Fasting Six Days of Shawwal Q&A

Abu Ayyoub reported that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and then follows it by fasting six days during the month of Shawwal will be rewarded as if he had fasted the entire year. [Muslim, at-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood and Ahmad by way of Jabir].

Q:Must the six days of Shawwal be fasted directly after ‘Eid day?
A: It is not necessary to observe this Sawm directly after `Eid-ul-Fitr. It is permissible to start observing it one or more days afterwards. The six days can be observed either consecutively or non-consecutively during the month of Shawwal, whichever is easier. This matter is open to choice, as this Sawm is Sunnah and not Faridah (obligatory act).
Q: Does the Sawm of six days of Shawwal suffice instead of missed days of Ramadan?
A: Observing the voluntary Sawm of six days of Shawwal is not sufficient to compensate for the missed days of Ramadan. The Muslim should first make up for the missed days then observe the Sawm of six days of Shawwal, if one wishes, before the end of the month.
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It is prescribed to give priority to make up for missed days of Ramadan over fasting the six days of Shawwal
Q: Is it permissible to observe Sawm (Fasting) for six days in Shawwal before making up for the missed days of the previous month of Ramadan?
A: Scholars differ regarding this issue; however, the soundest opinion is that it is prescribed to give precedence to observing Sawm of the missed days of Ramadan over the six days of Shawwal and other supererogatory Sawm, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who fasts Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal it is as if they fasted the whole year. (Related by Muslim in his Sahih [Authentic Hadith Book]) If one chooses to observe Sawm of the six days of Shawwal first, it will not be considered as one who fasts these six days after fasting all of Ramadan, but after some days of Ramadan. Making up for the missed days of Ramadan is a Fard (obligatory act of worship) while fasting the six days of Shawwal is voluntary, and a Fard is more important to fulfill. May Allah grant us success!
Source: Islamic Research Journal
Q: A man has to observe Sawm (Fast) for two consecutive months as a Kaffarah (expiation), but he wants to fast the six days of Shawwal. Is it permissible for him to do so?
A: You have to hasten to fulfill the Kaffarah; it is not permissible to fast the six days of Shawwal before the Kaffarah, for fasting these six days is a Nafl (supererogatory act of worship) while the Kaffarah is a Fard (obligatory act of worship) which should be carried out immediately. It should be given priority over the Sawm of the six days of Shawwal or any other supererogatory Sawm.
Source: Fatwas of Ibn Baz
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