No doubt that Muslims are urged to strive hard in getting close to Allah with all forms of acts of worship; they should take that as a top priority. However, they are instructed that whatever they do, they should not deviate from the teachings and principles set by the noble Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He has set for us a shinning model that we should follow in order to keep firm on the right path. Therefore it’s very important for a committed Muslim to make sure that his acts of worship have basis both in theQur’anand theSunnahof the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
In this regard, the prominent Muslim scholar SheikhYusufAl-Qaradawistates:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was keen on fasting in the month ofSha`banmore than he was in other months. `A’ishah(may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never fasted for a whole month except in Ramadan. This refutes what some people do; observing fast for three consecutive months: Rajab,Sha`banand Ramadan, followed by six days of Shawwal.That is, they start fasting at the beginning of Rajab until the seventh of Shawwal, leaving nothing but the Day of `Eidul-Fitr. Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) nor his Companions or even their successors were reported tohavedone so.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast some days of every month. `A’ishah(may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sometimes would observe fasting continuously, to the extent that his Companions thought he would never break fast, and in other times he would refrain from fasting to the extent that they thought he would never fast again.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) usually observed fasting on Mondays and Thursdays and three days of each month (the13th ,14th and 15th). He sometimes used to fast every alternate day, following the pattern of ProphetDawud(peacebeupon him). He even made this clear:“The best way of fasting in Allah’s sight is that of Dawud, who used to observe fasting every alternate day.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)used to observe fasting inSha`banmore than he did in other months. This was a kind of self-preparation for the coming of Ramadan; that is, to act as some sort of girding oneself for Ramadan. But there are no textual evidence that there are specific days inSha`banin which fasting is commendable. It is, by and large, impermissible for one to prefer certain days to observe voluntary fasting or certain nights to perform Night Prayers, lacking any juristic basis for that action. Religious acts are not left for man’s whims. Rather, they are subject to Divine legislation. Thus, specifying certain times and places for worship and the description of different acts of worship are the matters of the Divine, not that of human.
Shedding light on the question “whether is allowed to specify the 15th of Sha`ban with some acts of worship or not”, the Saudi eminent Muslim scholar,SheikhibnFawzan, states the following:
Nothing firm and reliable has been established on the authority of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), that he held night vigil prayer and fasted during the day of the 15th ofSha`ban. So, the night of the 15th ofSha`banis like any other night,andif someone regularly observes acts of worship during other nights, then he may hold night vigil prayer on this night without assuming anything special (because of it being the night of the 15th ofSha`ban).
This is because specifying a time for any act of worship requires an authentic proof, so if there is no authentic proof then the act is regarded as an innovation and all innovations are misguidance. Likewise, regarding specifically fasting during the 15th day ofSha`ban, then no (authentic) proof has been established on the authority of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to indicate the legality of fasting on that particular day.
Tackling the same issue, the well-known Saudi scholar,Sheikhibn`Uthaymeen, adds:
What is correct is that fasting on the 15th ofSha`banor specifying it with reciting (the Qur’an) or making (particular) supplications on that day has no basis. So that day is like any other 15th day of other months. Something that is clear is that it has been made permissible for a person to fast on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every month. However,Sha`banis somehow special (except for Ramadan) in the sense that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast more in the month ofSha`banthan any other month. So he used to either fast all ofSha`banor just a little.
Therefore, as long as it does not involve any hardship, one can increase his fasting days duringSha`ban, emulating the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).