Allah said, “Whoever comes with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof to his credit.” [Quran 6:160]
Ibn Rajab (d. 1393 CE) said that the tenfold multiple for noble deeds is the general rule in Islam. For instance we heard many times in Ramadan that our beloved Prophet said, “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward, and this reward will be multiplied by ten.” [recorded by At-Tirmidhi]
In this Islamic month of Shawwal, one of the factual examples absolutely is the six-day voluntary fasting. The Prophet said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a year.” [recorded by Muslim]
Why fasting Ramadan & six days of Shawwal is similar with fasting a complete year? Based on the general rule and the verse above, fasting for the month of Ramadan brings the reward of ten like it, so the reward will level the reward of fasting ten Islamic lunar months (30×10=300 days). Then fasting for six days brings the reward of two Islamic lunar months (6×10=60 days). Therefore, doing both of these kinds of fasting together bring the reward of fasting the whole Islamic year (360 days).
It should be mentioned as well that scholars like Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami (d. 1566 CE) stated that these days do not have to be fasted immediately after Eid Fitr; it is permissible to start fasting them one or more days after Eid, and they may be done consecutively or separately during the month of Shawwal, according to what is easier for a person. Nonetheless, even this additional fasting is not obligatory, it is sunnah (recommended), but the reward for this fasting will be same with obligatory fasting’s reward.
However, this tenfold multiplication is only the lowest category if someone did a noble act completely. Allah is the Most Merciful so He may multiply the reward to 700 times or even more. The Prophet said, “Whoever intends to perform a good deed and does not do it, it will be written for him as a good deed. If he performs it, it will be written for him as ten deeds, to seven hundred, to multifold.” [recorded by Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
written by Nur Fajri Romadhon
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