Please clarify whether fasting on Rajab 27 has special virtue or not? Did Imam Ghazali (RA) quote any virtues regarding this in Ihya Uloomudin?
Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,
In Hashiyat al-Jamal and I'anat al-Talibin it is mentioned that fasting the Day of Mi'raj is recommended.
In Nihayah 1/360, Ramli mentioned the hadith related by Imams Bukhari and Muslim on the topic of the prayers being legislated on the Night of Isra'. He said that this happened exactly one year before the Prophet's migration to Madinah. This was stated by Bandiniji and is the opinion maintained by the majority of the As-hab al-Wujuh. This would put the date of Isra' somewhere between Safar and Rabi' al-Awwal. In Sharh Sahih Muslim, Imam Nawawi said it happened in Rabi' al-Awwal.
There is another opinion in which it is stated that it took place on the 27th night of Rajab. Imam Nawawi stated this in Rawdah 10/206. As well, Imam Ghazali maintained this opinion in Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din.
Ghazali also related a narration in which fasting the 27th of Rajab is stated to be virtuous. This narration says that it was because on this day the Angel Jibril came to the Prophet (upon him be peace) with the message.
Hafiz 'Iraqi mentioned that this particular report is narrated by Abu Musa al-Madini in his book Fada'il al-Layali wa al-Ayyam from Shahr b. Hawshab from Abu Hurayrah (radyAllahu 'anhu).
The scholars of jarh and ta'dil disagree on the status of Shahr. Some vindicate him, and others saw him to be weak. In al-Hawi al-Kabir 1/122, Mawardi said Shahr went senile towards the end of his life and began to mix up reports. In Majmu', Imam Nawawi seems to question some of the jarh made against him, and also mentioned that the majority made tawthiq of Shahr. The passage in Majmu' seems to deal with a point raised against his 'adalah, but perhaps does not address the issue raised by Mawardi regarding his senility.
Relying on this hadith related from Shahr to establish a devotional practice seems a little difficult to accept.
Additionally, the relied-upon opinion in the School, according to Ramli's Nihayah, places the date of Isra' and Mi'raj outside of Rajab.
Observing a special fast for the 27th of Rajab does not have a strong basis. This is not to say that the month of Rajab or fasting during it carries no merit. After Ramadan, the most virtuous month for fasting is Muharram. And according to Shaykh al-Islam in Sharh al-Rawd 1/433 Rajab is the next most virtuous.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by: Shaykh Yaqub Abdurrahman