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Fasting / The virtues of fasting six days in Shawwal

The virtues of fasting six days in Shawwal

date de publication : 2014-06-07 | Vues : 3831
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One of the most important issues that people are concerned with nowadays is fasting the six days of Shawwal. Maybe we should talk of the virtues of these six days. Another issue is fasting these days separately. Additionally some women have a problem in that they will still be making up for the missed days of Ramadan, so should they start with these six days or should they first start by making up for the missed days? فضيلة صيام أيام الست من شوال

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.   As to what follows:   In response to your question, we say, and with Allah Almighty lies all success:   Concerning the virtues of fasting the six days of Shawwal, the majority of the scholars are of the opinion that fasting six days after Ramadan is from the things which were recommended by the Prophet (peace be upon him), and this is in the hadeeth that was transmitted by Imam Muslim from the hadeeths of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal. it would be as if he fasted perpetually.”  [Muslim (1164)] And the phrase “as if he fasted perpetually” means “as if he fasted the whole year.” This was also transmitted in Sunan Ibn Majah and other books of hadeeth that the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that thirty days of fasting in Ramadan attain the reward which is equal to fasting for ten months,  and fasting for six days in Shawwal earns the reward which is equivalent to the remainder of the days, because one good deed attains the reward of ten days. This proves that fasting in Ramadan along with six days in Shawwal earns the reward of fasting for a year. Thus the virtues of fasting in these days are established by the Sunnah, and this fast legislated. Some scholars mention that this hadeeth is weak and say, “This hadeeth was not established from the actions of the Prophet (peace be upon him)”. So, I say, “It is not necessary that virtuous deeds should be established by the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) actions. Thus if deeds are established by the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the statements are enough for the establishment of their being from the Sunnah, and their legality.” Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on him) was of the opinion that it is detestable to fast for six days in Shawwal because he did find that in the actions of the people of Madinah but this opinion contradicts what the opinion of the majority of the scholars, and it is contrary to what the hadeeth of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari indicates. As for what has been stated that the hadeeth has a weak isnaad (chain of narrators), and that is the opinion of some scholars of hadeeth, (is not correct) because in reality the hadeeth is in the Saheeh of Imam Muslim and it is authentic. The hadeeth has also been supported by other hadeeths narrated through other paths which strengthen it and back it up. Thus the hadeeth is established in its transmission of the virtues of fasting for six days in Shawwal. The reward for fasting for six days in Shawwal is attained by everyone who fasts those days whether he fasts them separately or consecutively. However, the scholars recommended that fasting in these days should follow Ramadan after ‘Eid al-Fitr, that is, a person should begin his fast on  the day after ‘Eid al-Fitr so that he can really follow the fast of Ramadan in the most proper manner by fasting in Shawwal because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal.” Thus the following up will be in its complete form, that is, he should fast on the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh of Shawwal, and finish his fast on the seventh day of Shawwal. However, if a person fasts separately then there is no problem because there is flexibility in the matter. I indicated that some scholars said that the hadeeth is weak because of the weakness of some of its narrators but the correct opinion is that it has supporting evidence and it was transmitted by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh, and it is known that according to the majority of the scholars of hadeeth, if a hadeeth is transmitted in the Saheeh of Imam Muslim then it is above criticism. There are some hadeeth in Muslim which were criticized but that is a different issue. As far as this hadeeth is concerned; the criticism directed against it is not justified and cannot be upheld. This means that the hadeeth has supporting evidence which strengthens it, thus it is established, and that is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. As for those who say that this fast is not legislated, like I mentioned at the beginning of the session; and this is the view of Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on him) who based that on the fact that this was not the from the actions of the people of Madinah. Presenter:     Was the Prophet (peace be upon him) doing that? Shaykh:       It was not transmitted that the Prophet (peace be upon him) fasted these days, but a statement is sufficient for the establishment of a Sunnah, and