The Spiritual Value of Six Days Fasting During Shawwal

By Rola Abou Alouf | 15, Apr, 2024
The Spiritual Value of Six Days Fasting During Shawwal

We are now officially past the month of Ramadan, and we hope that during the month, every dua and prayer that we make will be a blessing for us during life and hereafter. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is obligatory for all able-bodied Muslims, and it is one of the five pillars of Islam. However, there is also a fast after the month of Ramadan that is equally important and rewarding to do. Muslims have the option of fasting for six days during the month of Shawwal. This practice is known as the "Six Days of Shawwal" fast.

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What are the Six Days of Shawwal?

Shawwal is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, following Ramadan. The Six Days of Shawwal fast refers to fasting for six days during Shawwal after Eid al-Fitr.

 

The importance of fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal

Fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal is not obligatory but highly recommended in Islam. Fasting the six days of the month of Shawwal has many great rewards.

عَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ الدَّهْرِ صحيح مسلم كتاب الصيام باب استحباب صوم ستة أيام من شوال إتباعا لرمضان

Fasting the month of Ramadan, then following it with fasting six days of Shawwal is equal to fasting the whole year as the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him), said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted for eternity.” This hadith is the best answer to what is after Ramadan.

 

When should you do the Six Days of Shawwal fasts of 2024?

It is better to fast at the beginning of the month of Shawwal, after the 1st day of Shawwal. The 1st day of Shawwal is Eid al-Fitr, and it is forbidden to fast on that day. You can fast for six consecutive days or spread the fasts out throughout the month of Shawwal. Depending on the moonsighting for Eid al-Fitr, the 6 days you can fast in the month of Shawwal will be from around the 11th of April to the 8th of May. Doing the fast after Eid could also help us to make intermittent fasting, such as fasting on Mondays and Thursdays or fasting on the three white days of the month (13th, 14th, and 15th), a personal habit.

 

The benefits of fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal

Fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal has numerous benefits, including:

a. Increased reward

As mentioned in the previous section, fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal is equivalent to fasting for a lifetime. This means that the reward for fasting these six days is immense.

b. Physical benefits

Fasting has numerous physical benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation. Fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal can benefit those who fast.

c. Spiritual benefits

Fasting is not just about abstaining from food and drink. It is also about increasing one's spirituality and connection with Allah. Fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal can help individuals strengthen their relationship with Allah and increase their spirituality.

 

FAQs

1. Can pregnant or breastfeeding women fast on the Six Days of Shawwal?

They should consult with their doctor and prioritize their and their baby's health.

2. How does fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal differ from Ramadan?

Fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal is voluntary, while fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for all able-bodied Muslims. Additionally, the duration of the fast is shorter, as it is only six days compared to the month-long fast during Ramadan.

3. What are some tips for fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal?

Some tips for fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal include staying hydrated, eating a balanced and healthy diet during non-fasting hours, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive physical activity during fasting hours.

4. How can I make the most out of fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal?

To make the most out of fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal, individuals can focus on increasing their spirituality and connection with Allah, performing additional voluntary prayers and reading Quran during non-fasting hours, and performing good deeds and acts of charity.

 

Final Words

In conclusion, fasting on the Six Days of Shawwal is a highly recommended voluntary fast in Islam. It has numerous benefits, including increased rewards, physical benefits, spiritual benefits, and an opportunity for redemption. While fasting, it is important to prioritize one's health and listen to one's body. By gradually preparing for the fast and following tips for fasting, individuals can make the most out of this voluntary act of worship.

 

Cover Image Credit: AmirHadi Manavi on Unsplash

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