Shawwal: The 10th Month of the Islamic Calendar
Shawwal is the tenth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, which comes immediately after Ramadan, the month of fasting. It is a month of joy and celebration for Muslims around the world, as it marks the end of the fasting month and the start of the month of Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar. The 6 Days of Fasting in Shawwal is also observed this month.
Meaning of Shawwal
The word “Shawwal,” which is derived from the Arabic word sawaal, which means “raised,” was inspired by the camels that are seen during this time carrying their young. Since Arab tribes thought that marriages made in the month of Shawwal were bound to fail, before the emergence of Islam, it also denotes breaking or lifting.
Celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr on the 1st Day of Ramadan
During the month of Shawwal, Muslims engage in several activities to celebrate Eid al-Fitr and to continue the spiritual growth that they experienced during the month of Ramadan. One of the most important traditions is the performance of the Eid al-Fitr prayer, which is a special prayer performed on the first day of Shawwal, immediately after the sighting of the new moon. This prayer is usually performed in large congregations, and it is a time for Muslims to come together and celebrate their faith and community.
What is the significance of Shawwal?
According to scholars, a Muslim’s intention to fast the six days of Shawwal is an indication that their observance of Ramadan has been accepted. In fact, according to Ibn Rajab (ra), doing so would be a way for us to express our thankfulness to Allah (SWT) for the benefits, mercies, and rewards that come with Ramadan.
“[Allah wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful” [Qur’an 2:185]
This month also serves as a crucial time for considering the positive behaviors that were developed throughout Ramadan and for refocusing the soul, mind and body for the rest of the year and afterward.
When is Shawwal 2023?
On April 21, 2023, Eid Al-Fitr and the first day of Shawwal start.
When will Shawwal 2023 end?
The end of Shawwal 2023 is May 20.
6 days of Shawwal fasting
Another important tradition during Shawwal is the practice of fasting six days, known as the “six fasts of Shawwal”. These fasts are not Fardh (obligatory), but they are Sunnah (highly recommended) as a way of continuing the spiritual growth that Muslims experienced during Ramadan. According to a hadith (a saying of the Prophet Muhammad), fasting these six days is equivalent to fasting the entire year. This is a significant reward, and many Muslims take advantage of this opportunity to gain more spiritual benefits.
Since Eid Al-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, fasting is not permitted on that day. To fulfill the six days of Shawwal fasting and receive the benefit of a year of fasting, it is advised that worshippers fast for six days of their choosing before the month is completed.
Shawwal is also a time for Muslims to reflect on their achievements during Ramadan and to continue practicing the good deeds that they started during that month. This includes giving charity, performing extra prayers, and reciting the Quran. Muslims are encouraged to continue these practices throughout the year, but Shawwal provides a special opportunity to maintain the spiritual momentum that was gained during Ramadan.
Fasting 6 days of Shawwal hadith
One of the most important hadiths related to Shawwal is the saying of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who said:
“Whoever fasts Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for the whole year.”
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1164
This hadith highlights the importance of continuing the spiritual journey beyond Ramadan and emphasizes the significant reward that can be attained by fasting these six days of Shawwal.
Shawwal is also a time for Muslims to come together with their families and friends to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. This is a time for feasting, exchanging gifts, and expressing gratitude for the blessings of Allah. Many Muslims also use this time to visit relatives and friends and to spread happiness and kindness in their communities.
Benefits of 6 days of Shawwal fasting:
1) Rewards of Shawwal fasting six days in a row are equivalent to benefits of fasting all year round.
2) It covers and makes up for the shortcoming left in the Ramadan fast.
3) When someone fasts after Ramadan, it is a sign that Allah has accepted their Ramadan fasts and given them the fortitude to fast in Shawwal once again in order to perform good deeds.
4) Following Ramadan with a devout life free of sins is made possible with the aid of shawwal fasting.
Significance of the Shawwal moon
The sighting of the moon, also known as the Shawwal crescent moon, marks the conclusion of the fasting month of Ramadan and the start of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. Even though Eid al-Fitr only lasts one day, fasting is only forbidden on its first day.
The fortunate month of Shawwal is when Eid ul-Fitr is observed. Shawwal is a holy month, hence it is completely permissible to conduct Umrah in accordance with Islamic law. It is crucial to understand that there are two separate Umrah types. Umrah al-Mufradah is one, and Umrah al-Tamattu is the other.
Muslims can do Umrah al-Mufradah at any time of the year. Nevertheless, it cannot be done during the Hajj season. Typically, Hajj and Umrah al-Tamattu are undertaken together. This Umrah is carried out during Hajj months as a result. These include Shawwal, Dhu al-Qadha, and Dhu al-Hijjah.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that choosing to perform Umrah during Shawwal counts as performing Hajj, making it the Hajj of Tamattu. The successful completion of Umrah prior to Shawwal also excludes its acceptance as Tamattu’s Umrah.
To conduct Umrah in Shawwal, one must meet a number of requirements. The most fundamental of these requirements is that the traveller must be an adult Muslim who is physically and financially capable of making the trip. To complete the Umrah, women must have a Mahram or male relative.
5 Shawwal month facts
1) In the month of Shawwal, the legendary battle of Uhud took place.
This month also saw the Battle of Hunayn.
2) The Sultanate of Nejd destroyed the al-Baqi cemetery in 1926 during the Shawwal month.
3) Imam al-Bukhari, a well-known Islamic scholar, was born on the 13th of Shawwal in 194 AH.
4) This month saw the martyrdom of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, the founder of the Ja’fari school of law.
5) The month of Shawwal is a time for rejoicing and dedicating oneself to Allah’s service. Make the most of it by engaging in a six-day fast and, if you can, performing Umrah.
Conclusion: Shawwal, a month of celebration, reflection, and spiritual growth
In conclusion, Shawwal is a month of celebration, reflection, and spiritual growth for Muslims around the world. 6 Days of Fasting in Shawwal helps seal your fasts and get them accepted. It provides a special opportunity to continue the good deeds and practices that were started during Ramadan and to gain even more spiritual benefits. Through fasting, prayer, and acts of kindness, Muslims can continue their journey toward becoming better individuals and strengthening their relationship with Allah.