Fasting six Days of Shawwal and what has been reported in the Muwatta' of Malik

Fasting six Days of Shawwal and what has been reported in the Muwatta' of Malik

Question :

What do you think about fasting six days after Ramadhan during the month of Shawwal? Indeed it appears in the Muwatta' of Malik that Imam Malik bin Anas said concerning fasting six days after the completion of the fast of Ramadhan that he did not see anyone of the people of knowledge and Fiqh fasting it. He said: "And that has not reached me from anyone of the Salaf." He also said that the people of knowledge do not like that, and they fear that it is an innovation and that it is adding to Ramadhan that which is not a part of it. This statement is in Al-Muwatta', number 228.


It has been confirmed from Abu Ayyub that the Messenger of Allâh said:
"Whoever fasts Ramadhan, and then follows it up with six (days of fasting) from Shawwal, then that is as if he fasted the entire time (i.e., year)."

This was recorded by Muslim and the five (i.e., Abu Dawud, At- Tirmithi, An-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad). Thus, this Hadith is authentic and it proves that fasting six days from Shawwal is Sunnah. Ash-Shafi'i acted according to it, as did Ahmad and a group of the Imams of the scholars. It is not correct that this Hadith be opposed by what some scholars gave as reasons to consider fasting it disliked. These reasons included the scholar's fear that the ignorant person would believe it is a part of Ramadhan or would think it is obligatory or because it had not reached him from anyone who preceded him from the people of knowledge that they fasted it. For verily all of this is speculation and it cannot contend with the authentic Sunnah and the fact that whoever knows an evidence is not the same as he who does not.

The Permanent Committee
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 3 Pages 334-335

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