I think we can all agree that the month of Ramadhan will be dearly missed; a month of standing in prayers, giving charity, doing good and most importantly, fasting. For many of us, fasting helps us in achieving humility and transforms us spiritually, such that we have more energy to do good. With the abstinence from food and drink, many of us have also found that we have more energy and can be a lot more productive.
Whilst Ramadhan will not return till next year, fasting is still highly recommended in the month of Shawwal. What’s more, prophetic traditions have alluded to its significance and relationship with the month of Ramadhan.
“Fasting Ramadhan and following it with six days from Shawwal is like continual fasting”
“Fasting Ramadhan is like fasting ten months and fasting six days [of Shawwal] is like fasting two months. That is like fasting a full year.”
Fasting six days of Shawwal may seem like a seamless and straightforward task due to it being preceded by Ramadhan, but it is something that goes missed by many of us. Fasting for six days in Shawwal is a true sign that Allah has accepted one’s fast, as a sign of acceptance is the ability to continue doing a certain act of worship. What’s more, by fasting these days, one is expressing his gratitude for being able to celebrate Eid and fast the entire month of Ramadhan.
What’s great about keeping these optional fasts is that it makes up for any shortfall in one’s fasting throughout Ramadhan. You can start fasting from the second day of Shawwal. The six fasts can be kept at any time during the month of Shawwal. However, it is preferred that one starts keeping them immediately and earlier on in the month, as the longer one delays it, the higher the chance of losing inclination to fast the six days.
What’s more, you could practice two Sunnahs by keeping these six fasts over three weeks by fasting on the Sunnah days of Monday and Thursday.
Gratitude and Endless Blessings
We may not see it this way, but being able to fast is both a blessing from Allah and a great way to show your thanks, gratitude, and appreciation for what He has bestowed us with.
If Allah has allowed us to be able to fast, we should thank Him for that ability. Having something to be thankful for and by thanking Him is also regarded as a further blessing, for which appreciation should be expressed.
The pious predecessors used to often thank Allah for being able to fast and for being able to thank Allah. For them, thanking Allah was something that could only be done if Allah had allowed a servant of his to do.
What’s remarkable about this is that there is no end to how much we can thank Allah for His blessings. Only by concentrating on such a matter and by fasting throughout the year can we afford to think about this subtle blessing.
We ask Allah that He allows us to recognise that our thanks to Him is never enough. Only then can we reach the highest level of appreciation for what He has blessed us with.
Main Image Credit: Al Bawaba