it is not necessary that the Prophet (peace be upon him) should have done that deed. Many things have been transmitted through statements and some have transmitted through actions. Statements and actions are all Sunnahs of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and they all fall under Allah’s statement which states, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad [peace be upon him]) you have a good example to follow” [Al-Ahzab 33: 21] Therefore it is not necessary for a Sunnah to be established by action. There remains the issue of making up for missed fasts in Ramadan; is it a condition to fast all the missed days of Ramadan before fasting the six days of Shawwal? This question is asked many times especially by women, and the reason for that is that women menstruate and miss some days of fasting. Regardless of the reasons for breaking the fast; the scholars have two opinions on this issue.  The issue of starting by making up for the missed fasts in Ramadan before fasting the six days of Shawwal; is it conditional for the attainment of the virtues of the six days that a person should have finished the fast of Ramadan by fasting the days at their time and also making up for missed days? Undoubtedly a person should have fasted the days of Ramadan at their due time. As for making up the missed days of Ramadan; the scholars have two opinions: There are scholars who said, “A person should have finished fasting the whole month of Ramadan because of the hadeeth which states, “He who observed the fast Ramadan”. So he who has some days of Ramadan due from him then he has not fasted Ramadan in full, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) attached the virtues on fasting Ramadan and following it up with six days in Shawwal. Thus, based on this a person should fast Ramadan first, start with by making up for the missed days, and then fasting the six days of Shawwal. Some sisters may say, “I have a valid excuse for not fasting for the whole month”, like if she is experiencing post-partum bleeding, for example. In this condition what should she do? Based on this view, the scholars say, “She must make up for the missed fasts, and then when she has finished she may fast the six days, even if she is in Thul Qa’dah  because she has a valid excuse and could not perform this Sunnah in Shawwal, because she was occupied with fasting to make up for missed fasts.  This is the first opinion on the issue. The second opinion: it is permissible to begin fasting the six days of Shawwal before finishing making up for missed days. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who observes the fast in Ramadan, then follows it with a six days (fast) in Shawwal”. Thus such a person would have fasted in Ramadan. For example, if a person fasts for twenty-five days, and breaks his fast for five days because of a valid reason, will such a person not have fasted in Ramadan? Yes such a person is described as having fasted in Ramadan.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not say, “He who observes the fast for the whole month of Ramadan and did not leave out any day from the month”, but he said, “He who observed fasting in Ramadan”. Thus this is realized by everyone who fasted in Ramadan, and even if a person broke his fast for some days for no valid excuse, he will attain this virtue. Thus based this, for the one to get the virtues of the six days, it is not necessary that a person should make up  for the missed days of Ramadan first. The preponderant opinion in this issue is the second opinion, that the virtues are attained by anyone who fasts the six days even if he still has to make up for missed days in Ramadan, that is, even if he delays in making up for the missed days of Ramadan. This is the opinion which is closer to the truth among the two opinions.  There is difference of opinion in the issue as I have stated, and the difference of opinion was there originally before this issue and it concerns the question: is it permissible to perform a voluntary act of worship before making up for a missed compulsory deeds? This is the original issue from which the issue under discussion emanated; the issue of fasting the six days of Shawwal. If we say that it is permissible to let a voluntary act of worship precede making up for a missed compulsory act of worship, as is the opinion of the majority of the scholars, then is it conditional for one to acquire the virtues of fasting the six days of Shawwal that one should first make up the missed fasts of Ramadan? There are two opinions in the issue, and the correct opinion is that it is permissible to fast the six days of Shawwal before making up for the missed days of Ramadan. However, I advice my brothers that they  should first make up  for the missed fasts of Ramadan, and that is more appropriate and better, because it is more absolving of the self from obligation and quicker in freeing it from obligation, and better in realizing the virtues mentioned in the hadeeth.   Thus in short: it is permissible to begin by fasting the six days of Shawwal before making up for missed fasts in Ramadan, according to the preponderant opinion from the two opinions of the scholars in the issue  of attaining the virtues of fasting the six days of Shawwal

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