Eid Al-Fitr is on the 1st of Shawwal , which is expected to fall on 21st April 2023, depending on the sighting of the moon. Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated for three days with food, gifts, and Eid prayers. It is a time of joy and celebrations, as well as a reflection of Ramadan.
Shawwal is a significant month due to the historical battles and religious festival of Eid Al-Fitr. It is the 10th month in the Islamic calendar and translates to ‘raised’, referring to the time when camels would be pregnant with their young. Islamic months were sometimes named based on events or the season, and this is demonstrated in the meaning of Shawwal.
There is a lot of reward in Shawwal, particularly in fasting for six days during this month: The Prophet (PBUH) said “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Muslim)
Some scholars say that a sign that someone's worship in Ramadan has been accepted is if they intend to fast six days of Shawwal. Therefore, we should strive to fast during this month and gain the rewards.
Shawwal comes after Ramadan and before Dhul Qa’da, which are both important months in the Islamic calendar. Good deeds started in Ramadan, especially fasting, are recommended to be continued in Shawwal to gain extra rewards.
In 2023, the month of Shawwal begins on 21st April and ends on 20st May 2023.
Understanding the Islamic Calendar System
The Islamic calendar consists of twelve months, four of which are sacred. These are Muharram, Rajab, Dhul Qa’da, and Dhul Hijjah. Significant events and Islamic festivals occur in these months that make them more sacred than others, but we should still strive to increase our worship all year round, not just in these months.
The Islamic Year is currently 1444 AH, which is 1444 years ‘after Hijrah’. The Hijrah was the migration from Makkah to Madina, then known as Yathrib, and it was essential in spreading the message of Islam more widely. Soon it will be 1445 AH, as the Islamic New Year in 2023 is expected to begin on 19th July, based on the sighting of the moon.
Other Events in Shawwal
The Battle of Uhud occurred on the 3rd of Shawwal, which took place on the Mount of Uhud. The Makkans wanted to kill the Prophet (PBUH) to prevent Islam from spreading. This was the only battle that the Muslims lost because the archers left their positions that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) assigned them to. Many Muslims were killed, with the Prophet (PBUH) being severely injured, but the Prophet (PBUH) did not blame the archers as he knew it was a mistake.
Donating to Orphans in Need
Aside from fasting and increasing acts of worship, giving charity can be very rewarding. Orphans all over the world need your care and support today, so please donate to Orphans in Need and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH): ‘The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “the one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in paradise like this” and he held his two fingers together to illustrate’ (Bukhari).
Please sponsor an orphan or donate to Orphans in Need here.