Fasting your whole life

Do you want to fast your whole life? It's not easy, i requires more wits and will than most people have. Let me re-phrase my question: Do you want to get reward as if you're fasting your whole life?

If your answer is NO, skip this article. But if your answer is YES, read on...

Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with him) related the Messenger of Allah, (p.b.u.h.), said: "Whoever observes the Ramadan fast and follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted Dahr (the whole year or possibly forever)." (Bukhari)

How? Ulama said "A good deed (Hasanah) is rewarded a minimum of ten times its equivalent. It follows, then, that one Ramadan is equivalent to ten months of fasting, and the clincher, six days, is equal to two months" (source: It's a simple math then, fasting reward-wise, one Ramadhan=10 months, 6 days of syawwal = 2 months. 10 + 2 months = 1 year.

So, fasting for one month in Ramadhan and six days in syawwal will bear the rewards of fasting the whole year. and if this is done EVERY year, you're reaping the rewards of fasting your WHOLE LIFETIME!!!

Then there's always the issue of those who missed several days of fasting during Ramadhan, especially the women who went through their mentrual cycle. Which one should they attend to first? To make up for the missed Ramadhan, or go straight to the six days of Syawwal first?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: What if a woman owes days from Ramadaan – is it permissible for her to give precedence to fasting the six days of Shawwaal over making up the days she owes, or should she give priority to the days she owes over fasting the six days of Shawwaal?

He replied: If a woman still owes days from Ramadaan, then she should not fast the six days of Shawwaal until after she has made up what she owes, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal…” Whoever still has days to make up from Ramadaan has not fasted Ramadaan, so she will not attain the reward of fasting the six days of Shawwaal until after she has finished making up the days she owes. If we assume that this making up missed fasts lasts throughout Shawwaal, such as if a woman was bleeding following childbirth and did not fast at all in Ramadaan, then she started to make up her missed fasts in Shawaal and did not finish that until Dhu’l-Qa’dah began, then she may fast the six days, and she will have the reward of one who fasted them in Shawwaal, because she delayed it for a necessary reason, so she will have the reward.

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 20/19

So friends, let us all grab this opportunity while it lasts :)

-Ariff Abdullah

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