It is as if they fasted the entire year
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
You might be thinking that after the whole month of Ramadhan, Muslims are happy to hang up their fasting hats till the next year. You’d be wrong! Many Muslims decide to take up fasting once again, after taking a time-out to celebrate ‘Eid. We choose to fast six days of the next month of the Islamic calendar, Shawwal. Why would we want to do that? Let me share a saying of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم with you:
Ayyub (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from Shawwal it is as if they fasted the entire year.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah; Ahmad transmitted it from Jabir, Muntaqa]
Another, similar narration states:
Thawban (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan, and then six days after Eid, it is [like fasting] an entire year. Whoever does a good deed shall have ten times its reward.” [Ibn Majah, Muntaqa]
So that’s 35 or 36 fasts (depending on whether the month of Ramadhan lasted for 29 or 30 days) rewarded as if a person had fasted for 365 days. Surely Allah’s are the best bargains! So if you find your Muslim friends or colleagues fasting despite Ramadhan being over, you know not to be surprised and exactly why ;).