Six Fasts of Shawwal
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ has said:
“Whoever observes the fasts of the Month of Ramadhan thereafter he follows them up with six days in Shawwal, it is though he fasted the whole year” [Sahih Muslim, #1164].
It is Mustahabb (optional, yet recommended) to fast six days in the month of Shawwal.
The fast of these six days can be done consecutively or on any six days throughout the month, apart from the 1 st of Shawwal which is the day of Eid al-Fitr.
The fasts of Ramadhan are Fardh. Therefore, if anyone missed fasts during Ramadhan, they would have to do Qadha of it. The six fasts of Shawwal are Mustahabb. The optional fasts of Shawwal cannot compensate for the missed obligatory fasts of Ramadhan. If someone makes intention of keeping Qadha fasts of Ramadhan in Shawwal, then only the Qadha fasts will be fulfilled.
It is permissible to fast the six days of Shawwal before making up for the missed Ramadhan fasts, yet it is better to prioritize the Qadha.
One method of fasting these six days is to divide the six days over the Mondays, Thursdays or the middle three days of the month. In Shaa’Allah, in this way the person will receive the extra reward for fasting on a Monday, Thursday or one of the White Days.
Sayyiduna Qatadah ibn Malhan رضى الله عنه reports: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to command us to fast the white (nights): thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of the month. He said: This is like keeping perpetual fast.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, #2449].
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Deeds are presented on Monday and Thursday, and I love thatmy deeds be presented while I am fasting.” [Jami’ Tirmidhi, #747].
By Mawlana Mushtaq Shaikh