the stomach is empty and full of hunger,
then love and its kind are all forgotten'. Therefore
it is stated in the hadith: "The one who cannot get married, should observe many fasts, for this will
subdue his carnal passions". A major benefit of saum is the great spiritual strength that is derived
from it. For this reason, in every religion and society there was a form of fasting - saum. From among the truthful
religions, since the time of Sayyidina Aadam 'Alayhis Salaam, fasting has been prescribed. The practices of the Prophets
- Ambiyaa 'Alayhimus Salaam were different in this matter. Sayyidina Nuh (Noah)'Alayhis Salaam, always fasted
for twelve months. The practice of Sayyidina Dawud (David)'Alayhis Salaam was to fast every alternate day. Sayyidina 'Eesa
(Jesus)'Alayhis Salaam fasted every third day. In the same manner the Ambiyaa 'Alayhimus Salaam had different practices.
The practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam was unique in this respect. Due to periodical
benefits, it was his practice to fast on special and fixed days. Besides this, at times for timely benefits Sayyidina Rasulullah
salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam continuously fasted, and at times did not fast. The reason is clear, that when
fasting is observed as an antidote or a medical cure for timely benefits, it will be necessary as is the principle of medicine
to use less or more.
The author has given a few examples of the practices of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi
wa’ale hi Wasallam.
(281) Hadith Number 1.
Hasrat 'Abdullah bin Shaqeeq Radhiyallahu 'Anhu reports: "I inquired from Sayyidina'Aayeshah
Radhiyallahu 'Anha regarding the voluntary (nafl) saum of Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale hi Wasallam.
She replied: 'At times Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam fasted continuously. We used to say,
he will keep on fasting (this month). At times he did not fast, till we began thinking he will not fast (that month). Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam did not fast for a full month after he came to Madinah, besides the fasts
of Ramadhaan”. (In this manner, the passing of the whole month without fasting was not observed. As mentioned in Abu
Daawud. This practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam will be mentioned in the commentary
of hadith number three in detail).
(282) Hadith Number 2.
Hasrat Anas Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports: "Someone was asked about the saum
of Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam? He replied: 'It was his noble habit to fast on different
occasions. In some months he fasted for so many days, that it was thought he would continue fasting. In other months he did
not fast, we thought he would not fast now. It was also from his noble habits that if one wanted to observe Rasulullah Salla
lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale hi Wasallam perform salaah at night, it was possible, and if one wanted to observe
Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale hi Wasallam sleep at night, this too was possible'".
The object here is that the noble
habit of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam was not to sleep the whole night, neither to
remain awake the full night, but adopt a middle course, wherein the rights of the physical body were considered, and also
the worship - 'ibaadaat were given its full importance.
Therefore it was possible to observe his sleep
at night as he retired for a portion of the night, and also observed the salaah, as part of the night was devoted
to prayers. Some of the 'ulama have given another explanation to this, that the noble habit of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla
lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam varied in this respect. At times he performed the nawaafil in the first
portion of the night. Sometimes in the middle portion of the night. At times in the last portion of the night. Therefore,
if one wanted to observe sleep or salaah at a special time of the night, this too was possible. If one feels that
one would like to observe the salaah of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam at a
certain part of the night, then this opportunity could also be obtained, and if one wished to observe the sleep at this time
an opportunity could also be obtained at some time. Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam would
rotate the time spent in prayer to every portion of the night on different days. We understand two benefits of this. The first
is that the main object is worship, and man was created for this reason, resulting in attaining the pleasure of Allah (swt).
On every portion of the night, at one time or another, the blessings will be obtained. The second is, that when 'Ibaadah
(devotion) is confined to an appointed time, it becomes a sort of habit, then the taste and pleasantness of hardship does
not remain. When 'ibaadah is performed at different times of the night it will not become a habit.
(283) Hadith Number 3.
Hasrat Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu relates: "Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fasted the major portion of the month at times, till we thought that he did
not intend ending the fasts. In some months he did not fast, we began to think he would not fast now. Besides Ramadaan he
did not fast for a full month".
The practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam has been mentioned in many narrations. There are two reasons for this. The
first one has already been mentioned in the beginning of the chapter, that in reality fasting is an antidote, and at times
it is a medicine for spiritual fulfillment and other benefits. In this manner according to the general rules of medicine,
at times it is necessary to use medicine continuously, and at times there is no need for it, or if it is casually needed,
then due to some timely obstacles it is necessary to abstain from it. This is common among physicians. Who can reach the state
of a spiritual or physical doctor more than Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam, therefore,
Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam many a time fasted continuously for some timely necessities,
and at times did not fast. The spiritual doctors of the ummah, may determine for the sake of spiritual benefit, when
should one fast and when should one not fast. Those who are not spiritual doctors themselves, should consult those who are
and benefit from them. The second reason is this that Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam
has a few special practices. For example, the fasting on the days of Monday and Thursday; three days in every month; the ayyamul
beed (i.e. the 13th, 14th, and 15th days of the Islaamic lunar month); tenth of Muharram and the tenth
of Dhul Hijjah etc. Many times because of being on a journey, or due to some obstacles these fasts were not kept. When the
obstacles were overcome he kept these missed fast as qadaa, and also to complete his special practices. It was also
from the special habit of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam that whenever he began a devotion
he continually kept up the practice. Therefore whenever any fast were missed from his special practices, he completed them
by observing continuous fasts. O Allah grant us the strength to follow his noble path.
(284) Hadith Number
Hasrat Ummi Salamah Radiyallahu 'Anha
reports: "I did not observe Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam fast for two consecutive months,
besides the month of Sha'baan and Ramadhaan".
Apparently this hadith seems to contradict all the previous ahaadith. Till now all
the ahaadith were unanimous that besides Ramadhaan, Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam did
not fast for a complete month. In this hadith the month of Sha'baan has also been added. The 'ulama have reconciled
both in many ways . The first is that in this hadith the whole of Sha'baan is mentioned as an exaggeration. The noble
habit of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale hi Wasallam was to fast for most part of this month. This
has accordingly been made clear in a hadith from Sayyidina Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha which will be mentioned in the ensuing
hadith. The second is that it may be possible, at some time Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam
by chance kept fast for the whole month of Sha'baan, the news of which reached Sayyiditina Ummi Salamah Radiyallahu
'Anha and did not reach the others. The third is that in the narrations of Sayyiditina Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha,
Sayyidina Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu 'Anhu, and others, the habit of doing so is denied, that Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu
'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam did not fast for consecutive days in any month besides that of Ramadhaan. It will not
contradict this statement if by chance fasts are kept for the full period of any other month. Therefore if for some reason
Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fasted for the whole month of Sha'baan in
some year, -and since this was not his normal practice, -for this reason Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha and
others did not mention it, and Sayyiditina Ummi Salamah Radiyallahu 'Anha mentioned he did, because he fasted for the
whole month. There is no contradiction here. The fourth explanation is that in the beginning Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu
'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fasted for the whole month of Sha'baan and in the later years, lessened the
amount of days. Therefore, whoever mentions the later deeds, said this because it was towards the end, and said he fasted
for most of the month. The one that thought that this was because of some reason or obstacle, says the original practice was
to fast for the whole month. Some are of the opinion that it is the opposite, in the beginning Sayyidina Rasulullah salla
lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam fasted for most of the month and in later days he began fasting for the full month.
(285) Hadith Number 5.
Radiyallahu 'Anha says: "I did not observe Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fast for more
days in any month (excluding Ramadaan) other than Sha'baan. He fasted for the major part of the month, and nearly
fasted for the full month".
This goes a bit further where Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu
'Anha clearly mentions the fasting of the full month of Sha'baan, by this, an exaggeration is indicated. The
reason for fasting the major portion of Sha'baan is mentioned by Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale
Hi Wasallam himself that,
'In this month, there is also that day wherein the
deeds of the year are presented before Allah. I love that my deeds should be presented whilst I am fasting'.
