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.
Stories of Repentance #28
During the time of Nabi Moosa عليه السلام, the Banu Israaeel once suffered a severe drought. They approached Nabi Moosaعليه السلام and beseeched, “O Kaleemullah (The one whom Allah Ta‘ala has blessed with the ability of speaking to Him directly)! Make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, on our behalf, for rain!”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام thus went to the desert with the Banu Israaeel who were seventy thousand or more in number. Nabi Moosa عليه السلام then began to make du‘aa saying, “O my Rabb! Send us Your rain! Envelop us in Your mercy! Take pity on us for the sake of the breastfeeding children, the grazing animals and the old people among us whose backs are bent!” However, despite making this du‘aa, the sky remained clear of clouds and the rays of the sun continued to beat down relentlessly.
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام then made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala saying, “O Allah! If I do not have that level of honour in Your sight, then accept my du‘aa through the honour of the unlettered Nabi, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, who You will send as a Nabi before the end of the world.” Allah Ta‘ala replied to Nabi Moosa عليه السلام, “It is not that you do not have high honour in My sight! Rather, you are esteemed in My sight! However, one of my servants is among you who has been at war with me by committing sins and violating my commands for forty years. Announce to the people that this person should leave, as it is because of him that I have withheld the rain from you.”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام submitted, “O Allah! O my Master! I am a weak servant, and my voice is weak! How will my announcement reach all the people, whereas they are more than seventy thousand in number?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “You will make the announcement, and I will ensure that they hear it.”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام thus stood and called out, “O sinful servant who has been at war with Allah Ta‘ala for forty years! Leave us, for it is due to you that we are deprived of rain!” When he heard the announcement, the sinful servant began to stand, but then noticed that nobody else had stood. This made him realize that he was the guilty person who Nabi Moosa عليه السلام was referring to. It then occurred to him that if he stood and left, he would be disgraced and humiliated before the entire Banu Israaeel. However, if he did not stand and leave, all the people would continue suffering from the drought.
In this state, he remained seated, but lowered his head in genuine, sincere remorse and repented for his sins saying, “O my Rabb and Master! I disobeyed You for forty years, yet you granted me respite. Now that I have come to you in obedience, accept me.” He had barely completed his words of repentance when rain began to fall in torrents.
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام was surprised and asked Allah Ta‘ala, “O my Rabb and Master! How is it that You have sent us rain, whereas nobody awoke and left our gathering?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “O Moosa عليه السلام! I sent rain to you on account of the repentance of the same person who caused Me to withhold the rain.”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام submitted, “O Allah! Show me who this obedient servant is!” Allah Ta‘ala responded, “O Moosaعليه السلام! I did not expose him and humiliate him when he was disobedient to me, so how can I expose him when he is obedient to me? O Moosa عليه السلام! I do not like those who carry tales, so how can I do the same (by causing him to be exposed)?”
An Anecdote: Haz Sheikh's Ramadhan
One can imagine the amount of time Ĥađrat devoted to worship during the month of Ramadan by the following incident, as narrated by Ĥađrat in his Āap Bītī:
My close friend, Ĥakīm Ţayyib Rāmpūrī [the father of another of my close friends Shaikh ‘Āmir] came to visit me frequently in those days. He came for a very short time and was good at providing quick rundowns of the latest news, so he was allowed to visit whenever he wished.
Once, in Ramadan he came at 8 or 9 a.m. He said to Maulwī Naśīr,
“Open the door.”
Maulwī Naśīr responded, “It is Ramadan.”
He decided to knock on the door himself, but Maulwī Naśīr stopped him. Maulwī Naśīr explained, “If he is sleeping, you will ruin his sleep, and if he is awake, he is probably praying voluntary śalāt. So knock if you want, but you’re probably not going to get a response.”
Ĥakīm Śāĥib got angry and walked on to the school. On the way, he met Shaikh Manżūr Aĥmad Śāĥib who said, “Ĥakīm Śāĥib, what are you doing here? Don’t you know the Shaikh is in Ramadan?” Hearing this, Ĥakīm Śāĥib felt his anger towards Maulwī Naśīr cool. After this, he entered upon Nāżim Śāĥib [the dean of the school] who was dictating letters at the time. Nāżim Śāĥib was surprised and said, “Ĥakīm Jī, what are you doing here? The Shaikh is in Ramadan.”
The Ramadan of Shaikh Ĥusain Aĥmad Madanī
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Ĥamīd A‘żamī wrote a book on the Ramadan [1365/July, 1946] of Ĥađrat Madanī in Silhat [Bangladesh] which I have condensed below. Though this subject has been prolonged, the fact is that we do not find as much detail of the Ramadan of any of our elders as we do of Ĥađrat Madanī. It is for this reason that I wished to narrate at least some of Ĥađrat Madanī’s Ramadan . He writes: Ĥađrat stayed at Commissioner ‘Abd al-Sattār’s residence and prayed all five śalāt in a beautiful grand masjid about a quarter of a mile [440 yards] from the house. All the visitors and devotees came to this masjid from all over to spend the month of Ramadan with Ĥađrat.
Since Ĥađrat spent the whole month in i‘tikāf, he made the intention to stay for more than fifteen days [iqāma] [thus, praying full śalāt-translator] and was the imam for all the śalāts. After Ẓuhr, he blew on the dozens of bottles placed around the imam’s place and then removed the notes that collected under the prayer rug before Ẓuhr time. He pulled each note out one at a time and called the person [who had written it] forward, helped him with his need then pulled out the next one. He wrote ruqya (amulets written with ayas of Qura’n) for some and for those who requested for him bai‘a, he told them to wait in one corner of the masjid.
Once he finished with the notes he came to the people waiting for him and took them in bai‘a’. After a short talk and some advice he returned to the residence. Sometimes, he fell asleep immediately after; at other times , he recited the Qur’an and responded to any remaining letters. During this time, he also met with people privately. Usually by then it was time for ‘Aśr . Ĥađrat attended to his personal needs and left for ‘Aśr. After ‘Aśr, he recited one and a quarter part with Shaikh Ĥāfiż Muĥammad Jalīl [teacher at ‘Dār al-‘Ulūm Deoband]. They recited to each other quarter by quarter until one and a quarter part was completed. If they finished by Maghrib, Ĥađrat sat in meditation and others started their dhikr and ashgāl (meditative devotions).