What is status of this Hadith ?
حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ أَيُّوبَ، وَقُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، وَعَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، جَمِيعًا عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، – قَالَ ابْنُ أَيُّوبَ حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، – أَخْبَرَنِي سَعْدُ بْنُ سَعِيدِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ، عَنْ عُمَرَ، بْنِ ثَابِتِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ الْخَزْرَجِيِّ عَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، – رضى الله عنه – أَنَّهُ حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ
“ مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ الدَّهْرِ ”
Sahih Muslim , باب اسْتِحْبَابِ صَوْمِ سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ شَوَّالٍ اتِّبَاعًا لِرَمَضَانَ
and what is status of its narrator سَعْدُ بْنُ سَعِيدِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ ? Is he reliable ?
Translation of the text:
Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
‘Whoever observes the fast of Ramadan, and follows it with six [fasts] in Shawwal, will be [rewarded] like he fasted the entire year.’
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1164 )
This Hadith is recorded in Sahih Muslim and is therefore authentic.
The reliability of the narrator
The narrator you question; Sa’d ibn Sa’id ibn Qays (rahimahullah), has been declared reliable by several Hadith masters, namely: Ibn Ma’in -in one narration-, Ibn Sa’d, Daraqutni, Ibn Shahin, Ibn Hibban, Ibn ‘Adiy and others.
(Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol.3 pg. 470 )
A few Scholars have regarded him lower than his illustrious brother, Imam Yahya ibn Sa’id Al-Ansari (rahimahumallah) which is perfectly understandable. This however, doesn’t necessitate Sa’d being weak per say. All it means is that he is not as his brother is.
Furthermore, there are six other reliable narrators who also report this from the same teacher as Sa’d’s. This further strengthens the chain and proves that Sa’d didn’t falter. Therefore Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) accepted this Hadith.
Other Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum)
Besides the narration above, this Hadith has been reported by fourteen other Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum). For this reason, some Hadith masters have labelled this Hadith as Mutawatir (which is the highest level of authenticity)
(Qutful Azharil Mutanathirah, Hadith: 50 and Nazmul Mutanathir, Hadith: 128)
This illustrates that the virtue of the six fasts of Shawwal is proven beyond doubt.
Therefore one should not be moved by the baseless objections that some contemporaries raise against this Hadith.
Shaykh Khalil Mulla Khatir (hafizahullah) -a contemporary Scholar- has written a detailed article on this issue. Most of the above is taken from his book, entitled: Mashru’iyyatu Siyami Sittim Min Shawwal
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar
This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.