WELCOMING THE MONTH OF SHA’BAN
Imam Ali (A) once saw some Muslims arguing among themselves on the topic of fate and destiny, on the first day of Sha’ban. He discouraged them from their preoccupation and instead drew their attention to the merits of this month. He said that the Lord had called it Sha’ban because His favours and bounties were scattered (sha’aba) all over during it. Allah presents His great bounties in this month which are easy to achieve, and inexpensive, said Imam Ali (A). This could mean that the doing of ‘ibadah (acts of worship), performing other good deeds and abstaining from evils will carry manifold benefits.
The Imam (A) then enumerated some of the good actions which should not be overlooked in this month. These include salat (prayer), zakat (charity), amr bil ma’roof (enjoining of good), nahyi anil munkar(forbidding of evil), goodness to parents, Relatives, neighbours, mutual reconciliation and giving charity to the poor and the destitute.
Sha’ban is the second month of ‘Ibadah in order to make preparations for the grand and majestic month of Holy Ramadhan – the month of Allah (SWT). The Holy Prophet (saw) has said, “Sha’ban is my month”. This is the month of asking for forgiveness of sins, giving alms & charity and fasting. The Holy Prophet (saw) used to observe fast during the whole month of Sha’ban. Imam Zaynul-Aabideen (A) has said, “Whosoever, in love of the Prophet, wishes to seek nearness to Allah and receive His bounties, favours and rewards in this world and in the hereafter, must connect Sha’ban with Ramadhan in the matter of fasting and special prayers”.
It is also reported from the Holy Prophet (saw) that, "Whosoever observes nine fasts in the whole month of Sha’ban should not fear the interrogation of Munkar & Nakeer. Whosoever observes twelve fasts in the month of Sha’ban, 70,000 angels will descend over his/her grave on the first night of his burial, the night of wahshah to remove his/her fear & loneliness."
Therefore, one must observe at least twelve fasts to gain both the favours.
1st, 2nd and 3rd of Sha’ban.
1st Thursday, Mid-Wednesday of the month and last Thursday.
13th, 14th and 15th of Sha’ban.
Any Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Sha’ban.
The last three days of Sha’ban to join with Ramadhan.
This being the second month of Maghfirah (seeking forgiveness), one should do the following:
Recite everyday 70 times ASTAGHFIRULLAHA WA AS-ALUHUT TAWBAH
Recite everyday 70 times ASTAGHFIRULLAHAL-LADHEE LAA ILAAHA ILLA HUWAR-RAHMAANUR RAHEEMUL HAYYUL QAYYOOMU WA ATOOBU ILAIHI
Give as much Sadaqah (alms) as possible
Recite Swalawaat as many times as possible on the Holy prophet (saw)
Recite 1000 times the foolowing dhikr within the month i.e. divide it throughout the month of Sha’ban; LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAHU WALAA NA’BUDU ILLA IYYAAHU MUKHLISEENA LAHUD-DEEN WALAU KARIHAL MUSHRIKOON
Please note that 1st Sha’ban (night & day) has almost equal importance as Shabe Barat i.e. 15th Sha’ban.
Translation of above arabic texts can be obtained from Almanac.
Many other A’maal are also recommended. Please refer to Almanac, Mafaatihul-Jinaan and A’maal of Rajab & Sha’ban by Tayyiba Publications.
Article by Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff