THE SIX NAFL FASTS OF SHAWWAL
Hazrat Abî Ayyub Radiallâhu anhu relates that Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said: “Whoever fasted the full month of Ramadhân and then follows it with six soum[fasts] of Shawwâl, is like the person who has fasted the full year.” (Sahih Muslim)
In another Hadîth it is related that by observing these six fasts after Ramadhân all defaults and sins are forgiven. The reward of every good deed is tenfold or more. The thawâb of the month of Ramadhân is equal to that of ten months and that of these six voluntary siyam are equal to that of the remaining two months to complete the full year. These fast could be kept continuously after Eid-ul‑Fitr or separately during the month of Shawwâl.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SHAWWAL
Shawwal is the tenth lunar month. During the period of ignorance Ramadhân was regarded as a blessed and sacred month. Shawwal was regarded as a cursed month and a month of ill‑omen. The people of that time never married during Shawwal. Due to this Hazrat Ayesha Radiallâhu anha expressed disappointment of the people to consider this month to be inauspicious, as she was married to Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam in this very month. The wrong beliefs of the people was clearly disproven by Hazrat Ayesha Radiallâhu anha by her marriage to Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam in the month of Shawwal which was no obstruction to her elevated position and great love Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam had for her.
To a Muslim the first day of the month of Shawwal, is of very great significance, as this is the day of Eid. On this significant day Allâh showers His glorious rewards of blessings and forgiveness to His servants who have fasted during the month of Ramadhân. It is related from Hazrat Anâs Radiallâhu anhu that Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam has said: “When the day of Eid appears, Allâh proudly asks in the presence of the Angels regarding his fasting servants: ‘O My Angels, what return is there for such labourers who have fully completed their duty?’ The Angels reply, ‘O Rabb they should be rewarded in full,’ then Allâh asks the Angels, ‘O My Angels what is the reward for those male and female servants who have fulfilled My divine command which was compulsory upon them, and now they have come out to beseech Me in Du’â?’ Allâh swears, ‘I take oath upon My grandeur and glory, My generosity and exaltation of My elevated position, that I will definitely accept their Du’âs.’ Thereafter Allâh says: ‘Disperse, I have forgiven you and replaced your sins with good deeds.’ Rasulullâh Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam says they return forgiven.'”