Fast on the 27th of Rajab and the 15th of Shaban: Is it neccessary?
There are several kinds of fasting in Islam. Among these kinds are:
1) Obligatory: Observing fasting during the whole month of Holy Ramadan is an obligation for all Muslims.
2) Supererogatory: This category includes fasting on particular occasions such as the day of Arafah, the 9th and 10th days of Muharram, fasting three days of each month, and fasting every Mondays and Thursdays. It is Sunnah to observe fasting on these days.
Fasting and praying on 27th of Rajab
As for fasting on the day of the 27th of Rajab (i.e. Isra and Miraj) is not proved in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If it was desirable to fast on this day, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions would have stated it as we have mentioned concerning supererogatory fasting.
Thus, it is not the Sunnah and therefore, not correct to observe fasting on this specific day.
Also, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning singling out the day of Isra and Miraj. Ibn Hajar in his book, al-Fath, mentioned that there are more than ten opinions in this regard. This disagreement among the companions of the Prophet and later scholars indicates that this day has no special significance for fasting nor spending its night performing prayers. If it was the case, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions would not have missed it.
Based on the above-mentioned, we can easily state that it is Bid’ah (innovation) to fast on this day. Many people do that believing in its excellence. But to repeat, there is no correct Prophetic narration in this concern.
But, if fasting on this day coincides with any supererogatory fasting or one’s regular fasts, such as fasting Mondays and Thursdays, or fasting every other day, then it is permissible to fast on this day (27th of Rajab).
Fasting and praying on 15th of Shaban
As for spending the night of the 15th of Shaban in prayers and other forms of worship, there are several Hadith in this concern. But there is a difference of opinions among the scholars concerning the authenticity of these Hadiths. Some scholars consider them weak. Other scholars consider them highly. Thus, according to some jurists and scholars, it is desirable to spend this night in optional forms of worship such as prayer, recitation of Quran, remembrance of Allah, etc.
According to Ibn Taymiyah (Rah.), some righteous predecessors and scholars were used to spending this night (15th of Shaban) in prayers and other forms of worship.
But, most of them disliked the gathering of people at the mosque for this night and considered it as Bid’ah (innovation).
Nowadays, many Muslims perform a special prayer with a special recital on this night. With no doubt, this form certainly is a Bid’ah.
Imam al-Nabawi (Rah.) said: “A prayer that is known as ‘Salah al-Raghayeb’, which is a prayer consisting of 12 rakats, performed between Maghrib and Isha at the 1st Friday night of Rajab and a prayer on the 15th of Sha’ban (100 rakats) are two forms of Bid’ah and are abominable actions.”
Finally, a Muslim is required to adhere to the obedience of Allah on this night (15th of Sha’ban). And also on all other nights, to avoid all forms of polytheism and to pardon his brothers so that he may achieve goodness. Then, he is required to avoid all forms of Bid’ah (innovation), since good lies in following the Sunnah and evil lies in innovations.
Allah knows best.