Six fasts in the month of Shawwāl.

Abū Ayyūb Al-Ansārī radhiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,


“If anyone keeps the fasts of Ramaḍān and follows them up with six fasts in Shawwāl, then it is like a year’s fasting.” (Muslim)

 Allāh ta‘ālā mentions in the Glorious Qur'ān:

“Whoever brings a good deed shall get ten-fold the like of it.” (6:160)

Therefore, the fasts of Ramaḍān equate to 300 days, as 30 [fasts] x 10= 300 days, which is equal to 10 months. Then, by fasting the extra six days, one receives the reward of another 60 days as 6 [fasts of Shawwāl] x 10= 60, which is equal to 2 months. So, one earns the reward for fasting the entire year.

Note: These fasts can be kept after the day of 'Īd. It is also not necessary to keep them consecutively. They can be kept at any time during the month of Shawwāl. However, it is advisable to keep them immediately after the day of 'Īd as one will already be in the rhythm of fasting, thus, it will be easier. 

The Month of Sha‘bān

Sha‘bān, the eighth Islamic month is a month of virtues, blessings and greatness. It is due to this virtue and greatness that the Prophet s has emphasised its importance in the Ahādeeth.

Usāmah t asked, "O Rasūlullāh s I do not see you fasting in any month as much as in Sha‘bān.” He replied, “It is a month people are negligent of between Rajab and Ramadhān. It is a month in which deeds are raised towards the Lord of the worlds. Therefore, I like my deeds to be raised whilst I am fasting."

(Nasa’ī)

‘Ā’ishah t narrates, "…I never saw Rasūlullāh s fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadhān and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha‘bān."

(Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, Nasa’ī) ‘Ā’ishah t narrates, "Rasūlullāh s used to fast the (whole) month of Sha‘bān except for a few days."

(Nasa’ī) Fifteenth of Sha‘bān

Amongst the days and nights of Sha‘bān, there is one night called Laylat-al-Barā’at or Shabe Barā’at, a night known for its great blessings and merits. Abū Mūsā Al-Ash'arī t narrates that the Messenger of Allāh s said, "In the fifteenth night of Sha'bān, Allāh S manifests and forgives all His creation except for the Mushrik (idolater) and the spiteful."

(Ibn Mājah)

The Fast of the Fifteenth

The fast of the 15th of Sha'bān cannot be termed as Sunnah or Mustahab. However, the fast could be kept without taking it as a Sunnah or Mustahab considering that: a) The fasts of the first half of Sha'bān have special merits as can be seen from the practice of the

Rasoolullah s. b) The virtues of the fasts of Ayyām-al-Bīdh (i.e. 13th, 14th and 15th of the Islamic month) have been mentioned in the ahādeeth.

 

Recommended Deeds

(1) It is desirable that one fasts in the month of Sha‘bān as much as one can. However, if fasting in Sha‘bān is going to affect the fasting of Ramadhān then one should refrain from it.

 

(2) Salāh should be performed in Jamā‘ah (congregation) everyday, However, on this auspicious night, one must participate with special care in the Maghrib, ‘Ishā and Fajr Salāh. (3) Spend as much time of the night as possible in worship individually. One may engage in dhikr, recitation of the Qur’ān, salāh, learning and teaching or any other form of ‘ibādah. However, one must refrain from worldly talk and futile activities. If one cannot do 'ibādah then at least refrain from all types of sins.

One must strive to attain the full blessings and benefits of this night and refrain in particular from all those practices which have no basis in the Qur’ān and Sunnah. Indeed, this night is a great favour of Allāh S for the believers.

May Allāh S guide us all on the straight path and enlighten us with the blessings of this sacred month and its blessed night. Āmeen.

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