We are currently in the Islamic Month of Shawwaal – 1438
Fasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadaan is Sunnah 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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).
Fasting six days of Shawwaal is dependent upon having completed the Ramadaan fast,
according to the correct view. This is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with
six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted a lifetime.” Narrated by Muslim,
The conjunction thumma (then) indicates that this must be done in this order. This
indicates that the fast of Ramadaan must be completed first (by observing the Ramadaan
fast and making up any missed fasts), then after that one may fast the six days of
Shawwaal, so as to attain the reward mentioned in the hadeeth.