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The Virtue of Fasting Six Days in the Month of Shawwâl

 

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Fasting six days of Shawwâl after Ramadan is one of those precious opportunities of good, where the believing slave grabs the chance and remains for the rest of his life moving from an act of obedience to the other, and from an act of worship to the other.

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All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of mankind, jinn and all that exists, and prayers and peace of Allah be upon the most honorable of all Prophets and Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.

 
O Muslim sister:
 
Here are the seasons of good and acts of obedience; they are coming successively towards us... We have bid farewell to the month of fasting, of staying up at night for prayers and remembrances, and of emancipation from Hellfire. Thanks to Allah Almighty, the gates of goodness and acts of obedience will remain open to His believing slaves in every time and place.
 
Fasting is one of those acts of closeness and obedience that purifies the hearts and refines the souls. It is a heaven of remedies for the ailments of the souls, hearts and bodies. Its benefits are abundant; they are innumerable.
 
Fasting six days of Shawwâl after Ramadan is one of those precious opportunities of good, where the believing slave grabs the chance and remains for the rest of his life moving from an act of obedience to the other, and from an act of worship to the other. He stays in such condition until he meets his lord, the Glorified, hoping to attain His forgiveness and remission… and a Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqûn (the pious).
 
O Muslim sister:
 
We present for you these words about the virtue of fasting these six days, we ask Allah Glorified and Exalted to benefit you by them.
 
The legality of fasting six days of Shawwâl:
 
The Muslim is allowed to fast six days from the month of Shawwâl. It has a great virtue and a grand reward. It was reported in the authentic Hadith book of Muslim from the Hadith narrated by Abu Ayyûb Al-Ansâri that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six fasting days of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually.” [Muslim]
 
«من صام رمضان ثم أتبعه ستاً من شوال كان كصيام الدهر» رواه مسلم
 
Thus, fasting Ramadan and following it by fasting six days in Shawwâl is equal (in reward) to fasting perpetually; a good deed is rewarded by a tenfold reward; which was interpreted through the Hadith of Thawbân, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Fasting Ramadan takes the reward of fasting ten month, fasting six days is equal to fasting two months, hence, this equals fasting for a whole year.” i.e. Ramadan and six days after it. [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«صيام رمضان بعشرة أشهر، وصيام ستة أيام بشهرين، فذلك صيام سنة،يعني رمضان وستة أيام بعده» صححه الألباني
 
The virtues of fasting six days in Shawwâl:
 
This is a summary of what was mentioned by Al-Hafiz Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy on him, in his book Latâ'if Al-Ma'ârif (the Nice Knowledge).
 
First: That fasting six days of Shawwal after Ramadan completes the reward of fasting the whole life.
 
Second: The fasting of some days in Shawwâl and Sha'bân are like praying the Sunnah prayers (optional prayers) before and after the obligatory prayers, thereby completing the deficiency that happened in the obligatory prayer, the obligatory religious duties are complemented in the Day of Resurrection by the optional acts of worship, as has been mentioned by the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, in many aspects. With most people there is a deficiency in their obligatory fasting, so one needs what complements it of the righteous deeds.
 
Third: Re-fasting after the fasting of Ramadan is a sign that the fast has been accepted; when Allah accepts the work of a believer He guides him to performing a righteous deed after it. Some has said: "The reward of a merit is another merit, so whoever performs a good deed and follows it by another good deed, then it is a sign that the first deed is accepted by Allah; and whoever performs a good deed and follows it by committing a sin, then this is a sign that his deed is rejected and not accepted."
 
Fourth: The fasting of Ramadan forgives the past sins, as has already been mentioned, and that the fasting people of Ramadan gain their reward in full on the day of Fitr (the feast), it is the day of the awards; so to resume fasting after this day is to thank for this blessing; as there is no blessing greater than the forgiveness of sins. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, used to stand for praying till his feet got swollen, so he has been asked, “Do you do this and Allah has forgiven you your past and future sins?!” upon which he has replied, “Should I not be a thankful slave.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
 
«أفلا أحب أن أكون عبداً شكورا» رواه البخاري
 
Allah Almighty has ordered His slaves to be grateful for the blessing of fasting Ramadan by mentioning Him, and by other types of thanking Him, He has said, {(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh [i.e. to say Takbîr (Allâhu Akbar; Allâh is the Most Great] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him} [Al-Baqarah 2:185].
 
{وَلِتُكْمِلُواْ الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللّهَ عَلَىمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ}البقرة: 185
 
Transliteration: Wa Litukmilū Al-`Iddata Wa Litukabbirū Allāha `Alá Mā Hadākum Wa La`allakum Tashkurūna
 
And it is from thanking Allah for guiding and aiding him to fast Ramadan and for forgiving his sins is to fast for Him in gratitude after that. When some of our ancestors were successful in spending a night praying and supplicating Allah, he would fast the following day; he makes his fast an act of gratitude for his success in spending the night in worshipping. When Wahîb ibn Al-Ward was asked about the reward of some deed as the circumambulation around the Ka'ba and the like, he answered, "Do not ask about the reward but ask about what should be done in gratitude for being successful in doing it".
 
Fifth: That the deeds which the slave used to perform to get closer to his Lord in the month of Ramadan does not disrupt upon the end of Ramadan. As long as the slave of Allah remains alive, they are continuous. The one who returns to fasting after breaking it indicates his desire to return on fasting and that he did not find it burdensome or that he was compelled to performing it.
 
