There is nothing wrong with making up missed Ramadhān fasts in the second half of Sya’ban
I owed many days of Ramadhān because of pregnancy and giving birth. I have made them up, praise be to Allah, with the exception of the last seven days. I fasted three of them in the second half of Sya’ban, and I want to do the rest before Ramadhān begins. But I read on your site that it is not permissible to fast in the second half of Sya’ban, except for a person who habitually fasts. Please advise me whether I should fast the rest of these days that I owe, or not.
In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-'Alamin. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
It was proven that the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: “When Sya’ban is halfway through, do not fast.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud (3237); Ibn Hibban (1651); classified as sahih by al-Albâni in Sahih al-Tirmidzi]
However there are some exceptions from this prohibition, as follows:
1. One who has a habit of fasting, such as a man who habitually fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, which he may do even after halfway through Sya’ban.
The evidence for that are the words of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam):
“Do not anticipate Ramadhān by fasting one or two days before it, except a man who fasts regularly, who should observe his usual fast.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 1914; Muslim, 1082]
2. A person who started fasting before halfway through Sya’ban, and connects what comes after the halfway point to what came before. This is not included in the prohibition either.
The evidence for that are the words of ‘Aa’ishah (radiallāhu`anha) who said:
“The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to fast all of Sya’ban and fast all of Sya’ban except a little.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 1970; Muslim, 1165. This version narrated by Muslim].
Al-Nawawi (rahimahullāh) said: “He used to fast all of Sya’ban and fast all of Sya’ban except a little.” The second phrase is an explanation of the first, pointing out that by “all” what is meant is “most”.
This hadith indicates that it is permissible to fast after halfway through Sya’ban, but only for one who joins that to what came before the halfway point.
3. An exception from this prohibition is also made for one who is making up missed Ramadhan fasts.
Al-Nawawi (rahimahullāh) said:
Our companions said: it is not correct to fast on the “day of doubt” just before Ramadhān, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion on this point … But if a person fasts it to make up a missed day or to fulfill a vow, or as an expiation, that is acceptable, because if it is permissible to observe a voluntary fast on that day, it is more likely to be permissible to observe an obligatory fast… and if a person has to make up a day from Ramadhān, then he has to fast it, because the time left for him to make it up has become very short.
The “day of doubt” is the thirtieth of Sya’ban if it has not been possible to sight the moon of the thirtieth because of cloud, fog, etc. It is called the “day of doubt” because there is some doubt concerning it – is it the last day of Sya’ban or the first day of Ramadhān?
There is nothing wrong with making up a missed Ramadhān fast in the last half of Sya’ban. This is not included in the prohibition of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) on fasting after halfway through Sya’ban.
So your fasting of those three days is valid, and you have to fast the remaining days before Ramadhān begins.
And Allāh knows best.
[Via Islam QA (Fatwa No: 49884)]