Fasting the 6 Days of Shawwal: Virtues & Practical Advice

Uncategorized Jun 04, 2020

While the month of Ramadan may have come to an end, Allah continues to favour us and has granted us the opportunity to obtain even more rewards - equal to one year.

Shawwal is the month that follows Ramadan, and in one narration the Prophet (pbuh) has taught us that:

"Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwal, it will be as if he had fasted the year through." (Muslim)


How do these fasts equate to one year of fasting?

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏"‏من صام رمضان ثم أتبعه بست من شوال كان كصيام الدهر‏"‏ (‏‏‏رواه مسلم)‏

“Fasting Ramadan is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days [of Shawwal] is like fasting two months. That is like fasting a full year.” [Ahmad & Nasa’i]

Is it narrated that good deeds are multiplied by at least 10. Therefore, fasting for 30 days in Ramadan is equal to 300 days in reward. Fasting 6 days in Shawwal equals to 60 days, and therefore a total of 360 days makes up for one lunar year.

The Wisdom of Fasting these 6 Days

One of the signs of Allah's accepting a good deed is to be granted the success to perform similar good deeds, with consistency, throughout the rest of the year.

Continuing to fast these voluntary days in Shawwal also signifies sincerity within the believer, and an expression of thankfulness for the forgiveness that Allah grants us on the day of Eid after having completed Ramadan.

This sincerity shows that we are willing to worship Allah out of complete willingness and not merely out of obligation.

Practicalities and Rules Pertaining to Fasting in Shawwal

  • While it is better to fast the 6 days of Shawwal consecutively, this is not a condition. One may fast any 6 days during the month.

  • As these are not obligatory fasts, one may make the intention of keeping the fast in the morning even if they did not intend to do so the night before. This is upon condition that one has already not eaten or drunk anything since waking up.

  • It is better to fast one's missed obligatory fasts and the 6 fasts of Shawwal separately. However, if one feels that they might miss the Shawwal fasts due to the number of obligatory fasts to make up, they may combine the intention of doing both together. This is upon condition that the primary intention must be that of the missed obligatory fast, and that the secondary intention is the Shawwal fast.

  • If one wishes to fast the 6 days of Shawwal first and then complete their missed obligatory fasts later, this is also permissible.

  • Is one if unable to fast the 6 days of Shawwal due to some genuine excuse, they should make the firm intention that if this excuse didn't exist they would have still fasted. InshaAllah they will still be rewarded in this case.

 To watch the full version of this Khutbah, click here.

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