Fasting on the day of doubt

In the name of Allah


Muslims look for the Ramadan new moon on the night after the 29th day of Shaban. If weather prevents the new moon from being seen, Shaban has 30 days, which is the day of doubt. Because it’s unclear whether it’s the end day of Sha’ban or the first day of Ramadan, this is termed the “day of doubt.”


Scholars differ about whether to make up that day. Most scholars believe it’s obligatory to make up this day and abstain from food and drink. Click here for more details.


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever did not intend to fast before dawn, his fast is not valid.”[i]


Reports of companions fasting on the day of doubt


It has been reported that ’Umar Bin Al Khattaab, ’Alee Bin Abee Taalib, ’Abdullaah Bin ‘Umar, Anas Bin Maalik, Aboo Hurayra, Mu’aawiya, ’Amr Bin Al ‘Aas, Al-Hakam Bin Ayyoob Al Ghifaaree, ’Aa’isha, Asmaa, Saalim Bin ‘Abdillaah, Mujaahid, Taawoos, Aboo ‘Uthmaan An Nahdee, Mutriq Bin Ash Shikhkheer, Maymoon Bin Mihraan, Bakr Bin ‘Abdillaah Al Muzanee, and Ahmad Bin Hanbal- fasted on the day of doubt.


It is said that Aboo Hurayra (R.A)  said, “I would rather start Ramadan a day early because if I wait, I will miss a day.” Mu’aawiya said, “I would rather fast for a day during Sha’baan than not during Ramadaan.” [ii]


The fast is invalid because there was no intention to fast the night before.


Ammaar ibn Yaasir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Whoever fasts on the day concerning which there is doubt has disobeyed Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” [iii]


Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “I’m shocked that someone might fast a day or two in advance when the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah send salutations upon him) has stated: (do not advance Ramadaan). He seemed to criticize Ibn ‘Umar.[iv]


At-Tirmizhi says “Hasan sahih. Most scholars follow it. Sufyan ath-Thauri, Malik ibn Anas, ‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak, ash-Shaf’i, Ahmad, and Ishaq agree. They all dislike the person who fasts on a “day of doubt.” Most of them think that if one fasts on such a day and it happens to be Ramadan, that day must still be made up later. People can fast on such a day if it falls within their usual fasting time.”


Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Don’t fast the day or two before Ramadan unless it’s a day you usually fast.”


Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymin (may Allaah have mercy on him) said,

“The most right of these opinions is that it is haram, but if it is shown to the ruler that it is mandatory to fast this day and he instructs the people to fast, then no one should go against his opinion, and that means no one should indicate that he is not fasting on that day, rather a person (who has a different opinion) may not fast, but he should do so secretly,”[v]




[i] saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhi

[ii] Zaad al Maad, Ibn Qayim

[iii] al-Tirmidhi and classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi, 553

[iv] Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (ZAD AL M AA’D) PROVISIONS OF THE AFTERLIFE, WHICH LIE WITHIN PROPHETIC GUIDANCE, Translation Ismail Abdus Salaam, Dar Al-Kotob Al-llmiyah Publication, 2010, Page 127

[v] Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/318

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