6 Fasts During Shawwaal
It is commendable to keep six fasts during Shawwaal. Rasulullah Salallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said:
“Whoever completes the fasts of Ramadhaan and then adds to them the fast of six days during the month of Shawwaal, it will carry the Thawaab of fasting for the entire year.” [Sahih Muslim]
This Hadith has described the great reward of the six fasts during Shawwaal. The scholars have interpreted this Hadith as follows:
According to the rules of Shari’ah, every good deed is rewarded ten times. Therefore, the fast of 30 days carries the reward of 300 days. If the fasts of Ramadhaan were to continue for six additional days, it would carry the reward to 60 days. This means that the total would stand at 360 days of fasting – which is the total number of days in one year according to the Islamic calendar.
Muslims should therefore seize this opportunity of acquiring this enormous reward from Allah Ta’ala. It is not permissible to fast on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. Therefore it is advisable to start these fasts on the 2nd of Shawwaal and to keep fasting until the 7th of Shawwaal. However, if these fasts should be kept on any other six days of Shawwaal, it is hoped that the above requirement of the above mentioned Hadith may, Insha Allah, also be fulfilled.
Ramadhan of the Pious (Akaabir Ka Ramadhan) by Sheikh Zakariyya (ra)
The practices of the saintly Elders during Ramadan have already been mentioned in the “VIRTUES OF RAMADAN”. Thereafter, while working on “AAP BETI” and upon the demands of some friends I also made mention of some of the practices and habits of Hazrat Saharanpuri (May Allah fill his resting place with noor). Now, because of the subject under discussion, I will again refer to those practices in the booklet.
A list of questions regarding how Hazrat Hakeemul Ummat Maulana Thanvi spent Ramadaan was sent to Kwaja Azizul Hasan Saheb. After receiving his reply, it was the request of some friends as well as my own desire to answer those same questions with reference to the Ramadan habits of Hazrat Saharanpuri. Hence, first of all, I shall write down those questions and then explain how Hazrat Saharanpuri, Moulana Khaleel Ahmad spent Ramadan.
LETTER ADDRESSED TO KHWAJA AZlZUL HASAN SAHEB:
Dearest Khwaja Saheb, (May Allah increase your worthy efforts). Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah.
On hearing that you have been residing in Thana Bhavan for some time, I was greatly pleased. May Allah grant you many degrees of spiritual progress. The reason for writing this letters is to trouble you about something special, and after much thought I have decided to ask you a favour. At this time there is perhaps no one who has a more intimate relationship with Hazrat Moulana (Thanvi) than you. Hence it will be quite easy for you. It is my desire to find out what are the general habits and practices of Hazrat Moulana during Ramadan.
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The Ramadhaan of Ml Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (ra)
“His extreme exertion in spiritual exercises were such that onlookers felt pity for him. Such was he that in Ramadan, even when his age had advanced beyond seventy, he fasted the whole day and then in Owabeen, instead of six rakats, he used to perform twenty rakats, during which he never recited less than approximately two paras. So long did he stay in ruku and sujood that onlookers thought that he had forgotten himself. On finishing this salaah, he proceeded homeward to partake of the evening meal. Even during this time too he would not remain idle, but en route and waiting for the food etc, he also finished reciting several paras.
The Ramadan Of Hazrat Maulana Ilyaas Saheb – Punctuality in Zikr
Hazrat Sheikh ra writes” I have not seen any of my Elders so punctual about loud zikr as my late uncle. Before the last few years of his illness, he regularly recited the twelve tasbeehs and zikr of the ‘Ismi zaat’ in the latter part of the night, while in Ramadan he did so from Asr till Maghrib. “
Ramadaan – Hazrat Sheikh's Family
I have written in VIRTUES OF RAMADAN’ as well as in VIRTUES OF THE Quran ‘about the women and the girls of our household. May Allah grant them more strength to do more. In spite of their duties in connection with preparations for meals, and in spite of their manifold duties of rearing children of which each one of them had several children, they spend the nights of the month of Ramadan listening to various hafizes in salaah and during the day they each read (up to 14 or 15 paras per day. In this manner they competed with and emulated each other.
My paternal grandmother (as I have mentioned before) was herself a hafiza of the Quran. Hence it was her daily routine to recite one ‘manzil’ per day by heart. But during Ramadan she recited fourty paras daily. In other words, one full khatam plus ten more paras. Apart from that she also recited hundreds of various tasbeehs daily, which altogether totalled 17000. The details of all this is to be found in TAZKIRA-E-KHALIL.
Preference for Dates & Zam Zam – Ml Yahya
During his stay in Saharanpur, my father’s routine was that he spend most of his time in the Masjid of the shoemakers next to the house of Hakeem Yaqoob Saheb. This was apart from the time he used to spend in teaching. It was here that he performed iftar without any special preference for anything special. Of course, if there were some dates and zam-zam available, these were given preference over all other things. (At the iftar table of Hazrat Maulana Khaleel Ahmad Saheb great importance was given to having dates and zam-zam for iftar. Any dates and zam-zam brought to him by Hajis, as presents were stored away in tins and in bottles. In those days there was not this free availability of dates and zam-zam as is the case in our times when Allah made travel so fast and easy.
Ml Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri RA
As for Hazrat’s occasional reading of newspapers at other times, this was completely discarded in Ramadan. In fact apart from the last two or three years, when he made ‘daur’ with my late father, the tasbeeh was always in his hands and his tongue all the time busy with dhikr. “He always led the taraweeh prayers but later when his age went beyond seventy, it became increasingly difficult for him to continue doing so. He used to say: “When I go into ruku’ the thought comes into my mind that perhaps I will not be able to rise up again for the second raka. Then I take courage and with difficulty I come up. In this manner I finally complete twenty rakaat, fearing in every raka that I may collapse and fall down, and feeling all the time that rising up from the sujood to the standing position is tantamount to climbing a mountain.” “In this way two years passed with Hazrat not losing courage. Eventually, when his strength finally failed him, he stopped leading the taraweeh from the mehrab. Thereafter, he replaced it with listening to the readings of others and increased his own recitations of the Quran. During the holy month, he then used to recite from after Ishraq until eleven o’clock.”