Sha’ban: Month of Allah’s Mercy
Sha’ban, is considered the Month of Allah’s mercy and pleasure. Shaban is the 2nd month of worship in command to make arrangements for the grand and magnificent month of Ramadan – the month of fasting and mercy.
Merits of Sha’ban
Many traditions have been reported about the merits of the month of Sha’ban and the great rewards obtained from practicing devotional acts during it. The Holy Prophet (PBUH), to whom this month is attributed, used to fast during this month and encourage others to imitate him by connecting the fasting of this month with the obligatory fasting of Ramadhan.
Sheikh Al-Qummi has referred, yet briefly, to some of these traditions. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS) is reported to have said: Imam ‘Ali ibn Al-Hussain Zaynul-’Abidin (AS) used to gather all his companions at the beginning of Sha’ban and say to them, “O’ my companions, do you know what this month is? It is Sha’ban. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) used to say, ‘Sha’ban is my month.’ You should thus fast during this month as a sign of your love for your Prophet (PBUH) and as a sign of seeking nearness to your Lord.
I swear by God, Who grasps my soul in Divine Hand, that I heard my father Hussain (AS), saying that he heard Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful (AS), saying: ‘Any one who fasts during Sha’ban for the love of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to seek nearness to Almighty Allah, Almighty Allah will love him, and draw him nearer to God on the Day of Resurrection, and definitely reward him with Paradise.’”
Important Shaban Dates and Events
3rd Shaban: Birth of Hussain ibn Ali (AS)
4th Shaban: Birth of Abbas ibn Ali (AS)
5th Shaban: Birth of Ali Ibn Hussain (AS)
7th Shaban: Birth of Qasim ibn Hasan
11th Shaban: Birth of Ali Akbar ibn Hussain
15 Sha’ban: Birth of Muhammad Al-Mahdi
Rites of Sha’ban
As usual, Sheikh Al-Qummi has divided the rites of Sha’ban into two sections: The first section involves the general rites that are practiced each day in the month without distinction, while the second section involves the particular rites that are dedicated to certain days and nights of the month. The religius acts of the earlier section can be summarized thus:
The most important and highlighted rite in the month of Sha’ban is fasting, which is the distinctive feature of this month, as understood by the abovementioned traditions.
On every day of Sha’ban, it is highly recommended to say certain litanies, especially implorations seeking forgiveness. According to several traditions, it is greatly encouraged to implore Almighty Allah for forgiveness seventy times a day. One who practices it regularly will be included in the Holy Prophet’s group on the Day of Resurrection and gain the nearness of Almighty Allah. He will be granted remission of Hellfire and permission to pass the Discriminating Bridge (Sirat) into Paradise and the Abode of Settlement and have all his sins forgiven by Almighty Allah, even if they be as many as the stars in the sky.
Other traditions have confirmed that to repeat the prayer seeking forgiveness seventy times a day in Sha’ban is equal to repeating it seventy thousand times during other months. The formula of this prayer may be one of the following:
I seek the forgiveness of Allah and I pray to Him for approval of my repentance.
ا سْتَغْفِرُ ٱللّهَ وَا سْا لُهُ ٱلتَّوْبَةَ.
ا سْتَغْفِرُ ٱللّهَ ٱلَّذِي لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ ٱلرَحْمٰنُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ ٱلْحَيُّ ٱلْقَيُّوْمُ وَا تُوبُ إِلَيْهِ
Salawat that has been narrated from Imam Zaynul ‘Abidin (AS)
The month of Sha’ban is really valuable and a lot of our Ahadith point to the significance of this great month. One of the Mustahhabbat that are highly encouraged in this month is a Salawat that has been narrated from Imam Zaynul ‘Abidin (AS). “In the Month of Shaban, Ali Ebn Al-Hussain (AS) would read this supplication every noon and on the fifteenth night (and in the whole month) he sent Salawat in the form of this Salawat.”
Supplication of the Holy Month of Sha’ban (Munajat Al-Shabaniyyah)
The supplication of the Holy Month of Sha’ban-the famous (Munajat Al-Shabaniyyah) narrated by the Commander of the Faithful Imam ‘ ‘Ali (a.s.) and other infallible Imams of Prophet’s (PBUH) Ahlul Bayt (AS), is one of the most precious mystic supplication.
Because Sha’ban is described by some traditions as the springtime of the poor, it is highly recommended to give as many alms as possible during this month. Other traditions describe almsgiving in Sha’ban as follows:
Verily, if any one of you gives alms in Sha’ban, Almighty Allah will breed and multiply those alms in the very same way you breed your camels. Hence, these alms will be as huge as Mount Uhud on the Day of Resurrection.
-Special Salawaat of the month of Shaban , Seyyed Mahmoud Madani
-The Role of the Ahlul-Bayt (AS) in Building the Virtuous Community Book Eight: The System of Devotional Acts of the Virtuous Community, Seyyed Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim
– Self Building, Ibrahim Amini
-Jihadul-Akbar, The Greatest Jihad: Combat with the Self , Seyyed Ruhullah Musawi Khomeini (RA)