HistoryThese fasts are supererogatory (nafl). Shaban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. The Prophet mentioned in a hadith, "Rajab is the month of Allah, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of the Nation". 1. The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid , reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad : "Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Shaban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month." Prophet Muhammad , replied: "That (Shaban) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe, so, I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting." 2. Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aishah (r), says, "Prophet Muhammad , used to fast for most of Shaban. I said to him, 'Messenger of Allah, is Shaban your favorite month for fasting?' He said, 'In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting.' " These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Shaban, though not obligatory but is very deserving and that Prophet Muhammad did not like to miss it.
MeaningConsecutively escalating. (Undisturbed increase). Derived from the word "shu'ba", which means branch. The Arabs used to branch out during this month to look for water.
BlessingsWith the Arrival of the Shaban moon numerous blessings are showered upon us. Just as the initiation of rainfall begins with "pitter patter" such blessings reach us in the same accord and fashion. With the Beginning of Shaban blessings are initiated which progressively escalate so that by mid-Shaban the blessings have reached a considerable amount and finally such blessings reached a considerable amount and finally such blessings reach their peak by the end of Ramadan. For example just as a farmer prepares for a fruitful harvest by harrowing his acreage so that the soil may readily retain water, in contrast our souls are geared by the presence of such blessings in Shaban effectively preparing us for a fruitful and completely advantageous Ramadan. Our Holy Prophet has said, "Shaban is my month and Ramadan the month of Allah Ta'aalaa." (Daylami)
Events1. "Laila-tul Baraa'at (Night of forgiveness) the fifteenth night of Shaban. 2. "Qibla", the direction to be adopted within salaah, was reverted back to the "Ka'aba" in Makkah (after being coverted to Baitul Muqaddas in Jerusalem for a short period of time). This took place two years after Hijraah on the 15th of Shaban. 3. Fasting in the blessed month of Ramadan was made compulsory in the year 2 A.H. on the 25th of Shaban. 4. Three years A.H. Hadhrat Hafsa (R.A) was joined in matrimony with the Prophet . 5. In this very month forty two years later Hadhrat Hafsa (R.A) took leave from this world. 6. The birth of the Prophet's grandson Hadhrat Hussain (R.A.) took place, four years on the fifth of Shaban. 7. The battle of Banu Mustaliq took place in Shaban. 8. During the above mentioned battle, the "Aayah of Tayammum" (Purifying with sand before salaah) was revealed, in the year 5 A.H. 9. The daughter of the beloved Prophet Umme Kulthum (R.A.) took leave from this world, in the 9 A.H.
The Night of nisf mid ShabanVarious Islamic scholars have recommended special worshiping during the night of 15th of Shaban. This is based on the saying (Hadith) of prophet Muhammad , the meaning of which is that during the night of 15th of Shaban, Allah will say "is there any person repenting so that I forgive him, and any person seeking provision so that I provide for him, and any person with distress so that I relieve him, and so on until dawn." reported by Ibn Majah. This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Shaban. Traditions of Prophet Muhammad , show that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine Mercy. On the Night of 15th Shaban, after Maghrib or Isha prayer it is traditional practice to read Surah Yasin and make special supplications for good health, protection from calamities and increased Iman. According to tradition this night has special blessings that are directed towards the faithful. Therefore, as much as possible, this night should be spent in worship and total submission to Allah Almighty. Also, fasting is recommended on the day immediately following this Night, i.e. the 15th day of Shaban.
Events1 Shaban‐ Wiladat Hazrat Zainab bint‐e‐Imam Ali (a.s.) ‐ (5 A.H.) 3 Shaban‐ Wiladat Imam HUSSAIN(a.s.) the 3rd Imam ‐ (4 A.H.) 4 Shaban‐ Wiladat Hazrat Ghazi ABBAS (a.s.) (26 A.H.) 5 Shaban‐ Wiladat Imam Ali Zain‐al‐Abideen(a.s.) the 4th Imam ‐ (38 A.H.) 7 Shaban‐ Wiladat Hazrat Qasim ibn‐e‐Hasan(a.s.) ‐ (48 A.H.) 8 Shaban‐ Beginning of Ghaibat‐e‐Sughra of Imam Muhammad Mehdi (As) – the 12th Imam ‐ (260 A.H.) 11 Shaban‐ Wiladat Hazrat Ali Akbar(a.s.) ‐ (44 A.H.) 13, 14th, 15th ‐ Ayyam‐e‐Bayd ‐ the bright days 14 Shaban‐ Evening ‐ Aamal of Neema‐e‐Shabaan 15 Shaban‐ Wiladat of Imam Mohammad Mehdi (A.s) ‐ the 12th Imam ‐ (255 A.H.) 27, 28, 29 ‐ Fast
Fast of the 15th Shaban
What Should Not be Done in This Night1. As mentioned earlier, the Night of Bara'ah is a night in which special blessings are directed towards the Muslims. Therefore, this night should be spent in total submission to Allah Almighty, and one should refrain from all those activities, which may displease Allah. Although it is always incumbent upon every Muslim to abstain from sins, yet this abstinence becomes all the more necessary in such nights, because committing sins in this night will amount to responding to divine blessings with disobedience and felony. Such an arrogant attitude can invite nothing but the wrath of Allah. Therefore, one should strictly abstain from all the sins, particularly from those mentioned in the Hadith No. 3 quoted earlier in this article, because these sins make one devoid of the blessings of this night. 2. In this night some people indulge in some activities which they regard as necessary for the celebration of the Night of Bara'ah, like cooking some special type of meal, or illuminating houses or mosques, or improvised structures. All such activities are not only baseless and innovated in the later days by ignorant people, but in some cases they are pure imitation of some rituals performed by non-Muslim communities. Such imitation in itself is a sin; performing it in a blessed night like the Night of Bara'ah makes it worse. Muslims should strictly abstain from all such activities. 3. Some people spend this night in holding religious meetings and delivering long speeches. Such activities are also not advisable, because these acts can easily be performed in other nights. This night requires one to devote himself for the pure acts of worship only. 4. The acts of worship like Salah, recitation of the Qur'an and dhikr should be performed in this night individually, not collectively. The Nafl Salah should not be performed in Jama'ah, nor should the Muslims arrange gatherings in the mosques in order to celebrate the night in a collective manner.