Besides this many other reasons are narrated in the ahaadith. It is possible that at a certain time it is for a
particular reason and at another time it is for some other reason. The combining of many reasons at one time has also been
mentioned by Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu ‘Anha, which the noble practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu
'Alayhi wa’ale Hi Wasallam was to fast for three days in every month. At times, due to unforeseen circumstances
these were not observed. The total qadaa (of missed fasts) were combined and kept in Sha'baan by Sayyidina Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam. In another narration it is mentioned that it was the practice of Sayyidina
Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam to fast on every Monday and Thursday. In this manner during the
course of the year, due to circumstances the fasts of two or three months could not be observed. It could be possible for
these to add up to a full month. In one narration it has been stated that because of the sanctity and greatness of Ramadaan
the fasts of Sha'baan are meritorious. i.e. In the manner that sunnah are performed before the fard
salaah, likewise there are nafl fasts before Ramadaan. Weakness due to fasting did not affect Sayyidina Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam, therefore at times he fasted for consecutive days. It is stated in the hadith
that Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam was once asked the reason for fasting so many days
of Sha'baan. Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam replied:
'The names of all those who are going to pass away during the course of the year, are written down in this month.
I desire that my passing be written in a state when I am fasting'.
Some of the 'ulama have written that it was a special practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu
'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam to observe nafl fasts in every month, and there was no way to observe voluntary
- nafl saum in the month of Ramadaan (as fasting in Ramadhan is compulsory), therefore those nafl portions
of Ramadhaan were kept in advance in the month of Sha'baan. For this reason if the fasts of both Sha'baan and
Ramadaan are combined, it will cover most of the month.
(286) Hadith Number 6.
Hasrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports: "Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fasted for three days at the beginning of every month, and he very seldom
did not fast on Friday".
One has been persuaded in many ahaadith to observe saum for three days in every month. The
thawaab (reward) for every good deed is tenfold, therefore the fasting of three days will add up to the thawaab
of thirty days. In this manner it will be as if one has fasted for one's whole life. Many ahaadith have been mentioned
regarding the fixing of the three days. There are no differences in this. At times on every Monday and Thursday. Sometimes
on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth. In the same way he fasted at other times too. It is mentioned in an ensuing hadith
by Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha that Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam
did not fix special days for fasting. Sayyidina Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: 'Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi
wa’ale hi Wasallam did not omit the fasting of the ayyaami beed (13th, 14th and 15th day of the Islaamic lunar month)
at home or while on his travels'. The second point in the above hadith is the fasting on Fridays. From this
hadith it is found that the fast of Fridays were given importance, but in another hadith it has been prohibited to fast on
Friday only. For this reason some of the 'ulama, due to the above hadith are of the opinion that it is mustahab -
desirable to fast on Friday and some 'ulama due to the hadith wherein it has been prohibited, are of the opinion
that it is makruh - undesirable to fast on Friday only. The Hanafis hold both opinions.
(287) Hadith Number 7
Sayyidina Aayeshah Radhiyallahu anha reports: "Rasulullah Salla lahu Alayhi
wa’ale hi wasallam (often) gave importance to the fasting on Mondays and Thursdays".
In some narrations the reason for giving
importance to these days are mentioned. One reason will be mentioned in a hadith of Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah Radhiyallahu anhu
which follows in this chapter that deeds are presented on these days. In a narration in Sahih Muslim regarding Monday,
it has been stated that Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam stated
"I was born on a Monday, the revealing of the Quran to me also began on a Monday".
In one hadith it stated that "Allah
Ta'alah forgives the sins of every Muslim (provided the rules apply) on Mondays and Thursdays". It is
said regarding those two people who are on bad terms "hold the granting of their
forgiveness till they reconcile among themselves".
(288) Hadith Number 8
Hasrat Abu Hurayrah Radhiyallahu
anhu says: "Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said: 'Deeds are presented (before Allah subhanahu
wata'allah) on Mondays and Thursdays. I desire that my deeds be presented whilst I am fasting'".
Making it possible for these to be easily accepted. The question may arise regarding the presenting of deeds.
The summary of a hadith mentioned in Sahih Muslim show that deeds are presented daily in the morning and evenings.
Then what is meant by the deeds being presented on Mondays and Thursday? The Muhaditheen – scholars of Hadith
sum both up in different ways. The easiest is that the deeds of the day and night are presented in details twice a day. The
deeds of the night separately and the ones of the day separately. On Mondays and Thursdays they are presented briefly. The
deeds of the whole year are summed up in Sha'baan (15th) and Laylatul Qadar and presented before Allah the
Almighty. One benefit among the many benefits of presenting the deeds repeatedly are that the honour of the pious are made
evident before the angels. The angels raised a question when Allah Ta'aala created humans, that 'You are creating
such a being that will spread bloodshed and turmoil in the world'. Allah Ta'aala knows at every moment the deeds committed
by every person, therefore it is not necessary that deeds be presented to Him.
