5 Pivotal acts of Worship in Sha'ban You can't Miss!

The month of Sha'ban has been named so due to the branching of goodness in it, where it is important to engage in various virtuous deeds. Allah, in His generosity, has honored us with this month preceding Ramadan, giving us the opportunity to prepare and increase our righteous actions to strengthen our connection with Him. Engaging in these acts of worship during Sha'ban is a means to benefit spiritually and make the most of this virtuous month.


 What are the most important worship practices that we should do during Sha'ban, and why?

  1. Fasting:

In the authentic hadith narrated by Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), “The Messenger of Allah () used to fast to such an extent that we thought that he would never break his fast, and he would go without fasting to such an extent that we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah () fast a complete month except in Ramadan, and I never saw his fast more in any month than in Sha'ban.” This indicates that the Prophet (ﷺ) fasted in Sha'ban more than any other month.

The Prophet (ﷺ) explained the wisdom behind his increased fasting in Sha'ban in a hadith narrated by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i that Usamah bin Zaid asked, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Shaban.” The Prophet 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.”

The wisdom behind fasting in Sha'ban lies in dedicating oneself to obedience to Allah during a time when the records of deeds are elevated to Him. Additionally, fasting in Sha'ban serves as preparation and training for Ramadan, so Muslims don’t encounter difficulty or hardship when fasting in Ramadan.

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali remarked that fasting in Sha'ban is like training for fasting in Ramadan, preventing Muslims from facing challenges and burdens during Ramadan. Instead, they become accustomed to fasting, finding joy and sweetness in it. Approaching Ramadan after fasting in Sha'ban grants ease and energy, much like someone who performs voluntary prayers (Nafl) before the obligatory ones (Fard). This awakens the heart and adds a sense of delight to performing the Fard.

It can be likened to planting and irrigating crops in preparation for a fruitful harvest. This is why Abu Bakr al-Balkhi described Rajab as the month of planting, Sha'ban as the month of irrigating the crops, and Ramadan as the month of harvest.

  1. Quran Recitation:

In “Fath al-Bari,” a commentary book on Sahih al-Bukhari, Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said that when the month of Sha'ban began, Muslims would devote themselves to reading the Quran. Habib ibn Abi Thabit used to say when Sha'ban starts: This is the month for recitation. Amr ibn Qais al-Mula'i, upon the arrival of Sha'ban, would close his shop and dedicate himself to reading the Quran.

The wisdom behind reciting the Quran in Sha'ban is that Muslims commit themselves to reading the Quran before Ramadan, the month in which the Quran was revealed. If a Muslim regularly recites the Quran in Sha'ban, it makes it easier to increase their recitation during Ramadan.

Moreover, frequent recitation of the Quran in Sha'ban contributes to the revision of the Quran’s memorization, making it easier to recite in prayers during Ramadan.

  1. Supplication (Du’a):

Imam Ahmad, in his Musnad, and others narrated that Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “O God, bless us in Rajab and Sha'ban and bring us to Ramadan.”

The companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) used to increase their du’a in Sha'ban. One of their common du'as was, “O Allah! preserve me for Ramadan, safeguard Ramadan for me, and accept it from me.”

Imam al-Shafi'i emphasized in his book “Al-Umm” (1/264) that du’a is very recommended in Sha'ban.

The wisdom behind the abundant du’a in Sha'ban lies in the Muslim's need to reach Ramadan and obtain its rewards. Therefore, they increase their du’a, asking Allah to grant them the opportunity to reach Ramadan. Additionally, the abundance of du’a keeps the Muslim engaged in it, fostering a habit that continues into Ramadan, a month known for the acceptance of du’a.

  1. Purifying the Heart from Polytheism and Enmity:

This is one of the greatest acts of worship that prepares the Muslim's heart to do righteous deeds. Allah, the Most High, promises forgiveness of sins to those who engage in this act. In a hadith reported by Ibn Majah, Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “God most high looks down on the middle night of Sha'ban and forgives all His creatures, except a polytheist or one who is hostile.”

The wisdom behind purifying the heart from polytheism and enmity lies in promoting inner peace and fostering a good relationship with Allah. Polytheism and enmity are obstacles to righteous deeds, hindering them from elevating to Allah. Therefore, every Muslim should strive to improve their connection with Allah by avoiding polytheism and hypocrisy. Similarly, they should enhance their relationships with others by promoting harmony and avoiding disputes and desertion. This leads to fostering love among people, enabling them to cooperate in worship and righteous actions.

  1. Setting Intentions for Worship in Ramadan:

Intentions mark the beginning and foundation of any action. In the agreed-upon hadith by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “Deeds are to be judged only by intentions, and a man will have only what he intended. When one’s emigration is to God and His Messenger, his emigration is to God and His Messenger; but when his emigration is to a worldly end at which he aims, or to a woman whom he marries, his emigration is to that to which he emigrated.”

Preparing one's intentions in Sha'ban for righteous actions in Ramadan is a way to train the soul to seek Allah's pleasure. It ensures a positive and productive start to Ramadan, enabling a person to work with determination, undistracted, and focused on their goals.

The wisdom behind preparing intentions is the earnest desire to attain reward and blessings by dedicating one's actions sincerely to Allah. Diversifying intentions allows a single action to obtain multiple intentions, all serving as a way toward rewards and blessings.

Preparing intentions and planning for deeds before Ramadan guarantees one’s reward, even if the person becomes occupied or dies before the arrival of Ramadan. In a hadith agreed-upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. Then He explained it [by saying that] he who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.”

Let's celebrate the arrival of these blessed days, prepare our hearts for obedience, improve our relationships with those around us, and increase our fasting, prayers, and Quran recitation. May Allah, the Most High, look upon our hearts with forgiveness, mercy, and acceptance.



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