All praises are to Allāh, the Most Kind and the Most Merciful, and may His peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).
As most of us are staying at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, I would like to remind you about something very important that we might have forgotten about due to us following what is happening with regards to the pandemic. The month of Sha’bān started this Thursday. Some say that it might have started on Wednesday, but it would have definitely started by Thursday 26th March.
The month of Sha’bān is one of the most important months for our ‘Ibādah.
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, one of the great scholars, said:
“The month of Sha’bān is a preparation for the month of Ramadān.”
This is why many scholars from the past would call it the month of the Qur’ān and the month of the reciters, because they would recite a lot of Qur’ān during the month of Sha’bān in order to be ready to read more Qur’ān during the month of Ramadān.
One of the early scholars would stop working during this month in order to read a lot of Qur’ān as a preparation for the month of Sha’bān.
Of course, everyone should do as much as they can. Umm Salama narrated that she never saw the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) fasting two consecutive months except Sha’bān and Ramadān.
Some scholars said that this does not mean that he would fast the entire month of Sha’bān as he used to fast the entire month of Ramadān, because of the other narration of Aisha (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhā) where she said that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would fast the entire month of Ramadān or most of the entire month of Sha’bān or most of the month of Sha’bān.
So, from these narrations, there are two interpretations: either the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would fast all of the month or most of it. Both expressions can be used interchangeably.
The key issue is to fast as much as you can during the month of Sha’bān. If you can fast all of it, then that is even better.
Usama ibn Zayd, who served the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and was very close to him, asked the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):
“O Muhammad, I notice that you fast during the month of Sha’bān more than you fast in any other month?”
So the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:
“Yes, this is a month that many people ignore or are neglectful of. In this month, deeds are raised to Allāh, and I would like my deeds to be raised to Allāh while I am fasting.”
So, my dear respected brothers and sisters, while you are staying at home, try to fast as much as you can in this month. Train your family to fast as much as they can and to read Qur’ān as much as possible.
This is a very good preparation for Ramadān. Take this staying at home as an opportunity to get closer to Allāh and always transform difficulties into opportunities. This is the mentality of the successful people – and we are successful people.
May Allāh remove this calamity before the coming month of Ramadān.
The difference between Sha’bān 1440 and Sha’bān 1441 is that a whole year of your life has passed. A whole year of more than 350 days of actions recorded. The actions of the days are recorded, not neglecting any hour, nor second of each day. Ibrāhīm al-Nakh’ī used to cry to his wife every Thursday, and she used to cry too and he used to say, “Today our actions will be put forth in front of Allāh”. So how about the actions of the whole year?
Sit down and try to reflect on what you did in the past year and try to remember the actions that will be put forth in front of Allāh.
Also read: A Righteous Sha’ban