Shaban – A Spring of Goodness

Fasting in Sha士b膩n

士膧示ishah reports, ‘I did not see All膩h鈥檚 Messenger (sall Alla虅hu 士alayhi wa sallam) fast a complete month except Rama岣嵞乶, and I did not see him fast more in (any other month) than Sha士b膩n.’ (Bukh膩r墨 & Muslim)

The Prophet (sall Alla虅hu 士alayhi wa sallam) used to fast in Sha士b膩n more than any other month, fasting most of it. He (SAW) explained that it is a month whose virtue people forget. Us膩mah b. Zayd asked, 鈥楳essenger of All膩h (sall Alla虅hu 士alayhi wa sallam), I have not seen you fast as much in any month as you have in Sha士b膩n.鈥 He (sall Alla虅hu 士alayhi wa sallam) replied, 鈥淭hat is a month that people forget between Rajab and Rama岣嵞乶, and it is a month in which the deeds are raised to All膩h, Lord of the worlds, and I want my deeds to be raised to Him while I am fasting.鈥 (Nas膩示墨)

Scholars have also mentioned other benefits of fasting in Sha士b膩n:

鈥 Acclimatising to fasting such that by the time Rama岣嵞乶 arrives, a person can be used to fasting and reap the full benefit of fasting and worship during Rama岣嵞乶 with relative ease, tasting the sweetness of fasting in Rama岣嵞乶.

鈥 Fasting in Sha士b膩n and Shaww膩l is like the regular Sunnah prayers that precede and follow the obligatory prayers and has similar benefits, like making up for shortcomings in the obligatory fasts.

(cf. Ibn Rajab, La峁伿緄f al-Ma士膩rif)

Ab奴 Bakr b. al-Warr膩q al-Balkh墨 said, 鈥楻ajab is the month to sow the seeds, Sha士b膩n is the month to irrigate the crop, and Rama岣嵞乶 is the month to reap the harvest.鈥 It has similarly been related from him, 鈥楻ajab is like the wind, Sha士b膩n is like the water-laden clouds, and Rama岣嵞乶 is like the rain.鈥

Amongst the blessings of this month is the middle night of Sha士b膩n. Mu士膩dh b. Jabal (RA) narrated that the Messenger of All膩h (sall Alla虅hu 士alayhi wa sallam) said, 鈥淎ll膩h looks to His creation on the night of the middle of Sha士b膩n and forgives all of His creation except for the one who ascribes partners to Him and the one who shows enmity.鈥 (Ibn 岣bb膩n). Other 岣d墨th mention that our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during during this night.

Im膩m A岣ad was asked, 鈥楧oes All膩h descend to the lowest heaven in Sha士b膩n as mentioned in the narration?鈥 He replied, 鈥榊es.鈥

Im膩m al-Sh膩fi士墨 states, 鈥業t has reached us that it is said: The supplications are answered on five nights: the night of Friday, The night of al-A岣嶀弗膩, the night of al-Fi峁璻, the first night of Rajab and the night of the middle of Sha士b膩n鈥nd I prefer everything that I have reported about these nights without it being compulsory.鈥

Ibn Rajab states, 鈥淚t is desirable for a believer to free himself up on that night for remembering All膩h, supplicating to him for forgiveness, (asking All膩h) to veil his faults and remove distress. (It is better) to precede that with repentance, since All膩h forgives the one who repents in it.鈥

As regards the end of this month, the Prophet (sall Alla虅hu 士alayhi wa sallam) said, 鈥淟et not one of you precede Rama岣嵞乶 with one or two days of fasting, unless it is part of a man鈥檚 fasting routine, in which case he may fast.鈥 (Bukh膩r墨 & Muslim)

Finally, we should realise that the view that sustenance, life and death is determined during the night of the 15th is a weak opinion. Ibn Kath墨r writes, 鈥楢s for those who say it is the night of the middle of Sha士b膩n 鈥 as is reported of 士Ikrimah – they have departed from the truth. The Qur示膩n clearly stipulates that this happens in Rama岣嵞乶.’ There is also nothing authentic reported praying any special prayers during this night, or for specifically fasting on this day (but there is nothing wrong with fasting it as one the ‘3 White Days’). There is also nothing authentic to prove that the souls of the deceased visit their families during this night.

And All膩h knows best.

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