Friday, September 10, 2010

Puasa Enam Or Fasting For Six Days In Shawal

The end of Ramadhan would mark the beginning of Shawal. The first of Shawal is one of the two Eid celebrations for Muslim. More specifically, it is known as Eid al-Fitri.

Hari Raya la tu beb!!! Yeah!!!

A friend of mine had posted on her Facebook status that she would be suffering from Ramadhan withdrawal symptoms come Shawal. (Her sister commented that that status was not original as she had taken it from somewhere else… haha! I won’t go into that but the crux of the status was certainly good enough to be shared! HM oh HM…Hahaha!)

I think Ramadhan withdrawal symptoms can be reduced by continuing the general good deeds that we had been doing for the past one month. There is one hadith that also comes to my mind about doing a continuing good act in Shawal. It is about fasting a further six days in the month of Shawal.

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal. it would be as if he fasted perpetually. (Sahih Muslim)

However, we are not allowed to fast on the first of Shawal as it is to show that we celebrating after having completed to fast for one whole month in Ramadhan.

I have often asked what is so special about fasting only for six days in Shawal?

My father’s mathematical answer gave me the most satisfactory answer.

He said that to fast for one day in Ramadhan, it is like fasting for 10 days as our deeds are multiplied ten times in Ramadhan at the most minimum level. I say “the most minimum level” because Allah can certainly increase the reward of our good deeds to any level that He wants according to our intention and how we perform that good deed.

This means that if we fast for 30 days in Ramadhan, it is like fasting for 300 days. What the hadith above could mean is that Allah has extended the reward of multiplying the reward of fasting for one day to 10 days in Shawal for the next six days. This means that if we fast for 6 days in Shawal, it is like fasting for 60 days.

If you add the 300 days in Ramadhan and 60 days in Shawal, it would be as though we had fasted for 360 days. 360 days is equivalent to one year in a lunar calendar. Therefore, to fast for the next 6 days in Shawal, it is as though we had fasted for ONE WHOLE YEAR! If we do this every year, wouldn’t it be as if we had fasted perpetually?

Ahh... that should be a good way to overcome the Ramadhan withdrawal symptom, don’t you think?

It need not be done consecutively. It could be done as and when we want to as long as it is in Shawal.

Now what about women who could not fast for 30 days in Ramadhan due to the normal menstrual cycle? There are differences of opinion by Muslim jurists on this matter. Some say the repayment of the missed fasting days should not be done concurrently with the six days done in Shawal. Some say you can repay the Ramadhan fast together with the six days in Shawal.

Either how, depending on which view you want to adopt, the missed days in Ramadhan must be repaid. If you are strong and capable, you can opt for the first view. If not, you can adopt the latter view.

Be that as it may, it is Allah who will decide whether you get the necessary reward or not. If you do it with no sincerity and with the view to show off, you can fast for 360 days in a year and still would not get any reward. So make sure you set your intention right (i.e. to do it only for Allah’s sake) and just leave the calculation of your reward in the hands of Allah. He is, the Most Just, the All Knowing after all right?

So food luck, I mean good luck in trying the “puasa enam” (if it is your first time) and don’t forget to ensure that you get the reward of fasting for another year (if you are have been doing the “puasa enam”)!

God knows best.

Blog adjourned.

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