In today’s day and age everything is fast. Especially in internet time, it has already been like, three years since my final Ramadan post. And I know, now that Ramadan and Eid are over, y’all have probably settled back into life, work, and routine and have plenty going on right now; you probably don’t want to hear any more about fasting until next Ramadan comes around!
But today I just wanted to share a little reminder, that we are still in the month of Shawwal.
“Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” Narrated in Muslim
It is also narrated that the Prophet (saws) said that you earn ten times the reward in Ramadan, so one month of fasting is like ten, and the six days of Shawwal complete the year.
My first year fasting I did not end up completing all six days (that I remember), and my second year fasting I just was too lazy to even try. This year, however, I am going for it in shaa Allah! I don’t have kids or a job to work around, so why would I not try to grab the reward of extra fasts after Ramadan? And you know me, I don’t like earning reward without the rest of y’all, so I hope some of you will decide to try it with me!
For us sisters (or brothers who may have been ill or travelling during Ramadan), there is the question of making up missed fasts. Do we have to do our missed obligatory fasts from Ramadan first, or can we reap the benefits of fasting six days of Shawwal, and make up our Ramadan fasts later?
From the research I have done into the topic, there are a couple differences of opinions. The Hanbali school of thought seems to be the only of the major four that outright says that you absolutely must make up your Ramadan fasts before you can complete any sunnah fasts, i.e. six days of Shawwal. The other three (and someone do correct me if I’m misinformed), have various opinions on which should be done first, but they all hold that it is permissible to do it either way.
If you’re not a Hanbali, I would say leave it up to your individual circumstances. Obviously, it is always better to complete something obligatory before moving onto something extra, but if it would be extra difficult for you to finish all of your Ramadan fasts and then do another six days, well, your body and your family have rights over you too!
For me personally, I would usually prefer to do my Ramadan fasts, then do the Shawwal ones (how awesome would that feel to have everything done and out of the way a full 11 months before next Ramadan!?). This year, however, I had to leave off of fasting twice. This means that I would be making up roughly two weeks of fasting, and adding another six days basically makes it a full extra month. And with my current circumstances surrounding living situation and travel and whatnot, that would honestly be an extra burden on both me and my husband.
So this year I am going to try to do the six days of Shawwal first (they can be consecutive or on different days throughout the month, whatever works for you), and then take care of my Ramadan fasts as my circumstances permit, in shaa Allah.
So, who is with me? Let me know in the comments if you are doing the six days of Shawwal, or if you already finished them! In shaa Allah we can do it together!