Class02-Fasting after Ramadan

Class 2

‘Fasting after Ramadan’


Fasting is a great act of worship that draws one closer to Allâh, and shields us from the fire of Hell. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadan; rather, it is an act of worship that should be kept alive throughout the year. There are certain months in which we should be even more eager to fast, due to the virtues and rewards for them mentioned in the ahadith. 

The Prophet ﷺ said :

Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allah, then Allah will move his face away from the Hellfire by a distance of seventy years.” [Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allâh, Allâh will keep his face seventy years’ distance from Hell.” (An-Nasaa’i, classed as sahih by Albani)

“…the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Fasting is the only act of worship that a person cannot do to show off – it is always possible for someone to eat and drink when they are alone, and not actually fast.  If a person does complete their fast, it is something valuable only to Allah. 

The Prophet ﷺ said in a Hadith Qudsi that, “Allâh said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’” (Agreed upon) 

Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allâh have mercy upon him) said: ‘All acts of worship can be seen when done, and they may be contaminated with some element of showing off, unlike fasting.’

Just as there are voluntary prayers that we may offer, so too there are voluntary fasts that are highly recommended for us outside of Ramadan.

6 Fasts in Shawwaal

The immense reward of fasting six days of Shawwal is explained in a hadith narrated by Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ says: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwal, it will be as if he had fasted the year through.” (Sahih Muslim)

The month of Shawwal is singled out for the observance of extra fasts, since this month follows immediately after Ramadan. The six days of voluntary fasting are to the obligatory fast of Ramadan what the Sunnah prayers are to the obligatory prayers.
Thawban reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The fast of Ramadan is like observing 10 months of fasting. Fasting six days of Shawwal is like observing two months of fasting. This together is like fasting throughout the year.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Sunan Al-Nasai Al-Kubra; authenticated by Al-Albani)

Al-Nawawi says: “Scholars have explained that it is like observing a year of fasting because the reward of one’s good deeds are multiplied 10-fold. Therefore fasting the month of Ramadan is like fasting for 10 months and fasting six days in the month of Shawwal is like fasting for two months.” (Sahih Muslim)

Virtues of fasting six days

Fasting 6 days in Shawwal after Ramadan gives the person the reward of fasting throughout the year.

The fasts of Sha’ban and Shawwal are like the Sunnah prayers that accompany the five obligatory prayers. Like the Sunnah prayers, these extra fasts cover up for the deficiencies in our performance of our obligatory worship. On the Day of Judgment, our voluntary acts of worship will compensate for the shortcomings in how we carried out our duties. Most of us have deficiencies in our observance of our Ramadan fasts and we need something to cover up for those deficiencies.

Our return to the habit of fasting right after Ramadan is a sign that our Ramadan fasts were accepted. When Allah accepts our worship, He blesses us to engage in further acts of piety. The saying goes: The reward of virtue is further virtue. Therefore, following one good deed with others like it is a sign that the first deed had been accepted by Allah. By contrast, if a person’s good deed is followed by a sinful one, it is an indication that the first good deed might not have been accepted.

Those who observe the fast of Ramadan are given their recompense of the day of Eid Al-Fitr, the day when the fast is rewarded. Getting into the habit of fasting again soon thereafter is a means of giving thanks to Allah for the blessings that we have received. There is no blessing greater than forgiveness for one’s sins, and we know that fast of Ramadan is recompensed with forgiveness of one’s previous sins.

Indeed, Allah has commanded us to give thanks for the blessings of the Ramadan fast and to do so by making mention of Him and through other means of giving thanks. Allah says: “(He wants you) to complete the number of days, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance you may give thanks.” (Qur’an, 2:185)

It is known that some of the pious predecessors would try to get up at night to pray the Tahajjud prayer. When Allah blessed them to wake up and do so, they would fast the next day in thanks to Allah for blessing them to observe that prayer.

Every blessing that Allah gives us is something that we have to be thankful about. Moreover, when Allah blesses us to show thanks, this is a further blessing from Allah that deserves further thanks from us. If we show further thanks, this in turn is another blessing deserving our gratitude. There is no end to this and we can never be thankful enough. When we recognize that our thanks is never enough, this is the highest expression of gratitude we can give.

About two weeks still left of Shawwaal, still time to make up and also fast the 6 days InShaAllah.


Q. Fasting Six Days of Shawwal before Making up Missed Fasts?

A. 1- As a priority, the first option is to always make the obligatory actions up.

2- The second option is that let’s say you had many fasts to make up, like twenty, and you started on the 10th of Shawwal. So, once you finish the obligatory, you are going to be outside of Shawwal. So when are you going to do the six days of Shawwal? Well, what you would do there is that you would actually do the obligatory fasts, and then you would follow it up with six extra with the intention of it being Shawwal even though you are not in Shawwal.

Q. Can we combine making up missed Ramadan fasts with fasting six days of Shawwaal with one intention?

A. That is not valid, because fasting the six days of Shawwaal can only be done after fasting Ramadan in full.

Q. When can I start fasting six days of Shawwal?

A. You can start fasting six days of Shawwal from the second day of Shawwal because it is haram to fast on the day of ‘Eid. You can fast the six days at any time during Shawwal, although the best of good deeds are those which are done soonest.

