Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- It is well known for all Muslims that fasting six days in Shawwal has a great reward from Allah Almighty, as was stated in the Sunnah.
2- The reward for fasting six days of Shawwal is like the reward of a person who he had fasted a whole year.
In his response to your question, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former President of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:
Fasting six days of the month of Shawwal is mentioned in a Prophetic hadith. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Whosoever fasted in Ramadan and then followed up with six fasting days of Shawwal, it is like fasting every day.” (Muslim)
The meaning is that the reward is like the reward of a person who he had fasted a whole year. It is highly recommended to fast six days of the month of Shawwal, but it is not obligatory. Those who want to fast can fast after Eid Al-Fitr any six days during Shawwal.
It is not required to fast six days continuously without any interruption. One can fast according to convenience any time during the month.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.