When is Sha’ban?
Sha’ban is the 8th month in the Islamic calendar. Sha’ban is in the middle of the blessed months of Rajab and Ramadan therefore its importance is often overshadowed, but it is considered one of the most virtuous months.
Through fasting, prayer, reflection, and charity, Muslims strive to become closer to Allah ( swt) and purify themselves in preparation for the blessed month of Ramadan. As we embark on this journey of spiritual growth, we must learn from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and make the most of this auspicious month. This year, Sha’ban begins 11th February, 2024 and ends March 11th, 2024.
Explained below are a few events that took place in Sha'ban.
What is the significance of Sha’ban?
- Changing of the Qiblah
During this month, Allah SWT ordered Prophet Muhammed (SAW) to change the Qiblah from Al-Aqsa Mosque to the Holy Kabbah in Mecca.
Al-Aqsa Mosque had been the Qiblah for 13 years but while the Prophet (SAW) was living in Madinah, the following ayah was revealed:
’We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Prophet (saw)], 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…’ (Qur’an, 2:144)
- The actions of the people are presented to the Almighty
Aisha (RA) said that:
“I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast for a complete month except for Ramadan, and I never saw him do more fasting in any month than he did in Sha`ban” (Al-Bukhari). In another Hadith it is written the last Prophet (saw) said: “People neglect this month which is between Rajab and Ramadan, in this month the actions of the people are presented to Allah; so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting”. (Abu Dawood)
These hadiths highlight the importance of maximizing our good deeds during Sha’ban. By reciting more Qur’an, praying, and following the Sunnah of the Prophet and fasting, you can strengthen your taqwa (consciousness of Allah) and establish good habits that you can continue throughout Ramadan and the rest of the year.
3. The month of the Prophet (saw)
Sha'ban presents an opportunity to embark on a journey towards emulating the Prophet's Sunnah, thus integrating his teachings into our lives. Additionally, understanding His elevated status, as the pinnacle of humanity, reiterates the significance of aligning ourselves with His divine guidance.
Abu Hurayrah said:
“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, ′ I will be the leader of mankind of the Day of Resurrection, the first whose grave will be opened, the first to intercede and the first to be asked to intercede.’” [Narrated by Muslim, 2278]
One of the ways we can follow the Sunnah of the last prophet (SAW) is by caring for orphans, a cause particularly loved by Him.
Since Sha’ban is the month of the Prophet, it’s the perfect time to sponsor an orphan. For just $2 a day, you will be a lifeline for a child in need, taking care of his or her education, meals and general well-being. May you be beloved to Allah’s Messenger.
4. The Quran verse commanding Salawat was revealed
During Sha’ban, Muslims were also commanded to send Salawat upon the Prophet (SAW). As mentioned, Sha’ban is the month of the Prophet (SAW) and we should take advantage of this month to become closer to him.
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘The person closest to me on the Day of Judgement is the one who sent the most Blessings [Salawat] upon me’. (Tirmidhi) The best etiquette for making du’a is to praise Allah and then offer Salawat upon the Prophet (SAW).
5. Splitting the moon
Anas bin Malik (ra) narrated, ’The people of Makkah asked Allah’s Messenger (SAW) to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split into two halves between which they saw the Hira’ mountain [the Mountain of Light]’. (Bukhari)
This incredible miracle took place in Sha’ban, and it is referred to in the Qur’an: ’The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]’. (Qur’an, 54:1)
6. Preparing for Ramadan
This blessed month is the best time to begin fasting, offering supplications and reading the Quran. These actions will help us establish good routines of worship before the holy month of Ramadan begins.
The virtues of Laylatul Barat or Shab e Barat
The 15th night of Sha’ban is special, often called, Laylatul Barat or Shab e Barat. According to Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), Allah SWT 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.” (Ibn Majah)
On this virtuous night, we should make our preparations to pray from dusk till dawn, and fast the next day to earn maximum rewards from Allah SWT.
It is also regular practice to read Surah Ya-Sin and Sure Ikhlas and offer six rakat nafal prayers at magrib, making supplications for a long and prosperous life, prayers for protection against calamities, and for dependence on Allah alone.
When is the 15th Sha’ban?
This year, 15th Sha’ban is expected to fall on February 25th, 2024. May Allah accept our efforts during Sha’ban. May He bless us, help us increase our worship, and allow us to become closer to Him and His Messenger (SAW). Inshallah, Ameen.