Fasting in ShabanOne of the major acts that Muslims across the world do in the month of Shaban is fasting. Although Ramadan is the Holy month in which fasting is mandatory upon every Muslim, however, Muslims also fast in different days of Shaban to fulfill the Sunnah of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is narrated from Hazrat Usama ibn Zayd (RA) that he asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
What Should be Done in this NightIn order to observe the Night of Bara'ah, one should remain awakened in this night as much as he can. If someone has better opportunities, he should spend the whole night in worship and prayer. However, if one cannot do so for one reason or another, he can select a considerable portion of the night, preferably of the second half of it for this purpose, and should perform the following acts of worship: (a) Salah. Salah is the most preferable act to be performed in this night. There is no particular number of Rak'at but preferably it should not be less than eight. It is also advisable that each part of the Salah like qiyam, rukoo' and sajdah should be longer than normal. The longest surahs of the Holy Qur'an one remembers by heart should be recited in the Salah of this night. If someone does not remember the long surahs, he can also recite several short surahs in one rak'ah. (b) Tilawa. The recitation of the Holy Qur'an is another form of worship, very beneficent in this night. After performing Salah, or at any other time, one should recite as much of the Holy Qur'an as he can. (c) Dhikr. One should also perform dhikr (recitation of the name of Allah) in this night. Particularly the following dhikr is very useful: One should recite Salah (durood) on Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as many times as he can. The dhikr can also be recited while walking, lying on bed and during other hours of work or leisure. (d) Dua. The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of this night is prayers and supplications. It is hoped that all the prayers in this night will be accepted by our Lord, insha-Allah. Prayer itself is an 'Ibadah, and Allah Almighty gives reward on each prayer along with the fulfillment of the supplicator's need. Even if the purpose prayed for is not achieved, one cannot be deprived of the reward of the prayer which is sometimes more precious than the mundane benefits one strives for. The prayers and supplications also strengthen one's relation with Allah Almighty, which is the main purpose of all kinds and forms of worship. One can pray for whatever purpose he wishes. But the best supplications are the ones made by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. These are so comprehensive and all-encompassing prayers that all the human needs, of this world and the Hereafter, are fully covered in the eloquent expressions used in them. Actually, most of the prophetic prayers are so profound that human imagination can hardly match their greatness. Several books in various languages are available which provide these prophetic prayers, and one should pray to Allah Almighty in accordance with them, whether by reciting their original Arabic text or by rendering their sense in one's own language. (e) There are some people who cannot perform any additional Salah or recitations for any reason, like illness or weakness or being engaged in some other necessary activities. Such people also should not deprive themselves completely of the blessings of this night. They should observe the following acts: (i) To perform the Salah of Maghrib, 'Isha' and Fajr with Jama'ah in the mosque, or in their homes in case of their being sick. (ii) They should keep reciting the dhikr, particularly the one mentioned in para (c) above, in whatever condition they are until they sleep. (iii) They should pray to Allah for their forgiveness and for their other objectives. One can do so even when he is in his bed. (f) The women during their periods cannot perform salah, nor can they recite the Qur'an, but they can recite any dhikr, tasbeeh, durood sharif and can pray to Allah for whatever purpose they like in whatever language they wish. They can also recite the Arabic prayers mentioned in the Qur'an or in the hadith with the intention of supplication (and not with the intention of recitation). (g) According to a hadith, which is relatively less authentic, Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went in this night to the graveyard of Baqi' where he prayed for the Muslims buried there. On this basis, some of the fuqaha hold it as mustahabb (advisable) in this night to go to the graveyard of the Muslims and recite Fatihah or any other part of the Qur'an, and pray for the dead. But this act is neither obligatory nor should it be performed as regularly as an obligatory act
Getting Ready for Ramadan in Shaban
- Fasting in Shaban gives you a chance to start preparing for the month of Ramadan. For fasting, you will have to wake up early on Fajr time, and spending day without eating and drinking, will give you a clear idea of what it would take in order to successfully spend the blessed month of Ramadan.
- In the month of Shaban, many Muslim scholars and others used to consistently recite and Read the Holy Quran along with fasting, which also helps in getting ready for fasting in the coming month of Ramadan. The famous religious scholar 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.”