Grab The Rewards This Week Before They Are Gone for the Year We are now entering the last week of Shawwal and how many of us ignore or not look at the benefits of Fasting the six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fasts of Ramadaan. This is aSunnah Mustahabbah, not waajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (SallAllahu 'Alaihi Wassalam). Abu Ayyoob (RadhiAllahu 'Anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (SallAllahu 'Alaihi Wassalam) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah). The Prophet (SallAllahu 'Alaihi Wassalam) explained this when he said: “Whoever fasts for six days after (Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it).” According to another report: “Allaah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” (al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah. See also Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/421). It was also narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah with the wording: “Fasting for the month of Ramadaan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year.” The Hanbali and Shaafa’i fuqaha’ explained that fasting six days of Shawwaal after fasting Ramadaan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to naafil fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it. Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal is that is makes up for any shortfall in a person's obligatory Ramadaan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his naafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salaah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salaah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (naafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allaah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood). And Allaah knows best. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy upon him) was asked: What is your opinion of the one who fasts six days of Shawwal while still having to make up days (from Ramadan)? The Shaykh answered: The answer to that is from the statement of the Prophet(SallAllahu 'Alaihi Wassalam) “Whoever fasts Ramadan, then follows it with six days (of fasting) of Shawwal, it as if he fasted the entire year” [Muslim] And if a person has some days of fasting to make up, and fasts six days (of Shawwal) before fasting the days that must be made up should it be said that he has fasted Ramadan, and followed it with six days (of fasting) of Shawwal?… No, he has not fasted Ramadan since it is said that he has not fasted Ramadan except that he has completed it. And established upon that, there is no reward for fasting six days of Shawwal for the one who must make up days of Ramadan, except that he makes up the days missed from Ramadan, then fasts (the six days of Shawwal).