(289) Hadith Number 9.
Sayyidina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha reports: "Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fasted three days of every month. In some months he fasted on Saturdays, Sundays
and Mondays, and in some months he fasted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays".
So that in this manner all the days
of the week are covered. The days of Friday were intentionally omitted as stated in some ahaadith that this day had been proclaimed
as an 'Eid. Other important matters were fulfilled on this day. Perhaps Friday has not been mentioned in this narration
and may have been mentioned in other narrations.
(290) Hadith Number 10.
Sayyidina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha reports: "Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi
Wasallam did not fast in any month more than in the month of Sha'baan".
already been explained in detail.
(291) Hadith Number 11.
Hasrat Mu'aadhah Radiyallahu 'Anha says. "I inquired
from Sayyidina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha, did Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fast for
three days of every month?" She replied: "Yes". I then asked: "On which days of the month did he fast".
She replied. "He did not fast on specific days, but whenever suitable".
certain times it was the practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam not to give importance
to fixing certain days. At times he fixed certain days. For example, fasting on the first three days of the month, or sometimes
on the last three days of the month, or in some months on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and in another month on Tuesdays, Wednesdays
and Thursdays. Therefore different ahaadith have been narrated on this subject, and Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah ,Radhiyallahu
'Anha refused to specify a certain day.
(292) Hadith Number 12.
Sayyidina Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha reports: "The
Quraysh observed the fast of 'Aa-shura in the days of jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic period of ignorance). Rasulullah Salla
lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam also observed this fast (before the Hijrah - Migration as a nafl). (After
the Hijrah) when he came to Madinah Munawwarah he observed these and commanded the ummah also to observe it. When
the command to fast in Ramadaan was revealed, it was proclaimed fard, and the fast of 'Aa-shura became nafl.
Those who wished, observed them ('Aa-shura) and those who did not, omitted them.
narrations have been narrated on the virtues of the saum (fast) of 'Aa-shura (10 Muharram).
It is stated
in a narration in Sahih Muslim that by observing the saum of 'Arafah the sins of two years are forgiven, and
by observing the fast of 'Aa-shura the sins of one year are forgiven. Some commentators write that on the day of 'Aa-shura, the taubah (repentance) of Sayyidina
Aadam (Adam) 'Alayhis Salaam was accepted; The boat of Sayyidina Nuh (Noah) 'Alayhis Salaam docked (after the great
floods); Sayyidina Musa (Moses) 'Alayhis Salaam was saved from Firaun (Pharoah), and the tyrant Firaun drowned on this
day; Sayyidina 'Eesa (Jesus) 'Alayhis Salaam was born, and raised to the heavens on this day; On this day Sayyidina
Yunus (Jonah) 'Alayhis Salaam was freed from the stomach of the fish, and his ummah forgiven; On this day Sayyidina
Yusuf (Joseph) 'Alayhis Salaam was taken out of the well; On this day Sayyidina Ayyub 'Alayhis Salaam was cured from
his illness; On this day Sayyidina Idriss 'Alayhis Salaam was raised to the sky; On this day Sayyidina Ebrahim (Ibrahim)
'Alayhis Salaam was born; On this day Sayyidina Sulaymaan (Soloman) 'Alayhis Salaam was given the powers to rule a
country; Besides these many other karaamaat (miracles) are mentioned in the commentaries
of the ahaadith and books on seerah. Although according to the muhadditheen many questions have been raised on these
incidents, there are numerous miracles that have been ascertained. It is said that the wild animals also fast on this day.
