Merits of Sha'ban

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Sha’ban is one of the meritorious months for which we find particular instructions in the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  It is reported in a hadits that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) used to fast most of the month in Sha’ban.  These fasts are supererogatory, nafl, and well deserving of reward, for Sha’ban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadhan.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) mentioned in a hadits, “Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha`ban is my month and Ramadhan is the month of my ummah.”

Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) reported that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was asked, “Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadhan?”

He replied, “Fasts of Sha’ban in honour of Ramadhan.”

Usamah ibn Zayd (r.a.) reported that he asked Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), “Ya Rasulullah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha’ban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month.”

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) replied, “That is a month between Rajab and Ramadhan which is neglected by many people.  And it is a month in which an account of the deeds 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.”

‘Aishah (r.a.) said, “Rasulullah (s.a.w.) used to fast the whole of Sha’ban.  I said to him, ‘Ya Rasulullah, is Sha’ban your favourite month for fasting?’

He replied, ‘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.’”

In another hadits, she said, “Rasulullah (s.a.w.) would sometimes begin to fast continuously until we thought he would not stop fasting, and sometimes he used to stop fasting until we thought he would never fast.  I never saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) fasting a complete month, except the month of Ramadhan, and I have never seen him fasting in a month more frequently than he did in Sha`ban.”

In another report, she said, “I never saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) fasting in a month so profusely as he did in the month of Sha’ban.  He used to fast in that month leaving only a few days, rather, he used to fast almost the whole of the month.”

Umm Salamah (r.a.), said, “I have never seen Rasulullah (s.a.w.) fasting for two months continuously except in the months of Sha`ban and Ramadhan.”

These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Sha’ban, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) did not like to miss it.


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