All About The Month of Shawwal

Ramadan has come to an end, but what next?

Hazrat Abî Ayyub Radiallâhu anhu relates that Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said: “Whoever fasted the full month of Ramadhân and then follows it with six soum[fasts] of Shawwâl, is like the person who has fasted the full year.” (Sahih Muslim)

In another Hadîth it is related that by observing these six fasts after Ramadhân all defaults and sins are forgiven. The reward of every good deed is tenfold or more. The thawâb of the month of Ramadhân is equal to that of ten months and that of this six voluntary siyam are equal to that of the remaining two months to complete the full year. These fast could be kept continuously after Eid-ul‑Fitr or separately during the month of Shawwâl.

The Significance of Shawwal

Shawwal is the tenth lunar month. During the period of ignorance Ramadhân was regarded as a blessed and sacred month. Shawwal was regarded as a cursed month and a month of ill‑omen. The people of that time never married during Shawwal. Due to this Hazrat Ayesha Radiallâhu anha expressed disappointment of the people to consider this month to be inauspicious, as she was married to Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam in this very month. The wrong beliefs of the people was clearly disproven by Hazrat Ayesha Radiallâhu anha by her marriage to Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam in the month of Shawwal which was no obstruction to her elevated position and great love Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam had for her.

To a Muslim the first day of the month of Shawwal, is of very great significance, as this is the day of Eid. On this significant day Allâh showers His glorious rewards of blessings and forgiveness to His servants who have fasted during the month of Ramadhân. It is related from Hazrat Anâs Radiallâhu anhu that Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said: “When the day of Eid appears, Allâh proudly asks in the presence of the Angels regarding his fasting servants: ‘O My Angels, what return is there for such labourers who have fully completed their duty?’ The Angels reply, ‘O Rabb they should be rewarded in full,’ then Allâh asks the Angels, ‘O My Angels what is the reward for those male and female servants who have fulfilled My divine command which was compulsory upon them, and now they have come out to beseech Me in Du’â?’ Allâh swears, ‘I take oath upon My grandeur and glory, My generosity and exaltation of My elevated position, that I will definitely accept their Du’âs.’ Thereafter Allâh says: ‘Disperse, I have forgiven you and replaced your sins with good deeds.’ Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam says they return forgiven.’”

Virtues of Fasting in Shawwal

Maintaining Soum in Shawwal is Nafl (Mustahab). Since the Sunnah of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ contains the best code of action for the believers, therefore, fasting in 6 days of Shawwal must also lead to one`s moral development. Some of the potential virtues of this act are described as under:

  1. First of all, every extra noble effort made in the way of Allah SWT brings one closer to Him, which ultimately results in purification of heart and soul.

fasting in shawal
“O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means [of nearness] to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed.” [Quran, 5: 35]

This Ayah Kareema clearly explains the value of availing the opportunity of carrying out every dignified attempt to come nearer to the Almighty Lord. Fasting in Shawwal is also one of those noble deeds making one come closer to the Almighty Lord resulting in achievement in both worlds.

  1. It shows the positive effects that fasting in Ramadan has on an individual. After a month long struggle of hunger and thirst for the Most Beneficent, returning to the same routine after Eid tells that the person has succeeded in its effort during Ramadan and is on the right path.

  2. Fasting in 6 days of Shawaal after having celebrated Eid ul-Fitr for three consecutive days demonstrates that a believer is humble and highly grateful to Allah SWT for all the blessings received during the festival.

“… Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [Quran, 2: 185]

This is a part of a Quranic Verse which is a continuation of Allahs command on fasting in Ramadan. In the end, the Gracious God directs everyone to be thankful to Him. This is the exact achievement that one unlocks by fasting in 6 days of Shawaal.
<h3>Benefits of Fasting in Shawaal</h3>
<strong>Some of the advantages of the act of Soum in six days of </strong>Shawaal<strong> after Ramadan include:</strong>
<ul>
<li>It will compensate for one
s lacking in compulsory Fasting on the Day of Judgment. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said:

“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.” (Abu Dawud)

It means that by fasting in Shawaal for only 6 days can make it up for any kind of deficiency done during Ramadan as it is Nafl action which is also dear to Allah SWT.

  • Thawban (R.A) reported the Messenger ﷺ saying as:

“Whoever fasts Ramadan, and then six days after Eid, it is [like fasting] an entire year. Whoever does a good deed shall have ten times its reward.” (Ibn Majah)

This Hadith suggests that one is able to earn as much as ten times of reward through fasting in Shawaal after Ramadan.

  • Narrated by Abu Hurrairah (R.A):

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, though there is good in both. Be avid for that which benefits you. Rely on Allah and do not deem yourself incapable…” (Muslim)

Thus, by fasting in 6 days of Shawaal 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.

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