Clarification of the excellence of fasting Muharram, Sha'ban and the sacred months

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

225. Chapter: Clarification of the excellence of fasting Muharram, Sha'ban and the sacred months

1246. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best fast after Ramadan is the month of Allah, al-Muharram. The best prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer." [Muslim]

1247. 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not fast in any month more than Sha'ban. He used to fast all of Sha'ban." In one variant, "He used to fast Sha'ban except for a little." [Agreed upon]

1248. Mujiba al-Bahiliyya about her father or her uncle, "He went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and then went to him again a year later when his circumstances and appearance had changed. He said, 'Messenger of Allah, do you not recognise me?' He said, 'Who are you?' He said, 'I am the Bahili who came to you last year.' He said, 'What has changed you? You had a handsome appearance.' He said, 'I have only eaten at night since I left you.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'You have tortured yourself!.' Then he said, 'Fast the month of endurance [Ramadan] and one day every month.' He said, 'Let me do more. I have strength.' He said, 'Fast two days.' He said, 'Let me do more.' He said, 'Fast three days.' He said, 'Let me do more.' He said, 'Fast in the sacred months and stop. Fast in the sacred months and stop. Fast in the sacred months and stop.' He spoke with three fingers, putting them together and then releasing them.'" [Abu Dawud]