Is Fasting Six Days of Shawwal Mandatory?
First of all, it should be clear that fasting the six days of Shawwal is a sunnah that is highly rewarded by Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Whosoever fasted the month of Ramadan and then followed it up with (fasting) six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted forever” (Muslim). Being a sunnah means that omitting it is not a sinful act for a Muslim.
With regard to this issue, The Standing Committee for Islamic Research and Iftaa’ in Saudi Arabia states,
Fasting six days of Shawwal after the day of `Eid is a sunnah. It is not wajib (obligatory) on the person who does this once or more often to continue doing it. He is not guilty of a sin if he does not fast these days.
And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and grant him peace.
Moreover, the prominent Muslim scholar and da`iyah Zeinab Mostafa adds,
…It should be noted thar fasting on those days is a sunnah, which means that it is not mandatory but it is highly recommended and there is a great reward promised by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for observing the fast. Therefore, it is optional to repeat this practice or discontinue it, but it is preferred to continue fasting every year and to maintain a high level of iman (faith) after Ramadan.