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Shaban, as an 8th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is a month of a lot of importance. Some sources said that the name of months of the Islamic calendar was not indefinite earlier. Kilab ibn Murrah introduced these names. He was the 5th grandfather of Muhammad SAW.
Social practices and social conditions reflect the names of these months. For example, the month of Ramadan originates from the world” Ramadha,” which depicts intense heat. The month of Ramadan coincides with the extreme heat of summer.
Similarly, the month of Shaban is the 8th month, which is essential by the Islamic historical point of view. A list of meanings attributed to the name Shaban.
For example, Rajab was the holiest month for the whole Arabs. They used to stop their raids over the caravans, and the peoples traveled through the desert. Whenever the month of Rajab ended, they used to scatter again to resume their activities. That is why the Shaban attributes with the separating or branching.
The second meaning attributed to Shaban was due to their searching for water in groups.
The third meaning, which attributed to Shaban, was because it comes between Rajab and Ramadan.
Laylat-al-Barat (the night of records) is the fifteenth night, which comes in the month of Shaban. This night is of great importance to the Muslims. Another name is the night of forgiveness. The Muslims offer prayers, do dhikars, and recites the Quran and the other religious rituals.
It is the Muslims who believe that Allah writes about luck and destinies.
Importance of Shaban by the Quran and Ahadith
There are countless Ahadith, which qualifies the significance of Shaban as an important month of Islam. On the other hand, the Quran also describes the importance of the 15th night of Shaban.
Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “the month of Shaban is my month, the month of Rajab is Allah’s month and the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah, expiator is the month of Shaban, and the purifier is the Ramadan.”
There is a list of diverse reasons of so much importance, which the month of Shaban holds. There are different proves which are below to distinguish the month of Shaban from the other months.
In a Hadith, reported by Muadh ibn Jabal , Prophet Muhammad SAW,” Allah looks below to the earth during the middle of Shaban and forgives most of his creation, Idolator and those who develop a grudge against someone.”
It shows the month of Shaban is the month of blessing and rewards. It provides us an opportunity to get our sins forgiven and pay attention to good deeds.
In another Hadith, narrated by Abu ThaLabah Al-Khushni, Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW said,” During the night of the middle of the Sahban, Allah Almighty looks below on his creation and forgive those who keep believing on him, prolong hope who does not believe on him and levers the disbelievers spiteful to their rancor until they desert it. “
This Hadith shows that then blessings and rewards are for those people who keep believing in Allah also for those who do not let the attention distract due to the worldly things. There are no blessings and rewards for those who are disbelievers. We should pay attention to eternal matters.
Similarly, in another Hadith, narrated by Aishah (May Allah be pleased upon), Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “ the month which the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW mostly liked was the month of Shaban, is essential, Prophet Muhammad SAW used it to the preparation of the holy month of Ramadan. “
Due to its placement in the Islamic lunar Calendar before Ramadan, we should use it for preparing for the month of Ramadan. We should use it to make our routine for the night prayer so that we can take full benefit of the month of Ramadan in which every good deed carries double rewards. We should use to prepare the routine of Dhikr and reciting of Quran. We should not waste it on useless activities.
In another Hadith, Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW said,” A mouth which comes between Rajab and Shaban, people neglect that month, in which the deed of the people are presented before God, So I would like to be with fasting when my deeds are presented.”
Laylat –Al Barat, which is the night of forgiveness, is a great night in the month of Shaban. We should do worship as much as we can do. According to Ahadith, Allah forgives the people this night. Therefore, we should also get our sins forgiven.
According to one Islamic school of thought, In Surah Ad-Dhukhan, Allah talks about the blessed nigh which is layalat-Al-Barat, Allah says, “ No doubt, we have dispatched it (the Holy Quran) it towards below on a blessed night, no bout, we are the warner, in this judgment on all required matters by our command.”
But, a large number of scholars deny and argued that the revelation of the Quran started from the 27th night of Ramadan.
Several significant events in Shaban
There is a list of notable events in the month of Shaban, which describes its importance in Islamic history.
Two pieces of the moon
A Hadith, reported by Anas bin malik,” people asked Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW that to show them something unordinary, for example, a miracle. So, Prophet Muhammad SAW made them show the moon into two pieces. It was Hira mountain which the people saw. “
Two-piece of the moon is an important event in the history of Islam, which happed in the month of Shaban.
Changing of the Qiblah
Fewer people know that the first Qibla of the Muslims was Masjid-Al-Aqsa Al-Mubarik. In the duration, while Prophet Muhammad SAW was living in Madina, the order of the changing of Qibla during Salah was given.
For example, in the Quran, Allah says,” We have certainly watched the turning of your face, toward the heaven, we will surely make your turn to the Qiblah with which you pleased. So, turn your face towards the holy Al-masjid-Al-haram.
This important event happened in the month of the Shaban.
Fasting in Shaban
The fasting in Shaban is not obligatory. It is optional and up to you. But, the important benefit that we get from this holy month is the benefit of the preparation of Ramadan. If we do preparation in the month of Shaban, it becomes easy for us to spend the whole month of Ramadan in the obedience of Allah.
The beloved companion of our Prophet Usama ibn Zaid narrated the Hadith that he asked from the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW,” I was constantly seeing you from fasting in my life. But, I could not see you from fasting in any other month. Prophet Muhammad replied,” There is a month between Rajab and Shaban, which is constantly neglected by the people. In this month, the deeds of people are presented before Almighty Allah; I would like to be with fasting when my deeds are presented.”
According to Ummul Momaneen Hazrat Ayasha(May Allah be pleased upon her), Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW used to be from fasting in the most of Shaban. I asked him, that is Shaban, your favorite month for fasting? He replied to me that in this month Allah compiles the list of people dying this year. That is why I would like to be dead in the condition of fasting.
Imam ibn Rajab said that Prophet Muhammad SAW used to fast in Shaban more than any other month except the month of Ramadan in which fasting is obligatory. The month of Shaban is one of the favorite months of Prophet Muhammad SAW.
These Ahadith show that Shaban is the favorite month of Allah’s Messenger SAW. Although, Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW and his companions began their preparation for the month of Ramadan before six months ago. But, their involvement increased when the month of Shaban came.
We should also act upon the sunnah of our beloved Holy Prophet SAW. That is why our preparation should also start from the month of Shaban.
It provides you an opportunity to get prepared for the month of Ramadan. For fasting, you should get up early before the prayer of Fajar with your family. Don’t eat and don’t drink anything. This process will mentally prepare you to spend the Ramadan with gaining blessings and rewards.
Muslims scholars also advised us to recite the holy Quran, particularly after having fast. You should do Dhikr and perform night prayer. It will make your routine firm. After spending some days in this drudgery routine, you will surely get along with it easily.
Notable Islamic Scholars, Abu-Barkar-Al-Warraq said, “ Sowing the seeds in the month of Rajab and irrigating the seeds in the month of Shaban, you reap the harvest in the month of Ramadan.
Shaban is the month of great importance. But, unluckily, our people neglect it. We should take benefit from it by acting upon the sunnah of our beloved Prophet SAW.