Download PDF: Sha’baan Mu’azzam – The 8th Month of Islamic Calendar
Sha’baan is extracted from the root word “Shu’b”. It also implies distribution. The reason being that in this month, goodness is abundantly distributed and there are many forms of this goodness. In like manner, the sustenance of people is also increased through various means.
In the hadith shareef it is mentioned that Sha’ban is called Sha’ban because many good things are distributed towards those who keep fast until they enter Jannah.
(Ma Thabatah minas Sunnah. 41)
In this month, the following famous incidents occurred:
- On the 5th of this month, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Husain May Allah have mercy on him was born.
- The night of salvation or Shabbe Baraat / Laylatul Bara’at occurs on the 15th night of this month. On this blessed night, countless servants of Allah Ta’ala are forgiven.
- On the 7th of this month, the direction of the Qiblah was changed. At first, the Muslims used to face Baitul Muqaddas, thereafter, as an act of pleasing the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, the Almighty azza wa jall changed this and commanded the Muslims to face the Ka’bah shareef. From that moment onwards, the Ka’bah shareef has always been the direction of Qiblah for the Muslim Ummah.
(Ajaaibul Makhluqaat. 47)
The blessed birth of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Husain May Allah have mercy on him.
The blessed aunt of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, namely, Hadrat Ummul Fadl binte Haarith May Allah have mercy on her who was also the wife of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas May Allah have mercy on him one day approached the Holy Prophet peace be upon him and informed him that she had seen a very disturbing dream.
When the Holy Prophet peace be upon him questioned her about this, she replied, “It was extremely frightening and I am even scared to reveal it.” The Holy Prophet peace be upon him again asked her to reveal her dream and she explained, “I had seen in my dream that a piece of flesh from the body of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him fell into my lap.”
He replied, “You have indeed seen a very good dream. Insha Allah azza wa jall, my beloved daughter Fatimah will give birth to a son and he will be placed on your lap.”
(Mishkat shareef. 572).
This is exactly what happened. On the 5th of Sha’ban, in the fourth year of Hijrah, the king of the martyrs, namely Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Husain May Allah have mercy on him was born. This blessed child was then placed in the lap of Hadrat Sayyidah Ummul Fadl May Allah have mercy on her.
When he was born, the Holy Prophet peace be upon him went himself to the house of his blessed daughter and gave Azaan personally in the ear of his blessed grandson. He also placed his blessed saliva in the mouth of this baby. He also made Dua and on the seventh day, Aqeeqah was performed. He also instructed that the hair be shaved and charity or sadqah equal to its weight be given to the needy.
(Nurul Absaar. 138).
The Holy Prophet peace be upon him also kept his name Husain Shabeer. His title later in life was also Abu Abdillah. He also has many appellations such as Rayhaanatur Rasool, Tayyib, Zaki, Sayyed, Mubaarak etc. The Muslims also called him Sayyidus Shuhadah and this became his most famous title. He will always be remembered by this title until the day of Judgement.
The excellence of the month of Shaban
There is no doubt that this is a very blessed month and there are numerous descriptions in the hadith shareef which allude to this.
The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that:
“Sha’ban is a month between Rajab and Ramadan and very few people are aware its excellence. In this month, the deeds of people are taken away, and I like the fact that my deeds are taken away while I am fasting.”
(Imam Bahiqi. Shuhubul Imaan)
Hadrat Sayyidah Ayesha May Allah have mercy on her has stated that among all the months, the month of Sha’ban was the most beloved to the Holy Prophet peace be upon him.
(Nuzhatul Majaalis. 131)
Hadrat Sayyidi Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani May Allah have mercy on him explains that there are five letters in the word Sha’ban. They are Sheen, ‘Ain, Baa, Alif, Nun.
Sheen would imply “Sharaf” or the esteem achieved through ibaadah.
The letter ‘Ain would imply “’Uluw” or dignity achieved through Ibaadah.
Baa would imply “Birr” or goodness achieved through ibaadah.
The letter Alif would imply “Ulfat” or love which is achieved by a person from the Divine Creator azza wa jall.
Nun would imply “Nur” which is achieved through this ibaadah.
Therefore, in the blessed month of Shaban, the Almighty azza wa jall blesses His servants with these attributes. He also explains that in this month, one should also increase the recitation of Durood shareef, for this month is considered as a month which is loved by the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. And it is through the recital of the Durood shareef, that one can also achieve closeness and nearness to the Divine Creator.
