Ben­e­fits of Sitta Shawwal Fast, by Sheikh Sani Ya­haya

Daily Trust - - TRUST ISLAMIC FORUM - By Idris Dan-Azumi @danazu­mi­idi

Af­ter the Eid el-Fitr, ob­served on the 1st of Shawwal (Sal­lah day), the ummah are ex­pected to em­bark on the Sitta Shawwal fast, a Sun­nah Mus­ta­hab­bah, that has great virtue and car­ries im­mense re­ward.

Sheikh Muham­mad Sani Ya­haya Jin­gir, Na­tional Chair­man of the Ulama Coun­cil of the Izala (JIBWIS Jos) said: “The Sitta Shawwal fast­ing starts from the sec­ond day and should be com­pleted be­fore the month ends. This vol­un­tary fast­ing is, to the oblig­a­tory fast of the blessed month of Ra­madan, what the Sun­nah prayer is to the oblig­a­tory prayer.

He ex­plained that, “Among the very im­por­tant ben­e­fits of fast­ing the six days of Shawwal is that it makes up for short­com­ings in a per­son’s oblig­a­tory Ra­madan fast,” not­ing that no one was free of short­com­ings or sins that could ef­fect on his fast­ing.

“On the Day of Res­ur­rec­tion,” the Izala leader fur­ther ex­plained, “Our nafil (su­pereroga­tory or op­tional) deeds will be used to make up the short­com­ings in our oblig­a­tory deeds,” say­ing the ummah should re­dou­ble ef­fort in that re­gard.

He said it was nar­rated from the Prophet (PBUH) that, “The first thing for which peo­ple will be brought to account on the Day of Res­ur­rec­tion will be their Sal­lah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glo­ri­fied and ex­alted, will say to His an­gels - although He knows best - ‘Look at the Sal­lah of My slave, whether it is com­plete or in­com­plete.’ If it is per­fect, it will be recorded as per­fect, and if some­thing is lack­ing, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any vol­un­tary (nafil) prayers.’ If he did some vol­un­tary prayers, [Al­lah] will say, Com­plete the oblig­a­tory ac­tions of My slave from his vol­un­tary ac­tions.’ Then all his ac­tions will be dealt with in a sim­i­lar man­ner.”

Sheikh Sani Ya­haya said: “Fast­ing the six days of Shawwal should start from the sec­ond day of the month be­cause it is haram to fast on ‘Eid day, but one can fast the six days at any time dur­ing Shawwal”, adding that “the best of good deeds are those which are con­sis­tent and done with­out de­lay.”

He fur­ther stated that for those who reg­u­larly ob­served the Sitta Shawwal fast, it gives them the re­ward of fast­ing a life-time. He re­cited, among oth­ers, the nar­ra­tion by Abu Ayyub (RA) from Mus­lim, who re­ported that Prophet Muham­mad (PBUH) said: “If any­one who has kept the fasts in Ra­madan, fol­lows them up with the six (op­tional) fasts of Shawwal then (he will get the re­ward for the fast of a year but if he does that al­ways) it is as if he fasted all his life.”

On the mode of ob­ser­vance of the fast­ing, he said it must all be within Shawwal pre­ferrably but not nec­es­sar­ily in con­sec­u­tive order based on a ha­dith by a com­pan­ion, Abu Ayyub al-An­sari’s (RA).

Sheikh Sani Ya­haya stated that for some­one who has missed some days of the Ra­madan fast­ing, he should fast them first, then fol­low up with the six days of Shawwal. He said this is be­cause a per­son can only fast the six days of Shawwal af­ter he must have com­pleted the oblig­a­tory Ra­madan fast.

Sheikh Sani Ya­haya Jin­gir

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