Islamic Ruling on Fasting Six Days in the Month Of Shawwal

Shawwal is the Islamic month that is immediately after Ramadhan, the first day being ‘Eid al-Fitr.

Fasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadaan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not waajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained this when he said: “Whoever fasts for six days after (Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).” According to another report: “Allaah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” (al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/421). It was also narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah with the wording: “Fasting for the month of Ramadaan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year.”

  • What is the ruling on fasting six days of Shawwal? Is it wajib (obligatory)?

Praise be to Allah.

Fasting six days of Shawwal after the obligatory fast of Ramadhan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not wajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a sahih hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.”Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah

  • When should a Muslim start fasting six days of Shawwal? When can I start fasting six days of Shawwal, since we have annual leave right now?

Praise be to Allah.

You can start fasting six days of Shawwal from the second day of Shawwal, because it is haram to fast on the day of ‘Eid. You can fast the six days at any time during Shawwal, although the best of good deeds are those which are done soonest.

  • Do the six days of Shawwal have to be fasted consecutively?

With regard to the six days of Shawwal after Ramadhan, is it a condition that they should be fasted consecutively, or can I separate them? I want to fast them in three sessions, on the two days of the weekend.

Praise be to Allah.

It is not a necessary condition that they should be fasted consecutively. If you fast them separately or consecutively, it is OK. The sooner you do them, the better, because Allah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“So compete in good deeds.”Al-Qur’an 5:48

“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord.”Al-Qur’an 3:133

“[Musa – peace be upon him – said:] … and I hastened to You, O my Lord, that You might be pleased.”Al-Qur’an 20:84

And (you should hasten to fast these six days) because delaying may cause problems. This is the view of the Shafi’is and some of the Hanbalis, but it is OK if you do not hasten it and you delay it until the middle or end of the month.

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Our companions said: it is mustahabb to fast six days of Shawwal. Because of this hadith they said: it is mustahabb to fast these days consecutively at the beginning of Shawwal, but if one separates them or delays them until after Shawwal, this is permissible, because he will still be following the general guidelines of the hadith. We have no dispute regarding this matter, and this was also the view of Ahmad and Dawud.”Al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab

  • Can a person start fasting six days of Shawwal when he still has days to make up from Ramadhan?

If a person fasts six days of Shawwal after Ramadhan when he has not yet completed the Ramadhan fast – because he did not fast ten days of Ramadhan for a legitimate reason – will he have the same reward as a person who fasted all of Ramadhan and followed it with six days of Shawwal, i.e. will he be like a person who fasted for a lifetime? Please explain to us, may Allah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allah.

The precise rewards for the deeds which people do for the sake of Allah is something which is known only to Allah. If a person seeks the reward from Allah and strives to obey Him, his reward will not be lost, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost.”Al-Qur’an 18:30

If someone has missed some of the days of Ramadhan, he should fast them first, then fast six days of Shawwal, because he cannot follow the fast of Ramadhan with six days of Shawwal unless he has completed his Ramadhan fast.

And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

  • Does one have to fast six days of Shawwal every year?

If someone fasts six days of Shawwal, then one year he gets sick or something prevents him from fasting, or he is too lazy to fast, will there be any sin on him? We have heard that if a person fasts these six days one year, he must never give up this practice thereafter.

Praise be to Allah.

Fasting six days of Shawwal after the day of ‘Eid is Sunnah. It is not wajib (obligatory) on the person who does this once or more often to continue doing it. He is not guilty of a sin if he does not fast these days.

And Allah is the Source of strength. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and grant him peace.

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