(Ghunyatut Taalibeen. 1/188. Nuzhatul Majaalis. 1/131)
Fasting on the first Shaban & the Nafil Salah
The Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated that, “Whoever reads twelve rakats of Salah on the first night of Sha’ban and after surah Fatiha, recites Surah Ikhlas five times. The Almighty azza wa jall will give him the reward of twelve thousand martyrs. Twelve years of ibaadah will be recorded for him. He will become so pure of all sins like the day he was given birth to by his mother. For eighty days, no sins will be recorded for him.”
He has also stated, “Whoever keeps fast on the first Thursday of Sha’ban and the last Thursday of Sha’ban, it would be the Divine Pleasure of Allah azza wa jall to allow that person to enter Jannah.
(Nuzhatul Majaalis. 1/131)
The excellence of Shabe Bara’at
The month of Sha’ban is a combination of the goodness of all the other months. Especially the fifteen night, called Shabe Baraat or Laylatul Mubaarakah. The nights of Sha’ban are therefore far superior to the nights of other months. The Almighty azza wa jall also explains this in Surah Dukhaan (44), verses 3 to 6:
اِنَّا اَنۡزَلْنٰہُ فِیۡ لَیۡلَۃٍ مُّبٰرَکَۃٍ اِنَّا کُنَّا مُنۡذِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳﴾ فِیۡہَا یُفْرَقُ کُلُّ اَمْرٍ حَکِیۡمٍ ۙ﴿۴﴾ اَمْرًا مِّنْ عِنۡدِنَا ؕ اِنَّا کُنَّا مُرْسِلِیۡنَ ۚ﴿۵﴾ رَحْمَۃً مِّنۡ رَّبِّکَ ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الْعَلِیۡمُ ۙ﴿۶﴾
Undoubtedly We sent it down in a blessed night; verily We are to warn. Therein every affair of wisdom is divided. A command from Us, Verily, We are to send. A mercy from your Lord, undoubtedly, He, Hears, Knows.
In summary, Laylatul Mubaarakah is the night of Baraat. This is the opinion of some scholars of the Holy Quran. On this night, the sustenance of every person is recorded for the coming year and that he will use so much etc.
In like manner, the death of a person is also recorded. In other words, a person will live for so long and when this is completed, that person will die. In other words, whatever is going to occur with that person in that year is also written. A new list is prepared and presented in the Divine Court of the Almighty azza wa jall.
1: عَنْ مَعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ، عَنِ النَّبِیِّ ﷺ، قَالَ، “یَطَّلِعُ اللّٰہُ اِلٰی جَمِیْعِ خَلْقِہٖ لَیْلَۃَ النِّصْفِ مِنَ شَعٌبَانَ فَیَغْفِرُ لِجَمِیْعِ خَلْقِہٖ اِلَّا لِمُشْرِکٍ اَوْ مَشَاحِنٍ۔” رَوَاہُ الطَّبْرَانِیْ وَابْنُ حَبَّانَ فِیْ صَحِیْحِہٖ۞
Hadeeth # 1: Hazrat Ma’aaz Ibn Jabal narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon Him) that He said, “Allah Almighty pays attention towards His entire creation in the middle night of Sha’ban and forgives them all except the polytheist and the envious person.”
Tabraani has narrated it and Ibn Habban has recorded it in His Sahih (authentic Hadeeth book).
2: (قَالَ الْحَافِظُ) وَرَوَاہُ الطَّبْرَانِیُّ وَالْبَیْھَقِیُّ اَیْضًا عَنْ مَّکْحُوْلٍ عَنْ اَبِیْ ثَعْلَبَۃَ رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ اَنَّ النَّبِیَّ ﷺ قَالَ، “یَطَّلِعُ اللّٰہُ اِلٰی عِبَادِہٖ لَیْلَۃَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ، فَیَغْفِرُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ، وَیُھْمِلُ الْکَافِرِیْنَ، وَیَدَعُ اَھْلَ الْحِقَدِ بِحِقَدِھِمْ، حَتّٰی یَدْعُوْہُ۔” قَالَ الْبَیْھَقِیُّ، “مُرْسَلٌ جَیِّدٌ۔”۞ (اَلتَّرْغِیْبُ وَالتَّرْھِیْبُ 3/461)
Hadeeth # 2: (Hafiz Mundhiri says) Tabrani and Baihaqi have also narrated it from Mak’hool, and he narrated from Abu Tha’labah that the Prophet (peace be upon Him) stated, “Allah Almighty pays attention towards His servants in the middle night of Sha’ban. He forgives the believers, and grants the infidels an opportunity, and leaves the envious ones in the state of their envy.”
