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FASTING SIX DAYS OF SHAWWAL (Sittu

Min Shawwal)
Shawwal is the tenth month in the lunar calendar, as mentioned earlier. The first
of Shawwal is Eidul Fitr. After the festivity of Eid it is recommended to observe six days of fast.
This fast may be observed continuously non-break, or it may be observed one day at a time. If
you observe it continuously, you may start on the fourth day and end on the ninth of
day Shawwal, or you may select days at random, provided you complete six days before the end
of Shawwal. For instance, you may observe the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, 14th and 15th days.
Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (raa) related the Messenger of Allah, (saas), said:
"Whoever observes the Ramadan fast and follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it is as if
he has fasted Dahr (the whole year)." (Bukhari) It has been mentioned earlier that Dahr means
the whole year. Possibly it may also mean forever, or for life.
Analyzing this hadith, our jurists (`Ulama) explained how according to this hadith, a Muslim
who fasts during Ramadan every year and follows it with six days fast of Shawwal, will be
credited for fasting a whole lifetime. The Jurists correctly said: a good deed (hasanah) is
rewarded a minimum of ten times its equivalent. It follows, then, that one Ramadan is equivalent
to ten months of fasting, and the clincher, six days, is equal to two months, (6x10=60). That
undoubtedly completes the year's twelve months. Thus, we see the wisdom and the reason why
the Prophet (saas) mentioned six days after Ramadan in Shawwal, not five or seven.

Fasting in the Month of Shawwal

Allah (`azza wa jall) says in the Quran, "Say (O Muhammad): If you (really) love Allah
then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving,
Most Merciful."
[surah ali-Imran, 3: 31]

This is a beautiful verse, named by some of the salaf as "the verse of the test", as it tests
how true ones love of Allaah is. They explained that if one loves Allah, then he must show
that in his/her following of the Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). The verse
tells us that those who follow the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) if sincere, can
insha'Allah expect the following two:

Allah (ta`ala) loving them

Allah (ta`ala) forgiving their sins.

One of the ways to manifest our loving of Allah, by following the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi
wasalam) is to do those acts that he (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) advised his Companions,
and the Ummah in general, to do. A sunnah which is certainly relevant to us in these days is
his(salAllahu alayhi wasalam) practice to fast six days in the month of Shawwal.
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari narrated that Allahs Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: "He
who fasts Ramadan, and six of Shawwal, it will be (in terms of rewards) as if the fasted a
whole year."
[Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Ibn Majah]
So this is an established sunnah, which carries a great reward.
In commenting on the above mentioned hadith, As-San'ani said in Subul us-Salam: "If the
thirty days of Ramadan fasting are assimilated with the six days of fasting in Shawwal, it
altogether makes 36 days. According to Shari`ah, each virtue is rewarded ten times.
Therefore, if we multiply 36 with 10, it makes 360, a number which equals the days of a
year. Some scholars are of the opinion that these six days of fasting in Shawwal must be
completed in a continuous order right after the end of Ramadan. Others believe that is
enough to merely complete six days of fasting in Shawwal (in any order, either successive
or with intervals), an opinion which is deemed to be correct." We may also fast on Mondays
and Thursdays, as in that case we would be following another Sunnah: Aisha (radiAllahu
anha) narrated: "The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) used to fast Mondays
and Thursdays".
[an-Nasa'i]
If it is easier for one to fast on weekends, then in that case one would still be following
another sunnah at the same time: Umm Salama (radiAllahu anha)narrated that Allahs
Messenger used to fast mostly on Saturday and Sunday, and he used to say: "They are the
festival days for the mushrikeen, and I like to act contrary to them."
[an-Nasai, Ibn Khuzaymah, who graded it saheeh, and Ibn Hajar agreed]

What is the significance of fasting in the


month of Shawwal?
http://www.islamonline.net/
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, states the
following:
Fasting six days of the month of Shawwal is mentioned in a Prophetic hadith. The Prophet
(peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: "Whosoever fasted in Ramadan and
then followed up with six fasts days of Shawwal, it is like fasting every day." (Reported by
Muslim)
The meaning is that the reward is like the reward of a person who is always in fast every day of
his/her life.
It is highly recommended to fast six days of the month of Shawwal, but it is not obligatory.
Those who want to fast can fast after `Eid Al-Fitr any six days during Shawwal.
It is not required to fast six days continuously without any interruption. One can fast according
to convenience any time during the month.

Double Intention in Shawwal Fasting


http://www.islamonline.net/
Name of Questioner

Malik

Title

Double Intention in Shawwal Fasting

Question

I missed six days of fasting in Ramadan. Is it lawful to fast six days


of Shawwal intending both to make up for these missed days and to
get the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal recommended by
the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)?

Date

09/Nov/2005

Name of Mufti

`Atiyyah Saqr

Topic

Kinds of Fasting

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.


All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear questioner, we are greatly pleased to receive your question which shows the confidence
you place in us. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing the teachings of
Islam.
There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, in making a double intention by fasting the
missed days of obligatory fasting in Ramadan as well as fasting the optional six days of
Shawwal. However, some Muslim jurists state that it is recommended to make up for the missed
fasts separately from fasting the six days of Shawwal so as to get extra reward.
In his response to the question, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa
Committee, states the following:
A person who has missed days of fasting in Ramadan may fast the optional six days of Shawwal
with the intention of both making up for these missed days and observing the optional fasting of
six days of Shawwal. He or she will then get double benefit simultaneously: making up for the
missed days and getting the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal, for it is established in
Islam that one's acts are judged by one's intentions.

