In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate
As-Salaam Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullahi Wa-Barakatuhu
"May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You"
Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
What are the virtues of fasting the 6 days of Shawwal ?
Abu Ayub al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allaahs 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.” (perpetually means: lifetime) [Sahih Muslim, Book 006, Number 2614]
Thawbaan (may Allaah be pleased with him), the freed slave of Allaahs Messenger (peace be upon him), related that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts six days after the Festival of Breaking the Fast completes the reward of a year, for whoever brings a good deed gets [the reward of] ten similar.” [Sunan Ibn Maajah, Vol. 3, p. 38, Number 1715]
When should a Muslim start fasting six days of Shawwaal ?
You can start fasting six days of Shawwaal from the second day of Shawwaal, because it is haraam to fast on the day of Eid.
You can fast the six days at any time during Shawwaal, although the best of good deeds are those which are done soonest.
The standing committee received the following question:
Should fasting the six days be done immediately after Ramadaan, following the day of Eid or is it permissible to do it a few days after Eid in the month of Shawwaal or not?
They replied as follows:
These days do not have to be fasted immediately after Eid al-Fitr; it is permissible to start fasting them one or more days after Eid, and they may be done consecutively or separately during the month of Shawwaal, according to what is easier for a person. There is plenty of room for maneuver in this matter, and this is not obligatory, it is Sunnah.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 10/391
Can a person start fasting six days of Shawwaal when he still has days to make up from Ramadaan ?
If a person fasts six days of Shawwaal after Ramadaan when he has not yet completed the Ramadaan fast because he did not fast ten days of Ramadaan for a legitimate reason will he have the same reward as a person who fasted all of Ramadaan and followed it with six days of Shawwaal, i.e. will he be like a person who fasted for a lifetime? Please explain to us, may Allaah reward you with good.
The precise rewards for the deeds which people do for the sake of Allaah is something which is known only to Allaah. If a person seeks the reward from Allaah and strives to obey Him, his reward will not be lost, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner to be lost." [al-Kahf 18:30].
If someone has missed some of the days of Ramadaan, he should fast them first, then fast six days of Shawwaal, because he cannot follow the fast of Ramadaan with six days of Shawwaal unless he has completed his Ramadaan fast.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaimah, 10/392
Should a woman start with making up missed fasts from Ramadaan or with the six days of Shawwaal ?
What should a woman do first: fast the six recommended days of Shawwal ( Alayam Alsetta Albeed) or fast equivalent to the days she missed in Ramadan due to her monthly period?
If she wants to earn the reward mentioned in the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),
"Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime"
(reported by Muslim, no. 1984), then she should complete her Ramadaan fasts first, then follow it with six days of Shawwaal, so that the hadeeth with be applicable to her too, and she will gain the reward mentioned in it.
As regards the matter of permissibility, it is permissible for her to delay making up her Ramadaan fasts, provided that she makes them up before the next Ramadaan comes along.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid