Shawwal

The Origin of The Name “Shawwal”

Ibnul ‘Allan Ash Shafi’i said, “The naming of Syawal/shawwal was taken from the Arabic word, “syalat al-ibil”, which meaning is ‘the camel lift up or straighten up his tail.’ That meaning was taken due to the habit of ancient Arabs who used to hang their weapons because the haram months were about to come, months where they were not allowed to set a war. (Taken from the book “Dalil Al Falihin li Syarh Riyadhush Shalihin”, by Muhammad bin ‘Allan Ash-Shiddiqi Ash Shafi’i Al-Makki)

After the shawwal, people are going to encounter the month Dzulqa’dah, Dhulhijja, and Muharram, wherein no war or battle is allowed to take place.

There is other saying which mention that the use of word ‘shawwal’ was due to the superstition of the Arabs who believe that this month is bad for their luck, thus they forbade a marriage during it. They dubbed it with ‘Shawwal’ because the women refused to be married in this month, just as a she-camel refuses her male counterpart by lifting up it’s tail ‘syalat’. (Lisan Al ‘Arab, madah: sya-wa-la)

The Valid Hadith Regarding The Month Shawwal

From Abu Ayyub -may Allah be pleased with him-, that the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Whoever fasts (in the month) Ramadan, then followed by six days fasting in the month Syawal, it is a one year fast.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Muslim).

‘Aisha -may Allah be pleased with her – said, “When the Messenger of Allâh -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- wanted to observe i’tikâf, he prayed Fajr then he entered his place of i’tikâf. He commanded that his tent be set up – when he wanted to observe i’tikâf during the last ten days of Ramadân – and Zainab ordered that her tent be set up, and other wives of the Prophet – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- ordered that their tents be set up. When the Messenger of Allâh -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- prayed Fajr, he looked and saw the tents, and he said: ‘Is it righteousness that they seek?’ He ordered that his tent be taken down and he did not observe i’tikâf during (that) Ramadân, until he observed i’tikâf during the first ten days of Shawwâl.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari and Muslim)

‘Aisha -may Allah be pleased with her- said, “The Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- married to me at the month Shawwal, and he also started to live together with me in the month Shawwal. Who among his wives is the more fortunate than me?” (Narrates by Ahmad and Muslim)

The Weak Hadith Regarding Shawwal

From Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim At Taimi, (he mentioned that) Usama Ibn Zayd -may Allah be pleased with him- often performing fasts during the haram months. Then the Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Fast in the month Shawwal.” Then Usama left fasting during the haram months, and he always fasts in the month Shawwal until he passed away. (Narrated by Ibn Maja; classed weak by Al Albani, because the narration is disconnected)

“Whoever perform prayer on the night of Ied al Fitr 100 rak’ahs, in every rak’ah he recites soorah (chapter) Al Fatihah once and soorah Al Ikhlas ten times…” (A false hadith, as explained by Ibn Al Jauzi in his book “Al Mawdhu’at”, 2:130; and Ash Shaukani in ‘Al Fawa’id Al Majmu’ah’, page 52)

“Whoever perform 4 rak’ahs prayer after the prayer of Ied Al Fitr, in the first rak’ah he recites Al Fatihah…..seems like he has read all Books that Allah revealed to His prophets.” (A false hadith, as explained by Ibn Al Jauzi in his book “Al Mawdhu’at”, 2:130; and Ash Shaukani in ‘Al Fawa’id Al Majmu’ah’, page 52)

Hadith: “It is a part of sunna, the 12 rak’ahs prayer after the prayer of ied al fitr, and 6 rak’ahs prayer after the ied al adha.” (A false hadith, as explained by Ash Shaukani in his book ‘Al Fawa’id Al Majmu’ah, page 52)

Hadith: “Whoever liven up 4 nights (by the act of worships), he will entermthe Paradise: the night of Tarwiya (8th of Dzulhijja), the night of ‘arafa (9th of Dzulhijja), the night of Ied Al Adha, and the night of Ied Al Fitr.” (A false hadith, as explained by Ibn Al Jauzi in ‘Al ilal Al Mutanahiyah’, 2/78, and Al Albani in ‘Silsilah Adh Dhaifah’)

The Voluntary Acts in Syawal

First, Performing the ied prayer at the field

It was narrated that Umm ‘Atiyyah said: “We were commanded to bring out women in seclusion and virgins on the two ‘ied. And the menstruating women were to come out but stay behind the people, reciting Takbîr with the people.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari and Muslim)

Second, Performing the 6 days of voluntary fasts

From Abu Ayyub -may Allah be pleased with him-, that the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, “Whoever fasts (in the month) Ramadan, then followed by six days fasting in the month Syawal, it is a one year fast.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Muslim).

The Practice of it:

The scholars held different opinions regarding the best way to practice this voluntary fast. The opinions are:

First, it is suggested to perform the fasts consecutively from the beginning of the month. This is the opinion of Imam Ash Shafi’i and Ibn Al Mubarak, based on a particular hadith, but it is a weak hadith.

