Doing Overtime for Allah (The Six Fasts of Shawwal)
by Usman Majid
It’s a few days after Eid, and the post-Ramadan blues have truly kicked in.
There’s no wonder why Ramadan is the best time of the year. After all, we become the best version of ourselves.
But it doesn’t have to stop there.
Doing Overtime for Allah
A company is about to begin working on a major project; it’s the biggest project they will work on all year.
All of the staff are in tip-top shape and have been planning for weeks, ensuring all systems and processes are ready, and are prepared to work day and night in order to achieve success.
It will be a long and gruelling month, but the CEO has informed everyone that they will receive a bonus once the project has been successfully completed. Everyone’s happy, and the work begins.
The last few days were the toughest; late nights, early starts and extra stress.
Finally the project is completed, and to celebrate, the CEO throws a big party.
Everyone receives their bonuses, but as an added thank-you, the CEO gives the team an extra couple of days off for their hard work.
That night, everybody leaves and cannot wait to finally relax and enjoy their time off.
Except for one person.
This person heads back into the office that evening and decides to make a head start on the next project. They decide that in order to improve and truly succeed within the company, a few extra sacrifices will need to be made. They would be worth it, though. They also wanted to impress the CEO and show them that they mean business.
Now imagine this:
The CEO notices this one person, and due to their desire to go above and beyond whilst everybody else rushed away to take their break, they reward them with a FULL YEAR’S SALARY and a major promotion!
(Okay so, realistically, that probably wouldn’t happen, but here’s what I’m getting at…)
The 6 Fasts of Shawwal
“Whoever fasts Ramadaan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Majah).
“…it is [like fasting] an entire year” [Ibn Majah]
- Although you can fast on any 6 days throughout Shawwal, it may be easier to do 6 in a row. This way, you don’t have to go in and out of “fasting mode”, and the left-over Ramadan vibes will help you settle back into the routine quicker.
- Grab a squad! Doing this on your own will undoubtedly be a bit more difficult. Try to encourage your friends / family to join you. It will be like a mini-Ramadan all over again (woohoo!).
- A great idea you can propose to your local Masjid would be to organise a few Shawwal iftars throughout the month. If they do so on dedicated days, this may act as an incentive for everyone to fast together on the same days.