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10 Amazing Things to Know and Do in Shaʻban

Sha’ban is known as the month of the Prophet. How much do we know about Sha’ban? And what are its recommended acts?

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Sha’ban is known as the month of the Prophet. How much do we know about Sha’ban? And what are its recommended acts?

Shaʻban is one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar but is often neglected and not talked about enough because it’s sandwiched between Rajab and the holy month of Ramadan. Nevertheless, Shaʻban contains numerous merits and blessings for Muslims.

In Arabic, Shaʻban means “something that springs forth goodness.” The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) loved the month of Shaʻban. The Prophet is reported to have said the following (taken from Suyuti):

Verily, Rajab is Allah’s month, Shaʻban my Month and Ramadan the month of my Ummah.”

We are unable to meet the Prophet and do things for him (in this life) but we can honour the Prophet by taking maximum advantage of a month that he calls his very own. In this article, we’ll mention some amazing things that occurred in Shaʻban and the recommended acts to perform within it.

five events that occurred sha’ban

The Miracle of the Moon Splitting

Shaykh Al-Habib Abu Bakr Al-Adniy bin Ali Al-Masyhur reports that the splitting of the moon took place in Sha’ban. The disbelievers amongst the Quraysh wanted the Prophet to prove his Prophethood using a miracle. In response, the Prophet split the moon with the permission of Allah. A hadith reported by Anas bin Malik in Sahih Bukhari speaks of this event:

The people of Makkah asked Allah’s Messenger (saw) to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hira’  mountain [the Mountain of Light].”

The splitting of the moon was one of the most notable events in the life of the Messenger. The Qu’ran also refers to it in the first verse of chapter 54:

The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two].”

The Change in Qiblah

The majority of Muslim scholars conclude the command to change the direction of prayer occurred during the month of Sha’ban. Prior to this the Prophet and the Muslims prayed facing Jerusalem until the following verse was revealed:

We certainly see you turning your face about in the sky. We will surely turn you to a qiblah of your liking: so turn your face towards the Holy Mosque, and wherever you may be, turn your faces towards it! Indeed those who were given the Book surely know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not oblivious of what they do.”

[2:144]

Prophet Muhammad’s Ramadan Sermon

On the last day of Sha’ban, the Prophet gathered his companions and explained the importance of the month of Ramadan. It’s a short but beautiful sermon that reads as follows:

“Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; a month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.”  (Ibn Khuzaymah).

The Revelation of the Ayah to Send Blessings on the Prophet

The famous verse commanding people to send blessings upon the Prophet was revealed in Sha’ban. It’s only right that such a verse is revealed in a month known as the month of the Prophet:

Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Call down blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.”

[33:56]

Famous Birth Anniversaries in Sha’ban

Sha’ban is also known to be the birth month of famous and pious Muslims. Many martyrs of the battle of Karbala were born during the month:

  • Hussain ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet (third Sha’ban)
  • Zainab binte Ali, granddaughter of the Prophet (first Sha’ban)
  • Abbas ibn Ali, step-grandson of the Prophet (fourth Sha’ban)
  • Ali ibn Hussain, great-grandson of the Prophet (fifth Sha’ban)
  • Qasim ibn Hasan, great-grandson of the Prophet (seventh Sha’ban)
  • Ali Akbar ibn Hussain, great-grandson of the Prophet  (eleventh Sha’ban)

Additionally, the fifteenth of Sha’ban is the birth anniversary of the Mahdi who is considered by all Muslims to be the saviour of Islam who will restore peace and justice to the world. Shi’a Muslims believe he was born on 15th Shaban in the year 255 AH with Allah (SWT) miraculously prolonging his life and hiding him in plain sight until the time is right for his movement. Sunni Muslims believe him to have the same purpose but say he is yet to be born.

five RECOMMENDED DEEDS IN SHA’BAN

Sha’ban is a month of huge merit. So many amazing things occurred in this month proving its sacredness. Here are five deeds we should strive to perform regularly throughout the month:

Fasting

The month of Ramadan aside, Sha’ban is the month in which the Prophet fasted the most. In Sunan an-Nasai the wife of the Prophet Aisha reported the following:

The Messenger of Allah did not fast in any month of the year more than he did in Sha’ban. He used to fast all of Sha’ban.”

