Sahih Muslim Book 006, Hadith Number 2597.

Chapter : Forbiddance to observe perpetual fast and excellence of observing fast on alternate days.

Abu Qatada reported that Abu al Malih informed me: I went along with your father to 'Abdullah b. Amr, and he narrated to us that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was informed about my fasting and he came to me, and I placed a leather cushion filled with fibre of date-palms for him. He sat down upon the ground and there was that cushion between me and him, and he said to me: Does three days' fasting in a month not suffice you? I said: Messenger of Allah, (I am capable of observing more fasts). He said: (Would) five (not suffice for you)? I said: Messenger of Allah, (I am capable of observing more fasts) He said: (Would) seven (fasts) not suffice you? I said: Messenger of Allah, (I am capable of observing more fasts). He (the Holy Prophet) then said: (Would) nine (fasts not suffice you)? I said: Messenger of Allah, (I am capable of observing more fasts). He said: (Would) eleven (fasts not suffice you)? I said: Messenger of Allah, (I am capable of observing more fasts than these). Thereupon the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: There is no fasting (better than) the fasting of David which comprises half of the age, fasting a day and not fasting a day.

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