Friday, 9 August 2013
...THEN COMES THE SIX
Allah's messenger SAW said 'He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six fasts of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually( For the whole year)' Al-Bukhari.
The month of Shawwal is the month immediately following the Month of Ramadan. The first day of which is the day of Eid. Eid l fitr, the day when muslims break their month long fast. Alhamdulilah.
These six fasts are not obligatory, rather they are recommended, but we should remember that there is nothing recommended that does not serve a positive benefit to us. One of the benefits of fasting during this month is that the six extra fasts will serve as replacements for the shortfalls we may have encountered during the month. No one is infallible and mistakes are bound to happen, no matter how careful we must have been to guide against it, so fasting these six will help to cushion these, so we end up with a very complete fast.
It is related from Thawban that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The fast of Ramadan is like observing ten months of fasting. Fasting six days of Shawwal is like observing two months of fasting. This together is like fasting throughout the year." (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah and Sunan al-Nasa'i al-Kubra - and authenticated by al-Albani). Another narration has it that Abu Ayyub (RA) reported that Rasullullah (SAW) said: "If anyone who has kept the fasts in Ramadan, follows them up with six (optional) fasts of Shawwal then (he will get reward for the fast of a year but if he does that always) it is as if he fasted all his life. (Muslim). Allahu Akbar Kabeeran.
Some scholars, specifically Imam Shafi' and Ibn Mubarak are of the view that the sitta shawwal should be fasted consecutively starting from the 2nd of shawwal, which is the day after Eid. Some say we can fast it intermittently, while others say we should pick dates far from the day of Eid. while we can follow any of the views above expressed, the most important thing is that our sitta shawal falls within the month of shawwal, and we should show gratitude to Allah for the opportunity to fast Ramadan and also to witness Shawwal. Alhamdulilah.
For those who missed some days of Ramadan due to traveling, sickness, menstruation etc, the opinion that is most popular is that the missed fast should be observed first, before the fast of shawwal, the reason being that the missed fast of ramadan are fard. Allahu ahlam.
May Allah make it easy for us, May He forgive our errors and grant us His Mercy. Ameen.