Answered by Shaykh Gibril Haddad
Question: My family holds the belief that fasting on the day of Mi’raj is equivalent to 40,000 fasts. Are the merits of fasting on this day based on any ahadith or are these false beliefs which have been brought in over time?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
I have no knowledge of nor could find that specific stipulation anywhere.
1. General Basis of and Ruling on Supererogatory Acts for the 24 hours of Mi`raj
The hadith Master Muhammad ibn Ja`far al-Kattani said in his monograph Mi`raj al-Nabi Salla Allahu `alayhi wa-Sallam: ” Nothing was transmitted concerning the preferability (arjahiyya) of a particular act of worship on the anniversaries (naza’ir) of the night of Isra’ nor of its day: not a single verse of Qur’an nor a single Prophetic report (khabar) — not a sahih one nor a hasan nor a da`if one — nor even a non-Prophetic report (athar), except that it ought to be said that good deeds in those 24 hours are more [encouraged] than in other unspecific (mutlaq) nights and days, as one ought to categorically affirm in the present discussion.” He goes to state that the proof for this is that if Musa, upon him peace, celebrated the day he was saved from Pharaoh and the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, reiterated the need for this celebration, then surely we should celebrate the night in which the Prophet, upon him peace, saw and spoke with his Lord and was granted the Salat.
2. Actual Date of Isra’ and Mi`raj
What is authentically related is that the Isra’ and Mi`raj took place on the 27th of Rabi` al-Awwal as narrated from Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Harbi by Ibn Dihya in his monograph al-Ibtihaj fi Ahadith al-Mi`raj; al-Nawawi in his Fatawa; al-Suyuti in his epistle al-Ayat al-Kubra fi Sharh Qissat al-Isra; al-Alusi in Tafsir Ruh al-Ma`ani (4:469); as well as the 17th of Rabi` al-Awwal, both positions being related by al-Kattani in his monograph.
Imam Ibn Rajab said in `Awarif al-Lata’if (p. 233): “It is narrated with an unsound chain from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad that the Isra’ of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) was on the 27th of Rajab. Ibrahim al-Harbi and others denied that.” Ibn Hajar in his monograph on the reports that concern Rajab confirmed its inauthenticity.
3. The hadiths in the Ghunya that mention that fasting the day of 27 Rajab equal the reward of 60 or 100 years are forged according to Ibn Hajar and others.
And Allah knows best.