Fasting during Shawwal
The first day of Shawwal is Eid ul-Fitr. Some Muslims observe six days of fasting during Shawwal beginning the day after Eid ul-Fitr since fasting is prohibited on this day. These six days of fasting together with the Ramadan fasts, are equivalent to fasting "perpetually", according to Sahih Muslim. The reasoning behind this tradition is that a good deed in Islam is rewarded 10 times, hence fasting 30 days during Ramadan and 6 days during Shawwal is equivalent to fasting the whole year in terms of reward. It is a common misconception that the six days of fasting must be undertaken on consecutive days, but there is no hadith that support or stipulate this.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Shawwal migrates throughout the seasons. The estimated start and end dates for Shawwal are as follows:
- 1426 AH – First day: November 3, 2005; last day: December 1, 2005
- 1427 AH – First day: October 24, 2006; last day: November 21, 2006
- 1428 AH – First day: October 13, 2007; last day: November 10, 2007
- 1429 AH – First day: October 1, 2008; last day: October 30, 2008
- On 01 Shawwal, Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated throughout the Muslim World.
- On 13 Shawwal, Muhammad al-Bukhari was born in 194 AH.
- On 15 Shawwal, Sixth Imam Jafar Sadiq was killed.
- On 17 Shawwal, early Muslims fight in the Battle of Uhud.