The scholars differed concerning fasting on Saturdays. Some of them said that it is not makrooh (disliked) at all. Others spoke in more detail and said that if a Saturday is singled out for fasting, then it is makrooh, but if it is joined to the Sunday that follows it or the Friday that comes before it, then it is not makrooh. (1)
Hadeeth about Fasting on Saturday:
It is narrated by Tirmidhee from 3AbdAllaah ibn Busr, from his sister, that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam 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).” (2)
Abu 3Eesa al-Tirmidhee 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”
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “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 Abu Hurayrah radi Allaahu anhu who said: I heard the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam say: “No one of you should fast on Friday, unless he fasts (a day) before it or after it.” (3)
The hadeeth of Juwayriyah was narrated by Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith radi Allaahu Anha, that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam 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.” (4)
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. (5)
There is a disagreement among the scholars regarding the soundness of this hadeeth.
Shaykh Bin Baaz said:
“The Hadeeth is not Saheeh; it has been ranked as Mudtarib (a Hadeeth with disagreement over a transmitter or the text) and Shadh (a Hadeeth narrated by a trustworthy narrator, not in line with the narration of other trustworthy narrators in terms of wording, chain of narrators, or both) by many Hafidh (scholars who have memorized Hadeth), because the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam is authentically reported to have said: “Do not observe Sawm on Friday, unless you observe Sawm on the day before it or the day after it.” (6) The day that follows it is Saturday.” (7)
Ibn Al Qayyim reported that Imaam Maalik said that that Hadeeth was wrong.”
Abu Dawood said: “This Hadeeth is abrogated”. Al Nasaa’ee said: ‘It is a mixed up Hadeeth’. (8)
“The Hadeeth prohibiting observing Sawm on Saturday is Da3eef (a Hadeeth that fails to reach the status of Hasan, due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) as it is Hadeeth Mudtarib (a Hadeeth with disagreement over a transmitter or the text) that conflicts with authentic Hadeeth.
Shaykh Ibn 3Uthaymeen (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 tamattu3, 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 sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam 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), 3Arafah, 3Ashooraa’, six days of Shawwaal for one who has fasted Ramadaan, and the ninth of Dhul-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 sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam 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. (9)
& Allaah knows best.References: (1) Fataawa Manaar al-Islam, 2/366. (2) Al-Tirmidhee (744), Abu Dawood (2421) & Ibn Maajah (1726). Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’ (3) Al-Bukhaaree (1985) and Muslim (1144) (4) Al-Bukhaaree (1986) from (5) http://islamqa.info/en/ref/81621 (6)Al-Bukhaaree(1985) and Muslim (1144) (7) Fatwas of Ibn Baz>Volume 15 (8) http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=87220 (9) Majmoo3 Fataawaa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn 3Uthaymeen (20/57) http://islamqa.info/en/ref/81621