The six fasts of Shawwal
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Ah, yes. Back to ibaadah. There’s still that huge mansion in Paradise that we want to occupy, correct?
The second thing that people start to discuss after Ramadan ends (the first thing being Eid) is the fasts of Shawwal.
Allow me to provide a summary (please check the links provided for more details):
1) There are six fasts (and they have a lot of virtues) which are to be done in Shawwal.
Can they be done after Shawwal? Short answer: No.
2) They are recommended, not obligatory.
3) You cannot do one fast with the intention of making up a Ramadan fast and fasting a fast from the six days of Shawwal.
Why not? Because the six fasts are meant to be fasted in ADDITION to the fasts of Ramadan.
The niyyah (intention) combining thingy can be done in other cases though:
4) If you have make-up fasts, should you do them first or do the Shawwal ones?
Well, let’s see:
a) The make-up fasts are OBLIGATORY whereas the Shawwal fast are RECOMMENDED.
My advice to those brothers and sisters who have loads of missed fasts to make up from years past: We will be called to account for the fard (obligatory) fasts, so if we have those pending we need to do those first. Don’t give priority to the Shawwal fasts over the fard fasts that you have to make up.
As for the other recommended fasts like Mondays, Thursdays, Arafah, Ashoorah, etc, you can do a make-up fast on those days with two intentions. However, you cannot do that for the Shawwal fasts.
b) Many scholars pointed out out that the make up fasts must come first as the hadeeth says “fasts Ramadan” i.e. in its entirety.
Please read this.
I heard that some others pointed out that one could do the Shawwal fasts before the make up ones as Aisha (radiallahu anhu) stated that she delayed making up her fasts until Shaban.
It’s better to be on the safe side and make up the fasts first.
5) Does it need to be consecutive and should it start from the 2nd of Shawwal?
Some scholars said that it was better to start from the 2nd but I can’t recall anybody saying that it was mandatory to do it that way.
Remember: A sign that our Ramadan was accepted is that we continue our deeds after it ends.