The 6 Fasts of Shawwal
Shawwal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar and after fasting all of Ramadhan, by fasting only 6 further days in Shawwal, a person will gain a huge amount of reward!
Facts about Shawwal
10th Month of the Islamic calendar
Straight after the blessed month of Ramadhan
1) First of the three months known as Ash-hur Al-Hajj (i.e. the months of Hajj).
2) First day of Shawwal is Eid-ul Fitr.
3) Fasting any 6 days of this month is recommended and rewarding.
Reward for the 6 fasts of Shawwal
After the blessed month of Ramadhan, comes the month of Shawwal.
After keeping all of the fasts of Ramadhan, our beloved Nabi ﷺ has encouraged us to fast 6 more days in Shawwal saying this will bring the reward of fasting the entire year!
Our Beloved Nabi ﷺ has said:
‘If anyone keeps the fasts of Ramadhan and follows them up with 6 fasts in Shawwal then it is like a years fasting.’ (Muslim)
How is this possible? Well, it is simple and our beloved Nabi ﷺ himself explains it in another hadeeth.
“Fasting the month of Ramadhan is like ten months of fasting and fasting six days of Shawwal is like two months of fasting. Thus, they are like fasting for a year.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah)
Let us understand this properly:
1) First of all we need to know that, whether Ramadhan is 29 days or 30 days, we still receive the reward of fasting the full 30 days.
2) For every action we do, Allah Ta’ala rewards us for that action 10 times!
‘Whoever brings a good deed shall get 10 fold the like of it’ (Surah An’aam : 160)
3) So, looking at this if we do the following :
30 fast x 10 = 300 fasts!
This means fasting in Ramadhan was like 300 days/10 months! Subhanallah!
4) In an Islamic year the maximum days possible is 360 days.
5) So, by fasting 6 more days during Shawwal, a person in return will get the reward of fasting 60 days!
6) So, in total this person will be recorded as keeping 360 fasts (that’s one year of fasting!) Amazing right?!
Some simple rules:
1) These 6 fasts don’t have to be kept all together and so a person can keep one fast today one fast next week etc.
2) The main thing is to keep the fasts during Shawwal.
3) Ulama, however, advise to keep it straight after eid and keep all 6 together.
4) It also makes sense to keep them at the start of Shawwal as a person is already in the Ramadhan habit of fasting.
5) These fasts (unlike Ramadhan) are not necessary and a person will not be sinful for missing them. However, fasting is highly recommended and rewarding Insha’Allah. So, we should all aim to keep them.