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The Virtue and Acts of the Month of Sha’ban

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The Merits of the month of Sha’ban

Sha’ban, the eighth lunar month, holds a distinguished place, closely linked to the prophets, peace be upon him and his progeny. The honored Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him and his progeny, has advised fasting during this month as a means to win the Prophet’s affection and draw nearer to the Almighty. Those who observe fasting in Sha’ban are promised God’s love, will be honored on the Day of Resurrection, and granted the certainty of Paradise.

For spiritual seekers and those devoted to the Divine, Sha’ban offers practices of profound significance. These practices serve as a conduit to the essence of servanthood and devotion to the unparalleled Creator, the ultimate aim and reason behind the creation of all entities.

Indeed, for aspirants on the path to divine proximity, the multitude of prescribed deeds should not lead to despondency or deter them from partaking in God’s endless grace and generosity. Embracing the principle that “one should not abandon everything because one cannot do everything,” we are encouraged to engage in as many of these acts as possible, even if we cannot undertake them all.

  1. Sha’ban, alongside the sacred month of Rajab, serves as another training period that should be embraced to prepare for the divine month of Allah, Ramadan.
  2. Sha’ban is the month that precedes Allah’s month, Ramadan, serving as its immediate neighbor.
  3. Sha’ban is a significant milestone on the path to Allah, a distinguished station where one must pause and replenish from its blessings for those seeking to reach Him.
  4. Textual evidence suggests that Sha’ban holds greater virtue than the sacred month of Rajab.
  5. Sha’ban is the month of the beloved Chosen One, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny.
  6. The greatest Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, paid special attention to Sha’ban and encouraged Muslims to do the same.
  7. Following the example of the beloved Chosen One, peace be upon him and his progeny, obliges us to value this noble month, acquaint ourselves with its etiquettes, and diligently observe them.
  8. The night of the half of Sha’ban, which is likened in virtue to the Night of Decree, marks the birth of our Imam, the Awaited One, may Allah hasten his noble cause.
  9. The noble Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, did not limit himself to speaking of this month’s greatness through sermons and guidance in successive meetings in the mosque and elsewhere. Instead, he took a striking approach by ordering a caller to proclaim in the streets and alleys of Medina that “Indeed, Sha’ban is my month, may Allah have mercy on those who assist me in my month,” to alert the people of Medina and future generations to the importance of seizing this unique divine opportunity.

A Month Where Deeds are Multiplied

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, said – while his companions were discussing the virtues of Sha’ban in his presence – “It is a noble month, my month. The carriers of the Throne hold it in great esteem, recognizing its right, and it is the month in which the sustenance of the believers is increased for Ramadan, and the heavens are adorned. It is named Sha’ban because in it the sustenance of the believers diverges in abundance. It is a month in which:

  • A good deed is rewarded seventyfold
  • A bad deed is omitted
  • A sin is forgiven
  • A good deed is accepted
  • The Almighty, in His Majesty, boasts about His servants, looking upon those who fast and stand (in prayer), boasting of them to the carriers of the Throne…”

Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Al-Iqbal 3/292, citing from Thawab Al-A’mal, and Al-Amali, and see: Sheikh Al-Saduq, Thawab Al-A’mal p.62 and Al-Amali p.76, with minor modifications from Al-Amali.

General Acts of the Month of Sha’ban

  1. To say seventy times every day: “I seek forgiveness from Allah and ask for His repentance.” “اَسْتَغْفِر اللهَ وَاَسْأَلُهُ التَّوْبَةَ”
  2. To seek forgiveness seventy times each day, saying: “I seek forgiveness from Allah, there is no deity but He, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence, and I turn to Him in repentance.” “اَسْتَغْفِر اللهَ الّذي لا اِلـهَ اِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمنُ الرَّحيمُ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ وَاَتُوبُ اِلَيْهِ”. The phrase “the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence” appears before “the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate” in some narrations, and acting upon any of these narrations is considered good for seeking forgiveness, as inferred from the narrations about the best supplications and remembrances in this month. Whoever seeks forgiveness seventy times each day of this month is as if they have sought forgiveness seventy thousand times in other months.
  3. To give charity in this month, even if it is half a date, so that Allah Almighty forbids his body to the fire. Regarding the fasting of Rajab, Imam Sadiq (AS) was asked, and he said, “What about fasting in Sha’ban?” The narrator asked, “O son of the Messenger of Allah, what is the reward for fasting one day in Sha’ban?” He replied, “Paradise, by Allah.” The narrator asked, “What is the best act to do in it?” He said, “Charity and seeking forgiveness. Whoever gives charity in Sha’ban, Allah Almighty will grow it as one of you grows his young camel, until on the Day of Judgment it becomes as big as Mount Uhud.”
  4. To say a thousand times in Sha’ban: “There is no deity but Allah, and we worship none but Him, dedicating religion sincerely to Him even if the polytheists dislike it.” “لا اِلـهَ إلاَّ اللهُ وَلا نَعْبُدُ إِلاّ اِيّاهُ، مُخلِصينَ لَهُ الدّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ This noble act has a great reward, and whoever performs it is credited with the worship of a thousand years.
  5. To pray two units of prayer every Thursday in Sha’ban, reciting in each unit the Opening of the Book (Al-Fatiha) once and “Say, He is Allah, [Who is] One,” a hundred times. After concluding the prayer, to send blessings on the Prophet and his family a hundred times, so that Allah may fulfill every need of his religion and worldly life. Fasting is also recommended, as it is said: “The heavens are adorned every Thursday in Sha’ban, and the angels say: Our God, forgive its fasters and answer their prayers.” And in a prophetic tradition: “Whoever fasts the Mondays and Thursdays of Sha’ban, Allah will fulfill twenty of his worldly needs and twenty of his hereafter needs.”
  6. To increase in sending blessings on Muhammad and his family during this month.
  7. To pray at every midday of Sha’ban and on the night of its half with the prayers reported from Al-Sajjad (AS):

