It is admitted fact that every moment, second, minute, hour, day or night that is spent in the submission of Allah Almighty and His Beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is exceedingly meaningful and precious. But there are some days, nights and months which have their own weight and Allah, the compassionate, lays immense stress upon them to unveil their importance to his rationale creatures.
Among those months, those hold much importance is Sha’ban and the holy month of Ramadhan, The Holy Month of Sha’ban is one of the blessed months that holds much too for us from the mercy, compassion and kindness of Allah Almighty. Sha’ban is the name of the (eighth) month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and it is so called because in this month the Arabs used to disperse (tasha’aba) in search of water, or it was said that it is so called because it sha’aba (branches out or emerges) i.e., it appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadan.
FASTING IN THE MONTH OF SHA’BAN?
‘A’ishah (RadiyAllahu Anha) said:
“The Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’ban.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim].
She also narrated “Shaban was the most beloved month to Allah’s Prophet to fast in it till the beginning of Ramadan”
[Declared Authentic by Al-Albani]
According to a report narrated by Muslim, “He used to fast in Sha’ban.”
A group of scholars, including Ibn al-Mubarak and others, thought that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) did not fast all of Sha’ban, but he fasted most of it. This is supported by a report in Saheeh Muslim narrated from ‘A’ishah (RadiyAllahu Anha), who said: “I never knew of him – meaning the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) – fasting for any entire month apart from Ramadan.”
According to another report also narrated by Muslim, A’ishah (RadiyAllahu Anha) said:
“I never saw him fast for any entire month from the time he came to Madeenah, apart from Ramadan.”
It was reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim that Ibn ‘Abbas (RadiyAllahu Anhuma) said:
‘The Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) did not fast any entire month apart from Ramadan.” Ibn ‘Abbas regarded it as makrooh to fast any entire month apart from Ramadan. Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “He observed more voluntary fasts in Sha’ban than in any other month, and he used to fast most of Sha’ban.”