Is it Sunnah to fast on Mondays and Thursdays?
As we have clarified in our responses relating to the nature and scope of Sunnah, the term Sunnah refers to those actions of the Prophet (pbuh), which the Prophet (pbuh) initiated, performed and promoted among ALL his followers, as a part of God’s religion.
In view of this explanation of Sunnah, supererogatory acts of worship, such as supererogatory fasts of the Prophet (pbuh) should be placed in the uswah e hasanah of the Prophet (pbuh), rather than in his Sunnah. It should be kept in mind that the Sunnah is an independent source of the Islamic Shari`ah, while the uswah-e-hasanah of the Prophet (pbuh) is, in fact, the excellent way in which the Prophet (pbuh) practiced Islam and if followed by muslims would definitely bring great rewards.
There are some narratives, according to which the Prophet (pbuh) used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. However, the information regarding the Prophet’s fasts on Mondays seems comparatively more reliable. Nevertheless, if the information provided in these narratives is considered accurate, then it would be correct to derive that the Prophet (pbuh) did, in fact, fast on Mondays and Thursdays, generally.
October 9, 2001