Why You Should Fast 6 Days in the Month of Shawwal
With the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, we have welcomed Eid al-Fitr with joy and food! While we took the opportunity to perform extra good deeds to earn maximum rewards from Allah in the month of Ramadan, why not continue the practices in the months after, like fasting 6 days in the month of Shawwal?
Fasting for 6 days in the months of Shawwal is not obligatory, but it is encouraged as there is immense reward for doing so.
Abu Ayub narrated – The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan, then follows it with six from Shawwal, will be (rewarded) as if he had fasted the entire year.”
Mufti Menk, the Muslim cleric and Grand Mufti of Zimbabwe preached about fasting 6 days in Shawwal:
“If you want the reward of having fasted the whole year, you need to fast 6 more voluntary days that do not need to be consecutive, but in the month of Shawwal,” he said.
But how is it that we will achieve the reward of fasting for the whole year?
“It is explained quite simply that in Islam, when you do a good deed, if you follow it through with goodness, it is multiplied by 10,” he added.
One month of Ramadan – multiply it by 10, you’ll get 10 months. There are 2 months left to make up a whole year. If you fast for 6 days, 6 multiplied by 10 equals to 60 days, or 2 months. There you have it, a whole year.
“That is the idea of fasting in the month of Shawwal. I encourage you, although it is not compulsory, I encourage you brothers and sisters, let us make effort in our lives for those 6 days after the day of Eid.
“If we do it more collectively with a few more people, it becomes much easier than to do it individually.
“Whenever we do an act of worship even if it is salah or the recitation of Quran or anything, when we are alone, sometimes we find it a little bit more difficult. The minute we see others doing the same, it becomes easier,” he said.
Another reason why it is encouraged to fast 6 days of Shawwal is that it makes up for any shortcomings in a person’s obligatory Ramadan fast. No one is free of sins that may have a negative effect on fasting.
On the Day of Resurrection, a person’s nafl deeds will be taken to makeup the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds.
It was narrated by Abu Dawud:
“The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (nafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.”
Verily, Allah SWT knows best.