Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
We are into the third week of Syawal now. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is one of the two Eid celebrations for a Muslim. Before I continue writing, I would like to wish all Muslims, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Ma’af, zahir dan batin.
After all the feasting of delicious food on 1 Syawal, some of us immediately started fasting again on 2 Syawal for “Fasting For Six Days of Syawal”, or in my community, it is known as Puasa 6. Why do we perform Puasa 6? What is so special about Puasa 6?
Performing Puasa 6 is actually a good way to reduce the withdrawal symptom of Ramadhan. The beauty of fasting in Ramadhan is enhanced by continuing with Puasa 6. It is not compulsory but it is highly encouraged. The Mathematics of it is such that the fasting in the month of Ramadhan is as good as the fasting for 300 days as 1 day of fasting in Ramadhan is equivalent to 10 days. Allah SWT extends this multiply effect to those who perform Puasa 6. It means that when one performs all 6 days of fasting in Syawal, it is as though he is fasting for 60 days. When you add 300 days of reward for Ramadhan fasting and 60 days of reward for Puasa 6 in Syawal, it would be as though we have fast for 360 days and 360 days is equivalent to one year in the lunar calendar. Subhanallah!
Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (a great and close companion of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW), told of our Prophet SAW as saying, “He who observed the fast of Ramadhan and then followed it with six (fast) of Syawal, it would be as if he fasted perpetually.” – Sahih Muslim.
There is no hard and fast rule about performing Puasa 6. We can fast continuously for six days or we can spread these 6 days in Syawal. For women who could not fast for 30 days in Ramadhan due to menstruation, we can repay our fast in Syawal and gain double rewards; one for the repayment (qadha) and one for Puasa 6. Likewise, for people who travel or fall sick in Ramadhan and could not fast, they too, can repay in Syawal and earn double rewards.
From the Facebook of Ustaz Abdul Rahman Mohamed dated 30 July 2014, this is what he wrote:
“Di kalangan ulama Syafie ada yang berpendapat bahawa ganjaran puasa enam Syawal tetap akan diperolehi apabila seseorang berpuasa qadha sekalipun dia tidak berniat menggabungkan kedua-duanya. Namun, pahala yang diperolehi itu adalah kurang berbanding seorang yang berpuasa kedua-duanya secara berasingan. [Fatawa al-Azhar 9/261]”
Among the scholars of Mazhab Syafie, some are of the opinion that the reward for performing Puasa 6 can still be earned when one repays his/her fast in Syawal eventhough he/she does not have the intention to combine both. However, the reward earned is lesser than those who perform repayment and Puasa 6 separately.
As a gentle reminder, it is compulsory to repay every missed Ramadhan fast, while Puasa 6 is voluntary.
While we are still in Syawal, there is another topic that I would like to touch on briefly.
I hope I am not too late to talk about the topic of “salam-salaman”; ie. shaking of hands during visiting. Many of us have been putting culture above religion. I have not been excluded too all these years. Some feel that shaking the hands of relatives older than us from the opposite sex symbolises “Respect”. I, too, suffer from this mentality. However, shouldn’t we put religion above culture?
I respect my honourable uncles no less when I stop shaking their hands. I respect my honourable second male cousins no less when I do not extend my hand to them anymore. Mahram issue is not something to be taken lightly. What if I shake the hand of my auntie’s husband and after leaving their house, I meet with an accident and die? Sometimes, it is difficult to avoid shaking hands with relatives who are non-Mahram if we have been brought up in that culture but I believe, if we continue to educate our younger generation and ourselves on the topic of Mahram, InsyaAllah, the awareness is always there. For a start, I am very proud of my sons who have reached puberty and know whose hands are permissible to shake and whose hands are not. Let us all work towards responsible Muslim-parenting. May we all be bestowed Hidayah by The AlMighty. Amin.
“And Allah guides whom He pleases to the right path.” – Surah Al-Baqarah. Ayat 213.
NORLIZA BTE ABDUL KARIM