Shaban is the 8th month in the Islamic calendar and is considered one of the meritorious months for which we find particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad . It is reported that Prophet Muhammad, used to fast most of the month in Shaban except the last few days of the month.
These fasts are supererogatory (nafl). Shaban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan.
- 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 Muhammed , 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.”
- 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.’ “
Fasting on Muharram 10, known as the Day of ‘Ashura’, expiates for the sins of the past year. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) arrived in Madinah in 622 CE, he found that the Jews there fasted on Muharram 10 and asked them the reason for their fasting on this day. They said,” This is a blessed day. On this day Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Prophet Musa [Moses] fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“We are closer to Musa than you are.”
He fasted on that day and commanded Muslims to fast on this day. (Al-Bukhari) The following year, Allah commanded the Muslims to fast the month of Ramadan, and the fasting of ‘Ashura’ became optional. It is also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) intended to fast on the ninth and tenth. Ibn ‘Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah fasted on the day of ‘Ashura’ and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said, “O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.” The Prophet said, “When the following year comes, Allah willing, we shall fast on the ninth.” The death of the Prophet came before the following year. (Muslim and Abu Dawud) For more on ‘Ashura’ and Muharram, please read: The Significance of Fasting the Day of ‘Ashura’ Virtues of the Month of Muharram & Fasting during It. Continue reading
Eid Prayer consists of two Rak’ahs
The Eid prayer is one where the imam attends and leads the people in praying two rak’ahs. ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The prayer of al-Fitr is two rak’ahs and the prayer of al-Adha is two rak’ahs, complete and not shortened, on the tongue of your Prophet, and the one who fabricates lies is doomed.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 1420 and Ibn Khuzaymah. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i. Continue reading
More than a billion Muslims around the world observe Ramadan (“month of blessing”), with prayer, fasting and charity. They celebrate the end of Ramadan with a three-day festival, called Eid al-Fitr, which means “breaking of the fast.” It’s one of the most important holidays in Islam. (Islam is the name of the religion practiced by Muslims.) During Eid al-Fitr, people dress in their finest clothes, adorn their homes with lights and decorations, give treats to children and visit with friends and family.In the early morning in Eid AlFitr and after fajr(dawn prayer)muslims go to Continue reading
People cannot remain exactly as they were during the blessed month of Ramadan, in terms of their regularity and steadfastness in performing certain acts of worship. On the other hand, they must not stop doing good deeds completely and forsake all virtue just because Ramadan is over. It is injudicious to suddenly abandon everything and stop performing all goods deeds. Therefore, one should not abandon fasting, Qiyaam (optional night prayers), recitation of the Quran, supplication and so on. One needs to perform these deeds, even if it is on a less regular basis. If a slave of Allah The Almighty is accustomed to performing certain acts of worship and is compelled to stop doing them due to travel or sickness, then Allah The Almighty will continue to reward him for these deeds, even if he does not perform them, because he used to perform them frequently. The Prophet said: “If a slave becomes sick, Allah Says to the honorable recording angels: `Record for my slave the same (good) deeds until I either take his soul (i.e., cause him to die) or grant him health (i.e., cure him from his sickness).” This indicates the benefit of constantly being engaged in acts of obedience and worship. Continue reading
How to take full advantage and benefit from the last part of Ramadan ?
Though all parts of Ramadan are full of blessings and rewards, its last ten days hold a special status reflected in the recommendations and practices of the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and his companions. I will focus here on three major practices of the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, and his companions during these days.
1-Praying in the last ten nights of Ramadan
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from ‘Aishah that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). A narration in Muslim states: “He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time.”
Aisha reported that With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]
2-Performing I`tikaf in the Masjid (seclusion in the Mosque)
The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the Day of ‘Arafah. It is the day when pilgrims stand on the plain of ‘Arafah to pray. On this day, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual Hajj should spend the day in fasting, in preparation for the three days festivity following ‘Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the Hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness of sacrifice).
Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: Continue reading
The month of Ramadan is a great opportunity for returning to Allah The Almighty with repentance. It is the month of mercy, erasing mistakes, expiating evil deeds, salvation from Hellfire and attaining Paradise. The fortunate person is he who knows this and hastens to the actions that draw him near to His Lord by turning to Him in repentance, seeking forgiveness and feeling regret for all his slips and sins.
If one does not repent in Ramadan, then when will he? If one does not repent when the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and devils are chained up, then when will he repent? When will he give up committing sins?
It is the month of repentance, forgiveness, salvation form Hell fire and the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ), said: “May his nose be rubbed in the dust, a man for whom Ramadan comes and then goes before he is forgiven!” [At-Tirmithi; Al-Albaani: Saheeh]
Why do we not repent while Allah The Almighty stretches out His Hand to the seeker of repentance and opens the door of His repentance to those who feel regret (for their sins)? It was narrated on the authority of Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari may Allah be pleased with him that the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ), said: “Allah The Almighty stretches out His Hand at night to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the day, and He stretches out His Hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the night. (This will continue) until the sun rises from the west.]” [Muslim]. Continue reading
Islam uses a lunar calendar—that is, each month begins with the sighting of the new moon, therefore because the lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar calendar, Islamic months “move” each year. This year (2008) the Islamic month of
Ramadan coincides almost exactly with the month of September. For Muslims the coming of Ramadan is a source of joy and celebration; however, we celebrate in a way that may seem strange to people unfamiliar with the tenets of Islam. Ramadan is not a month of parties and socialising, it is a month of worship. To fast the month of Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam. Continue reading
The month of Ramadhan enjoys and intrinsic superiority over all the other months of the year. Likewise, it’s last ‘Ashra or ten days are superior to the two earlier ‘Ashras, and lailatul Qadr or the Night of Power, generally, falls in it. That is why, the sacred Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) devoted himself more intensively to prayer and other forms of worship during it and urged others, also, to do the same Continue reading