There is a similar hadith in the same book from Umm Salamah, another one of the wives, who said:

That the Messenger of Allah would not fast any two consecutive months except Sha’ban and Ramadan.”
Fasting on any day (except the Eids) is highly commendable but the rewards for fasting are greater in Sha’ban – specifically any fast performed on:
  • Mondays
  • Thursdays
  • 13th, 14th and 15th Sha’ban
  • The last three days of Sha’ban

The Prophet has recommended fasting for at least eight days in Sha’ban:

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One who fasts for seven days in Sha’ban will remain safe from the mischief and evil thoughts of shaytan and his followers. One who fasts for eight days will not go thirsty from this world and will be satisfied by a pure cistern.”

[Sawaabul A’amaal, page no. 95]

Seeking Forgiveness

Allah (SWT) wishes us to be as spiritually clean as possible as we enter the month of Ramadan so we can make the most of the month. You may seek forgiveness in your own fashion or say this recommended dua for forgiveness 70 times a day (or as many times as you can):

I seek forgiveness of Allah who is ‘there is no god but God’, the Beneficient, the Merciful; the Ever-Living, the Eternal and I turn repentent to Him.”

Alternatively, you may recite the shorter version of the forgiveness dua 70 times a day:

I seek forgiveness of Allah, and, repentent, beseech Him.”

Increasing Charitable Acts

The reward for charitable acts is manifold in Sha’ban. If you have any charitable projects in mind, now is the time to start planning them. If you want to do something more than simply donate money online, you can:

  • Sponsor an orphan
  • Build a well
  • Sign up for a charity sporting event or marathon
  • Volunteer at your local mosque

Charity doesn’t have to be monetary either. The Prophet has said even smiling is charity. Why not make an attempt to rekindle lost relationships and mend ties? Sha’ban is one of the best times to go and attempt such things with chances of success higher than most other months.

Reciting Munajaat Sha’baniyah

A munajaat is a whispered prayer. Munajat Sha’baniyah was recited by Ali ibn Abi Talib throughout Sha’ban. The dua is humble and in complete submission to God. If Arabic isn’t your first language, I’d highly recommend reading or listening to it in English so you can reflect on its meanings. The munjaat can help you connect with Allah (SWT).

Reciting Other Duas

Getting into the habit of regularly conversing with God through dua helps us build a relationship with Him. You may say any dua you wish and in the language of your choice. A dua specifically recommended for Sha’ban is the following:

There is no god save Allah. We do not worship save “He” alone, making religion pure for Him (only), however much the disbelievers be averse.”

Reports suggest reciting this short dua 1,000 times by the end of Sha’ban – roughly 33 times a day.

The merits of 15th sha’ban

The night of 15th Sha’ban is considered the pinnacle of this month with great blessings and rewards available for the believer. Ibn Taymiyyah, known as ‘Shaykh ul-Islam’ says the merits of the 15th of Sha’ban are so widely reported that, despite some of them being weak, the sheer volume that exists means there must be something good about this night. So, what are some of the merits of this night?

The Holy Prophet said the following (Ahmad):

Allah gazes at His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha’ban and then forgives all His slaves except for two types of people: those who attribute partners to Allah and those who have rancour for their fellow Muslims”

Increase your istighfar during this night. With each ‘astagfirullah wa atubu ilyah’ recited, have a specific sin in mind. Dedicate each istighfar for a different sin. insha’Allah by the end of the night, you will be forgiven.

Here is the specific repentance dua recited by the Prophet on 15th Sha’ban (recorded by Imam Baihaqi):

O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your Anger. And in Your forgiveness from Your punishment. And I seek refuge in You from You. I cannot praise You enough. You are as You have praised Yourself.”

If you are unable to perform the recommended acts of Sha’ban on any other night, try and perform as many as you can on the 15th night.

We pray to Allah (SWT) that Sha’ban reaps maximum benefit for the believers and end with the dua of the Prophet:

O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban and enable us to see Ramadan.”

Ameen.

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