Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fasting In Syawal

It is the month of Syawal: a month of joy and a month of freedom. We should also not consider Ramadhan as the only month for us to perform ibadah.

If in Ramadhan we had controlled our tongues from talking or conversing inappropriately, we should continue to do so for the rest of our lives. If in Ramadhan we had controlled our eyes from looking at things most despicable, it does not mean that after Ramadhan, we could return to our old ways.

Perhaps there are among us who feel that there were many shortcomings done in the last Ramadhan. Perhaps the ibadah were not performed perfectly and perhaps missed the opportunity to get the benefits of the 1000 months.

Verily Allah, The Almighty offers us the opportunity to His servants. It is up to us to seize the opportunity.

In this month, there are many acts which can be performed to complement and continue from our acts in the past month.

The complementary ibadah referred to is the six days fast in the month of Syawal - whether it is performed continuously or alternately in Syawal. The fast of 6 days in Syawal has many benefits. Amongst them, as reported in a hadith which means: He who fasts in the month of Ramadhan followed by 6 days in Syawal, it is as if he has fasted for 1 year.

It means that if you complete the fast of 1 month of Ramadhan and continue with 6 days of fasting in Syawal, you will be rewarded with the rewards of someone who has fast for 1 full year.

If we analyse that hadith, we can conclude that it corresponds to Allah’s commands in Surah Al An’am verse 160 which means: "He that does good will have ten times as much to his credit. He that does evil shall only be recompensed according to His evil. No wrong shall be done unto any of them."

From this verse, we can see that the 30 days of fasting that we have endured in Ramadhan equates to 10 months of fasting! And the 6 days of fasting in Syawal would equate to 2 months. Thus, we will complete 12 months of fasting, which would equate to fasting for 1 whole year!

This is explained in another hadith which means: "Allah will reward every good act ten times over. And so 1 month of good deeds will sow the equivalent of 10 months of rewards. And 6 days after 'Eid Fitr completes the 1 year."

This is the benefit Allah has offered to us for us to reap. For those who may have missed the benefits from the previous months, this is an opportunity which you should not miss. The 6 days of fasting in Syawal is like a Rawatib prayer that completes any incomplete prayer. And surely in the course of our fasting in Ramadhan there must have been numerous mistakes that we have made. By fasting 6 days in Syawal, it creates an opportunity for us to atone for those mistakes in our fasting.

Let us increase our ibadah in this significant month in Islam. And may our good deeds be rewarded and accepted by Allah, The Almighty.

... excerpts taken from MUIS' Friday Sermon dated 21 December 2001.

1 comment:

toughGetsGoing said...

have to confess, every year i feel that the fasting in Shawal is more challenging then Ramadhan. Always feel that I do not condition the body well enough.

Nonetheless, the extend of the mercy from our Rabb is never-ending. Shall take this opportunity to "make-up" for the short-comings during the fast of ramadhan.