[Alhamdulillah I meet up with some sisters on a monthly basis and we do a short talk during the meet-up to remind us of Allah and to boost us spiritually a little Inshallah. This month we discussed making up the days of Ramadan and fasting the six days of Shawwal, as a reminder for us all, I’m posting what we discussed here.]

Making up days from Ramadan:

From Hilali’s book ‘Fasting in Ramadan’: “… it is not obligatory to make up the missed days from Ramadan immedieately afterwards, rather it is an obligation which may be delayed, due to what is rported from Aishah (RA):

“It used to be that I had days to make up for Ramadan and I would not be able to do so except in Shabaan.” (Sahih Bukhari & Muslim).

Although, obviously it is better to hasten in making up the fasts than to delay them, since this falls under the general proofs concerning hastening to do good works and not delaying them – and the proof is from the Qur’an:

“And be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord.”  (Aali – Imran: 133)

… It is not obligatory to make up the days together (i.e. one immediately after the other)… Ibn Abbas said: “There is no harm if he fasts them separately.” (Bukhari)”

Fasting Shawwal:

From Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid:

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).

Abû Ayyûb al-Ansârî relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) says: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwâl, it will be as if he had fasted the year through.” [Sahîh Muslim (1163)]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained this when he said: “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).

The Hanbali and Shaafa’i fuqaha’ explained that fasting six days of Shawwaal after fasting Ramadaan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to naafil fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it.

Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal is that it makes up for any shortfall in a person’s obligatory Ramadaan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his naafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salaah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salaah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allaah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).

From the Permanent Fatwa committee:

When should a Muslim start fasting six days of Shawwal?

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.

These days do not have to be fasted immediately after ‘Eid al-Fitr; it is permissible to start fasting them one or more days after ‘Eid, and they may be done consecutively or separately during the month of Shawwal, according to what is easier for a person. There is plenty of room for maneuver in this matter, and this is not obligatory, it is Sunnah.

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.”

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

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):

Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds. (Surah Al-Kahf: 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.

Links:

http://islamqa.info/en/ref/7859

http://sunnahonline.com/library/hajj-umrah-and-the-islamic-calendar/322-fasting-the-six-days-of-shawwal

Are you fasting the six days of Shawwal? Or are you just focusing on making up days from Ramadan? How’s it going?

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