وَعَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ اَلْأَنْصَارِيِّ - رضى الله عنه - أَنَّ رَسُولَ اَللَّهِ - صلى الله عليه وسلم -قَالَ: مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ, ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ اَلدَّهْرِ
Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be (rewarded) as if he had fasted the entire year.”
It was just last month that I was writing about the beginning of the most blessed month of the year. Now, only a few weeks later, I am writing about the parting of this holy visitor. Although this month may be coming to an end, remember that it still lives within us every day. The point of Ramadan is to recharge our bodies and prepare us for the remaining 11 months of the year. Take the fruits of Ramadan with you and do not let them leave with the month.
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ stated that whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with the six days of Shawwal, Allahﷻ will reward them as if they fasted the entire year. Shawwal is the month following Ramadan and all we have to do is fast any 6 days within this month to attain this reward. If we fasted an entire month, 6 days should not be a problem at all for us. Especially if we want to keep that special feeling of spirituality. Most people decline in worship and spirituality following the end of Ramadan, which means that most people will not fast outside of this month. However, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is trying to tell us that we should not give up fasting just because the month is over. As Muslims, our worship never stops. We must not forget that fasting is the sole worship that is done purely for the sake of Allahﷻ and for that reason is one of the most near to Allahﷻ.
Fasting these days in Shawwal reminds us that as Muslims, worship never stops. We have fasted 30 days already, but those days were mandatory for us to fast. So now, we should continue that spirit of fasting by doing only 6 more days which are not mandatory, but highly encouraged. By fasting these days of Shawwal, we will be rewarded as if we have fasted the entire year. The 6 days of Shawwal are not the only days that we are encouraged to fast outside of Ramadan. It is recommended for us to fast 3 days each month, specifically the 14th, 15th, and 16th of every month in the Islamic calendar. Furthermore, it is also from the teachings of our Prophet ﷺ to fast 2 days of each week. These days are every Monday and Thursday.
Oftentimes, with the end of Ramadan, we tend to disconnect or become further away from the Holy Quran. Unfortunately, many Muslims put the Quran on the shelf and never touch it until the next Ramadan arrives. The Quran will literally gather dust while sitting on the shelf all year long. In the Quran, Allahﷻ says “It has a cure for all people.” Whatever you are seeking from the Quran when reading it, Allahﷻ will give you. If you are feeling sad and open the Quran seeking to find happiness, it will give it to you. If you are feeling stressed and open the Quran seeking relief, then it will give it to you. Regardless of how busy, stressed, or sad you become, always find time to open and just read the Quran every single day. Even if it is just a couple of ayas. Surely, the Quran will be the reason that your life is full of blessings and glad tidings.
One of the most heart-warming and rewarding blessings that Ramadan has left us with is the number of guests that attend Allah’sﷻ home. The Masajid are always full to their capacity every day during the Taraweeh and even Fajr prayers. However, sadly, the Masajid returned to being empty following the end of Ramadan. Only the true guests of Allah ﷻ remain in the Masjid following the end of this month. I do not mean coming only for the Jumuah prayer. I mean coming often just to pray a Salah outside of the Jumuah prayer. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever goes to the mosque in the morning and evening, Allahﷻ will prepare for him a place in Paradise for every morning and evening.” The reward of praying in congregation in the house of Allahﷻ is greater than any prayer we make at home. At least try to maintain one prayer a day in the Masjid. Whether it is Isha, Fajr, or Dhuhr, we should try and maintain one prayer a day at least just so that our day could be filled with barakah (blessings).
My last message to everyone is a message of joy and ease: Eidun Saeed. Alhamdulillah, we have completed a long month of fasting, of which was full of worships. It was a month of Quran recitation, reflection, and memorization, qiyam prayers, lectures, and much more. It was a month of hard work. Allahﷻ blesses us now with a reward for this effort, and that is of course Eid Al-Fitr. Eid is a day intended for celebration of completion of this holy month. It is a day of family, generosity, and joy. Attend the Eid prayer with your family, visit your loved ones, and give your loved ones gifts to bring happiness and excitement to them. May Allahﷻ accept our Ramadan and Eid Mubarak to all.
By Ahmad Salah