What is Sha’ban?

Sha’ban is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. This is the month of “separation”, so called because the pagan Arabs used to disperse in search of water.

The fifteenth night of this month is known as the “Night of Records” (Laylat al-Bara’at). However, observance of this day is disputed.
The Islamic Calendar is a Lunar Calendar and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Sha’ban migrates throughout the seasons.
Islamic events:

• 01 Sha’ban, birth of Zaynab bint Ali
• 03 Sha’ban, birth of Husayn ibn Ali
• 04 Sha’ban, birth of Abbas ibn Ali
• 05 Sha’ban, birth of Ali ibn Husayn
• 05 Sha’ban, death of Fizza, the hand-maiden (Qaneez) of Fatimah
• 07 Sha’ban, birth of Qasim ibn Hasan
• 11 Sha’ban, birth of Ali al-Akbar ibn Husayn
• 11 Sha’ban 1293 AH, Abdulhamid II became sultan/caliph of the Ottoman Empire
• 15 Sha’ban, holiday known as Laylat al-Bara’at or Nisfu Sha’ban; birth of Muhammad al-Mahdi
• 22 Sha’ban 1314 AH, death of Muhammad Usman Damani
• 23 Sha’ban 492 AH, Jerusalem was conquered in the First Crusade
• 27 Sha’ban 1313 AH, Birth of Sayyad Laal Shah Hamdani

Shaban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. The Prophet mentioned in a hadith, “Rajab is the month of Allah, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of the Nation”.

1. The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid , reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad : “Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Shaban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month.” Prophet Muhammad , replied: “That (Shaban) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe, so, I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting.”

2. Ummul Mu’mineen ‘Aishah (r), says, “Prophet Muhammad , used to fast for most of Shaban. I said to him, ‘Messenger of Allah, is Shaban your favorite month for fasting?’ He said, ‘In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting.”

On the Night of 15th Shaban, after Maghrib or Isha prayer it is traditional practice to read Surah Yasin and make special supplications for good health, protection from calamities and increased Iman.

According to tradition this night has special blessings that are directed towards the faithful. Therefore, as much as possible, this night should be spent in worship and total submission to Allah Almighty. Also, fasting is recommended on the day immediately following this Night, i.e. the 15th day of Shaban.

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