That Is A Month Which People Are Heedless About

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Muhammad Wafiq Zayn Al 'Abdin

In the name of Allah, praise be to Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) gave preference to some times over others and singled out some times with more reward than others.

So, Ramadan was the best month, the Night of Revelation was the best nights, and the last portion of the night is the best hours. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Verily, We have sent it (this Qur'ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) * And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? * The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allâh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months)." [Surat Al Qadr: 1- 3].

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." [Reported by Al Bukhari in his Sahih].

It was reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said: "Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: "Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?" [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

Therefore, Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) and His Messenger (peace be upon him) exhorted us to benefit from these times with goodness and doing frequent acts of worship because of its virtue and honor; including: Friday, 'Arafah Day, three days from each lunar month (13th, 14th, 15th), the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, the first six days of Shawwal...etc.

Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) singled out the month of Sha'ban with lifting people's actions in that month. For that virtue, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to single out this month with frequent fasting more than other months. It was reported from Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I said: O Messenger Allah, I did not see you observe fasting a month more than Sha'ban, why is that? He said: That is a month which people are heedless about between Rajab and Ramadan. Furthermore, it is a month in which people's actions are lifted to the Lord of all the Worlds, so, I would like that my actions to be raised while I am fasting." [Musnad Imam Ahmad and Sunan An-Nasa'y, and Al Albany graded it as good].

It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of 'A'ishah, the Mother of the Believers, (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: "I have not seen the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) fasted a full month but Ramadan, and I have not seen him observing fasting in a month more than Sha'ban." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

Likewise, of desirable acts of worship and good deeds that should be done frequently in Sha'ban is the supererogatory Salah, giving in charity, and reciting the Qur'an.

'Amr ibn Qays Al Mala'y (may Allah be merciful with him) used to close his shop during Sha'ban and dedicate himself to reciting Qur'an in Sha'ban and Ramadan.

Al Hasan ibn Shuhayl (may Allah be merciful with him) used to recite the Glorious Qur'an frequently and say: "O Lord, You have made me witness two great months."

Frequent doing of the acts of worship is desirable in good times and places because abandoning prohibited matters is obligatory in these times.

As good deeds are doubled in these times and places, bad deeds are multiplied therein. Therefore, a person should haste to abandon prohibited matters in this blessed month because actions are lifted therein and perhaps they would be the last of a person's actions.

Al Hafizh Ibn Rajab (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: as for the Prophet's saying: "A month which people are heedless therein" contains a proof to the desirability of filling the times of people with obedience which is beloved to Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted).

Filling the times of people with obedience has many benefits:

Of which: It will be more secret, and screening supererogatory acts of worship is better.

It is hard for the souls and the best actions are those of the most difficult to oneself. The cause of that is: souls are affected by the actions of people, so if the people's wakefulness and obedience increase, obedient people shall increase because of the number of people who follow them and obedience becomes easy.

However, if negligence and its people increase, people will follow them and it will become difficult for people to do good because of the few number of their followers.

Those who do good against the mainstream of people may ward off afflictions from falling into people because of them as if they defend and protect the people.

Of the benefits gained from fasting of that Month:

Training oneself and preparing it to the fasting of Ramadan, so when Ramadan comes, souls will be ready for fasting it powerfully and actively.

They will be able to fast it with no hardship and ready to do more acts of worship. Glorifying Sha'ban is like glorifying Ramadan, exactly such as performing the supererogatory Salah before the obligatory one in glorification for its right and readiness to perform it.

How great 'Ammar ibn yasir (may Allah be pleased with him) was because he was preparing himself for the fast of Sha'ban as he was getting ready to Ramadan!

Finally, let it be known that singling out the fast of the first half of Sha'ban without the rest of the month has no origin and there was no authentic Hadith reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard but the reported Hadith regarding observing fasting in the first half of Sha'ban was denied by the people of knowledge, such as 'Abdur-Rahman ibn Mahdy, Zayd ibn Aslam, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Zar'ah Ar-Razy, Al Athram, Al Busairy, Imam Abu Al Faraj ibn Al Jawzy, Al Hafiz Ibn Rajab Al Hanbaly, scholar Al Mubarakfury, Sheikh Taqy Ad-Din Al Hilaly, and others (may Allah show mercy to them all).

Allah knows the soundest opinion and to Him is the return and the final destination.

May Allah send peace and blessing upon our master, Prophet Muhammad.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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