Imam Baihaqi said, “It’s Mursal jayyid.”
3: عَنْ عَبْدِ اللّٰہِ بْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْھُمَا اَنَّ النَّبِیَّ ﷺ قَالَ، “یَطَّلِعُ اللّٰہُ اِلٰی خَلْقِہٖ لَیْلَۃَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ، فَیَغْفِرُ لِعِبَادِہٖ اِلَّا اِثْنَیْنِ مَشَاحِنٍ، وَقَاتِلِ النَّفْسِ۔” (اَلتَّرْغِیْبُ وَالتَّرْھِیْبُ 3/461)
Hadeeth # 3: Hazrat ‘Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon Him) said, “Allah Almighty pays attention towards His creation in the middle night of Sha’ban and forgives His servants except the two; an envious person, and a murderer.”
4: عَنْ اَبِیْ مُوْسَی الْاَشْعَرِیِّ عَنْ رَسُوْلِ اللّٰہِ ﷺ قَالَ، “اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَیَطَّلِعُ فِیْ لَیْلَۃِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ، فَیَغْفِرُ لِجَمِیْعِ خَلْقِہٖ اِلَّا لِمُشْرِکٍ اَوْ مَشَاحِنٍ۔”
Hadeeth # 4: Hazrat Abu Moosa Al-Ash’ari narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon Him) that He said, “Allah Almighty pays attention in the middle night of Sha’ban and forgives the entire creation except the polytheist and the envious person.”
5: عَنْ عَلِیِّ بْنِ اَبِیْ طَالِبٍ رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ ﷺ، “اِذَا کَانَتْ لَیْلَۃُ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَقُوْمُوْا لَیْلَھَا وَصُوْمُوْا نَھَارَھَا، فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَنْزِلُ فِیْھَا لِغُرُوْبَ الشَّمْسِ اِلٰی سَمَآءِ الدُّنْیَا، فَیَقُوْلُ، “اَلَا مِنْ مُّسْتَغْفِرٍ لِّیْ فَاَغْفِرُلَہٗ؟ اَلَا مِنْ مُّسْتَرْزِقٍ فَاَرْزُقُہٗ؟ اَلَا مِنْ مُّبْتَلًی فَاُعَافِیْہِ؟ اَلَا کَذَا، اَلَاکَذَا” حَتّٰی یَطْلَعُ الْفَجْرُ۔”
Hadeeth # 5: Hazrat ‘Ali (RadhiAllahu Anhu) is reported to have said: When it is the middle night of Sha’ban, worship in it and keep the fast of that day, for Allah Almighty comes down at the first sky of the world at sunset, then He continues to proclaim, “Is there anyone seeking my forgiveness, so that I forgive him? Is there anyone seeking sustenance, so that I grant him the sustenance? Is there anyone sick, so that I may bless him with good health? Is there such a person? Is there such a person?” untill the dawn rises.
6: عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ اَبِیْ الْعَاصِ عَنِ النَّبِیِّ ﷺ قَالَ، “اِذَا کَانَ لَیْلَۃُ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَاِذَا مُنَادٍ ھَلْ مِنْ مُّسْتَغْفِرٍفَاَغْفِرُ لَہٗ ھَلْ مِنْ سَآئِلٍ فَاُعْطِیْہِ فَلَا یَسْئَلُ اَحَدٌ اِلَّا اَعْطٰی اِلَّا زَانِیَۃً بِفَرْجِھَا اَوْ مُشْرِکٍ۔”
Hadeeth # 6: Hazrat Uthman Ibn Abu Al-‘Aas narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon Him) that He said, “When it is the middle night of Sha’ban, the Announcer proclaims, ‘Is there anyone seeking forgiveness for his sins, so that I forgive him? Is there anyone asking, so that I grant him?’ Hence, every single one of them will have their wish granted except the woman who commits adultery and the infidel.”
