An Expositive Treatise on the Six Fasts of Shawwal (selected points)
The following are selected points from Muftī Yūsuf Shabbīr’s (b. 1988) book, “An Expositive Treatise on the Six Fasts of Shawwal”, approved by both Muftīs of Blackburn and Bury, Muftī Shabbīr (b.1957) and Muftī Tāhir (b.1957) حفظهم الله .
In summary, Muftī Yūsuf Shabbīr explains the hadīth of Muslim in depth from a fiqhi angle as well as clearing any doubts with regards to the authenticity of this narration.
- Nabī ﷺ said, “Whoever fasts Ramaḍān and then follows it with six [fasts] of Shawwāl, it is tantamount to a lifetime’s fast” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)
- Imām Tahāwī adds that a person’s sins for the entire year are forgiven by doing ʿamal (practice) on this narration (شرح معاني الآثار).
- The scholars from the Shāfiʿī, Ḥanbalī, Ḥanafī schools of thought hold the view that it is mustaḥab (preferable) to keep these fasts.
- It is permitted to keep them consecutively or separately, though the latter is preferred by Aḥnāf.
- Qaḍā of Ramadan should be given preference over the fasts of Shawwal.
- One cannot fast both with two intentions.
- The Ḥanafī and Mālikī scholars suggest that a person should fast the six fasts even after Shawwāl if one missed it in the month of Shawwāl and will In-shā-Allāh attain the aforementioned reward. The Ḥanbalī school differs.
- The wisdom behind specifying the month of Shawwāl for the fasts is to make up for the deficiencies that occurred in the Ramaḍān fasts. Similar to how Nafl Ṣalāh compensates for the Fardh prayer (Ibn al-Qayyim).
- Some attribute the position of كراهة to Imām Abū Hanīfah. Imām Qāsim b. Quṭlūbughā wrote a treatise on this topic and concludes it is a wrong attribution as it is not based on the usūl (principal sources).
- Imām Ḥasan b. Ziyād, the student of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah, saw no harm in fasting immediately after Eīd day.
- Imāms Tahāwī, Kāsānī, Shurunbulālī, Ibn ʿĀbidīn, Zakariyyā Kāndehlawī, and Taqī ʿUthmānī have all recommended the six fasts of Shawwal.
- The Mālikī position for these fasts is noteworthy. Imām Mālik objected to the practice as evident from his statement in his Muwaṭṭa where it states:
وقالَ يَحْيى: سَمِعْتُ مالِكًا يَقُولُ، فِي صِيامِ سِتَّةِ أيّامٍ بَعْدَ الفِطْرِ مِن رَمَضانَ: إنَّهُ لَمْ يَرَ أحَدًا مِن أهْلِ العِلْمِ والفِقْهِ يَصُومُها. ولَمْ يَبْلُغْنِي ذلِكَ عَنْ أحَدٍ مِنَ السَّلَفِ. وإنَّ أهْلَ العِلْمِ يَكْرَهُونَ ذلِكَ، ويَخافُونَ بِدْعَتَهُ. وأنْ يُلْحِقَ بِرَمَضانَ ما لَيْسَ مِنهُ
- Later on, Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr offered an explanation for Imām Mālik’s opposition, stating that in reality, he was opposed to keeping these fasts immediately after Ramaḍān. Adding to this, Al-Bājī states that Imām Mālik feared that the ignorant would make it a part of Ramaḍān. Imām Qurṭubī approves of this explanation. The respected author visited Mālikī scholars in Sierra Leone and found many ascribing to this practice. However, other scholars from Morocco take the original position (i.e., without interpretation) and do not recommend this practice.
Graduate of Darul Uloom Bury,
Imām, Madīna Masjid Blyth
Note: For more information about the book, visit the following link: https://islamicportal.co.uk/new-book-release-an-expositive-treatise-on-the-six-fasts-of-shawwal/.