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Significance of Sha'baan

The eighth month of the lunar calendar, Shaaban,  is significant for many reasons. It is the month that precedes Ramadan, the holy month most beloved to Prophet Mohammed ﷺ.  
The Muslims start getting ready for the month of Ramadan in Sha'baan.  

Allah, the All-Mighty ordered the Messenger ﷺ to change the Qiblah in the middle of Sha'baan.  Qiblah, the direction towards which Muslims face when they pray, had been in the direction of Masjid Al-Aqsa for thirteen years in Makkah and for nearly eighteen months in Madinah. Verses of the Quran were revealed instructing him ﷺ and all Muslims to turn from Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem towards the Holy Kaabah in Makkah.  Most interpretations date this incident to the middle of the month of Shaaban.

Narrations of the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ show that it is recommended to fast during Shaaban.  It is narrated by a well-known companion, Anas bin Malik RA, that Prophet Mohammed ﷺ was asked: “Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasting of Ramadan?” He ﷺ replied, “Fasting of Shaaban in honor of Ramadan.”

The deeds done in Shaaban are like mental and physical training for Ramadan. Many of us may experience difficulty when they start the fast in Ramadan, however those who start in Shaaban, their bodies may get used to fasting and not feel so lethargic and weak when Ramadan begins.

Shaaban is like an introduction and it has some things in common with Ramadan, such as fasting, reciting Quran and giving to charity.

It is reported by Aisha RA that “The Messenger of Allah 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 God fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Shaaban.”

Usamah ibn Zaid RA has narrated, “I said to the Prophet ﷺ, ’O Messenger of Allah! I did not see you fasting in any month as you do in the month of Shaaban.’ To which he ﷺ said, ‘People neglect this month which is between Rajab and Ramadan. In this month the actions of the people are presented to Allah, the Most-Merciful, so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting.’”

Though fasting is made obligatory in Ramadan, fasting in Shaaban is beneficial in a number of ways as it offers a chance to start preparing for Ramadan. In Shaaban, many Muslim scholars and others used to consistently recite and read the Holy Quran along with fasting, which also helps in getting our routines of worship in place for the coming month of Ramadan. If we begin increasing acts of worship a month in advance, we will enjoy the fruits of our efforts in the holy month of Ramadan.

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