Question: I recently heard on Islamic radio that we can fast the six days of Shawwal with two niyyah (intentions):
- Making up the days we didn’t fast during the month of Ramadan (for women) and
- Fasting the six days of Shawwal (like a simultaneous fast).
I read on a scholar’s website that we cannot fast the six days of Shawwal before actually finishing the fasting of the month of Ramadan, i.e. – the way I understood it – the concept of two niyyah does not apply. Any suggestions?
Answer: The correct opinion is that one cannot combine intentions because each act is a separate act of worship. The contention that one must fast the days of Ramadan first, while respected, is not the strongest based on the dalil (evidence):
- Many of the companions would delay their Ramadan fasts until the month of Sh’aban. We can assume that before that time they observed other fasts.
- The obligation to make up the days of Ramadan is for the entire year (as held by most jurists) and according to many, for one’s entire lifetime. There is no explicit proof that one must make the days up in a year’s time save an implicit narration of `Ayesha radiallahu ‘anha (may Allah be pleased with her): “It happens that I have to make up days of Ramadan and I will not make up (these days) but in Sh’aban.” (Imam Muslim)
What does this mean?
- Do not combine intentions.
- Fast the six days first.
And Allah knows best.