Allahu Akbar! What a blessed day this is? Yet we waste it in amusements and useless pastimes. Probably it is from among these
reasons that the virtues of this day was well known in the days of jaahiliyyah. Therefore the Quraysh must have observed
this fast before the advent of Islaam. When Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam came to Madinah
Munawwarah, he observed that the Jews, who are from the Ahlul-Kitaab – people of the book, also observing the
fast of Aa-shurah. Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam inquired from them the reason
for fasting on this day. They replied: 'Allah Ta'alah saved Sayyidina Musa Alayhis salaam on this day from the oppression
of Firaun (Pharaoh) and also Firaun was drowned on this day. In gratitude and happiness Sayyidina Musa Alayhis salaam fasted
on this day'. Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale hi Wasallam replied: "We
are more entitled than you to follow Sayyidina Musa Alayhis Salaam".
Therefore, Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi
Wa’ale hi Wasallam himself fasted on this day and commanded the Ummah also to fast on this day. This incident
is mentioned in the Sahih Muslim. For this reason the Hanafis say this saum (fast) was fard –
compulsory before the command of Ramadhaan was revealed. When the fast of Ramadhaan was ordained these were abrogated. Its
merits and the virtues for the forgiveness of one years sins still remain.
MAS-ALAH: The original day for the observance of the fast of Aa-shurah is the tenth. In
the early periods of Islaam, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was in agreement with the ahlul-kitaab,
as their belief was also from the heavenly revealed religions, and was better than the religion of the mushriqeen - pagans,
but in the later years the people of the book were also opposed in words and deeds, which was necessary due to many factors.
Once a Sahaabi - companion brought this to the notice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi
Wa’ale Hi Wasallam whereupon he replied: "If I remain amongst you next year I will surely fast on the ninth also
next year". In another narration it is stated: "Oppose the Jews, observe the fast of the ninth or eleventh"
i.e. add a fast to that of the tenth. With this no resemblance or imitation will remain. Therefore, it is advisable not to
observe the fast of the tenth only, it is preferable that the fast of the ninth be also added to it, so that one will be fulfilling
the commands of both hadith. If the ninth could not be observed then the eleventh should be added.
(293) Hadith Number 13.
Hasrat 'Alqamah Radhiyallahu anhu relates: "I asked
Sayyidina Aayeshah Radhiyallahu anha: 'Did Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam fix a day for 'Ibaadah?
She replied: 'The practices of Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam was of a continuous nature.
Who among you has the strength, which Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam has'?
meant to set aside a day for some special devotion. For example, to specify Monday for fasting. Fast is observed on every
Monday and nothing is ever eaten on this day. Or besides Monday, fast are not observed on other days. Both these were not
found, but it was certainly the practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam that, whatever
deed he began observing, he punctually continued its practice. We do not possess the strength and cannot fulfil these with
such punctuality as that of Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam'. He punctually completed his prescribed
practices. If for any reason it could not be fulfilled, he completed it at a later time, as has been mentioned in the fasts
of Sha'baan. The meaning of this is, that it was not given such importance that, the deed was observed only on a particular
day, and no other deed was observed on that day. He certainly fulfilled his noble practices with care among which are included
the fasting on special days. No doubt remains on this commentary, that Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha, has
mentioned in hadith number eight that special attention was given to the fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. The findings of
Haafizul Hadith (one who has memorised a minimum of 100,000 ahaadith with its chain of narrators), Ibn Hajar RA is
that this question and answer is regarding these three fasts, it was the practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi
Wa’ale Hi Wasallam to observe these fasts every month. This has already been mentioned in hadith number seven. According
to this explanation there is no confusion.
(294) Hadith Number 14.
Sayyidina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha says: "Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam once came home, a woman was present at that time. Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi
Wa’ale Hi Wasallam inquired. 'Who is this woman?' I replied: 'This is a certain woman who does not sleep
at night'. Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam said: 'One should observe only that amount of
nawaafil which one can bear. I swear an oath that Allah Ta'aala does not fear the granting of rewards, till you
begin to fear the observance of deeds'. Sayyidina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu. 'Anha says: 'The most beloved deed
of Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam were those that were practised continuously.
This Sahaabiyyah was Sayyiditina Kholaa bint Tuwayt bin Habib Radiyallahu
'Anha. She had the fervour and intense desire to perform 'ibaadah - worship. Many incidents of this type
are mentioned in the Ahaadith, where the zeal of the Sahaabah - companions Radiyallahu 'Anhum was
so intense, it compelled them to perform 'ibaadah more than normal. Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi
Wa’ale Hi Wasallam advised them to observe moderation. Sayyidina 'Abdullah bin 'Amr ibnul 'Aas Radiyallahu
'Anhu, a famous Sahaabi says: "I once made up my mind, that I would strive to intensify my devotions.
