Assalaamu 'alaikum! Here’s us hoping you had a fantastic Ramadan.
It’s a given that on Eid ul-Fitr we don our best clothing, after having woken up early to truly appreciate this special day in its entirety; we take a bath or have a shower, maybe use the traditional miswak to clean our teeth (shop yours here!), get ourselves looking and feeling as fresh and smart as we can. But now, how to best approach the rest of the sacred month of Shawwal can often raise questions or worries.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.”
The truth is, fasting the six days following Eid ul-Fitr is Sunnah Mustahabbah, rather than being compulsory. Think of it as a bonus – perhaps a time to make up for any misgivings you may be having about your fasts or worship during Ramadan… Nobody’s perfect and, if you feel the last month reflects that, there’s no harm in partaking in the fast for six consecutive days to earn greater spiritual rewards and pray for mercy from Allah.
Equally, there is no shame in opting to split the days up; be it for health reasons, personal commitments or otherwise. It’s entirely permissible to work these days into your schedule throughout the month, ensuring each time that you fast and worship with your whole heart, mind and soul.
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.”
With that in mind, as ever the Quran suggests, good deeds are best done sooner rather than later – like anything in life, completing your goals in a timely way ensures the greater reward. During such an important time in our calendar, it’s imperative to make the most of each day; the periods like Ramadan and Shawwal, during which we’re able to acquire rich returns for our devotion to God, are far and few between – and they should be cherished and prioritised as such.
Ultimately, you should use this time, the tenth month of the Islamic year, to appreciate as many blessings as possible for the year ahead and reflect on the year gone by; after celebrating Eid (and celebrate you must!), it does make sense to perhaps fast immediately – whilst your body and mind are still in the right ‘place’ to do so comfortably. But one of the greatest principles about our worship is its flexibility; it can work around you so, as long as you’re able bodied and well enough to do so, fast the six days of Shawwal at your convenience, and enjoy this special time.
Eid Mubarak from all of us here at MBCO. – don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know how you spend Shawwal, or any advice and thoughts you have for others!