After the month of Ramadan has passed and the festivities of Eid al Fitr have come to an end, it is time for Muslims to step into Shawwal. Habitual of excellent deeds done during Ramadan, we steadily tread into Shawwal, resolving to hold on to our Ramadan mode for the longest possible time. The month of Shawwal is full of opportunity for the believers. It holds the golden key to fasting for an entire year. Think about it – would you be able to fast for an entire year? You wouldn’t! It is practically not possible. Fasting for 365 days would make you fall ill and deprive you of physical strength.
But what if there was a shortcut? What if Allah promised you the rewards of a year of fasting without actually doing it? This is where the virtues of Shawwal come into action.
Hadith about Fasting in Shawwal
Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.”
(Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Whoever fasts for six days after Eid al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).” According to another report: “Allaah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.”
(al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/421)
More benefits of fasting in Shawwal
There is a very interesting ruling in Islam – if you lag somewhere in your obligatory worship, your voluntary or Sunnah worship will come to your rescue.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) says:
“The first thing for which people will be answerable for 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.”
Narrated by Abu Dawud
The interesting fact is that this hadith does not limit itself to Salah. It extends to other obligatory deeds as well – including fasting. For those who have never fasted in their lives, here is Allah giving you a golden chance to make up.
Would you miss this opportunity?