What Does Sha’ban Mean? Merits of Sha'ban

Merits of Sha'ban al Mu'azzam in the Light of Hadiths

What Does Sha’ban Mean?

The word Sha’ban is derived from the Arabic word ‘Sha’bun’ which means ‘Congregation’. This month is known as Sha’ban because like the month of Ramazan, it too comprises of abundant blessings and merits.

The commentator of ‘Sahih Bukhari’, Imam Badruddin Mahmud Ayni Hanafi (d.855 A.H) states: “The word Sha’ban is derived from the word ‘Sha’bun’ which means ‘Congregation’. It is known as Sha’ban because just like the month of Ramazan, it too comprises of abundant blessings and merits.”
{Umdat al Qari Sharh Sahih al Bukhari; 8:184}

General Authentic Hadiths on the Merits of Sha’ban;

1.SayyidahAyesha RadiAllahuanha said: “Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to fast continuously to the point that we would say that he would never break it, and used to stop fasting to the point that we would say that he would never fast. I never saw Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam fast for an entire month except for Ramazan and I did not see him fast in any month more than Sha'ban.”
{Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al Sawm, Bab Sawm Shaban; H# 1969}

2. Sayyiduna Abu Salma RadiAllahuanhu narrates from Sayyidah Ayesha RadiAllahuanha that she said: “Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam did not fast in any month more than Sha'ban and used to say, “You must only do what is within your capacity. By Allah, Allah does not grow weary  but you grow weary.” The  prayer the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam loved the most was the one in which there was constancy, even though if it was only a little. When he used to offer a particular  prayer, he used to maintain consistency in it.”
{Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al Sawm, Bab Sawm Shaban; H# 1970}

3. Imam Muslim also records this statement of Sayyidah Ayesha RadiAllahuanha that: “Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to fast during Sha’ban more than any other month in a year.”
{Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Sawm, Bab Siyam al Nabi fi Ghayri Ramazan; H# 2723 & Sunan Nisai; H# 2352, 2353, 2356, 2357, 2358}

4. Sayyiduna Usama bin Zayd RadiAllahuanhuonce asked the Beloved Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam : “O Rasul-Allah! Why is it that you fast more during Sha’ban than any other month?” The Beloved Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied: “Sha’ban is such a month between Rajab and Ramazan that people are careless as regards to worshipping during this month. In this month, Deeds are presented before the Lord of the Worlds and I prefer that my Deeds be presented in a state of fasting.” {Sunan Nisai, Kitab al Sawm; H#2359}

Imam Ibn Hajr Asqlani Shafai’ states about the above Hadith that: “This Hadith has been narrated by Imam Nisai and Imam Abu Dawud, and Imam Ibn Khuzaymah has authenticated the narration through Sayyiduna Usama bin Zayd t.” {Fath al Bari Sharh Sahih al Bukhari; 4:253}

5. Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik RadiAllahuanhu narrates that Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was asked: “Which is the most meritorious  fast?” The Beloved Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied: “The fasts of Shaban in respect of Ramazan!” {Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab al Siyam, Bab: 115; H# 2 & Jami’ Tirmizi, H# 663}

6. Sayyiduna Ata’ bin Yasar RadiAllahuanhu narrates: “Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to fast more during Sha’ban than any other month because the names of all those who will die next year are written down .” {Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab al Siyam, Bab: 115; H#3}

Conclusion:
The Beloved Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to Fast more during Sha’ban than any other month & next only to Ramazan.

1.  The month of Shaban was most beloved to Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam for Voluntary {‘Nafil’} fasts.

2.  The Deeds of Muslims are specially presented before Allah Almighty in the month of Sha’ban.

3.  Allah Almighty orders Angels to write the names of all those who shall meet death in the following year in the month of Sha’ban.

4.  Sha’ban lies between the months of Rajab and Ramazan. People usually wait for the month of Ramazan after Rajab and are usually careless regarding worship and fasting in this month. The Beloved Rasul-Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam commanded and practiced fasting in this month in order to set an example, to get prepared for the coming Ramazan and to respect the coming of Ramazan.

The Following Sahaba have narrated Hadiths on the general Merits of the month of Shaban:
1.  Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik
2.  Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah
3.  Umm ul Mu’minin Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqa
4.  Umm ul Mu’minin Sayyidah Umm Salma
5.  Sayyiduna Usama bin Zayd RadiAllahuanhum Ajmaeen.

The following Hadith compilations contain Hadiths on the general merits of Sha’ban:
1.  Sahih Bukhari.
2.  Sahih Muslim.
3.  Sunan Abu Dawud.
4.  Jami’ Tirmizi.
5.  Sunan Nisai.
6.  Sunan Ibn Majah.
7.  Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.
8.  Sunan al Kubra Bayhaqi.
9.  Sunan Darimi.
10.         Musnad Abu Dawud Tayalsi.
11.         Mu’jam Kabeer Tibrani.
12.         Mu’jam Awsat Tibrani.
13.         Sh’ub al Iman Bayhaqi.
14.         Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah.
15.         Musnad Abu Ya’la.
16.         Majmu az Zawaid Haythami.
17.         At Targhib wat Tarhib Munziri.


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