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12 days of fasting in Shawwal

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.org.au
It is said in the a hadith that if a person fasts for 6 days of Shawaal, it is as though he has fasted for a whole year. Does this mean that if a person fasts for 12 days of shawaal it will be as though he has fasted for 2 whole years?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

The hadith, as related in Sahih Muslim, is “Whoever fasts in Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.”

In Sunan Ibn Majah it is narrated on the authority of Thauban (R.A.) that the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said ““Whoever fasts for six days after (Eid) al-Fitr, it will be like the fasting of a year.” (Mirqaatul Mafatih: 4/545)

The scholars explain that the reason why fasting in Ramadan then fasting for six days in Shawwal is equal to fasting for a whole year is that each reward of a person is multiplied by ten. Therefore, fasting in Ramadan will be equal to fasting for 300 days (30 x 10 = 300); and fasting for an additional six days will be equal to fasting for 60 days (6 x 10 = 60). Fasting in Ramadan then for 6 days in Shawwal will altogether be equal to fasting for 360 days, which is the equivalent of one year. This is also supported by a hadith in Sunan Nisaa’i. (Sharh Muslim of Nawawi: 1/369; Ahsanul Fatawa: 4/440; Mirqaatul Mafatih: 4/544)

It thus becomes clear that the reward of fasting for a year is applicable to a person who keeps the fasts of Ramadan as well as six days of Shawwal. Therefore, it is not correct to say that if a person keeps 12 days of fasts in Shawwal instead of 6 days, he will get the reward of fasting for two years.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Faizal Riza
16/9/2011

This answer was collected from Fatwa.org.au, which is connected to Darul Ifta Australia, based in Melbourne, Australia.
It is operated by Mufti Faizal Riza, a student of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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