 
Some Fatwas for women about fasting six days of Shawwâl
 
Does a woman start by making up for the days of Ramadan to which she broke the fast or by fasting the six days of Shawwâl?
 
Q: as for fasting six days of Shawwâl after the Eid, does a woman start by making up for the days she missed fasting because of menstruation, and then follow them by fasting the six days of Shawwâl or what?
 
A: all the praises and thanks be to Allah. If she wishes to attain the reward mentioned in the Hadith of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six fasting days of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually.” [Reported by Muslim]
 
«من صام رمضان ثم أتبعه ستاً من شوال كان كصيام الدهر» رواه مسلم
 
Thus, she should complete the fasting of Ramadan (by making up for the days she missed) and then follow them by fasting six days of Shawwâl so that the Hadith be applied to her and she attains the mentioned reward.
 
As for permissibility, she can delay making up for the missed days but she should finish them before the coming of the following Ramadan.
 
Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munjjid
 
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It is not valid to combine making up for the missed days of Ramadan with fasting six days of Shawwâl with one intention.
 
Q: Is it permissible to fast the six days of Shawwâl with the same intention of making up for the days that I did not fast in Ramadan because of menstruation?
 
A: all the praises and thanks be to Allah. It is not valid, because fasting six days of Shawwâl can only be done after fasting Ramadan in full.
 
Sheikh Ibn Uthaymin said in (Fatwas of Fasting 438), "Whoever fasts the day of Arafat (the ninth of Dhul-Hijja), or the day of Ashura (the tenth of Muharram) and he still has some days from Ramadan to be made up for, his fast is valid. However, if a person intends to fast such a day with the intention of making up for a Ramadan missed day, he will attain the two rewards: the reward of fasting the day of Arafat, or the reward of fasting the day of Ashura along with the reward of fasting the missed day of Ramadan. This applies to the voluntary fasting which is not linked to Ramadan. However, fasting six days of Shawwâl is linked to Ramadan; they are not due but after finishing the fast of Ramadan, if they are fasted before making up for the missed days of Ramadan, the reward will not be obtained according to the Hadith of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six fasting days of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually.”
 
«من صام رمضان ثم أتبعه بست من شوال فكأنما صام الدهر» رواه أبو داود وصححه الألباني
 
Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munjjid
 
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Succession is not required to fast six days of Shawwâl:
 
Q: is it a must in fasting the six days of Shawwâl that they should be consecutive or is there nothing wrong to fast them scattered during the month?
 
A: Fasting the six days of Shawwâl is a proven Sunnah from the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him; they may be fasted sequentially or scattered during the month; the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, initiated fasting them and he did not mention them to be in sequence or scattered. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six fasting days of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually.” [Reported by Imam Muslim in his authentic book of Hadith] Allah is the Blissful.
 
«من صام رمضان ثم أتبعه ستاً من شوال كان كصيام الدهر» أخرجه الإمام مسلم في صحيحه
 
('A Collection of different Fatwas and Articles' by his eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz, may Allah have mercy on him, Part 15 - p. 391)
 
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Combining the intention of fasting the white days (the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every Hijri month) and fasting the six days of Shawwâl
 
Q: is the one who fasts three days of the six days of Shawwâl along with the three white days with one intention, is he rewarded?
 
A: all the praises and thanks be to Allah. I have asked our sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz about this matter and he answered that it is hoped that he is rewarded for that. It is true that he fasted the six days as it is true that he fasted the white days; the Bounty of Allah is great.
 
About the same matter, his eminence sheikh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymin replied with the following:
 
Yes. If a person fasts six days of Shawwâl, he is not to fast the white days, whether he fasts them during the white days or not. It is true that he fasted three days of the month. Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “He (the Prophet) did not care which days of the month to fast.” [Reported by Muslim]
 
It is just like that the two rak'as of the greeting of the mosque are not to be performed if the person enters the mosque and prays the regular Sunnah. Allah knows best.
 
Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munjjid
 
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Is it obligatory to fast the six days of Shawwâl every year?
 
Q: A person who is used to fasting the six days of Shawwâl, one year he became sick, was hindered by something or just got lazy. Is he sinful for doing that? We have heard that if someone fasted these days once, he should never quit fasting them?!
 
A: Fasting six days of Shawwâl after the day of Eid is a Sunnah. It is not a must that if someone fasted them once to continue to fast them perpetually. There is no sin in leaving them.
 
May Allah bless us with success, and prayers and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
 
Fatwas of the Standing Committee 10/391
 
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Finally my Muslim sister… we remind you that if someone fasted a day for the sake of Allah, in obedience to Him and hoping to attain His reward, Allah will reward him for such fasting by keeping his face away from Hellfire for a hundred years. The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah's Pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from Hellfire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
رواه البخاري ومسلم«من صام يوما في سبيل الله، بعد الله وجهه عن النار سبعين خريفا»
 
Blessed is she who draws closer to Allah by performing optional acts of worship, whose heart is humbled and her limbs are softened for Allah. The reward is Paradise. What a great reward it is!
 
May Allah grant us Paradise and whatever draws us close to it in word and deed. May He protect us from Hellfire and whatever draws us close to it from word and deed. May He help us to remember Him, thank Him and be good worshippers of Him. The last of our invocation is all the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
 
 
Produced by Islamway Sisters, akhawat.islamway.com
Slightly modified
 

 

 

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