Praise be to Allaah.
It is makrooh to single out Saturday for fasting, because of
the report narrated by al-Tirmidhi (744), Abu Dawood (2421) and Ibn Maajah
(1726) from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Busr, from his sister, that the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not fast
on Saturdays apart from days when you are obliged to fast. If any one of you
cannot find anything other than grape stalks or the twigs of a tree, let him
chew it (to make sure that he is not fasting).”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’ (960). Abu ‘Eesa
al-Tirmidhi said: This is a hasan hadeeth. What is makrooh in this case is
for a man to single out Saturday for fasting, because the Jews venerate
Saturday. End quote.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
al-Mughni (3/52): Our companions said: It is makrooh to single out
Saturday for fasting … what is makrooh is singling out that day. If he fasts
another day along with it, then it is not makrooh, because of the hadeeth of
Abu Hurayrah and Juwayriyah. If it coincides with a day that a person
regularly fasts, it is not makrooh.
What is meant by the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah is the report
narrated by al-Bukhaari (1985) and Muslim (1144) from Abu Hurayrah (may
Allaah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “No one of you should fast on Friday,
unless he fasts (a day) before it or after it.”
The hadeeth of Juwayriyah was narrated by al-Bukhaari (1986)
from Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith (may Allaah be pleased with her), that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon her on
a Friday and she was fasting. He said; “Did you fast yesterday?” She said,
“No.” He said: “Do you intend to fast tomorrow?” She said: “No.” He said:
“Then break your fast.”
This hadeeth and the one before it clearly indicate that it
is permissible to fast on a Saturday at times other than Ramadaan, for the
one who fasts the Friday before.
It is proven in al-Saheehayn that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The most beloved of
fasting to Allaah is the fast of Dawood; he used to fast one day and not the
In this case it is bound to happen that he will sometimes
fast on a Saturday on its own. So it may be understood from this that if
Saturday coincides with a day that he habitually fasts, such as ‘Arafah or
‘Ashoora’, there is nothing wrong with fasting on that day, even if it is on
Al-Haafiz stated in al-Fath that an exception to the
prohibition on fasting on Friday is made if a person habitually fasts on a
certain day, such as ‘Arafah, and it coincides with Friday.
The same applies to Saturday. We have quoted the words of Ibn
Qudaamah concerning that above.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It should be noted that different scenarios may apply with
regard to fasting on a Saturday.
1 – It may be obligatory, such as observing a Ramadaan fast
during Ramadaan or making it up later on, or observing a fast as expiation
(kafaarah), or instead of offering a sacrifice when performing Hajj
tamattu’, and so on. There is nothing wrong with that so long as he does not
single it out deliberately thinking that there is some virtue in that.
2 – If he fasts on the Friday before, there is nothing wrong
with it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said to one of the Mothers of the Believers who was fasting on a
Friday: “Did you fast yesterday?” She said: “No.” He said: “Are you going to
fast tomorrow?” She said, “No.” He said: “Then break your fast.” The words,
“Are you going to fast tomorrow?” indicate that it is permissible to fast
Saturday along with Friday.
3 – If it happens to be one of the days when it is prescribed
to fast, such as Ayyaam al-Beed (the 13th, 14th and 15th
of each hijri month), ‘Arafah, ‘Ashoora’, six days of Shawwaal for one who
has fasted Ramadaan, and the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. There is nothing wrong
with that, because he is not fasting because it is Saturday, rather it is
because it is one of the days when it is prescribed to fast.
4 – When it happens to be a day when he habitually fasts,
such as a person whose habit is to fast alternate days, and the day that he
fasts happens to be a Saturday, then there is nothing wrong with it, as the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said when he
forbade fasting one or two days before Ramadaan begins: “except a man who
(habitually) observes a fast, in which case let him fast.” This is similar.
5 – If he singles it out to observe a voluntary fast for one
day only. This is what is forbidden, if the hadeeth forbidding it is proven
to be saheeh.
End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn
And Allaah knows best.