Sha’ban is right around the corner and many are not aware of how important it is! Luckily, we are here today to let you know more about the 8th month of the Hijri calendar and how you can make the most of it.
What makes Sha’ban special?
Although Sha’ban isn’t one of the sacred months unlike Rajab and obviously doesn’t compare to Ramadan, it should not be ignored and holds many benefits for us to enjoy. Imam Abu Bakr al-Warraq al-Balkhi (RA) actually used a metaphor that truly encapsulates what each of these three special months is about: “Rajab is for planting the seeds, Sha’ban is for watering them and Ramadan is for harvesting them”.
Sha’ban is also a month that was dear to our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: indeed, one of the most popular Sunnah we inherited from him is fasting all year around like Mondays, Thursdays, the White Days... And Sha’ban! In fact, in a hadith Hasan reported by Sunan an-Nasa'i (2357), Usamah bin Zaid (RA) said: "I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Sha’ban.' He said: 'That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting."'. This goes to show the blessings that holds this unjustly neglected month!
How can I make the most of Sha’ban?
Being Muslim means that we should not settle for less but instead, always seek ways to become a better person than the day before. Therefore, we should not wait for Ramadan to reset our bodies and our intentions. Sha’ban gives us the perfect opportunity to begin our spiritual preparation for the blessed month, as well as increasing our good deeds. Here are a few ideas of how you can do that:
Complete reading the Quran Most of us are aware of the great reward one gets whenever they read even just one letter of the Holy Book, yet we tend to forget to make it an essential part of our daily routines. Reading the Quran throughout Sha’ban and then starting it all over again when Ramadan is here will allow you to get used to connect with it on a daily basis – and believe us, you’ll learn and realise something new every single time Subhan’Allah!
Define your goals for Ramadan So many Muslims see Ramadan as a cultural tradition rather than a blessed time to grow spiritually. This often leads one to spend their days sleeping, watching TV shows and overall forgetting about everything it can bring you. If you don't want to miss out on Ramadan, make sure you spend Sha’ban setting your faith goals: what is something you want to know more of? What new surah would you like to learn? What kind of charity do you want to get involved in?
Watch out for the 15th night of Sha’ban The 15th night of Sha’ban was made one of the most special ones by Allah Swt as He covers anyone seeking his forgiveness with His mercy. Don’t forget to also send salawat to our dear Prophet ﷺ during this time! May Allah Swt allow us to reach Sha’ban and Ramadan, may He make these months a relief for those suffering around the world and an opportunity for all of us to grow closer to Him. Ameen!