I would always fast during the day. I would complete the recitation of the whole Quran khatm every night. My father
got me married to a honourable woman. Once my father inquired from my wife about my state of affairs? She replied: 'He
is very pious man, he does not come to bed the whole night. He does not have anything to do with anyone'. My father became
very angry with me, that I had got you married to an honourable woman, and you have left her alone. Due to my intense desire
for devotions this did not effect me. My father complained to Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam
about my state of affairs. Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam asked me: 'I have heard you
always fast during the day, and stand in prayer the whole night?' I replied: 'Yes'. Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla
lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam said: 'Do not do so, but fast sometimes, and abstain sometimes. In the same manner
do perform salaah at night, and sleep too, your body also has a right on you, your eyes also have a right on you, which will
become weak due to staying awake the whole night, your wife also has a right on you, your children also have a right on you.
Those who meet you also have a right on you'".
(295) Hadith Number 15
Hasrat Abu Salih
R.A. reports "I enquired from Sayyidina Aayeshah and Ummi Salamah Radhiyallahu anhuma that which act was the most beloved
to Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam?" Both gave the reply "That deed which was practised
continuously, even if it was a little".
The object of all these ahadith are
that saum, and likewise all other nafl deeds, even if it be a little, or whatever could be done should be practised
continuously and with care. One should not forsake these with the thought that it cannot be practised constantly, because
the nawafil are the only acts that compensate the short comings of the faraa'id (compulsory acts). Therefore
one should endeavour to observe and practise as much as one possibly can.
(296) Hadith Number 16
Hasrat Awf bin Maalik Radhiyallahu anhu says:
"I spent a night with Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu
Alayhi Wasallam used the miswaak (cleaned the teeth), then performed the wudhu, then stood up in Salaah.
I stood with him (joined him). He began reciting the Surah Baqarah. Whenever he came across an aayah of mercy, he
paused and beseeched Allah of His Mercy. In the same manner when he came across an aayah of adhaab (punishment),
he paused and beseeched Allah for His forgiveness from adhaab. He then performed ruku', and remained
in the ruku for as long as he had spent in the standing posture. He recited in the ruku':
jabaruti wal-malakuti wal-kibri-yaa-i wal-'a-za-mati
Translation: Glory be to the Lord of the Might, the Dominion, the Majesty, and the
Thereafter he performed
the sajdah, which was as long as the ruku and recited the same du'aa in the sajdah. He then
recited the Surah Aali Imraan (in the second rakah), thereafter one Surah (in each rakah) and did the same".
How lengthy these rak'ahs must have been, is evident from the saying (of the above narration).
The Surah Baqarah covers about two and half Juz, and then Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu Alayhi Wa’ale
Hi Wasallam recited with care, every word was recited clearly and distinctly. A pause was made at every aayah where
mercy and punishment are mentioned, and du'aa- supplication was made. Thereafter a long ruku', the
same length as that of the qiyaam - standing was performed, and likewise was the Sajdah - prostration. This
is one rakah – unit of prayer. In
this manner it will be difficult to complete four rak'ahs in the whole night. However due to the intense desire
and zeal, especially for such a perfect most noble personality, whose coolness of the eye was in salaah, such a deed
was not difficult. Apparently the last few ahaadith have no relation with the subject on the fasting of Sayyidina
Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa ale hi Wasallam. In (some) editions of the Shamaa-il these are included not
only in the chapter on salaatud duha, saum etc., but in every chapter on the devotions of Sayyidina Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam. There is no perplexity in this, but in those editions where these different
chapters exist, a minute point is derived, which is generally those who have a strong zeal for fasting, it is observed that,
they begin to exert themselves so much that they tend to become lax in the rights of others. For this reason, Imaam Tirmidhi
has in the beginning mentioned the ahaadith on moderation, and in the end has indicated that when in zeal one
sometimes exceeds one's normal practice, there is no harm. It must not be of such a nature that an indifference and weariness
for 'Ibaadah (devotions) is created as a result of this.