Q. Should Fasting Six Days of Shawwal Be Consecutive?

A. It is not a necessary condition that the six days of Shawwal should be fasted consecutively. If you fast them separately or consecutively, it is OK.

Q. Is it valid to fast the six days of Shawwal on Mondays and Thursdays so that it may attain the reward of fasting on Mondays and Thursdays?

A. There is nothing wrong fasting the six days of Shawwal on Mondays and Thursdays, and there will be recorded for you the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwal and of fasting on Mondays and Thursdays.

Q. Once we have fasted the 6 days of Shawaal should we also fast for al-Ayyam al-Beed (13,14,15 from every Hijri month)

A. If you fast the six days of Shawwal, you do not have to fast al-Ayyam al-Beed during that month too and hopefully you will be rewarded for that.


A Muslim who is keen to do good should realize the great virtue of voluntary fasts, and strive to observe them as much as possible. We list here the weekly, monthly and yearly times that fasts are recommended.


Mondays and Thursdays

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allâh was keen to fast on Mondays and Thursdays.”(An-Nasaai) 

The Prophet ﷺ was asked about fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and he said: “Those are two days on which people’s deeds are shown to the Lord of the Worlds, and I want my deeds to be shown to Him when I am fasting.” (An-Nasaai, ibn Majah, Ahmed)

He was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said, “On that day I was born and on that day revelation came to me.” (Sahih Muslim)


The White Days (Ayyaam al-Beedh)

It is mustahabb to fast in the middle of the hijri month, on the 13th, 14th and 15th of each month, known as Ayyaam al-Beedh (the White Days, in reference to the full moon).

The Messenger of Allâhﷺ said concerning the virtue of the three fasts: “The observance of three days’ fast every month and that of Ramadan every year is equivalent to fasting for the entire year…” (Sahih Muslim)

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allâh be pleased with him) said: “My close friend [ the Prophet ﷺ] advised me to do three things which I will never give up until I die: fasting three days each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after praying Witr.” (Agreed upon) 

It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “The Messenger of Allâhﷺ said to me, ‘If you fast any part of the month then fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.’” (Nasaa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad)

Note that if one misses this three fasts he/she can fast any three days of the Hijri month, as ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: ‘The Prophet used to fast three days of every month, and he did not bother whether he fasted them at the beginning of the month or in the middle or at the end.”


Day of ‘Ashura

‘Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allâh be pleased with him) was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Ashura. He said, “I do not know of any day on the Messenger of Allâhﷺ fasted that was better than this day and any month that was better than this month, meaning Ramadan.” (Agreed upon)

‘Abd-Allâh ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allâh be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allâh fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora and told the people to fast, they said,“O Messenger of Allâh, this is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.” The Messenger of Allâh said, “Next year, if Allâh wills, we will fast on the ninth day.” But by the time the following year came, the Messenger of Allâh had passed away. (Sahih Muslim)

It is mustahabb (highly recommended) to fast on the ninth of Muharram along with ‘Ashura; however, if someone misses it, they may fast on the eleventh of Muharram, so as to differentiate from the Jews. 

Day of Arafah

 ‘Arafah is the ninth day of Dhu’lHijjah.  

The Messenger of Allâhﷺ said: “…I seek from Allâh that fasting on the day of ‘Arafaah may atone for the sins of the preceding and the coming years, and I seek from Allâh that fasting on the day of ‘Ashura may atone for the sins of the preceding year.” (Sahih Muslim)

This is only for those who are not performing Hajj; rather, the pilgrims standing at ‘Arafah are not supposed to fast. 

The First Nine Days of Dhu’lHijjah

The virtues of the first 10 days of DhulHijjah are well known, and have been narrated in many ahadith. The Prophet ﷺ also used to encourage the believers to do even more good deeds on the first ten days of Dhu’lHijjah. 

The Prophet ﷺ used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’lHijjah. It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet ﷺ said: The Messenger of Allah used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashura, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. (An-Nasa’i& Ahmad)

Six Days of Shawwaal

Covered in detail above.


It is from the Sunnah to fast whatever one can in the month of Muharram because of the Hadith in which RasulAllahﷺ said: “The best of fasting after Ramadaan is the month of Allâh, Muharram, and the best of prayer after the obligatory prayers is prayer at night.” (Sahih Muslim)

First Half of the Month of Sha’baan

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allâh be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allâh used to fast until we thought that he would never break his fast, and he would not fast until we thought that he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allâh fast an entire month apart from Ramadan, and the month in which I saw him fast the most was Sha’baan. He used to fast all of Sha’baan or all of it apart from a few days.” (Agreed upon)

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allâh be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allâhﷺ said: “When Sha’baan is half over, do not fast.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood & Ibn Majah)

It is the Sunnah to fast the first fifteen days of Sha’baan, but not after that – unless one is already in the habit of fasting Mondays and Thursdays, in which case they may continue doing so. 

May Allah make us all amongst the people of fasting and allow us to enter paradise through Rayyan (the gate of Paradise for those who fast).

Please join our free online certificate course “FORGOTTEN SUNNAHS”, to learn more about Sunnah fasts and also other forgotten Sunnahs of various aspects of a Muslim’s life. (available online now, register and learn).

Note these are not part of the ongoing course, it is an independent course that can be done at your own pace and at your own convenience.