Fasting in the month of Shawal

Fasting in Shawal:

Fasting in the month of shawal is one of the most important acts of worship and it’s a great opportunity to get closer to Allah. An observant of fast will get multiple rewards without measure for fasting from Allah (SWT). It’s a unique moral and spiritual characteristic of Islam. Literally defined, fasting means to abstain “completely” from foods, drinks, intimate intercourse and smoking, before the break of the dawn till sunset. But if we restrict the meaning of the Islamic fasting to this literal sense, we would be sadly mistaken.  Here we’re going to discuss about how we can more reward by fasting in the month of shawal.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” (Sahih Bukhari)

Great Prophet (PBUH) said,

“Fasting is a protection and a strong fortress against the Fire.”

Types of fasting:

  1. Fardh   
  2. Nafl
  3. Wajib

FARDH:

 Fardh is obligatory. It’s the fast what is required by Allah (SWT) to us, leaving it is a sin and we will be held accountable for it. This includes the fasts of the whole month of Ramadan.

WAJIB:

The fast actually wasn’t mandatory, but a believer made it mandatory upon him is called Wajib (Penalty) fast. It may become wajib upon someone as a result of a vow. When a Muslim vows to Allah (SWT) that if Allah fulfils his/her certain desire he/she would observe fasts for so many days. When his/her wish is fulfilled, fasting becomes Wajib (obligatory) upon him/her.

NAFL:

Nafl means extra, what is not obligatory. But it is voluntary or optional. Nafl it is not required by Allah (SWT). Muslims are not sinful for neglecting Nafl, but they are rewarded for doing it. It is always compensating to fast any day of any month of the year except the prohibited (five) days (fasting on the day of Eid-ul Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha and the eleventh, twelfth, and the thirteenth days of Zil Hijjah, the 12th month of lunar calendar.

Shawal rewards:

The celebration of the month of Ramadan does not mean that the end of what we have worshiped and done good deeds during the glorious month, but more importantly it’s continuity in the coming month throughout the whole year.

 

Fasting for six days during Shawal is a Sunnah and is not Fardh (obligatory). However, the virtues and the advantages of these six fasts are very large and special.

Permanent Reward for the whole year:

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) promises: forgiveness of past sins whoever fast during the whole month of Ramadan. After Ramadan, completing a six-day fast in the month of Shawwal is the same as fasting a whole year. As narrated by Abu Ayyub (R.A.), Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:

“Whoever fasts Ramadan, then follows it with six from Shawwal, then that is (equal in reward) to fasting every day.” 

(Tirmidhi 759)

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) explains that: The fast of six days in the month of Shawwal, the reward is just like a full year of fasting with one condition, we have completed fasting a month of Ramadan. As mentioned above, fasting in the month of shawal is Sunnah and not Fardh but we should not forget about the following Hadith.

As Narrated by Anas bin Malik,

“The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said to me: ‘Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise.'” (Tirmidhi 2678)

According to the hadith, we will be reviving one of our Prophet’s (S.A.W) Sunnah, by observing the fast for six days in the month of shawal. So the reward from Allah will be unlimited and we will be with our beloved Prophet (S.A.W.) in paradise, our ultimate goal/destination.

Conclusion:

Thus, by fasting in the month of Shawal which is a sign that one has increased faith in its heart than normal Muslims, it proves that this act results in attaining the Love of the Most Merciful and becoming prominent in front of Him.

In short, fasting in six days after Eid-ul-Fitr is an exceedingly blessed action that is not to be taken lightly. Although it is Sunnah Mustahab, yet it comes up with fulfillment of high morals of virtue and renders countless gains for a believer.