Sha’baan is the eighth month of the Islamic Calendar.
Literal meaning: Sha’baan means to spread and distribute. During this month blessings descend and the provisions and sustenance of man is distributed.
Beginning of Sha’baan
Blessings are initiated and progressively escalate so that by mid-Sha’baan the blessings have reached a considerable amount and finally these blessings reach their peak by the end of Ramadhaan.
What is Sha’baan ?
Sha’baan is the month that comes between Rajab and Ramadhaan. There are many virtuous days with which Allah Ta’aala has blessed His Nabi’s sallallahu alayhi wasallam Ummah. He has promised us great reward for each and every virtuous deed, even if it be as small as removing something from a pathway that may trouble others.
Yet, look at the ignorance of the Muslims. We let things slip through our fingers not realising that time is lost forever ! Each breath of a man is a step nearer to his death, nearer to the time of reckoning before his Creator, on the Day of Resurrection.
Every day Allah Ta’aala through His love and mercy has allocated a specific time in which those who call unto Him are answered. He has set aside certain days in which mercy has no limits, to those who plead for it. From amongst the special times and days is the month of Sha’baan, in which each deed acted upon, is rewarded more generously by Allah Ta’aala than compared to any other day.
Why is Sha’baan important ?
In a Hadeeth Sayyidina Usamah radhiallahu anhu reports that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “There is a month between Rajab and Ramadhaan called Sha’baan, people are very ignorant towards this month, even though the reward of each deed is greater within it and the deeds are presented to Allah Ta’aala.” (Imam Baihaqi reports this hadeeth in his kitaab Shuab-ul-Imaan).
It has been narrated by Sayyidina Anas radhiallahu that upon the arrival of Rajab, Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to recite,
“O Allah! bless us abundantly in Rajab and Sha’baan and deliver us safely unto Ramadhaan.”
It has also been stated in the kitaab ‘Daylami’ that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam proclaimed, “Sha’baan is my month.” In another hadeeth Sayyiditina Aa’isha radhiallahu anha narrates that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam preferred to observe the fasts of Sha’baan thus uniting them with the fasts of Ramadhaan. From the above Ahaadeeth we learn the significance of Sha’baan and Rasoolullah’s sallallahu alayhi wasallam attachment to this blessed month.
This month should be spent preparing for Ramadhaan, by dong virtuous deeds, so that in Ramadhaan we undertake even more virtuous deeds. By then hopefully our religious duties would become habitual.
Events of Sha’baan
1. ‘Laila-tul-Baraa’at’ (Night of forgiveness), the fifteenth night of Sha’baan.
2. ‘Qibla’, the direction to face in Salaat, was once again reverted to the Kabah in Makkah (after facing Bait-ul-Muqaddas in Jerusalem for a short period of time). This took place two years after Hijrah on the 15th of Sha’baan.
3. Fasting in the blessed month of Ramadhaan was made compulsory two years after Hijrah on the 25th of Sha’baan
What to do on Laylatul Baraa’ah (I5th night of Sha’baan)
As much time as possible should be spent in nafl salaah and reciting of the Qur’aan. It is reported that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said to Sayyidltina Ayesha radhiyallahu anha, “On this night read this dua and teach it to others too, for Jibra’eel alayhis salaam has taught this dua to me”
I seek protection in Your forgiveness from Your wrath, and I seek shelter in Your pleasure from your displeasure, and I seek safety with You from You. Glory be to You. I cannot fully praise You, as You have praised Yourself
Virtue of the 15th night of Sha’baan
Allah Ta’ala descends to the lower heaven and turns with special mercy and forgiveness towards those who repent and seek forgiveness. Unlike any other night, wherein Allah Ta’ala descends during the latter part of the night, on the 15th night of Sha’baan, Allah Ta’ala descends to the lower heaven from sunset onwards.
Allamah ibn Taymlyyah, a prominent scholar dedicated to refute innovations, states “So many Ahadeeth and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Sha’baan, that one is compelled to accept that this night does possess some virtue”.
It is understood from the Ahadeeth that even on this night, some servants of Allah Ta’ala are deprived of His forgiveness.
They are as follows:
1 . Idolators
2. Consumers of alcohol
3, Those who disobey their parents
4. Those who commit adultery and murder
5. Those who sever family ties
6. Those who harbour enmity against others
7 Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis etc. below their ankles.
We can thus gauge the severity of these sins and the need to abstain from them as they are so grave that even on an occasion when Allah Ta’ala’s mercy comes to the fore, they still poise an obstacle to our forgiveness.
Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal