Shawwāl (Arabic: شوّال) is the tenth month of the lunar based Islamic calendar. Shawwāl stems from the verb shālla (شالَ) to 'lift or carry', generally to take or move things from one place to another, so named because a female camel normally would be carrying a fetus at this time of year.
The first day of Shawwāl is Eid al-Fitr. Some Muslims observe six days of fasting during Shawwāl beginning the day after Eid ul-Fitr since fasting is prohibited on this day. These six days of fasting together with the Ramadan fasts, are equivalent to fasting all year round. The reasoning behind this tradition is that a good deed in Islam is rewarded 10 times, hence fasting 30 days during Ramadan and 6 days during Shawwāl is equivalent to fasting the whole year in fulfillment of the obligation.
The Shia scholars do not place any emphasis on the six days being consecutive while among the Sunnis the majority of Shafi`i scholars consider it recommended to fast these days consecutively. They based this on a hadith related by Tabarani and others wherein Muhammad is reported to have said, "Fasting six consecutive days after Eid al-Fitr is like fasting the entire year." Other traditional scholarly sources among the Hanafiyya and Hanbaliyya do not place an emphasis on consecutive days, while the strongest opinion of the Malikiyya prefers any six days of the month, consecutively or otherwise.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 10 to 11 days shorter than the solar year, Shawwāl migrates throughout the seasons. The estimated start and end dates for Shawwāl, based on the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia, are:
|AH||First day (CE/AD)||Last day (CE/AD)|
|1439||15 June 2018||13 July 2018|
|1440||4 June 2019||3 July 2019|
|1441||24 May 2020||21 June 2020|
|1442||13 May 2021||10 June 2021|
|1443||2 May 2022||30 May 2022|
|1444||21 April 2023||20 May 2023|
According to Abu Hurairah, Muhammad said:
There will be an Ayah (sign) in (the month of) Ramadan. Then, there will 'isabah (splitting into groups) in Shawwal. Then, there will be fighting in (the month of) Dhu al-Qi'dah. Then, the pilgrim will be robbed in (the month of) Dhu al-Hijjah. Then, the prohibitions will be violated in (the month of) al-Muharram. Then, there will be sound in (the month of) Safar, then the tribes will conflict with each other in the two months of Rabi' al-awwal & Rabi' al-thani. Then, the most amazing thing will happen between (the months of) Jumada and Rajab. Then, a well-fed she-camel will be better than a fortress (castle) sheltering a thousand (people).[not specific enough to verify]