Abu Ayoub narrated that the prophet (PBUH) said: “One who fasts Ramadan and then followed it with six (days of) Shawwal that is (as if) fasting the eon (of time.) Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim.
عن أبى أيوب عن رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم أنه قال:( من صام رمضان ثم أتبعه ستا من شوال فذاك صيام الدهر ) رواه مسلم.

  1. Fasting these six days is (Mustahab) or preferred not obligated.
  2. The reference to fasting the eon of time is explained by the verse which says: {Whoever comes [on Judgment Day] with a good deed, then he shall have ten times the like of it [in reward]} 6:160. Fasting Ramadan (30 days usually) is rewarded ten times which comes to 300 days and then fasting the six days of Shawwal is rewarded ten times which comes to 60 days, a total of 360 days (a full year.) If someone fasts every Ramadan following it by six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he/she is always fasting.
  3. It is permissible to fast these six days consecutive after the day of Eid or separate them during the whole month of Shawwal.
  4. It is permissible to fast the six days of Shawwal before making up the obligated days missed during Ramadan because of sickness, travel, or female’s menstruation which can be delayed until after Shawwal. Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Shanqeeti, a scholar from Saudi Arabia, says: “If the time is flexible to perform the (Nafelah /non-obligated) acts and the obligated, then it is permissible to start with the (Nafelah) before the obligation. The proof is that you pray the Sunnah of Zuhur before you pray Zuhur, and the Hadith narrated by Aiesha (RAA) when she said: [It happens that I have to make up days of Ramadan and I will not make up (these days) but in Shaaban.] Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim. {**Fatwa from islamonline.org}
  5. Fasting Fridays alone is (Makrooh) or not preferred, but if you join one day before or one day after it is fine. It is permissible to fast Friday alone if there is a reason like the day of Arafah for non pilgrims.
  6. Although many scholars did not approve the combination of two intentions in one (the making up of days missed in Ramadan plus the six days of Shawwal,) Sheikh Atiah Saqr of Al Azhar in Egypt said: “It is permissible for someone who feels tired to fast both (the six days of Shawwal and the missed days of Ramadan) by initiating the intention for the missed days alone or combine the intention for both and be rewarded for them together. It is like the reward you will get for the two Raka’t of entering the Masjid even if you just prayed the Sunnah.” {**Fatwa from islamonline.org}

In conclusion, it is better to fast the six days of Shawwal alone and make up the other days missed in Ramadan on separate days but if someone combined them together, it is still permissible.

By Sh. Kifah Mustapha