Saturday 20 April 2024

The reward of fasting of a lifetime if one observes fasting for six days in the month of Shawwal (Sunnah Prophet Muhammad ﷺ_

The month of Ramadan, a thirty days of fasting is one of the blessed months of Islamic calendar. In this sacred month, all able bodied and healthy adult women and men are to fast during the day as an obligation. Barring from pregnant or nursing women or those in travel, all others have to observe fast during the entire month.

Those who observe the 30 days (or 29 days as per early moon sighting) are conditioned to live a life of strict discipline of abstaining from food/water and even their otherwise legitimate spouses during the period of fasting during the day. Thus when the month is over, one has been conditioned well and can still endure a few more fasts during the following Islamic 10th month of Shawwal (Arabic: شَوَّال, Šawwāl). Therefore, it has been Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to keep fasts for six days during the month of Shawwal. 

Thus the month of Shawwal is renowned for the six days of Shawwal, which are six supererogatory fasts that hold immense reward. It is often regarded as a precious time to reflect on and continue the goodness that we have become habituated to in the preceding month: the blessed month of Ramadan.

This sunnah is mentioned in This Hadith is mentioned in Sunan Ibn Majah /  Book 7 Fasting / باب  الصيام) / Chapter 33: Fasting six days of Shawwal / باب صِيَامِ سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ شَوَّالٍ / as Hadith number # 1716 under:

It was narrated from Abu Ayyub that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.”

Arabic Text:‏
حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ نُمَيْرٍ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ، عَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ "‏ مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ بِسِتٍّ مِنْ شَوَّالٍ، كَانَ كَصَوْمِ الدَّهْرِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

GradeSahih (Darussalam)

AS can bee seen, the importance of fasting in the month of Shawwal is equated to fasting for one's life time. This is because these fasts are not obligatory but optional. Yet if anyone decides to fast for six days on his own for pleasing Allah and following the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ , he earns the immense reward as if he has fasted for his lifetime.

Care should be taken not to fast on the first day of Shawwal as it is prohibited being the day of Eid Al-Fitr takes place. After the first day of the Shawwal is over, one is free to choose any six days before the end of the month in order to complete the six days of Shawwal and reap the rewards of a year of fasting. One can fast consecutively for six days or as and when one feels like doing so.

The traditional scholarly sources among the Hanafiyya and Hanbaliyya do not place an emphasis on consecutive days, while the strongest opinion of the Malikiyya prefers any six days of the month, consecutively or otherwise.

The Shia scholars of the Ja'fari school do not place any emphasis on the six days being consecutive, while among the Sunnis, the majority of Shafi`i scholars consider it recommended to fast these days consecutively. They based this on a hadith related by Tabarani and others, wherein Muhammad is reported to have said, "Fasting six consecutive days after Eid al-Fitr is like fasting the entire year." 

May Allah accepts fasting of all those who fast for six days in the month of Shawwal and grant them the reward of fasting of a lifetime. Ameen.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Please refer to our reference page: Collections of Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about Rewards  and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for more Hadiths on the rewards and Sunnah. 

For more hadiths on varying subjects, refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about Hadiths and Sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Photo | Source of Hadith Resource Reference: | Wikipedia | Islamic Belief |

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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