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One woman has so missed many days of fasts during Ramadan (due to some kind of illness), that she will require a major part of the month of Shawwal to make those up. And when done, she will not have enough days left for those beneficial six Shawwal fasts.

Now, is it permitted for her to carry out the Shawwal fasts first, sometimes in this month, to get the benefit of this month and then carry out the remaining qada fasts? Or is she needed to pay her dues first?

(Perhaps you would like to answer in the light of Hanafi madhab.)

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According to the Hanafi madh'hab, any deferred Ramadan fasts need not be made up immediately, so long as they're made up before next Ramadan: There is no obligation to fast them before doing any other optional fasts. It must, however, be noted that dying before making up the Ramadan fasts (without a valid excuse) is considered sinful, which is not the case for missing the Shawwal fasts.

It is also considered valid (again according to the Hanafi school) to combine the intentions of the two fasts and perform them at the same time, which is to say that one can make up six of the Ramadan fasts during the month of Shawwal, with the intention of performing both the Ramadan as well as the Shawwal fast, and one's Ramadan obligations would still be fulfilled. God willing, one would be rewarded in full for the Shawwal fast as well, although there is some scholarly dispute on this matter; it is, therefore, still preferable to fast them separately.

  • Are we sure about the second part? Please see this, (first part of the quote in answer), which refers to the Shafi school. However, it never says that combining the niyats is not permitted in Hanafi school. Could you please give a reference for the second part about combining the intentions? Thanks. – Masroor Aug 23 '13 at 1:08
  • @MMA I have clarified the second paragraph somewhat and added a link to a relevant fatwa. – goldPseudo Aug 23 '13 at 1:30
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As I can find searching over the net, a woman, if she wishes, can perform the Shawwal fasts first. But she must have every intention to perform the qada (make up) fasts before the next Ramadan, preferably as soon as possible.

For details, please take a look at these fatwas, 1, 2, 3.

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