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:
After the month of fasting is over, a Muslim is required to keep the spirit of Ramadan as much as he or she can. Moreover, if he or she has missed fasting for some days in Ramadan for a valid justification, he or she should hasten to make up for them.
Answering your question, Dr. Wael Shehab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states:
Regarding your question, I do advise my dear brothers and sisters to consider the following after Ramadan:
1- Make Up for Missed Fast Days
A Muslim should hasten to make up the missed fast days of Ramadan if he or she has missed fast day(s) of Ramadan for a valid reason such as illness, travel, or menses in the case of women.
2- Fast Six Days in Shawwal
It is highly recommended by the Sunnah for a Muslim to fast six days in the month of Shawwal. Fasting for six days in Shawwal entails great reward and blessings from Allah Almighty.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan, and then follows it up by (fasting) six days of Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted the whole year.” (Muslim)
Here, it is important to point out that it is not necessary for a Muslim to fast the six days of Shawwal consecutively. So long as one has fasted six days, either consecutively or separately, he or she will fulfill the requirement and will receive the same rewards, inshaa’ Allah.
3- Keep the Spirit of Ramadan
A Muslim should spare no efforts to keep the spirit of Ramadan throughout the other months of the year by means of:
- Seeking Allah’s support, beseeching Him Almighty to guide him to the right path and help him remain steadfast in faith.
- Observing optional fasting after Ramadan, as Muslims are encouraged by the Sunnah to observe optional fasting after Ramadan. The days in which optional fasting is recommended are:
- Fasting six days during the month of Shawwal.
- Fasting the day of Arafah, the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, provided that the person is not offering Hajj.
- Fasting the 10th of Muharram, and if possible the 9th and the 11th days of the same month.
- Fasting as many days as possible during the month of Sha`ban.
- Fasting during the months of Ragab, Dhul Qidah, Dhul Hijjah, and Muharram.
- Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays.
- Fasting the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month.
- Keeping on offering optional night Prayer.
- Keeping on reciting, listening to and reflecting on the Quran.
- Keeping on taking care of the poor and the needy.
- Keeping on offering supererogatory acts of worship.
- Keeping on performing dhikr a lot and asking Almighty Allah for forgiveness.
- Avoiding the prohibitions and illegal practices.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.