Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) on whether the Prophet (s.a.w.) Fasted in Rajab

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In Swahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawud and Musnad Ahmad, ‘Utsman ibn Hakim al-Answari (r.a.) is recorded to have said, “I asked Sa`id ibn Jubayr about fasting in Rajab, and we were then passing through the month of Rajab, whereupon he said, ‘I heard ibn ‘Abbas saying, ‘The Messenger of Allah used to observe fast so continuously that we thought he would never break it, and at other times he remained without fasting so continuously that we thought he would never fast.’’”  Imam Muslim (r.a.) and Imam Abu Dawud (r.a.) related it in Kitab asw-Swawm, respectively in the chapter on fasting at times other than Ramadhan, and in the chapter of fasting during Rajab.  Imam Ahmad (r.a.) also recorded this in his Musnad.

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) commented in Sharh Swahih Muslim on this saying, “It appears that the meaning inferred by Sa’id ibn Jubayr from ibn ‘Abbas's report is that fasting in Rajab is neither forbidden nor considered praiseworthy in itself, rather, the ruling concerning it is the same as the rest of the months.”  This is also the commentary of Imam al-Qasthalani (r.a.) in al-Mawahib al-Jaduniyyah.  Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) continued, “Neither prohibition nor praiseworthiness has been established for the month of Rajab in itself, however, the principle concerning fasting is that it is praiseworthy in itself, and in the Sunan of Abu Dawud, the Prophet (s.a.w.) has made the fasting of the sacred months praiseworthy, and Rajab is one of them. And Allah knows best.”


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