Fasting on Saturday
Explained by Shaykh Ubaid
Our Shaykh, may Allah give you good; this coming Saturday coincides with the 10th of Muharam. The questioner says: Do we fast on this day? And for those who view fasting on Saturday, with the exception of the obligatory fast is prohibited are they correct in criticizing those who fast?
Firstly I say: The prohibition of fasting on Saturday is weak. It is not authentic according to many of the Scholars. And if it is authentic then the prohibition is for the one who intends this day, he intends to fast on Saturday due to it being Saturday. And there comes an incitement to fast the day of Arafat and the day of Aashoora, and three days from every month, and these days will fall on Saturday. These days will not occur without falling on Saturday, it is a must that they will (eventually) fall on Saturday. For example, the questioner mentioned that this coming Saturday will be the 10th of Muharam, and this is according to the calendar, this issue shall come shortly, and the day of Arafat may coincide with Saturday and one of the three days that the Muslim fasts from the three days of the month may coincide with Saturday.
And the hadith of Aisha from the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace are upon him, is authentic.
(لَمْ يَكُنْ يُبَالِي مِنْ أَيِّ أَيَّامِ الشَّهْرِ يَصُومُ)
He did not mind which days of the month he would fast.
And this is general. And it is also authentic that he, prayers and peace are upon him, during the first month would fast Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and during the second month he would fast Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
And in the hadith of Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him:
(نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ صَوْمِ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ إِلَّا بِيَوْمٍ قَبْلَهُ أَوْ يَوْمٍ بَعْدَهُ)
The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace are upon him, prohibited fasting on Fridays except (if the person fasts) the day before it or the day after it.
Therefore what day is before it? The day before it is Thursday and the day after it is Saturday. Thus the one who fast on Friday and then fast on Saturday, there is no problem with this. This is the reconciliation between the evidences showing the prohibition of fasting on Saturday for the person who intends Saturday, because it is Saturday.
The remaining issue: Now, are you going by the calendar or the moon sighting? Meaning today is the second of the month, based upon the calendar or the moon? If it is based upon the calendar, then the calendar is not given consideration when it comes to worship. The calendar is given consideration for official transactions—in departments—there is no problem in this. As for worship, then if it reaches you that the month started on Thursday, then Saturday will be the 10th. And if this has not come to you, then complete the month of Dhul Hija as thirty days, and the month of Muharam will start Friday.
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee