What We Need to Know about the Six Fasts of Shawwal

As Ramadan departs, we all are encouraged to extend the momentum by observing the six fasts of Shawwal.
The famous Hadith in Sahih Muslim states:
“Whoever observes the fast of Ramadan and follows it up with six fasts in Shawwal will be rewarded as if he has fasted the entire year”
Commentary
The Commentators have explained that since every deed is multiplied ten times, by fasting in Ramadan we are actually rewarded for 300 days and not just the 30 in Ramadan. Therefore if we follow that up with six more we will be rewarded for sixty thereby attaining the reward of fasting for 360 days.
 
An Interesting query
The question arises: The promise of Allah Ta’ala (in Surah: Al-An’am, Ayah: 160) to multiply the rewards of all deeds by at least ten applies throughout the year. Hence if someone observes six more fasts in any other month besides Shawwal, he should be attaining the reward of those additional sixty days too. So why does the Hadith specify the month of Shawwal for these additional fasts?
The general Hadith commentators have said that the reason for this is:
(1) So that a Muslim does not delay in accruing this grand reward.
(2) Another reason is that it is indeed easier for people to fast these six days immediately after Ramadan.
(3) Some have said that these fasts are to make up for the deficiencies in our Ramadan fasts.
(Al-Mufhim, vol. 3 pg. 238; Fathul Mulhim, vol. 5 pg. 328-Dar al-Qalam and Mirqat, vol. 4 pg. 477)
 
A Different Perspective
Some Scholars have actually given a different perspective to this.
(4) Hafiz Ibn Rajab Al-Hambali (rahimahullah) has answered the above objection with the following:
“…the answer to that is: that the reward of fasting in Shawwal will be linked to the reward of Ramadan, and one who observes the Shawwal fast will receive the reward of observing the Fard fast for the whole year. This is how Imam ‘Abdullah Ibnul Mubarak (rahimahullah) explained the issue.” (Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.314-315)
So those who fast the additional six fasts in Shawwal specifically, will actually receive the reward of observing the Fard fast for the entire year! Through this Allah Ta’ala has blessed the Ummah by ordaining the fast of 30 day only, but they can achieve the reward of 365 days of obligatory fast!
 
The difference in reward for Fard and Nafl deeds
‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) has cited the grand scholar of the Shafi’i madhab; Imamul Haramain Al-Juwaini (rahimahullah) to have quoted from certain ‘Ulama that the reward of a fard act is actually equal to 70 nafl (voluntary) deeds!!
(Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol.1 pg.324)
 
Consolation for those who miss the fast in Shawwal.
If one missed the six fasts of Shawwal, the reward of fasting the entire year can still be achieved if one fasts the six additional fasts in any other month after Shawwal. Since every act is rewarded tenfold. However, in this case, the six extra fasts will yield the reward of sixty nafl (voluntary) fasts and not the reward of the mandatory fast.
This explanation has been cited by the commentator of Sahih Muslim, ‘Allamah Al-Qurtubi (rahimahullah). (Al-Mufhim, vol.3 pg.238)
Mulla ‘Ali Qari (rahimahullah) and others, also concur with this explanation.
(Mirqat, vol.4 pg.477, and Fathul Mulhim, vol.5 pg.328-Dar al-Qalam)
 
And Allah Knows best.
P.S. For a detailed discussion on the authenticity of the six fasts of Shawwal, click here.

Getting Married In Shawwaal

https://hadithanswers.com/getting-married-in-shawwal/

Question

Can we say it is recommended to get married in Shawwal because of the narration of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) got married to her in Shawwal, or it was just coincidence?

 

Answer

As Muslims, we believe nothing was a coincidence in the life of Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam). Allah Ta’ala divinely chose for his Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) whatever was ideal for him.

For example, our Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) left this world on a Monday. This was no coincidence.

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radiyallahu’anhu) had wished that he too should die on a Monday.

Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has cited the following chapter in his book:

‘Chapter on [the virtue of] dying on a Monday’

(See Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1387)

In the same light, since Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) was the most beloved of wives to Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) -after Sayyidah Khadijah radiyallahu’anha-. Many people take a good omen in also emulating the date of their marriage, so as to acquire love and harmony in their relationship. Like was the case of the relationship between Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) and Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha).

There is no harm in this.

In fact, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) herself would also like to get the women of her family and friends married off in Shawwal.

(Sahih Muslim, hadith: 3468)

Therefore several Muhaddithun have cited this Hadith [of Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) marrying Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) in Shawwal] under the chapter of it being mustahab to get married in Shawwal. 

See: Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1093 and ‘Allamah Nawawi’s wording of the chapter in his commentary on Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 3468.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar