The month of Shawwal follows the month of Ramadan and is loved because the first day of the month is celebrated as Eid al-Fitr. ‘Shawwal’—derived from the Arabic word Sawaal which means ‘raised’—draws its inspiration from the camels who carry their little one during this time.
Significance of Shawwal for Muslims
Fasting in the Ramzan month is one of the pillars of Islam. However, the month of Shawwal is also of special importance to the Muslims. It is during this month that Allah has bestowed the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration. The event is considered to be Allah’s reward for the successful completion of Ramzan.
Fasting for a period of six days in the holy Shawwal month is of immense virtue to the Muslims. It also compensates for any short falling that one might have made during the fasting of Ramzan. With such religious importance of the Shawwal month, performing Umrah in Shawwal is a pious thought.
Mention of Shawwal in Hadiths
As per a Hadith explained by the companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramzan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwal, it will be as if he had fasted throughout the year.”
According to another Hadith, “Performing Umrah during Ramadan is equal to hajj.”
That explains why numerous Muslims tend to opt for Umrah in Shawwal. It is essential to note that there is no difference in the ritual itself, irrespective of the timeline. However, rituals will slightly differ for Umrah Mufradah and Umrah Tamattu.
According to the words of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Umrah is a desirable act or a Sunnah for the Muslims. Although there is no specific time to perform Umrah, there is a difference between performing it in the month of Shawwal and the rest of the year.
Umrah in Shawwal
Shawwal is the blessed month in which Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated. Since it is a holy month, performing Umrah in Shawwal is absolutely in compliance with the Islamic Laws. It is vital to note that there are two distinct types of Umrah. One is Umrah al-Tamattu and the other is Umrah al-Mufradah.
Umrah al-Mufradah can be performed by Muslims anytime during the year. However, it must not be done during the time of Hajj. Umrah al-Tamattu is mainly performed along with Hajj. That is why this Umrah is performed in the months of Hajj. These include Dhu al-Hijjah, Dhu al-Qadah, and Shawwal.
It is important to remember that if one opts for Umrah in Shawwal it is in association with Hajj, thereby translating it to the Hajj of Tamattu. Likewise, Umrah that is successfully completed before Shawwal cannot be accepted as the Umrah of Tamattu.
However, there are several conditions one must fulfill to perform Umrah in Shawwal. The most basic of these is that one must be an adult Muslim, who has the physical and the financial capacity to embark on the journey. Women need to have a Mahram or male relative to fulfill the Umrah.
5 Facts about Shawwal
- The historic battle of Uhud took place in the month of Shawwal.
- The battle of Hunayn was also fought in this month.
- In 1926, the al-Baqi cemetery was demolished by the The Sultanate of Nejd during the month of Shawwal.
- 13th of Shawwal, 194 AH is the birthdate of popular Islamic scholar, Imam al-Bukhari.
- Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, the founder of the Ja’fari school of jurisprudence was martyred this month.
The month of Shawwal is the time for celebration and to devote oneself to the service of Allah. Make the most of it by fasting for six days and and if possible perform Umrah as well.