Second, there is no difference in virtues, between performing the fasts consecutively or separately. This is the view of Imam Waki’ and Imam Ahmad.

Third, it is not allowed to perform fast right after the ied day. Because those are the days for people to eat and drink. Rather, it is better to perform it around the middle days of the month. This is the opinion of Ma’mar, Abdurrazzaq, and it is also narrated from Atha’.

Third. I’tikaf

It is suggested for those who get used to perform itikaf, but due to one or several causes he could not do it in the month Ramadan, to do it in the month of Syawal, as a mean of replacing (qadha) the missed voluntary prayer.

‘Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her – said, “When the Messenger of Allâh – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- wanted to observe i’tikâf , he prayed Fajr then he entered his place of I’tikâf . He commanded that his tent be set up – when he wanted to observe i’tikâf during the last ten days of Ramadân – and Zainab ordered that her tent be set up, and other wives of the Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- ordered that their tents be set up. When the Messenger of Allâh – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- prayed Fajr , he looked and saw the tents, and he said: ‘Is it righteousness that they seek?’ He ordered that his tent be taken down and he did not observe I’tikâf during (that) Ramadân, until he observed I’tikâf during the first ten days of Shawwâl.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Thayib abadi said, “The Prophet’s I’tikaf during the Shawwal is a replacement (qadla) for his abandoned Ramadan I’tikaf. “(Taken from the book:”Aunul Ma’bud-the explanation of the Sunan Abu Dawud, 7/99)

Fourth: Starting a family

‘Aisha -may Allah be pleased with her- said, “The Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him marry me in the month Shawwal, and he moved in to live with me also in Shawwal. Who is the luckier than me among his wives?” ‘Aisha liked if a woman is married during the Shawwal. (Narrated by Ahmad and Muslim).

An Nawawi said: “In this hadith, there is a suggestion to marry and to start a family during the Shawwal. The scholars of our madzhab (i.e. Shafi’i) had clearly stated such suggestion. And they argued using this hadith…” (Taken from the book, “Tuhfatul Ahwadzi, 4/182)

Among the wisdoms beneath the suggestion of marriage in Shawwal is to make deviate from the beliefs of the pagans. Imam An Nawawi said, “The purpose of ‘Aisha by telling this story was to rebut the perception held by the pagans as well as the people’s superstition at that time. They detested marriage in Shawwal, since they believed it would cause them misfortune. This is fallacious, lack-of-basis beliefs, and included as the habit of the pagans where they believed that the shawwal brought bad luck for them…” (Taken from the book: “Tuhfatul Ahwadzi”, 4/182)

Innovations During Shawwal

First, the belief that Shawwal brings misfortune

The Pagans believed that Shawwal is a misfortunate month. This thought was derived from the habit of the camel which refused to marry in Shawwal. The she-camel rejected their male by lifting their tails, when the male got near to her. Mother of the believers, ‘Aisha -may Allah be pleased with her- opposed this thought by mentioning about her marriage to the Prophet-peace and blessings of Allah be upon him-. Therefore, after the dawn of Islam came, the Prophet -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- and his companions had banished this pagan’s superstition.

Second, the beliefs of some people that it is suggested to enliven the Night before ‘Ied

Some believers believed that it is suggested for them to enliven the night before ‘ied. Their beliefs is based upon a hadith: “Whoever enlivens the night of ied al fitri or ied al adha, his heart will never be dead, when all hearts are dead”. This is a weak hadith, which has 2 different chain of narrations, one is false, and the other is very weak, as explained by Sheikh Al Albani.

Consequently, it is not allowed for any believer to particularly choose the night of ied to perform various worshipping activities, since making a night as a special night to do religious activities without any daleel /argumentations that support it, is a form of making innovation.

Third, visiting the grave in particular at the day of ied.

This action, despite goes against the background of the ied, which is expressing happiness and rejoices – will create misery and sadness, which is contradicting the guidance of the Prophet- may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- , and the practice of the pious scholars. The Prophet- may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- has prohibited his followers to make the grave as the place of ied, or festival, as he said, “Do not take my grave as ied.” (Narrated by Abu Daud, Ahmad, and classed sahih by Al Albani).

Making the visit to the grave particularly at certain time or certain event included in the term “taking the grave as the place for ied/festival.” This is the explanation of the scholars. (Ahkam Al Janaiz, page 219)

Article of www.whatisquran.com

2 comments

  1. Amnah Khan says:

    Assalaamualaikum!

    Masha Allah, excellent compilation of information on Islam and its traditions. 🙂

    I was interested to know about marriage in Shawwal and with the hadith narrated by Aisha (RA), it is clear that it is a blessed month to start marital life.

    Jazak Allahu Khair!

  2. Usman Banchi Hong says:

    Alhamdulillah it’s educative, and I’ll extend to people around me.

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