The Excellence of Shabaan

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We might not realize the greatness of the month that is upon us but In sha Allah we should try to spend this month the way Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and his blessed Companions did, as we will learn hereunder.

Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) stated, “The fasting Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) liked best was that which he did in Shabaan, so I said to him, “O Messenger of Allah how is it that I always see you fasting in Shabaan?” and Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “O Aisha, it is the month in which the Angel of Death has to note down the names of anyone whose soul he must take before the year is out, so I would rather he did not record my name except while I am fasting.””

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that, “The Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) never fasted throughout the whole of any month outside Ramadaan, apart from Rajab and Shabaan.”

Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta'ala Anha) said that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would not fast so abundantly in any other month as he would in Shabaan, rather he used to fast the whole month and would say, “Act according to your capability as Allah Ta’ala does not cease His blessings until you become exhausted.” [Bukhari Shareef]  

Hazrat Allamah Mufti Shareef-ul-Haq Amjadi (Radiallahu Ta'ala Anh) has elaborated on this Hadith saying that it means that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to observe fasts in most of the days of Shabaan and this was referred to as the whole month (i.e. fasting for the whole month). It is usually said, “So and so person worshipped the whole night,” although he would have spent some time in eating, attending to the call of nature etc. In such cases, ‘mostly’ refers to the ‘whole’. 

Hazrat Imam Ghazzali (Radiallahu Ta'ala Anh) has stated with regard to the above mentioned Hadith, “Fasting for the entire month of Shabaan means to fast for most of the days of Shabaan (i.e. to observe fasts in more than half of the days of Shabaan).” [Mukashifatul Quloob]

Hazrat Anas ibn Malik (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that when Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked about the most meritorious fasting, he replied, “Fasting in Shabaan in honour of Ramadaan.”

Hazrat Abdullah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Anyone who fasts on the last Monday of Shabaan will be granted forgiveness.”

Hazrat Ubaidullah ibn Qais (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) once heard Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) say, “The dearest of months to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was Shabaan, which he would link to Ramadaan.”

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once said, “Shabaan is my month, Rajab is the month of Allah, and Ramadaan is the month of my Ummah. Shabaan is the expiator while Ramadaan is the purifier.”

Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also said, “Shabaan is the month between Rajab and Ramadaan. People tend to neglect it, but that is when the deeds of His servants ascend to the Lord of the Worlds, so I would rather mine rose up while I was fasting.”

Hazrat Anas ibn Malik (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The excellence of Rajab over other months is like the excellence of the Qur’an over all other speech, while the excellence of Shabaan over other months is like my excellence over the rest of the Prophets, and the excellence of Ramadaan over other months is like the excellence of Allah over all His creatures.”

Hazrat Anas (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) also reports that when the Companions of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) beheld the new moon of Shabaan, they would immerse themselves in reading the Holy Qur’an. The Muslims would pay their Zakaat assessed on their wealth, thereby providing the means for the weak and the poor to fortify themselves in preparation for the fasting of the month of Ramadaan. The governors would summon the prison inmates, to carry out the sentence on those convicted of major offences under Islamic Law, and to set the rest free. Businessmen would set about paying their debts and collecting their dues. Then, when they beheld the new moon of Ramadaan, they would bathe themselves and devote themselves to worship.

Shabaan is a month in which the treasures are laid open, in which blessings are sent down, in which faults are forsworn, in which sins are expiated, and in which benedictions are multiplied upon the best of creation, Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Far from being negligent during this month, therefore, every conscientious believer is obliged to exert himself in preparation for the coming month of Ramadaan, using the days that remain to get clear of sins and repent those committed in the past. One should beseech Almighty Allah in the month of Shabaan. One should appeal to Allah Ta’ala through the owner of the month, Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), until the corruption of one’s heart is corrected, and the sickness of one’s inner being is cured.

This must be done without delay and not put off until tomorrow, for the days are three: yesterday, which is a date in history; today, which is a time for action; and tomorrow, which is a hopeful expectation, for whether you will get there or not is beyond your knowledge. Thus yesterday is a caution, today is an opportunity and tomorrow is a risk. The months are likewise three: Rajab, now past and gone beyond return; Ramadaan, awaiting in a future you may not live to see; and in between we have Shabaan, so let us seize this opportunity for worshipful devotion.

Hazrat Zunnoon Misri (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) has said the following, “Rajab is the month of sowing, Shabaan is the month of watering and Ramadaan is the month of the harvest. Everyone reaps what he sows, and everyone is recompensed for what he does. If a person wastes the time he should devote to cultivation, he will regret it on his day of harvesting. He will realize in retrospect that he was sowing nothing but a bleak future for himself.”

May Allah Ta’ala through the Sadaqah of our Beloved Master Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) grant us the Taufeeq to do much Fasting, Repentance and Tilaawat during this month and to prepare ourselves for the blessed month of Ramadaan, Allahumma Ameen.

[Compiled from Ghunyalit Taalibi Tareeqal Haq by Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam Sayyiduna Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh]