Fasting the six days of Shawwal

Fasting the six days of Shawwal

by | Jun 10, 2020 | Fasting, Fatāwā, Fiqh, Ibadah, Ramadan | 0 comments

Fasting the six days of Shawwal

 

The Reward

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.”

 

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Making up the missed fardh Ramadhan fasting, then observing the six days for Shawwal

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: What if a woman owes days from Ramadaan – is it permissible for her to give precedence to fasting the six days of Shawwaal over making up the days she owes, or should she give priority to the days she owes over fasting the six days of Shawwaal?

He replied: If a woman still owes days from Ramadaan, then she should not fast the six days of Shawwaal until after she has made up what she owes, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal…” Whoever still has days to make up from Ramadaan has not fasted Ramadaan, so she will not attain the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwaal until after she has finished making up the days she owes. If we assume that this making up missed fasts lasts throughout Shawwaal, such as if a woman was bleeding following childbirth and did not fast at all in Ramadaan, then she started to make up her missed fasts in Shawaal and did not finish that until Dhu’l-Qa’dah began, then she may fast the six days, and she will have the reward of one who fasted them in Shawwaal, because she delayed it for a necessary reason, so she will have the reward.

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 20/19

Is it permissible to fast the six days of Shawwaal before making up days that I did not fast in Ramadaan, if there is not enough time left in the month to do both? May Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.

Fasting six days of Shawwaal is dependent upon having completed the Ramadaan fast, according to the correct view. This is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted a lifetime.” Narrated by Muslim, 1164.

The conjunction thumma (then) indicates that this must be done in this order. This indicates that the fast of Ramadaan must be completed first (by observing the Ramadaan fast and making up any missed fasts), then after that one may fast the six days of Shawwaal, so as to attain the reward mentioned in the hadeeth.

The one who still owes missed Ramadaan fasts is said to have fasted part of Ramadaan; we cannot say that he has fasted Ramadaan.

But if a person has an excuse that kept him from fasting the six days of Shawwaal in Shawwaal because he had to make up missed fasts – such as a woman who was bleeding followed childbirth and spent all of Shawwaal making up for Ramadaan – then she may fast six days of Shawwaal in Dhu’l-Qa’dah, because she was excused. Similarly for anyone who has an excuse it is prescribed to make up the six days of Shawwaal in Dhu’l-Qa’dah, after making up the missed Ramadaan fasts. But the one who lets the month of Shawwaal go by without fasting these days and with no excuse, will not attain this reward.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: What if a woman owes days from Ramadaan – is it permissible for her to give precedence to fasting the six days of Shawwaal over making up the days she owes, or should she give priority to the days she owes over fasting the six days of Shawwaal?

He replied: If a woman still owes days from Ramadaan, then she should not fast the six days of Shawwaal until after she has made up what she owes, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal…” Whoever still has days to make up from Ramadaan has not fasted Ramadaan, so she will not attain the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwaal until after she has finished making up the days she owes. If we assume that this making up missed fasts lasts throughout Shawwaal, such as if a woman was bleeding following childbirth and did not fast at all in Ramadaan, then she started to make up her missed fasts in Shawaal and did not finish that until Dhu’l-Qa’dah began, then she may fast the six days, and she will have the reward of one who fasted them in Shawwaal, because she delayed it for a necessary reason, so she will have the reward.

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 20/19. See also questions no. 4082 and 7863.

In addition to that, it is obligatory to make up missed fasts for the one who had an excuse, indeed that is part of this pillar of Islam. Based on this, hastening to do it and to discharge this duty takes priority over doing actions that are mustahabb.

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Combining the six days with Ayyaam al-Beed/Monday/Thursday

Will a person be rewarded if he combines three of the six days of Shawwaal with the Ayyaam al-Beed (Days 13,14,15 from every month)?

Response

Praise be to Allaah.

I asked our Shaykh, ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz about this matter, and he replied that hopefully he will be rewarded for that, because it is true that he fasted the six days, and it is also true that he fasted the Ayyaam al-Beed, and the Bounty of Allaah is great indeed.

With regard to this particular matter, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen replied as follows:

“Yes, if he fasts six days of Shawwaal, he does not have to fast Ayyaam al-Beed during that month too, whether he fasted the six days at the same time as al-Ayyaam al-Beed (the 13th, 14th and 15th of the hijri month) or before them or after them, because it is true that he has fasted three days of the month. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: ‘The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast three days of every month, and he did not bother whether he fasted them at the beginning of the month or in the middle or at the end.”

This case is similar to that of Tahiyyat al-Masjid (prayer to “greet the mosque” upon entering),, which does not have to be done if one prays a regular prayer upon entering the mosque. So if you enter the mosque and pray a regular Sunnah prayer, you do not have to pray Tahiyyat al-masjid… And Allaah knows best.

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Keeping them together or separately and hastening

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 Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

so compete in good deeds [al-Maaidah 5:48]

And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord [Aal Imran 3:133]

[Moosa peace be upon him said:] and I hastened to You, O my Lord, that You might be pleased [Ta-Ha 20:84]

And (you should hasten to fast these six days) because delaying may cause problems.

 

 

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