The month of Shaban is the 8th month of an Islamic calendar. There are a few months that hold a superior status as compared to other months and because of this, they are given more value and respect by the Muslims. One of such months is the month of Shaban. Shaban is considered one of the virtuous months for which we find particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It is reported that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to fast most in the month of Shaban except the last few days of the month. Shaban is the month that comes immediately before the month of Ramadan. Shaban acts as a connection between the two blessed and sacred months of Rajab and Ramadan. Prophet (SAW) mentioned in hadith, “Rajab is the month of Allah, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of the Nation”.
In this Holy month of Shaban actions of the people presented to Allah Almighty. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) used to fast repeatedly in this month. Aisha (RA) said that: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast for a complete month except for Ramadan, and I never saw him do more fasting in any month than he did in Sha`ban” (Al-Bukhari). In another hadith Prophet (PBUH) aid related to the significance of the month of Shaban in these words: “People neglect this month which is between Rajab and Ramadan, in this month the actions of the people are presented to Allah; so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting”. (Abu Dawood)
The above-mentioned hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) give the importance of the fasting in the month of Shaban. In hadith Prophet (SAW) described the significance of worship during midnight and fasting in the day in these words: “When the Middle Night of Shaban arrives, you should stand (Praying) in the night and should fast in the day following it” (Ibn Majah). From this hadith, we came to know the importance of fasting on the 15th of Shaban and worship during the night when Allah Almighty forgives whoever seeks forgiveness from Him.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) mentioned in one of His Hadith about the blessings of 15th Shaban night, 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” (Ibn Majah). This night should be spent in worship and total submission to Allah Almighty as much as possible. The recitation of the Noble Quran is another form of beneficial worship in this night. After performing Salah, or at any other time, one should recite as much of the Holy Quran as one can. The best benefit one can take from the blessings of this night is by asking Allah sincerely. It is hoped that all our prayers in this night will be accepted by Allah. Dua itself is a form of ibadah or worship, and Allah Almighty rewards the one who recites for asking, in addition to fulfilling his/her needs.
Fasting in the month of 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 a 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.
May Allah give us the utmost love for such a month that meant so much to our beloved Prophet (SAW). May He give us the ability to fast abundantly in this month and committing good deeds and Muslim gain countless blessings from Allah Almighty in addition to receiving pardon and forgiveness. Ameen!