Question: Is it recommended to fast frequently during the months of Rajab and Sha`ban or not?Jazakum Allahu khayran.
Answer (Muhammad Ahmad Al-Musayyar)
Prophet Muhammad (s) is reported to have recommended fasting during the four sacred months (i.e. Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab). Therefore, a Muslim is generally recommended to observe fasting in these sacred months, and Rajab is one of them. It is also reported that the Prophet (s) used to observe fasting in Sha`ban more than he did in other months.
In response to your question, prominent Muslim scholar Dr. Muhammad AhmadAl-Musayyar, professor of Islamic creed and philosophy at Al-Azhar University, stated,
Fasting is a spiritual act of worship, which elevates one to the rank of angels, as one abstains from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn until sunset.
In general, a Muslim should fast some days every now and then; in these days, one abstains from worldly matters, strengthens his or her resolution, and purifies his or her soul.
… It is recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud that Allahâ€™s Messenger (s) recommended fasting during the Four Sacred Months, among which is the month of Rajab.
As for the month of Sha`ban, there are authentic hadiths about the virtue of fasting during it, among which the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `Aâ€™ishah (ra) who said, â€œAllahâ€™s Messenger (s) used to observe fasting (continuously) that we would say he would not break fasting, and he used not to fast (continuously) until we would say he would not fast. And I did not see Allahâ€™s Messenger (s) completing the fast of a month, except Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than in Sha`ban.â€
The hadith indicates that the Messenger (s) used to fast many days in Sha`ban that `Aâ€™ishah (ra) said in another narration, â€œHe [the Prophet (s)] used to fast (almost) all of Sha`ban; he used to fast Sha`ban except for few (days).â€
Except for these two months, Allahâ€™s Messenger (s) used to observe fasting continuously to the extent that people would say that he would not break fasting.
He also used to keep breaking the fast for many consecutive days to the extent that people would say that he would not fast.
So the matter depends on feeling comfortable and devoted to worship without feeling bored or weary. That is why the Prophet (s) said, â€œDo (good) deeds that are within your capacity, as Allah never gets tired of giving rewards until you get tired of doing good deeds.â€
He (s) also said,â€The most beloved deed to Allah is the one its doer performs regularly even if it were little.â€
Allah Almighty Knows best.