Shaban is the eighth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It is a month of holiness and many Hadiths explain the importance of this month. Shaban acts as a bridge between the sacred month of Rajab and the Holy month of Ramadan. It is the month of preparation for Ramadan. Muslims usually make preparation in the month of Shaban for the upcoming month of Ramadan as Shaban precedes Ramadan.
Significance of the word Shaban:
In Arabic, the word "Shaban "means "separation" and "dispersion". Before Islam, Shaban was the month of separation. It was a dispersion of the people of Arabia in search of water and food. It was the preparation for the upcoming heat months of the year. Nowadays, Shaban is the month of preparation for Ramadan.
Virtues of Shaban:
As Shaban is the preparatory month for Ramadan, Muslims perform actions and virtues that mentally and physically make them ready for Ramadan. According to scholars, Rajab is the month of the plantation, Shaban is the month of cultivation and Ramadan is the month of harvesting. Therefore, brothers and sisters, work on your cultivation process to harvest the best in Ramadan.
1. The day of 15 Shaban:
One of the most important events of the month of Shaban is the night and day of the 15th of Shaban. Muslims stand for voluntary prayers in front of Allah on the night of 15 Shaban and keep fast during the day. On this night, all the actions of Muslims are raised in front of Allah. Therefore, Dua and Salah can be helpful for us to get the blessings of Allah on this night of mercy. People also make Dua for the deceased near and dear ones. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
"Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven on the night of the middle of Shaban and forgives the occupants of the Earth except for the one who associates partners with Allah and one who harbors enmity."
2. Keep fast and offer Salah:
Shaban is the month of preparation, show your proactiveness and start developing your routines of Ibadah. For this, you should keep fast. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) fasted more in the month of Shaban after Ramadan and you should follow this beautiful Sunnah. It helps you to develop a Stamina of fasting as it becomes difficult to fast in Ramadan abruptly for some Muslims. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
"That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting."(An-Nasa’i)
It is evident from the hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that Muslims must not miss the virtues of the month of Shaban. If you develop a good habit of fasting Salah will help you to get increased blessings from Allah and ease in the month of Ramadan. You can make a habit of Tahajud in Shaban, it will also be helpful in Ramadan and it will wake you for Sahur.
3. Increase reading of Quran and Dhikr:
Most people plan to read Quran many times in Ramadan but usually, they are not successful in achieving their targets. This is because they do not develop the habit of reading the Quran earlier. For this, you should read the maximum portion of the Quran every day. In this way, you can achieve your set target in Ramadan. Similarly, Dhikr is the best tool to connect you with Allah. As it's easy and you can Dhikr sitting anywhere. Here is a collection of some easy dhikrs that you can do in Ramadan. It is good to develop the habit of reading the Quran and doing Dhikr at a specific time.
It is evident from the above discussion that the month of Shaban has its importance and a Muslim shouldn’t miss the blessings of this month. Dear brother and sister, keep fast, offer Salah and make preparations for the month of Ramadan in this early month of Shaban. May Allah allow us to do all this in Shaban and enjoy Ramadan at its peak.