Q. Fasting the Six Days of Shawwal, Consecutive?
Praise be to Allah
It is not a necessary condition that they should be fasted consecutively. If you fast them separately or consecutively, it is OK. The sooner you do them, the better, because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands us to compete in good deeds [See: 5: 48, 3: 133, 20: 84]
And (you should hasten to fast these six days) because delaying may cause problems. This is the view of the Shaafais and some of the Hanbalis, but it is OK if you do not hasten it and you delay it until the middle or end of the month.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Our companions said: it is mustahabb to fast six days of Shawwal. Because of this hadeeth they said: it is mustahabb to fast these days consecutively at the beginning of Shawwal, but if one separates them or delays them until after Shawwal, this is permissible, because he will still be following the general guidelines of the hadeeth. We have no dispute regarding this matter, and this was also the view of Ahmad and Dawood.
Al-Majmoo Sharh al-Muhadhdhab
Q. Missed Ramadan Fasts First or the Six Days of Shawwal Fasts First?
What should a woman do first: fast the six recommended days of Shawwal or fast equivalent to the days she missed in Ramadan due to her monthly period?
Praise be to Allah
If she wants to earn the reward mentioned in the hadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ, “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime,” (Muslim, 1984), then she should complete her Ramadan fasts first, then follow it with six days of Shawwal, so that the hadeeth with be applicable to her too, and she will gain the reward mentioned in it.
As regards the matter of permissibility, it is permissible for her to delay making up her Ramadan fasts, provided that she makes them up before the next Ramadan comes along. (Admin’s comment: But, who can be sure of living to see next Ramadan? Therefore, do not delay making up the missed fasts and do them as soon as possible.)
Originally published at islamqa.info