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Virtues of Shaaban

Virtues of Shaaban

ABOUT SERMON: Virtues of Shaaban

Virtues of Shaaban

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ. الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ وَصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ الأَنْبِيَاءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ.

All Praise is due to Allah, we praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, peace and blessings on him, is His servant, and His messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters …                                     السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ –

O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.

All praise is due to Allah the entirely Merciful the Especially Merciful. The Most Generous Bestower. He bestowed Iman (faith) to His servants. He guided them to the best of deeds and the virtuous times in which rewards are multiplied.

The Prophet ﷺ used to offer a lot of acts of worship in general and he ﷺ used to perform the most voluntary fasts in the month of Shaaban. And with that, he ﷺused to pray and rest. He used to fast and break his fast on other days. He married women. This is his way and whoever turns away from it is not from him.

Be conscious of Allah Almighty and obey Him. And fill your time with His remembrance. For the term is near and the accounting is severe. And death comes in an instant without notice. And there are no deeds after death. For there will be accounting and recompense.

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَمَنْ زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

Al Imran (3) 185: Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.

Brothers & Sisters, the month of Shaaban is a great month. It falls between the sacred month Rajab and the blessed Ramadan. And the Prophet ﷺ used to perform plenty of fasts within it. As in the Hadith narrated by Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- يَصُومُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ: لَا يُفْطِرُ  وَيُفْطِرُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ: لَا يَصُومُ  وَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- اسْتَكْمَلَ صِيَامَ شَهْرٍ قَطُّ إِلَّا رَمَضَانَ، وَمَا رَأَيْتُهُ فِي شَهْرٍ أَكْثَرَ مِنْهُ صِيَامًا فِي شَعْبَانَ.

The Messenger of Allah  used to fast until we said: ‘He will not break his fast.’ And he used not to fast until we said: ‘He will not fast.’ And I never saw the Messenger of Allah ﷺ fast more in any month than in Shaaban.”[al Bukhari 1969, Muslim 1156].

And the Prophet ﷺ indicated the reason for his frequent fasting in Shabaan. As was related in the Hadith of Osamah bin Zaid (may Allah be pleased with them) who said:

أَخْبَرَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا ثَابِتُ بْنُ قَيْسٍ أَبُو الْغُصْنِ، – شَيْخٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ – قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سَعِيدٍ الْمَقْبُرِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أُسَامَةُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَمْ أَرَكَ تَصُومُ شَهْرًا مِنَ الشُّهُورِ مَا تَصُومُ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ “‏ ذَلِكَ شَهْرٌ يَغْفُلُ النَّاسُ عَنْهُ بَيْنَ رَجَبٍ وَرَمَضَانَ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Shaban.’ He 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.”‘ Sunan an-Nasa’i 2357.

The Prophet ﷺ mentioned two reasons for his fasting in Shaaban. First, the inattentiveness of the people to it. And the reason for this is that Shaaban falls after the month of Rajab which is a sacred month. And Allah the Exalted said about the sacred months:

 فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ   التَّوْبَةِ: 36

At-Tawbah (9) 36: So do not wrong yourselves during them

And before Ramadan and it is the month of fasting, night prayer, Quran and doing good. And this hadith is a basis for remembering Allah Almighty at times of inattentiveness. And reviving the neglected times with acts of obedience has benefits: – And from them is that it is concealed. And concealing a voluntary act of worship is more virtuous.And from what the Prophet ﷺ mentioned of the reasons of fasting Shaaban is his words:

وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الْأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ, فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ

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. [AnNisai 2357]

Brothers & Sister lets discuss the concept of Shabe Barat. The concept of middle night (15th) of Shaaban called as “Shaba Barat” was related in Five weak Hadiths which should not be relied upon. And it does not have any preference over any of the other nights. The one Daief hadith people quote most.

‘A’isha said: I missed God’s Messenger one night and found him at al-Baqi‘. He said, “Were you afraid that God and His Messenger would act wrongly towards you?” I replied, “Messenger of God, I thought you had gone to one of your wives.” He said, “On the middle night of Sha’ban God most high descends to the lowest heaven and forgives more sins than the hairs of the goats of Kalb.”[Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah transmitted it, and Razin added, “for those who deserve hell. “Tirmidhi said, “I heard Muhammad (i.e., Bukhari) declare that this tradition is weak.” Mishkat al-Masabih 1299. Grade: ضَعِيف (الألباني).

Now who follow the Daief Hadith then wait for 15 Shaaban for this night but who follow the Sahih hadith they get this night every night according to Sahih Hadith.

وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْآخِرُ يَقُولُ: مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ؟ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ؟ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ؟ ” وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ لِمُسْلِمٍ: ثُمَّ يَبْسُطُ يَدَيْهِ وَيَقُولُ: «مَنْ يُقْرِضُ غَيْرَ عَدُومٍ وَلَا ظَلُومٍ؟ حَتَّى ينفجر الْفجْر»

Abu Huraira reported God’s Messenger as saying: Our Lord who is blessed and exalted descends every night to the lowest heaven when two-thirds of the night have passed and says, “Who supplicates me so that I may answer him? Who asks of me so that I may give to him? Who asks my forgiveness so that I may forgive him?”

(Bukhari and Muslim.) In a version by Muslim, it is said that He then spreads out His hands and says, “Who will lend to One who is neither indigent nor unjust?”* till the dawn breaks. *The lending mentioned here is presumably the doing of good works. Mishkat al-Masabih 1223. Grade: مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ (الألباني).

I would like to say here specially for seasonal worshipper that we should have a strong believe in our Prophet ﷺ. If this is so then we will get reward every Friday of Hajj, Umrah and Sacrificing, and every night as Qayam al layal by praying Fajr and Isha with congregation as evident from hadith. But seasonal worshiper only waits for these months knowing they don’t know if death will come before that.

So, one should not designate 15th Shaaban for fasting or its night for prayer. Rather it is like the other nights. So, whoever regularly fasts in Shaaban, fasts on the 15thbecause he usually fasts during Shaaban. And whoever regularly prays night prayer, prays the night of the 15th because it is usual for him to observe the night prayer. And not because it is the 15th of Shaaban.

And it is prohibited to fast the last part of Shaban if it is done as a precautionary measure for Ramadan. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet ﷺ said:

 لَا يَتَقَدَّمَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ رَمَضَانَ بِصَوْمِ يَوْمٍ أَوْ يَوْمَيْنِ, إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ رَجُلٌ كَانَ يَصُومُ صَوْمَهُ, فَلْيَصُمْ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ

None of you must fast one day or two days just before Ramadan, except in the case of a man who has been in the habit of observing a particular fast, for he may fast on that day. [alBukhari 1914, Muslim 1082]

And in every case, a Muslim should change his condition in Shabaan. And he should plentifully fast and recite Quran in it. So that he is not among the heedless and so that he prepares for Ramadan. So that it does not enter except that he is accustomed to fasting and reciting Quran and he more actively worships during Ramadan.

We ask Allah Almighty to teach us what benefits us. And to bestow on us acting upon what we learn. And to help us with remembering Him, being Grateful to Him to worship Him in the best manner. Indeed, He is All Hearing, Answering.

I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our Prophet as your Lord commanded:

Allahumma Sallai Al’a Muahmmad’n wa’aila Muhammad

أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ  لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ  إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

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