How to observe the six days of Shawwal when you've missed Ramadan fasts
Recently, we looked at the significance of fasting the six days of Shawwal. But what happens if you miss some fasts during Ramadan? Do you have to make those fasts up before you begin the six days of Shawwal?
In a recent episode of IslamiQA, Dr Samer Darwish touched on this issue and said there were two views amongst the scholarly opinions.
“One of the views is that you need to make up the missed days [fasts from Ramadan] first,” said Dr Darwish
“I personally follow the other view that suggests you don't need to make up the missed days in Ramadan first. You can actually fast the six days of Shawwal and then you can make up the missed [Ramadan fast] days at any time of the year.
“But Shawwal fasts, according to the majority of the scholars, should fall in Shawwal. So fast those six days first, and then you can fast the making up days at any other time.”
Another question that often arises is whether a person can combine the intention of fasting Shawwal and the missed Ramadan fasts together — so actually only fasting the once but assuming that it counts twice because you've made that intention.
“This is a no,” says Dr Darwish.
“You cannot join them. You cannot combine them in one niyyah — in one intention. You have to fast six days separately and then make up the missed days separately as well.”