7: فِیْ لَیْلَۃٍ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ یُوْحِیْ اللّٰہُ اِلٰی مَلَکِ الْمَوْتِ بِقَبْضِ کُلِّ نَفْسٍ یُّرِیْدُ قَبْضَھَا فِیْ تِلْکَ السَّنَۃِ۔
Hadeeth # 7: In the middle night of Sha’ban, Allah Almighty sends the revelation to the angel of death for capturing the souls of every living being whomsoever He wishes to cause death throughout that year.
8: وَرَوَیٰ سَعِیْدُ بْنُ مَنْصُوْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا اَبُوْ مَعْشَرٍ، عَنِ اَبِیْ حَازِمٍ وَمُحَمَّدٍ بْنِ قَیْسٍ، عَنْ عَطَآءِ بْنِ یَسَارٍ، قَالَ: مَا مِنْ لَیْلَۃٍ بَعْدَ لَیْلَۃِ الْقَدْرِ اَفْضَلُ مِنْ لَیْلَۃِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ، یَنْزِلُ اللّٰہُ تَبَارَکَ وَتَعَالٰی اِلَی السَّمَآءِ الدُّنْیَا فَیَغْفِرُ لِعِبَادِہٖ کُلِّھِمْ اِلَّا لِمُشْرِکٍ اَوْ مَشَحِنٍ اَوْ قَاطِعِ رَحْمٍ۔”
Hadeeth # 8: Hazrat Sa’eed Ibn Mansoor narrated that Abu Ma’shar reported to him, from Abu Hazim and Muhammad Ibn Qais, from ‘Ataa Ibn Yasaar, he said, “There is no other night greater in excellence than the middle night of Sha’ban after Lalatul Qadr, for in this (night) Allah Almighty comes down onto the sky of the world and then forgives His servants except the polytheist, envious and the one cuts off ties.”
9: رُوِیَ عَنْ کَعْبٍ قَالَ، “اِنَّ اللّٰہَ تَعَالٰی یَبْعَثُ لَیْلَۃَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ جِبْرِیْلَ اِلَی الْجَنَّۃِ فَیَاْمُرُھَا اَنْ تَتَزَیَّنَ، یَقُوْلُ، “اِنَّ اللّٰہَ تَعَالٰی قَدْ اَعْتَقَ فِیْ لَیْلَتِکَ ھٰذِہِ عَدَدَ نُجُوْمِ السَّمَآءِ وَعَدَدَ اَیَّامِ الدُّنْیَا وَلَیَالِیْھَا وَعَدَدَ وَرَقِ الشَّجَرِ وَزِنَۃَ الْجِبَالِ وَعَدَدَ الرِّمَالِ۔”
Hadeeth # 9: Hazrat Ka’b is reported to have said: Allah Almighty sends Hazrat Jibreel towards the paradise in the middle night of Sha’ban so that he commands it to decorate itself and to tell it that Allah Almighty has freed in this night equivalent to the number of stars in the sky, the number of the days and the nights of the world, the number of the leaves of the trees, and as massive as the mass of the mountains, and as many as the number of sands.
10: عَنْ اَبِیْ ھُرَیْرَۃَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ ﷺ، “اِذَا کَانَ لَیْلَۃُ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ یَغْفِرُ اللّٰہُ لِعِبَادِہٖ اِلَّا لِمُشْرِکٍ اَوْ مَشَاحِنٍ۔”
Hadeeth # 10: Hazrat Abu Hurairah is reported to have said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon Him) said, “When it is the middle night of Sha’ban, Allah Almighty forgives His servants except the polytheist and the envious.”
It is for this reason that Muslims seek the forgiveness of other Muslims before the night of Baraat and make sure that this person is pleased with them so that when they make dua on this blessed night, their dua is not rejected.
It is mentioned that on this night, the Holy Prophet peace be upon him used to go to Jannatul Baqi and make dua for everyone and also mentioned that more Muslims are pardoned on this night than the amount of sheep which are possessed by the Bani Kalb. Bear in mind that this tribe had the most amount of sheep than any other tribe in that period. What is been shown is the number of Muslims that are pardoned.
