The tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar is known as Shawwal. This month comes after Ramadan. Shawwal is derived from the Arabic word Sawaal, also meaning raised or to carry and refers to when camels would get pregnant and raise their babies. Shawwal is important because Eid ul-Fitr takes place on the 1st of Shawwal. However, Muslims also observe a six-day fasting period in this month, as it has immense rewards. Keeping this in mind, this blog will discuss in detail the significance of the month of Shawwal, what the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said about this month, and the benefits of fasting.
The Importance of Shawwal for Muslims
The month of Shawwal is important for Muslims because it provides a great chance for spiritual renewal and allows Muslims to fast and indulge in good deeds into another month. This month is also significant because, this month, all Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, which is considered a reward for completing the fasts of the month of Ramadan.
Fasting in the Month of Shawwal
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam, but fasting for six days of Shawwal is extremely beneficial to believers. Not only does this give us a chance to continue our practice of good deeds, but it also protects us from many harmful acts. However, remember that fasting on the first day of Shawwal is haram, according to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Apart from the first day, you can fast on any day of Shawwal.
There are numerous benefits to fasting in the month of Shawwal, from maintaining the spirit of Ramadan in your daily routine to making up for any unintentional deficiency in fasting. Let’s discuss some benefits below:
- Fasting in Shawaal helps to make up for any lack in a person’s obligatory fasts because no one is free of shortcomings.
- After Ramadan, fasting helps lead us to a pious life by protecting us from sins and turning us towards Allah SWT.
- It helps to keep our habit of fasting frequently observable by building our stamina against the need to drink or eat.
A hadith of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) describes how rewarding fasting in Shawwal is.
In a hadith narrated by Abu Ayyub, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that whoever fasts for Ramadan and then follows it up by fasting for six days of Shawwal would be as if he had fasted for a lifetime.
Umrah (pilgrimage to Makkah) is a sacred worship to Allah SWT to seek His mercy and strengthen or restore their faith. One of the main differences between Hajj and Umrah is that Umrah can be performed all year round, while Hajj can only be performed within the dates specified by Islamic laws.
As this month is filled with blessings, performing Umrah in Shawwal is a pious decision and completely under the Shariah (Islamic laws).
Although, do keep in mind that there are two types of Umrahs: Umrah Mufrada (optional) and Umrah Tammatu (obligatory). Let’s discuss the difference between these two kinds of umrahs.
- Umrah Mufrada: Umrah Mufrada is the kind of Umrah that can be performed all year long except for the time of Hajj; this means Umrah Mufrada should be performed before the months of Hajj: Dhu al-Hijjah, Dhu al-Qadah, and Shawwal.
- Umrah Tammatu: On the other hand, Umrah Tammatu is the kind of Umrah performed with Hajj in the month of Dhul al-Hijjah, just before the commencement of the Hajj ritual.
It is important to note that if one chooses to perform Umrah in the month of Shawwal, it will be labeled as Umrah Tammatu, as the month of Shawwal is one of the months of Hajj. Likewise, Umrah completed before the month of Shawwal will be classified as Umrah Mufrada.
Interesting Facts about Shawwal
Not only does this month have immense rewards and benefits for a believer, but this month also marks some significant events in Islamic history.
- The Battle of Uhud: The second most important battle of ancient Islamic history, the Battle of Uhud, or Ghazwa e Uhud, was fought on 3 Shawwal 3 AH. This battle took place in the valley of Mount Uhud, near Madina. Therefore, this is where the battle takes its name from.
- The Marriage: The marriage of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Hazrat Ayesha occurred in the month of Shawwal. Apart from this, there is also a hadith narrating that Hazrat Ayesha preferred her women’s marriage to be consummate in the month of Shawwal.
- The Battle Of Hunayn: The last battle personally led by the Holy Prophet (PBUH), also known as the Battle of Hunayn or Ghazwa e Hunayn, was also fought in the month of Shawwal. This battle took place in Hunayn, a valley between Makkah and Taaif.
- Birth and Death of Imam al-Bukhari: Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari, also referred to as Imam al-Bukhari, is regarded as one of the most significant hadith scholars in the history of Islam. Imam al-Bukhari was born on the 13th Shawwal, 194 AH, and died on the 1st Shawwal, 256 AH. The collection of his hadith is known as Sahih al-Bukhari.
- The Death of Hazrat Hamza RA: In the battle of Uhuh, many Muslims were martyred. Among them was Hazrat Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib. He was the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and one of the strongest men in Islamic history.
The month of Shawwal holds great importance in Islam and all Muslims worldwide. This month provides a chance to earn rewards and blessings while seeking repentance and renewal. Moreover, it also marks some significant events in Islamic history. Keeping this in mind, we should strive to be our best selves this month and try to lead our lives according to the Shariah to gain the pleasure of Allah SWT.