Imam ash-Shirāzi, may Allah have mercy upon him, in the muhaźźab said:

It is sunna for one who have fasted in Ramadān to follow it with six days of fasting in Shawāl due to what is narrated by Abū Ayyūb, may Allah be pleased with him who said: The messenger of Allah, Salutations of Allah and His Peace said “one who fasts the fast of Ramadān and follows it with six days in Shawāl is as if he fasted the fast of dahr”

Commentary

Imam an-Nawāwi, may Allah have mercy upon him, in the commentary of the above said:

The Hadith

The hadīth of Abū Ayyūb is narrated by Muslim where his wording is “one who fasted the fast of Ramadān and then he follows it with six days of Shawāl, is like the fast of dahr.” Abū Daud narrated it with a sound chain with the same wordings in the Muhaźżab. The name of Abū Ayyūb is Khālid bin Zayd al-Anśārī an-Najjārī. He participated in Badr, and all of the battles with the Messenger of Allah, Salutations of Allah and His Peace upon him.

An Arabic Benefit

And his saying, Salutations of Allah and His Peace upon him, “with six days from Shawāl or six days from Shawāl”, without the ha’ of ta’nīth at the end of sitta (six) is known to be fuśha arabic. The ‘Arabs would say “we fasted khamsan (five), sittan (six), ‘ashran (10) or thalathan (three)”.  The hadīth is similar to these in that the hā’ is dropped. If what is desired is muźakkar which in this case refer to the days (al-ayyām), then, as long as “al-ayyām”  is not explicitly mentioned, the hā’ is dropped. Thus, when the muźakkar is mentioned, the hā’ is retained. So the ‘Arabs say: ” we fasted sittata ayyāmin (six days) and ‘ashrata ayyāmin (10 days) and the likes of it. There is no difference in these with regards to its permissibility. And from those who reported it from the ‘Arabs, from amongst the well known linguists, the most excellent of the mutqins (trusted) and the most relied upon of the muhaqqiqun is al-Farrā’, then Ibnu Sikkīt and others from the mutaqqadimun (earlier linguists) and mutaakhirun (later linguists). Abū Ishāq az-Zujjāj in the tafsīr of the saying of Allah {Four months and ‘ashran (10 days)}, there is ijmā’ (consensus) amongst the linguists “we walked for khamsan (five) days and nights .”

Al-Ja’di recited a poetry:

I roam about for thalathan (three) days and nights.

And from what is similar in the exalted Quran, from the Saying of the Most High: And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind, the wives shall wait for four months and ‘ashran (ten days). Our maźhab and the maźhab of the jumhūr is that the intended is 10 days and nights, and the ‘idda (period during which a widow may not remarry) is not completed until the sun sets on the 10th day, and the eleventh night enters. Similarly, the Saying of the Most Glorious, Most High : They will murmur amongst themselves, ” You remained not but ‘ashran (10 days).” which is ten days with proof from the saying of the Most High, when the best of them in manner will say “You remained not but a day.” The linguists said in the explanation of this topic, it is in this manner because of the dominance of night over day. That is because the night defines the beginning of the new month. In view of the fact that nights are beginnings, it dominates. This is because beginnings are more dominant. And from this is the saying of the ‘Arabs: We left the nights of fitna, we feared the nights of the regime of al-Hajjaj. And the intended here is the days and it’s nights.

 And Allah knows best.

The Ruling

As for the ruling of the matter, our aśhāb said: it is mustahab (recommended) to fast six days of Shawāl due to the hadīth. They said

It is mustahab that one fasts consecutively at the beginning of Shawāl. If one separates it apart or delay it from Shawāl, it is permissible and he is considered one who practices this sunnah. This is due to the generality and unrestrictive nature of this hadīth. There is no khilāf (differences of opinion) with regard to it in our opinion.
This is also the opinion of Ahmad and Daud.  Mālik and Abū Hanīfa said : It is offensive to fast these days. Mālik said in the Muwattha’:
With regard to the fasting of six days in Shawāl, I do not see any one from amongst the people of knowledge or fiqh who fasted it. It is also not transmitted by anyone from the salaf, and that the people of ‘ilm regarded it as offensive and feared of its bid’a (innovation). And that it is the people of jahfā’ (estrangement) and jahāla (ignorant) who follow Ramadān with it. They are people whom if were seen doing so would not cause the act of fasting to be a rukhśa (legal permission) in the sight of the people of knowledge. This is the saying of Mālik in the Muwattha’.

Our proof is the śahīh hadīth mentioned earlier and there is no contradictory text against it. As for the saying of Mālik: I do not see anyone fasting it. This is not a hujja to prove its offensiveness. This is because the sunnah is thābit (established) in this matter without anything contradictory to it. Further, Mālik’s not seeing it does not detriment this. And their saying: “This is because the fast is probably concealed for it’s obligation is deemed by people” is regarded to be weak. This is because the fast is not concealed from anyone and further, it would also be necessary upon him to say “it is offensive” for the fast of ‘arafa, ‘āshūrā’, and the rest of the mandūb fasts. And no one said this.

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