The Chief Imam of the Al-Huda Masjid (mosque) Byazhin-Kubwa, Abuja, Dr. Rafee’ Owonla AL-Ijebuwi, has urged Muslims not to be complacent but to sustain their piety and practical acts of worship even after Ramadan.
He made the plea while speaking with the Trust Islam Forum in Abuja.
AL-Ijebuwi, who is also the founder of the Daarul-Uluumil-Islamiyyah Fi Naijiria Foundation (Centre of the Islamic Science House of Nigeria) Ijebu-Igbo and Proprietor of Duin International Academy, Abuja, Muslims must ensure consistency of service to Allah at all times and not only during Ramadan.
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He said that fasting of Ramadan is obligatory which every Muslim owes Allah, but that the fasting of a six days from Shawwal is supererogatory.
“There is punishment for a failure to fast in Ramadan without a genuine excuse, but nobody will be punished for not adding a six days fasting from Shawwal. It is the interest in multiple rewards that encourages a committed Muslim to fast the six days, and this is commendable.
“Therefore, if you take the Prophetic advice, by obeying the command, you will be the greater beneficiary since you will have better rewards, from Allah, than a person who fails to oblige,” he said. According to him, people may ask if Ramadan obligatory fasting not enough?
He said “The answer is both yes and no. It is yes because Ramadan is what Allah commands. It is also no because Shawwal has come as part of what Prophet Muhammad enjoins. The mere pronouncement of Sitta Shawwal by the Prophet is enough, in our opinion, to make it biding on every able Muslim who knows or hears about the authenticity other Hadith.
“Forget about whether a particular erudite Imam among our ancestors ever observed it or not. Such depends on whether the Imam in question did receive the authentic narration to act upon or not. As for the Hadith that reached us, there is no argument at all about its authenticity. Here is it as recorded by Imam Bukhari in Hadith no 8280: ‘Whoever fasts Ramadzan and follows it with six in Shawwal, then it is like fasting forever’. That is if he is punctual on it every year.”