Six Fasts of Shawwal

Six Fasts of Shawwāl

Question

What is the reality of the six fasts of the month of Shawwāl?

Answer

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

The six fasts should be kept anytime after the day of Eid in the month of Shawwāl continuously or separately and this is mustaḥab (recommended) according to the majority of scholars including the Ḥanafī, Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī schools of thought. The companion Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī (d. 52/672) (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever fasts Ramaḍān and then follows it with six [fasts] of Shawwāl, it is tantamount to a lifetime’s fast” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, 1164). Other narrations of Sunan Ibn Mājah (1715) and other books further explain this citing the Qurʾānic verse (6: 160), “Whoever brings a good deed, for him is ten its like.” Thus, the thirty days of Ramaḍān are equivalent to ten months and the six days of Shawwāl are equivalent to two months, to complete a full year. ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿUmar (d. 73/693) (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever fasts Ramaḍān and follows it with six [fasts] of Shawwāl, he departs from his sins [and purifies himself] like the day his mother bore him” (al-Muʿjam al-Awsaṭ, 8622).

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

9 Muḥarram 1429 / 17 January 2008