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The Merits of Sha’baan

by Minhaj

The scholars say that the linguistic root of the word Sha`ban is a branch, because the month of Sha`ban “branches off” and leads on to many good things. It acts as a bridge between the two blessed months of Rajab and Ramadan. In spite of this, it is often neglected. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) alerted us to this fact when he was asked why he was fasting so much in Sha`ban. He replied: “It is a month that people neglect, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which actions are raised to the Lord of the Worlds and I love for my actions to be raised while I am fasting.”►{Narrated by Aḥmad and al-Nasa’i} 

What is meant by “actions being raised”? The scholars say it is a symbolic displaying of our actions to Almighty Allah. Of course Allah is All-Seeing, All-Knowing and does not need for our actions to be displayed to Him as He is constantly aware of them. However if the slave is not aware of Allah’s constant vigilance then he should at least strive to do good actions at times when his actions are displayed to Allah. If he is able to gain Allah’s pleasure at these times then he hopes that Allah will overlook his wrongdoings and shortcomings at other times. There is a daily display after Fajr and `Asr, and a weekly display on Monday and Thursday, and a yearly display, which takes place in the month of Sha`ban. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was keen to do good works at all these times and was keen for his Ummah to do the same. One of the greatest works we can perform in Sha`ban is fasting, and this is what the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) loved to be doing when his actions were raised, on Monday and Thursday and also during Sha`ban.
Sayyidah `A’ishah(Radiyallahu Anha) said of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “I did not see him fasting in any month more than Sha`ban.” ►{Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim} She also said: “The month which he loved to fast the most was Sha`ban.”►{Narrated by al-Nasa’i} 
Pious Acts during Sha’baan

Some hadith suggest that he would fast the whole of Sha`ban, although there is perhaps more evidence to suggest that he would fast most of the month and leave a few days. In another hadith he said (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), in response once again to a question about his fasting in Sha`ban: “In this month those who are destined to die are recorded for the Angel of Death. I love for my name to be recorded when I am fasting.”►{Narrated by al-Haythami} 

In general we should do any action, inward or outward, great or small, that we would love to be raised to Allah. Other than fasting, it is recommended to bestow abundant blessings and peace upon the Beloved of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). It was in this month that Allah revealed: Allah and His angels bestow their blessings upon the Prophet. O you who believe bestow blessings and peace upon him in abundance! ►{Surah Al-Ahzab, Chapter 33: Verse 56} 
Perhaps this is why the Prophet called Sha`ban “my month,” when he said in the hadith: “Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha`ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.” ►{Narrated by al-Suyuti} 

Bestowing blessings upon him is one of the greatest means of strengthening our connection to him in this life and also the next, as he informed us (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “The closest people to me on the Day of Rising will be those who bestow the most blessings upon me.” ►{Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban} 

It was also the habit of some of the early Muslims to recite the Qur’an in abundance during Sha`ban. This along with fasting gives us the best preparation for Ramadan, as it takes time for the soul (nafs) to become accustomed to doing these things in abundance. If we are already accustomed to doing them before Ramadan it will enable us to do more when the month begins. Perhaps this is why Imam Abu Bakr al-Warraq said: “in Rajab you sow the seeds, in Sha`ban you irrigate them and in Ramadan you reap the harvest.” 

Historical Significance of the month

Two momentous events occurred in Sha`ban.The scholars of Sirah say that it was the month in which the moon was split in half for the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). It was also the month in which the Qiblah (direction of prayer) was changed from Bayt al-Maqdis in Jerusalem to the Ka`bah in Makkah. While these events have now passed, there is one momentous event which comes around every year, and that is the Fifteenth Night of Sha`ban, one of the greatest nights of the year. We intend to deal with it in detail closer to the time. We end by asking, as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked: “O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha`ban and enable us to reach Ramadan!” 

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