Fasting in Shaban to honour Ramadan
Shaban is the 8th month in the Islamic calendar and is considered one of the meritorious months for which we find particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad . It is reported that Prophet Muhammad, used to fast most of the month in Shaban except for the last few days of the month.
These fasts are supererogatory (nafl). Shaban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. The Prophet mentioned in a hadith, “Rajab is the month of Allah, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of the Nation”.
1. The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid, reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad : “Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Shaban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month.” Prophet Muhammad, replied: “That (Shaban) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan, which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) 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.”
2. Ummul Mu’mineen ‘Aishah (r), says, “Prophet Muhammad , used to fast for most of Shaban. I said to him, ‘Messenger of Allah, is Shaban your favorite month for fasting?’ He said, ‘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.’ “
These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Shaban, though not obligatory but are very deserving and that Prophet Muhammad did not like to miss it.
The Night of nisf (mid) Shaban
Various Islamic scholars have recommended special worship during the night of the 15th of Shaban. This is based on the saying (Hadith) of Prophet Muhammad , the meaning of which is that during the night of 15th of Shaban, Allah will say “is there any person repenting so that I forgive him, and any person seeking provision so that I provide for him, and any person with distress so that I relieve him, and so on until dawn.” reported by Ibn Majah.
This is the night occurring between the 14th and 15th days of Shaban. Traditions of Prophet Muhammad, show that it is a prominent night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine Mercy.
On the Night of 15th Shaban, after Maghrib or Isha prayer, it is traditional practice to read Surah Yasin and make special supplications for good health, protection from calamities and increased Iman.
According to tradition this night has special blessings that are directed towards the faithful. Therefore, as much as possible, this night should be spent in worship and total submission to Allah Almighty. Also, fasting is recommended on the day immediately following this Night, i.e. the 15th day of Shaban.
|Supplication for Nifs Shaban|
Allahumma ya Dha ‘l-Manni la yamannu ‘alayhi ahad,
ya Dha ‘l-Jalali wa ‘l-Ikram ya Dha ‘t-Tuli wa ‘l-An’am.
La ilaha illa Anta.
Ļahara ‘l-laji’īn wa Jaru ‘l-mustajirin wa Amanu ‘l-kha’ifīn.
Allāhumma in kunta katabtanī ‘indaka fī ummu ‘l-Kitābi
shaqiyan aw mahruman aw matrudan aw muqataran ‘alayya mina ‘r-rizq
famhu-llahumma bi-faļlika shaqawati wa hurmani wa ţurdi
wa iqtara rizqi wa thabitni ‘indaka fi ummi ‘l-kitabi sa’idan
wa marzuqan li ‘l-khayrati
fa-innaka qulta wa qawluku ‘l-haqq
fī kitabik al-munzal
‘ala lisani nabiyyika ‘l-mursal:
yamhullahu ma yasha’u wa yuthbitu wa ‘indahu Ummu ‘l-Kitab.
Ilahi bi ‘t-tajalli al-a’azhami fī lalayti ‘n-nisfi
min shahri sha’bani ‘l-mu’azhami ‘l-mukarrami
‘llati yufraqu fīha kullu amrin hakimin wa yubram,
an takshifa ‘anna mina ‘l-bala’i ma na’lamu
wa ma la na’lamu wa ma Anta bihi a’alamu
innaka Anta al-A’azzu ‘l-Akram.
Wa salla-Allahu ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam.
Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Aalameen
O Allah, Tireless Owner of Bounty. O Owner of Sublimity, Honor, Power, and Blessings.
There is no Allah except You, the Supporter of refugees and Neighbor of those who seek nearness, Protector of the fearful.
O Allah, if you have written in Your Book that I be abject, deprived, banished, and Ungenerous,
then erase O Allah, through Your bounty,
my misery, deprivation, banishment, and stinginess
and establish me with You as happy, provided with blessings,
for surely You have said-and Your Word is True-
in Your Revealed Book on the tongue of Your Messenger,
“Allah blots out or confirms what He pleases, and with Him is the Mother of Books.” (13:39)
My God, by the Great Manifestation of the Night of the middle of the Noble Month of Sha’ban
“in which every affair of wisdom is made distinct and authorized,“(44:4)
remove from us calamities-those we know and those we do not know,
and Thou knows best-for surely You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and Companions.
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds.