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The opinions of the scholars on fasting six days of Shawwal are contradictory. There are three different opinions discovered on this rule.

 

The first opinion is that fasting six days of Shawwal is preferred from the first days of the month consecutively.  This was the opinion of As –Shafi'i, Ibn Mubarak and others. The proof of this opinion is that starting it the following day of Eid-Al-fitr is preferable, and the reason for this preference is that there are some virtues which are very clear in the prompt practice of an act of Worship. But the fundamental rule in the prophetic traditions regarding fasting it consecutively or sporadically in the whole month of Shawwal is permissibility (Jamiu Trimidh) (132/3) Al-majmu' (401/6) Ihaanat Toyhibin (269/2).

 

The second opinion is that there is no difference between fasting it consecutively or sporadically in the whole month of Shawwal, so  both of them are permissible and  the same. This was the opinion of Waki', Ahmad and others . The proof of this opinion is that the virtues are in both fasting it consecutively and sporadically, and the person observing fast  has a choice, if he wishes, he fasts consecutively or if  he wishes he fasts separately, whether he fasts in the beginning or end of the month, because the tradition of the prophet (peace be upon him) pointed to this generally not specifically, because its virtues show that its addition to one month gives 36 days, and one good deed is equivalent to ten of its kind. Therefore. it is like 360 days fasting and this means he fasts for a complete year. (Al-Mughi ) (57/3).

 

The third opinion is that fasting is not allowed immediately after Eid – Al – fitr day  but it would be joined to the white days of shawwal  ( that is thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month). He therefore fasts on the tenth, Eleventh and Twelveth days of Shawwal, and the white days.

This is the opinion of Al-Imam Ma’mar, Abdul Razzaq, Aatah and others. The proof for this opinion is that the first days of Shawwal are days of eating and drinking and because its virtues are in all of the days entirely, and the delaying and joining with the white days in order to earn two virtues is better (Lataeiful _ Ma'aarif) (24/1).

 

The most preponderant opinion : I do not see any sound evidence from Sunnah which proves that any of the above opinions supersedes the others, and  some traditions were narrated on these opinions but, they are not free from  weakness, among them is what At-Tobaraani reported through Abu Hurairah ( May Allah be pleased with him ) that the prophet(peace  be upon him) said that: Whoever fasts six days in the month of Shawwal immediately after Eid – Al fitr) consecutively is like one who fasts for the whole year (Al _ Muhjamul Aosat) (315/7).

 

Due to this I support the first opinion, which says it is preferred to fast in the first days of the month following the day of Eid Al-fitr immediately in order to achieve prompt performance of act of worship  and because the ambition would be very high for its nearness to Ramadan fasting. Likewise this gives  glad tiding of the acceptance of (Ibadah) and fasting because among the signs of acceptance of good deed is being obedient thereafter. Allah says:

 

فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانصَبْ * وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَب

 

"Therefore, when you are free (from your immediate task), still labour hard * And to your Lord turn (all) your attention." Q94 : 7-8.

 

Likewise, the narrated traditions on this matter, even though, if they are weak, there is no opposition and the most popular opinion of the scholars of  Hadith is that the weak Hadith could be useful in the virtuous deeds.

 

See:Muqodimmat sharhi Al- Arbaiina-n- Nawawiyyah by Ibn Daqiiq Al- hiid – (1/3) , mugni Al- Muhtaaj (1,40 ,62 /312) , Al-Kifaayatu fi ilm-l-Riwaayah, Wanukat Ala Muqadimatu Ibn Salah by Zarkashiy, Fatihu-l-Mughith and Mukadimatu Fi Usoolu-l-Hadith.

 

 

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