Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 1 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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Making up the fast days during the six days of Shawwal

Is it permissible for women to make up their missed fast-days of Ramadan simultaneously with the six days of Shawwal and earn the reward for the six days of Shawwal?
If possible, it is preferable to make up the missed fast days of Ramadan before fasting the six days of Shawwal. This is due to the hadith that states, "A debt owed to Allah has more right to be fulfilled."
According to Shafi'i scholars, it is possible to combine the intention of making up the missed fast days of Ramadan with the six days of Shawwal. Alternatively, one can fast the six days of Shawwal first and delay making up the missed fast days of Ramadan provided one completes them before the next Ramadan.
 

Answer

According to many scholars, it is only permissible to combine voluntary fasts with prescribed fasts and not vice versa i.e. it is not permissible to couple the intention to fast a prescribed fast with an intention to fast an voluntary one. Imam Al-Ramli commented on Imam al-Nawawi’s Minhaj by citing the analogy made in Al-Muhadhab to the two rak’a [cycle of prayer] prayer of greeting the mosque. One obtains the reward for performing the two rak’as of greeting the mosque even if one offers more than two rak’as with one salutation or offers the prayer with the intention of praying either an obligatory or voluntary prayer. This is because he has offered the two rak’as before sitting down. The intention for the greeting prayer does not invalidate this prayer as it is a Sunnah which is not intended, contrary to the intention of the canonical prayer alongside with the intention for a supererogatory prayer which is not valid.

As for the specific question posed above, Sahfi’i scholars are of the opinion that whoever fasts the missed days of Ramadan simultaneously with the six days of Shawwal have fulfilled their religious obligation as well as obtained the reward for fasting the six days from Shawwal. However, one should not intend to fast the six days of Shawwal but should intend only to make up what one has missed from Ramadan. And since these make up days will fall during Shawwal, one will obtain the reward of the Sunnah fast as well. Indeed the generosity of God is vast. This opinion is based on the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from the month of Shawwal, it is as he has fasted the entire year.” The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not mention that one should make an intention to fast these six days; rather his words were general in that they should follow the month of Ramadan. These six days can be achieved by intending to make a Sunnah fast or to make up the missed fast days of Ramadan.

Imam Al-Ramli issued a fatwa that agrees with this this position. He said that a person who makes up the missed days from Ramadan in Shawwal, even if he intends other than the fast of Shawwal, obtains the reward for the six days of Shawwal.

Based on this, it is permissible for a woman to make up her missed fast days of Ramadan during the month of Shawwal and obtain the reward for fasting six days of Shawwal.
And God the Almighty knows best.
 

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