However, it is recommended that one makes up for the missed fasts separately from fasting the
six days of Shawwal [so as to get extra reward].
However, the Shafi`i scholars maintain that when one makes up for the missed fasts of Ramadan
in Shawwal, one also gets the reward of fasting the optional six days of Shawwal even if one has
not intended to fast those six days principally; yet the reward of fasting the six days here will be
less than if one has intended to fast them from the beginning.
According to Ash-Sharqawi `Ala At-Tahrir by Sheikh Zakariyah Al-Ansari, (vol. 1, p. 427) when
a Muslim makes up for missed fasts of Ramadan in Shawwal or fasts some days he or she has
vowed to observe in Shawwal, or even offers optional fasting in Shawwal other than fasting the
six days recommended to be observed in Shawwal, he or she will get also the reward of fasting
the six days of Shawwal. This is because the point is to fast any six days of Shawwal following
the fast of Ramadan. But one then will not get the whole reward of principally intending to fast
the six days of Shawwal specifically. It is to be noted that this does not apply to the person who
has missed fasting the whole month of Ramadan and made up for it in Shawwal for he or she
then does not fall under the category the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) referred to
in the hadith: Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan, and then follows it by (fasting) six
days of Shawwal, it is as though he has fasted the whole year.
This is parallel to the juristic point of view regarding the recommendation of greeting the
mosque when entering it by offering two rak`ahs before sitting. This recommendation is
accomplished any time one enters a mosque and prays two rak`ahs, whether one intends merely
to perform the prescribed prayer or any two supererogatory rak`ahs, for the point here is to offer
a prayer before sitting in the mosque, and this is fulfilled by observing the prescribed prayer or
the supererogatory one.
According to the author of Al-Bahgah, one gets the reward of greeting the mosque by offering
any prayer before sitting, even if one has not intended that this prayer be for greeting the
mosque.
But it is to be borne in mind that one in this case does not deny having the intention of greeting
the mosque.
Based on the above, it is permissible for one to fast six days of Shawwal intending
simultaneously both to make up for the fasts one has missed in Ramadan and to offer the
recommended fasting of six days in Shawwal, especially if one is interested in getting the reward
of fasting the six days of Shawwal with making up for the missed fasts of Ramadan but finds it
exhausting to do both separately.
Besides, if one in this case intends only to make up for the missed Ramadan fasts in Shawwal
(and it happens that these days are six or more), one will get also the reward of fasting the six
days of Shawwal. The supererogatory act of fasting the six days of Shawwal here is subcategorized under the obligation of making up for the missed fasts of Ramadan. This is an
alleviation reasoned by jurists, and hence, there is no need for adopting a view of a certain
school in this regard and judging the other views as wrong.

The wisdom behind recommending fasting six days of Shawwal following a whole month of
fasting in Ramadan is that Muslims gradually shift from a state of abstaining from food or other
desires for a long hours on successive days to a state of eating food and satisfying the other
worldly lawful desires whenever one wants. A sudden shift in this case may harm a person's
health.

Why the Six Days of Shawwal are Called


White Days?
http://www.islamonline.net/
Question and Answer
Details

Name of Questioner

Hudhaifah

Title

Why the Six Days of Shawwal are Called White Days

Question

Dear Sheikh! Kindly explain to me the reason for naming the six
days of Shawwal white days as common among people.

Date

07/Nov/2005

Name of Mufti

`Atiyyah Saqr

Topic

Kinds of Fasting

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.


All thanks and praise are due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear questioner, we would like first to show our deep appreciation for your good question that
comes on time. In fact, we are commanded to try our best to draw nearer to Allah and seek His
forgiveness at all times.
As regards your question, we would like to cite for you the fatwa issued by Sheikh `Atiyyah
Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, who states:
The white days do exist in every lunar month; such days occur when the moon appears all the
night; hence the name relates to the appearance of moon all the night and the sun all the day;
they include the 13th , the 14th , and the 15th days of every lunar month. (So they are 3 days, not
six as common).
It is also said that they are given this name because Almighty Allah granted Adam forgiveness
and whitened his Book of Deeds (purged it of sins) during these days. It has also been reported
that when Adam came down to earth, his skin became black and thus Almighty Allah
commanded him to fast for these days. When he finished the first day of fasting one third of his
skin became white and by the lapse of the third day, his body became totally white. However,
this narration is known to be incorrect and falsified.
Anyhow, Islam makes it recommended for Muslims to fast for these three days. Ibn `Abbas is
quoted as saying: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was of the habit of fasting the
white days while resident or on journey. Hafsah is also reported as having said: There are four
things the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never abandoned; fasting the day of
`Ashoura, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja, three days of every month and the two rak`as of
Dhuha. (Reported by Ahmad)
Az-Zurqani said: The wisdom behind these three days is that they fall in the middle of the
month and the lunar eclipse most likely occurs during them. Once this occurs, there will be great
reward for the person, for in such a case he will be fasting and performing many other acts of
worship. This is as regard the known 3 days that are recommended for fasting.
Now to the six days of the month of Shawwal. These days cannot be called white days. In
addition, it is merely recommended, and not obligatory, to spend these days in fasting. It is
reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: He who fasts the month of

Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, will be rewarded as if fasting for the
whole year. (Reported by Muslim)
It is also allowable for any Muslim who has to make up for missed days of Ramadan to have two
intentions; one for making up for the days he/she missed and the other for fasting the six days of
Shawwal. However, if he made the two types of fasting in separate days, this will be better.
Based on this, it is permitted for a person who finds it more difficult to make up for the missed
days of Ramadan and fast the six days to have two intentions for both acts and perform them in
the same number of days. He can also intend making up for the missed days and later perform
the Sunnah fast for six days.