To observe Sawm on the Day of `Eid

Q: A man is accustomed every year to observe Sawm (Fast) on the White Days (13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijri month) of every Sha‘ban, and slaughters a sacrificial animal and gives it as Sadaqah (voluntary charity) on the night before the 15th of Sha‘ban. Would you please give us a ruling on this so we can either advise this man or support him in doing this.

A: The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged the voluntary observance of Sawm on the three White Days of every (Hijri) month, without specifying one month over another for Sawm, except Ramadan, as is well-known. So, singling out Sha‘ban over other months to observe Sawm on the White Days of that month only contradicts the generality of the teachings of the Sunnah, which indicate non-specification. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged his Ummah (nation based on one creed) to draw closer to Allah by voluntarily slaughtering sacrificial animals for His Sake Alone, without singling-out a specific day or month for it. Allah (Glorified be He) says (what means): Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). "He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." Making a habit of slaughtering a sacrificial animal on the night before the 15th of Sha‘ban is Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) and a specification with no evidence to support it. (Part No. 10; Page No. 408) It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam), will have it rejected.” He also said, “Anyone who introduces something into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.