The Blessed Month of Shawwal
We hope everyone had a beautiful Ramadan and a joyous Eid, Insha’Allah! Hopefully the blessings of these joyous events reached all the members of the ummah of our Beloved Nabi (saws).
Before we move into Dhul Qa’dah, let’s briefly go over some of the highlights of the blessed month of Shawwal.
Shawwal is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. One major event in the month of Shawwal is the blessed Muslim holiday of Eid-ul-Fitr. This festive day is an immediate reward that Allah (swt) gives to His servants who spent the month of Ramadan in fasting and worship. In other religions and cultures, it is the norm to celebrate a holiday singing, dancing, or engaging in other vain forms of entertainment—in other words, in sheer heedlessness. However, our perfect deen is truly one of a kind, and for a Muslim, there is no “day off” from the beautiful shari’ah that Allah (swt) has gifted him/her with. Allah (swt) has mandated all well heeled Muslims to begin their joyous Eid day by remembering the less wealthy members of the ummah in the form of paying sadaqatul fitr. That way, the poorer members of the community may also enjoy their Eid without worrying about earning their livelihood for at least that day.
After giving charity, it is wajib on Muslim men to gather together to offer the Eid prayer. What more of an excellent way to begin this festive day than to perform acts that are pleasing to and attract the blessings of our Creator? SubhanAllah, Allah (swt) is so Merciful and Generous to give us special opportunities to please Him on the joyous day of Eid-ul-Fitr!
After the Eid salah, we should enjoy the rest of the day while taking care to remain within the boundaries of the shari’ah. Many Muslims spend their Ramadan in intense worship but then on Eid, they “celebrate” by performing acts of sin. This is very unfortunate, and we should by no means violate the shari’ah under any circumstances.
The first night of Shawwal, or the night preceding Eid day, is also very blessed, and we are encouraged to spend it in worship. On this special night, du’as are accepted and a large number of people are released from the Hellfire. Rasulullah (saws) said: “Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die” (Ibn Majah).
Another special act of Shawwal is the six fasts that we are encouraged to keep this month. The Prophet (saws) said, “Whoever completes fasts of Ramadan then adds to them the fast of six days in the month of Shawwal, it will carry the thawab of fasting for the whole year” (Sahih Muslim). The scholars have interpreted this Hadith such that it is established by the shari’ah that the reward of every good deed a Muslim performs is multiplied by ten. Therefore, the 30 fasts of Ramadan are multiplied by ten, resulting in 300 fasts. Additionally, the six fasts of Shawwal are also multiplied by ten, resulting in 60 fasts, for a total of 360 fasts—which is equal to the number of days in the Islamic calendar. SubhanAllah, how Merciful our Lord is! He constantly gives us promises of such huge rewards for such little effort on our part. We should aim to keep these six fasts on the 2nd to 7th of Shawwal. However, even if we weren’t able to and we complete them later on in the month, there is still hope for the same reward, Insha’Allah.
Another important thing to remember is that the night Ramadan ends, the days of Hajj begin. Shawwal is the first of the three months of Hajj, and those fortunate individuals who are invited to the House of Allah this year should begin preparing for their esteemed journey! Even those who are not going for Hajj should work on strengthening their connection with Allah (swt) during these months and should aim to spend the days of Hajj making the same du’as and hoping to make the same changes in their lives as they would if they had gone for Hajj.
May Allah (swt) allow the entire ummah to partake from these blessed months and may He allow many of us to enter His Glorious House this Dhul Hijjah! Ameen.
- www.islamicspirituality.org (https://islamicspiritualityk.wordpress.com/category/ibadah/hajj-ibadah/)