[Updated 28 Apr 2022]
Congratulations, you've made it through another Ramadan! 😍 While bidding farewell to this holy month is bittersweet, it also feels like a new beginning as we celebrate Eid and enjoy some well-deserved quality time with our family and loved ones.
As we enter Syawal (Shawwal) we should also strive to achieve the sunnah practice of fasting during this month! Fasting for 6 days in Syawal is considered sunnah, but don't worry if you don't know much about it yet! Here's what you need to know about fasting during Syawal. 🤗
An Easy Guide To Fasting In Syawal
1. When can I fast during Syawal? What's fasting in Syawal all about?
You can fast any day in Syawal except for the first day, which is Eid Aidilfitri! When people talk about fasting during Syawal, they are usually referring to the sunnah (voluntary and recommended) act of fasting any 6 days during the month of Syawal.
2. Why is it sunnah to fast 6 days in Syawal?
It is said that completing the fast for these 6 days have immense blessings equivalent to having fasted for a whole year!
As a voluntary deed, these fasts will also be taken into consideration on the Day of Judgement to make up the shortcomings in our obligatory deeds.
3. Must I fast these 6 days consecutively?
The 6 days can be completed on any day of Syawal excluding the 1st of Syawal (Eid) and can be done non-consecutively. So you could even fast only on the weekends! However, it is said that fasting consecutively will bring more rewards.
4. Do I have to start fasting immediately after Eid?
It is recommended to complete them as soon as possible after Ramadan however you can complete the fasts at any time during the month. By continuing after Ramadan your body and mind will still be used to fasting so your fasts will hopefully be easier!
You also avoid procrastinating the fasts and potentially missing out on them by the end of the month. 😊
5. Can I combine the niat (intention) to make up my missed Ramadan fasts with the niat for the 6 sunnah fasts?
It depends on what school of thought you look at, as different scholars have varying opinions on it. Imam Al-Syafi'i wrote that "every act is associated with its own intention" which suggests that it is not possible to combine the 2 as the intentions to make up an obligatory fast and to perform a voluntary fast are completely different. However, another perspective discussed by Imam Ar-Ramli is that while you can combine both fasts, the reward for this will be less than if you performed them separately.
We recommend making separate intentions for making up any missed fasts and completing any voluntary fasts to maximise the rewards you receive from them, as well so you will be able to keep track of your missed fasts without any confusion. By performing them separately you can ensure that you'll have an even greater reward than performing them together! Regardless of what viewpoint you take on this, do keep in mind that it's up to the individual to stay informed and decide on their own opinion.
If you're not quite ready to let go of Ramadan yet, we hope that fasting during Syawal can help you ease back into your everyday life! Make sure to stay hydrated and stay healthy while you fast, and we hope that your lessons and growth from Ramadan will continue on into Syawal and beyond. 🥰