Shabbe Baraat is the night of Ibaadah
The Nafil on this night
There are different forms of Nafil which has been presented in this regard. In one report it is mentioned that one should perform a hundred rakah of Nafil. In each rakah, after the Surah Fatiha, one should read Surah Ikhlas ten times. This Nafil is called “Salaatul Khayr”. It is mentioned that whoever reads this Salah, the Almighty azza wa jall will bless Him with His Divine Countenance seventy times. With each moment, seventy of his needs will be fulfilled. The least of which is that he will be pardoned.
(Ghunyatut Taalibeen. 1/192)
In one report it is mentioned that the Holy Prophet peace be upon him has stated, “Whichever of my appreciative Ummati performs ten rakah of Nafil salah and in each rakah after the Surah Fatiha, he reads surah Ikhlas eleven times, his sins would be pardoned and there will be barakah in his life.”
(Nuzahtul Majaalis. 1/192)
It’s mentioned in Rawdh Al-Afkaar that Hazrat Sayyiduna ‘Isa (peace be upon Him) went onto a mountain. He saw a white stone there. He took a great liking to that stone. Allah Almighty sent to Him a revelation at that time: “O ‘Isa! Should I not show you something more extraordinary than this stone?” Hazrat ‘Isa (peace be upon Him) said, “Indeed.” The stone then burst and there was an elderly man inside with a green stick in his hand. There was also a grape tree from which he used to eat.
He asked the elderly man, “How long have you spent here in worship?” He replied, “I have been worshipping here for the duration of four hundred years.”
Hazrat ‘Isa (peace be upon Him) then said, “O Allah! You have not created more of an excellent creation than this in my opinion.”
Allah Almighty replied, “O ‘Isa! Whoever from amongst the nation of my beloved Muhammad Mustafa (peace be upon Him) performs only two Rakats of Nafl Salah at the 15th night of Sha’ban, the reward of that Salah will be greater than the entire worship of this person for four hundred years.”
Hearing this statement of Allah Almighty, Hazrat ‘Isa (peace be upon Him) said, “I wish that I was also a follower of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him).”
(Nuzahatul Majaalis. 1/132).
Once, when someone asked Hazrat Malik Ibn Deenaar (may Allah shower mercy upon Him) about the cause of his repentance. He said, “I was in a habit of drinking wine. I had a small daughter who used to empty my wine bottles. She passed away when she was two years old which caused my heart a great sorrow.
When it was the 15th night of Sha’ban, I had a dream that it was the day of resurrection and a big anaconda, began to follow me with it’s mouth open. I started to run. When I saw an elderly person, I told him, “Save me from this snake; Allah will protect you.”
He was crying and replied, “I cannot save you since I am very weak, but you should go ahead; perhaps Allah may create a means of salvation for you.”
I ran and went by a fire. A voice echoed, “Go back!” When I turned back the snake continued to follow me. I passed by that elderly person again and asked for refuge. He said, “I am weak; I cannot help you, but you should go to that mountain. It has the trusts of the Muslims. If you have any share there, it will assist you.”
When I was near that mountain, an angel said, “Open the door; perhaps there might have been a trust of his by you that could provide him refuge from the enemy.” When the door opened, I saw my baby girl all of a sudden. She grabbed me with her right hand and repelled the anaconda with her left hand. When the snake ran away, the girl spoke,
“My dear father!
اَلَمْ یَاۡنِ لِلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوۡبُہُمْ لِذِکْرِ اللّٰہِ
Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts should lean for the remembrance of Allah?
(Al-Hadeed 57, Verse 16)
I asked her, “Do you have the knowledge of Quran?” She said, “Yes.” I asked her about the snake, she said, “It was your bad deed and that elderly man was your good deed.”
Hazrat Malik says: “I woke up in a shock and made the complete repentance.
(Nuzhatul Majaalis. 1/132)
The Practice of the People of Makkah Mukaramah
From the ancient days up till now the people of Makkah Mukarramah both men and women used to go and perform Nafl Salah in the Sacred Masjid (Masjid Al-Haram) and make Tawaaf, and kept this practice alive. People used to recite the Holy Quran inside the Sacred Masjid and there were also people who performed 100 Rakats of Nafl Salah therein, with Surah Ikhlas 10 times after Surah Fatiha in each Rakat. They used to take the Zam-Zam water in that night; drank it and had bath with it, and they also preserved it by themselves for curing the sick. They used to receive blessings through this practice of that night.
(Akhbarul Makkah by Ibn Is’haq rahimahullah)