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

O Allah, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad;
شَجَرَةِ ٱلنُّبُوَّةِ

the tree of Prophethood,
وَمَوضِعِ ٱلرِّسَالَةِ

the trustees of the (Divine) Mission,
وَمُخْتَلَفِ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةِ

the frequently visited by the angels,
وَمَعْدِنِ ٱلْعِلْمِ

the core of knowledge,
وَأَهْلِ بَيْتِ ٱلْوَحْيِ

and the Household of the Divine Revelation.
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

O Allah, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,
ٱلْفُلْكِ ٱلْجَارِيَةِ فِي ٱللُّجَجِ ٱلْغَامِرَةِ

the sailing ships through the abysmal waves.
يَأْمَنُ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا

He who embarks on will be saved
وَيَغْرَقُ مَنْ تَرَكَهَا

but he who abandons will be drowned.
ٱلْمُتَقَدِّمُ لَهُمْ مَارِقٌ

He who precedes them will miss the Right Path
وَٱلْمُتَأَخِّرُ عَنْهُمْ زَاهِقٌ

and he who misses them will lose,
وَٱللاَّزِمُ لَهُمْ لاَحِقٌ

but he who adheres to them will win.
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

O Allah, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,
ٱلْكَهْفِ ٱلْحَصِينِ

the impregnable shelter,
وَغِيَاثِ ٱلْمُضْطَرِّ ٱلْمُسْتَكِينِ

the succorers of the helpless, distressed ones,
وَمَلْجَإِ ٱلْهَارِبِينَ

the haven of the fugitives,
وَعِصْمَةِ ٱلْمُعْتَصِمِينَ

and the asylum of those who seek refuge.
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

O Allah, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad
صَلاةً كَثِيرَةً تَكُونُ لَهُمْ رِضاً

so many blessings that please them
وَلِحَقِّ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ أَدَاءً وَقَضَاءً

and settle all (our) duties towards Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,
بِحَوْلٍ مِنْكَ وَقُوَّةٍ يَا رَبَّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ

by Your might and power, O Lord of the worlds!
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

O Allah, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,
ٱلطَّيِّبِينَ ٱلأَبْرَارِ ٱلأَخْيَارِ

the pure, pious, and righteous
ٱلَّذِينَ أَوْجَبْتَ حُقُوقَهُمْ

whose rights have been made incumbent upon us by You
وَفَرَضْتَ طَاعَتَهُمْ وَوِلايَتَهُمْ

and the obedience to whom and whose (divinely ordained) leadership have been (also) deemed obligatory upon us by You.

للَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

O Allah, (please do) send blessings to Muhammad and the Household of Muhammad,
وَٱعْمُرْ قَلْبِي بِطَاعَتِكَ

fill my heart with obedience to You,
وَلاَ تُخْزِنِي بِمَعْصِيَتِكَ

do not disgrace me due to my acts of disobedience to You,
وَٱرْزُقْنِي مُوَاسَاةَ مَنْ قَتَّرْتَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ رِزْقِكَ

and grant me the feeling of sympathy towards those whom You have decided to straiten their sustenance
بِمَا وَسَّعْتَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ

for You have blessed me with affluence in livelihood
وَنَشَرْتَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ عَدْلِكَ

since You have displayed Your justice on me
وَأَحْيَيْتَنِي تَحْتَ ظِلِّكَ

and bestowed life on me to live under Your shade.
وَهٰذَا شَهْرُ نَبِيِّكَ سَيِّدِ رُسُلِكَ

