The ‘neglected month’ no more
Do you know that Sha’ban is packed with many opportunities for us to maximise our good deeds and also grow closer to our deen? Here we illustrate why Sha’ban is not a ‘neglected month’ but rather a month which deserves to be commemorated!
1. The month where deeds are raised to Allah S.W.T.
Our Beloved Prophet S.A.W. said, ‘Angels take turns among you by night and by day, and they all assemble at the dawn and afternoon prayers. Those (of the angels) who spend the night among you, then, ascend, and their Lord asks them, though He is the best informed about them, “How did you leave My servants?“ They say, “We left them while they were praying and we came to them while they were praying”’. (Muslim)
As Muslims, we are aware that our deeds are constantly being recorded by Allah S.W.T’s angels. However Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. had pointed out specific times when our deeds would be raised to The Almighty.
Our Messenger S.A.W. also said, “It is a month where people tend to neglect, between the months of Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the worlds, and I like my deeds to be raised while I am fasting.” (Sunan An-Nasa’i)
In Sha’ban, the Prophet S.A.W. increased his acts of worship by fasting more than other months, other than Ramadhan.
As a tip for us, we can start slowly preparing for the holy month by fasting the sunnah days of Mondays and Thursdays in Sha’ban - to prepare our body, mind and soul for the blessed month of the year!
2. The month of momentous events
While Sha’ban might be overlooked by Muslims - as there were incredible miracles that happened both in Rajab (Isra’ Mi’raj) and Ramadhan (revelation of the Qur’an), it is still a month with significant events!
a. Changing of the Qiblah
“We have certainly seen the turning of your face, (O Muhammad), toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you (believers) are, turn your faces toward it (in prayer).”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:144)
The Qiblah for the Muslims in the early period of the Prophet S.A.W.’s time was initially facing Baitul Maqdis, the holy city where Masjid Al-Aqsa is. Allah S.W.T. then revealed to the Prophet S.A.W. on the change of the Qiblah.
According to Al-Imam Ibn Kathir in Al-Bidayah Wan-Nihayah, the majority of scholars are inclined to the belief that the 15th of Sha'ban is also the date when the changing of the Qiblah took place.
b. Verse commanding Selawat was revealed
As mentioned by Imam Al-Qastallani and Abu Dzar Al-Harawi, verse 56 from Surah Al-Ahzab was revealed in the month of Sha’ban to the Prophet S.A.W.
“Indeed Allah and His angels bestow their prayers upon the Prophet. O you who believe, bestow prayers and peace upon him in abundance.”
(Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:56)
Hence, let’s aim to increase our Salawat and salutations upon our Prophet S.A.W. in this month of Sha’ban.
In addition, the best etiquette to make du’a is to begin by praising Allah S.W.T. and then sending Salawat upon the Prophet S.A.W.
These blessed and momentous events are something that we should not take lightly - it should motivate us to increase performing good deeds, even as simple as reciting our supplications constantly.
3. The month of preparing for Ramadhan
As mentioned earlier, our Messenger S.A.W. fasted more in the month of Sha’ban as compared to other months besides the holy month.
There are also many different ways for you to prepare for Ramadhan, with Sha’ban being the closest month!
Here’s a tip: Set some aims and targets for yourself on what you want to achieve in Sha’ban and Ramadhan so that you’ll be able to stay on track. Don’t forget, making the intention to do a good deed is rewardable as well!