The act of fasting for 6-days after the Ramadan fast is termed in Arabic as Sita Shawwal. Shawwal is the 10th month in the Islamic calendar following the holy month of Ramadan. It is loved worldwide because the first day of the month is celebrated as Eid al-Fitr. Though the first day is celebrated as a feast, Muslims keep a 6-day fast just after Eid al-Fitr. It is believed that fasting 6-days after Eid al-Fitr increases the blessings of Ramadan fasting and makes up for any unintentional deficiency recorded during Ramadan fasting. Many Muslims key into this as they observe the fasting period with much dedication.
The holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever fasts Ramadan, then follows it with six days (of fasting) of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for the entire year” (Muslim)
The reason behind this tradition is not far to seek. A good deed in Islam is rewarded 10 times, hence fasting 30 days during Ramadan and 6-days during Shawwâl is equivalent to fasting for the whole year in fulfilment of the obligation.
Another reward of Shawwal fasting for 6-days is that it acts as a sign that Allah has accepted Ramadan fasts and granted an individual the strength to do good deeds of fasting again in Shawwal.
Shawwal fasting helps an individual seek further guidance from Allah and lead a pious life after Ramadan away from sins.
Every extra noble effort made in the way of Allah SWT brings one closer to Him, which ultimately results in the purification of heart and soul. Fasting in Shawwal is also one of those noble deeds making one come closer to the Almighty Lord, resulting in achievement in both worlds.
Fasting after a month-long struggle of hunger and thirst for the most beneficent, returning to the same routine after Eid tells that the person has succeeded in their efforts during Ramadan and is on the right path.
The month of Shawwal is the time for celebration and devotion of oneself to the service of Allah. Muslims are, therefore, encouraged to make the most of fasting for the six days and if possible perform Umrah as well. Performing Umrah during this period is also rewarding.