This is the month of Your Prophet and the Master of Your Messengers.
شَعْبَانُ ٱلَّذِي حَفَفْتَهُ مِنْكَ بِٱلرَّحْمَةِ وَٱلرِّضْوَانِ

It is Sha`ban, which You have encompassed with Your mercy and pleasure
ٱلَّذِي كَانَ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ

and on which the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his Household,
يَدْأَبُ فِي صِيَامِهِ وَقِيَامِهِ

used to observe fasting painstakingly and used to spend it with acts of worship
فِي لَيَالِيهِ وَأَيَّامِهِ

on all of its days and nights
بُخُوعاً لَكَ فِي إِكْرَامِهِ وَإِعْظَامِهِ

on account of Your honoring and dignifying this month,
إِلَىٰ مَحَلِّ حِمَامِهِ

up to his death.
اَللَّهُمَّ فَأَعِنَّا عَلَىٰ ٱلإِسْتِنَانِ بِسُنَّتِهِ فِيهِ

O Allah, (please do) help us follow the example of him (i.e. the Holy Prophet as regards the honoring of this month)
وَنَيْلِ ٱلشَّفَاعَةِ لَدَيْهِ

and help us attain his intercession for us.
اَللَّهُمَّ وَٱجْعَلْهُ لِي شَفِيعاً مُشَفَّعاً

O Allah, (please do) decide him as my interceder (before You) whose intercession for me is acceptable
وَطَرِيقاً إِلَيْكَ مَهْيَعاً

and as my clear path toward You,
وَٱجْعَلْنِي لَهُ مُتَّبِعاً

and make me follow him
حَتَّىٰ أَلْقَاكَ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَامَةِ عَنِّي رَاضِياً

until I meet You on the Resurrection Day in such a state that You are pleased with me
وَعَنْ ذُنُوبِي غَاضِياً

having overlooked my sins
قَدْ أَوْجَبْتَ لِي مِنْكَ ٱلرَّحْمَةَ وَٱلرِّضْوَانَ

and confer upon me with Your mercy and good pleasure
وَأَنْزَلْتَنِي دَارَ ٱلْقَرَارِ وَمَحَلِّ ٱلأَخْيَارِ

settling me in the Eternal Abode and the Place of the Righteous.

8.To recite this supplication reported by Ibn Khalawayh, who stated that it is the supplication of Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Faithful) and the Imams from his progeny, peace be upon them, which they used to invoke in the month of Sha’ban: https://www.duas.org/mobile/shaaban-munajat.html

The Night of Mid-Sha’ban

The birthday of the esteemed twelfth Imam, our master and Imam, Al-Mahdi, His Eminence, Hujjat bin Al-Hassan, the Master of the Age, may Allah’s blessings be upon him, is celebrated. It is recommended to visit him, peace be upon him, at any time and place, and especially to pray for the hastening of his reappearance during his visitation. The visitation is particularly emphasized in the cellar (Sardab), secretly by those who are certain of his emergence and dominion, and that he will fill the earth with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and injustice (Mafatih al-Jinan, Second Section, Acts of the Month of Sha’ban).

The Last Days:

  1. The Supplication for the End of Sha’ban: Imam Ali bin Musa al-Ridha, peace be upon him, said: “O Aba al-Salt, most of Sha’ban has passed, and this is its last Friday. In what remains of this month… strive much in supplication, seeking forgiveness, and reciting the Quran, and repent to the Lord from your sins… and in the remainder of this month, recite abundantly: ‘O Allah, if You have not forgiven us in what has passed of Sha’ban, then forgive us in what remains of it.’
  2. Fasting the Last Three Days of Sha’ban: Sheikh Saduq, may God have mercy on him, narrated from Imam Sadiq, peace be upon him, that whoever fasts the last three days of Sha’ban and connects them to the month of Ramadan, God will write for him the fasting of two consecutive months (Al-Maraqibat, pp. 196-198), (Mafatih al-Jinan, Second Section, Acts of the Month of Sha’ban).
  3. The Supplication of the Last Night: It is narrated that His Eminence, Sadiq, peace be upon him, would recite this supplication on the last night of Sha’ban and the first night of the month of Ramadan: “O Allah, indeed this blessed month in which the Quran was revealed, made as guidance for people, and clear proofs of guidance and criterion…” (Mafatih al-Jinan, Second Section, Acts of the Month of Sha’ban).”

For a comprehensive guide on the acts and supplications to be performed in this month, please visit the following web page: https://www.duas.org/shaban.htm

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