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Fasting / Fasting the six days of Shawwal before making up for missed fasts in Ramadan

Fasting the six days of Shawwal before making up for missed fasts in Ramadan

date de publication : 2014-07-01 | Vues : 4345
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Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. What is the ruling of preceding the fasts to make up make up for missed days in Ramadan by the six days of Shawwal? تقديم صيام الست من شوال قبل القضاء

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.   Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.   As to what follows:   In response to your question, we say:     Allah says, “And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days” [al-Baqarah 2: 185]. Prior to that He stated, “So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]”  [al-Baqarah 2:184]. Thus a person who broke his fast in Ramadan must expiate for it. Is observing an optional fast permissible before making up for a missed compulsory fast? This is a general issue because the issue of fasting the six days of Shawwal before making up for missed fasts in Ramadan falls under this principle. The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible to observe an optional fast before making up for a compulsory fast. However, they differed whereby some of them said that issue is similar because making up for missed fasts is permissible over an extended period, therefore it is allowed to observe an optional fast before a compulsory one, and it is not detestable. The majority of these scholars held that it was detestable to begin with an optional fast before making up for missed fasts because a person should first observe the missed compulsory fasts because they are more binding. A group of scholars were of the opinion that it is not permissible to start with an optional fast before observing the missed compulsory fast. This is the opinion of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him). The majority of the scholars like the Hanafites, the Malikites, and the Shafi’tes are of the opinion that it is permissible to start with an optional fast before a compulsory fast. As for the issue of fasting the six days of Shawwal, it was stated in the hadith that was transmitted in the Sahih of Imam Muslim in the hadith of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) that he narrated: “The Messenger of Allah 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)] Is this hadith contrary to the opinion of the majority of the scholars that it is permissible to start with optional fasting before fasting to make up for missed fasts in Ramadan? A group of scholars held that it is not permissible to start by fasting the six days of Shawwal without making up for the missed fasts in Ramadan, that is, a person will not get the virtue of fasting the six days except after finishing his fasts to make up for the missed fasts in Ramadan. They based their opinion on the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) : “then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal”. This is the opinion of a group of scholars from the Hambalites and Shafi’tes. A group of scholars were of the opinion that the word “then” in the hadith does not denote succession, rather it indicates completing the whole month of Ramadan in fasting and making up for missed fasts, and that what is meant that the six days follow in the completion of the fasting of Ramadan, they follow in the completion of reward, because what is meant by the word “perpetually” in the hadith is a year. Therefore fasting in Ramadan is equivalent to fasting for ten months, and fasting the six days of Shawwal is equivalent  to fasting for two months. Thus in this manner a person will be like he has fasted for a period which makes him attain the reward for a whole year. This why the scholars said, “There is no difference in fasting the six days before observing the fasts to make up for missed fasts, or to make up for the missed days then fasting the six days of Shawwal, because what is required is attained in all the scenarios. Furthermore the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who fasts in Ramadan”, thus the person who fasts for the most part of Ramadan and breaks his fast for some days because of an acceptable reason, he is not described as a person who did not fast in the month of Ramadan. For example, if I fasted in Ramadan, but travelled and broke my fast for two days, is it correct to say that I have fasted Ramadan? Yes, it is correct to say that I have fasted Ramadan, even if some days of making up for missed fasts are due from me. This is not excluded from the description of the Prophet (peace be upon him) where he stated: “He who fasted”. Consequently, what I consider to be the preponderant opinion from these two opinions and closer to the truth is: it is permissible to fast the six days of Shawwal before making up for missed fasts.  In this ruling there is ease for women who mostly need to make up for missed days. There is also ease for people who miss some fasts in Ramadan for some reasons but want to attain the virtue of fasting the six days of Shawwal but have no time to make up for the missed fasts of Ramadan before fasting the six days of Shawwal. However, in terms of advice, I say, “It is better to start by making up for the missed fasts and then to observe the fast for the six days of Shawwal.” However, if someone says, “I like to start by fasting the six days of Shawwal”, then I have no proof which prohibits that. And Allah knows best.    

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