We hope everyone enjoyed their Eid. If you are like myself you probably overindulged during the 3 days of the festival of 'Eid ul Fitr' thereby undoing some, but hopefully not all of the health benefits derived from the fast of the month of Ramadan. The month of Shawwal represents a perfect opportunity to remind us of the benefits of fasting and to ensure we benefit for a whole year. There is a hadith that says 'Whoever observes the fast of Ramadan and follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted the whole year. The Quran says that whoever performs a good act will receive ten times its like. So the maths says 30 days x 10 = 10 months plus 6 days x 10 = 2 months which equals 12 months/1 year.
Does this mean that Allah(swt) blesses us with a whole year of health benefits? Only Allah(swt) knows, but perhaps?
These 6 days can be done as one complete set of 6 days or separately like Mondays and Thursdays. Another hadith says 'the deeds of humanity are exhibited to God Almighty every Monday and Thursday. I want to be fasting when my deeds are exhibited to God'. According to another hadith relating to fasting on Mondays, the Prophet (saw) said 'it was the day on which I was born, it was the day on which I was commissioned with Prophethood, and the revelation was sent to me'.
An excellent book on the subject of Islamic fasting is 'A Comprehensive Guide - Fasting in Islam & The Month of Ramadan' by Ali Budak.
May Allah (swt) grant you all the best of health.