"And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers."
(Al-Quran 51:55)

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Month of Sha'ban

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All praise be to Allah - the eighth month of the Islamic calendar, Sha'ban, is finally upon us. First, we must continue to pray the dua which we started to pray in Rajab:

 O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha'ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan.
We should have hope in Allah that He accepts the second part of the dua for us, and allows us to reach the blessed month of Ramadan.

Apart from Ramadan, Sha'ban is the month where the Prophet Muhammad (saw) would fast the most.

Hazrat Aisha (ra) narrates, "The Prophet (saw) used to fast until we would say that he will never stop fasting and he would abandon fasting until we would say that he will never fast. I never saw the Prophet (saw) fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan and I did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha'ban"
(Sahih Bukhari)

Another Hadith mentions, ".. The Prophet (saw) used to fast the whole month of Sha'ban except for a few days. When he (saw) was asked the reason for this, the Prophet (saw) replied, "It is a month which people generally neglect between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which deeds are brought before the Lord of the Worlds. Therefore I like my deeds to be raised whilst I am fasting".

Hazrat Anas (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) was asked, "Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan?" He replied, "Fasts of Sha'ban in honour of Ramadan". 

The Prophet (saw) said, "Allah draws up a list of the persons who will die in the forthcoming year. Therefore I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting".

The month of Sha'ban should be valued in its entirety. We do not know if we will be alive this time next year to enjoy its blessings again, therefore we should make the most of it whilst we still have the chance. There are many people in their graves who would wish for a chance like ours. 

One of the main things that we should try and do is make up any missed (qadha) compulsory fasts or prayers that we have been unfortunate to miss. It doesn't matter how many we have - at least try and make a start, inshallah.

The 15th Night of Sha'ban

A blessed night in Sha'ban is the 15th night. A few Ahadith regarding this night are:

Hazrat Ali (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, "When it is the 15th of Sha'ban, then stand in worship at night and fast during the day. Because Allah descends in this night at sunset to the first heaven and says: "Is there any seeker of forgiveness that I may forgive him? Is there any seeker of sustenance that I may sustain him? Is there anyone in affliction that I may remove his affliction? Is there anyone like this, like that and so on?" This continues until Fajr".
(Ibn Majah)

Hazrat Muadh ibn Jabal (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, "Allah looks upon all those created by Him on the middle night of Sha'ban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart against another Muslim.

Subhanallah, this hadith is saying that:

  •  Allah will forgive you if you were created by Him - which we all were!
  • Allah will forgive you if you don't associate any partners with Him and believe and worship only Him
  • Allah will forgive you if your heart is pure and clean towards another Muslim. 
There are many people who have some kind of hatred in their hearts for another person or people. This feeling of hatred is what will stop you from being forgiven by the Lord of the Worlds. This is why we should forgive everybody and encourage others to do the same, inshallah.

What should be done on this night?
1. Pray optional namaz (nafil salah)
2. Recite the Quran
3. Perform Dhikr 
4. Pray Durood Shareef
5. Make dua and supplicate to Allah for all your needs

What should not be done on this night?
1. Refrain from all activities that displease Allah
2. Refrain from cooking special meals or having special celebrations for this night
3. Try not to perform optional acts of worship collectively, but try to perform them alone

This night is meant for worshipping Allah in solitude. This is the time to enjoy direct contact with the Lord of the Universe, and to devote one's attention to Him and Him alone. These are the precious hours of the night in which nobody should intervene between one and His Lord, and one should turn to Allah with total concentration, not disturbed by anyone else.

On this night, if one does feel tired, then it will be better for him to go to sleep rather than start doing something which is sinful and will waste time.

The Fast of 15th Sha'ban
It is mustahab (preferable) to fast on the day following the night of the 15th. 

May Allah give us all the ability to make use of this blessed month, reap its rewards and may He allow us to reach the month of Ramadan in good health and Imaan - Ameen.


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