Don’t neglect the month of Sha’ban |

Don’t neglect the month of Sha’ban

Shaban is the eighth month on the Islamic calendar. Rajab is the month of Isra and Miraj, the night journey and ascension and is just before the blessed month of Ramadan. The auspiciousness of both Rajab and Ramadan can sometimes overshadow Shaban. In fact, it was reported that Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, even referred to Shaban as the neglected month.  

But Shaban is a wonderful time to increase our Ibadah (worship) and receive the mercy of Allah. Here are three suggestions:

Offer Tahujjud

The word Tahajjud comes from a root word meaning ‘keeping vigil’. Tahajjud is the practice of reciting the Quran and praying during the night. Tahajjud is a Sunnah, but scholars agree that it is not Fard or an obligation. 

Tahajjud can be performed any time during the year. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims may pray Taraweeh during the night.  During Shaban we can wake up during the last third of the night to offer this Nafl (extra) prayer while the world around us is at rest which affords us the ability to concentrate and sincerely move closer to pleasing Allah.  

Tahajjud is the practice of the Prophet. 

O you wrapped in your clothes!

Stand all night in prayer except a little—

pray half the night, or a little less,

or a little more—and recite the Quran properly in a measured way.

For We will soon send upon you a weighty revelation.

Indeed, worship in the night is more impactful and suitable for recitation.

(Quran 73:1-6)

In the reported sayings of the Prophet: “When it is the night of the middle of Shaban, spend its night in prayer and observe a fast on that day. For Allah descends at sunset on that night to the lowest heaven and says: ‘Is there no one who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there no one who will ask Me for provision so that I may provide for him? Is there no one who is afflicted by trouble, so that I may relieve him?’ And so on, until dawn comes” (Sunan Ibn Majah). 

Purify Our Hearts

Shaban is also a time that we can concentrate on purifying our hearts. The believers are instructed and warned in the Quran that only those with pure hearts may stand before their Lord on the Day of Decision.

Only those who come before Allah with a pure heart ˹will be saved˺.

(Quran 26:89)

The primary method we have to purify our hearts is to perform sincere prayers and supplications.

He has succeeded who purifies himself, who remembers the name of his Lord and prays. 

(Quran 87:14-15)

Purifying our hearts means we purge ourselves of sinful thinking, intention and actions like envy, greed, malice, selfishness, injustice and over indulgence.

One close companion of the Prophet was Anas ibn Malik, may God be pleased with him. When he was ten years old, he was placed in the care of the Prophet, where he observed his life and recorded his sayings. In fact, he was a well-respected transmitter of hadith. He was also the last living companion of the Prophet. Anas ibn Malik reported:

“The Messenger of Allah said to me: ‘Oh boy, if you are able to remove every morning and evening any rancor from your heart toward anyone, then do so.’  Then the Prophet said to me: ‘Oh boy, that is my tradition and whoever revives my tradition has loved me, and whoever loves me will be with me in Paradise” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2678). 

So Shaban becomes a time when we seek to forgive others and remove bitterness from our hearts.  It is also a time that we seek forgiveness for any wrong that we may have done so that we can move into the month of Ramadan in a state of submission and concentration on pleasing Allah, The Most High.

The Prophet said: “Allah Almighty looks upon all those created by Him in the middle Night of Shaban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart (against a Muslim)” (Sunan Ibn Majah). 


Shaban is another opportunity to follow the traditions of the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have observed more voluntary fasts in the month of Shaban than any other month. Aisha, may God be pleased with her, who is one of the mothers of the believers and a transmitter of Hadith reported:

“The Messenger (ﷺ) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Shaban” (Sahih al-Bukhari). 

In addition, Shaban is the last month in which one can make up obligatory fast from the previous year one might have missed due to traveling, sickness, pregnancy or natural body functioning.

Aisha narrated: “One of us (women) would miss some fasts in Ramadan and she would not be able to make it up until Sha’ban began…” (Sunan an-Nasa’i). 

The scholars in Islam differ on whether the 15th of Sha’ban is more significant than any other. The 15th is considered one of the ‘white days’ (al-ayyam al’bid) which are the 13th, 14th and 15th of each month when the moon is full and shines brightly. Many Muslims will fast during the “white days” of each month.

One of the Companions who first embraced Islam and became a transmitter of hadith, Abu Huraira, may God be pleased with him, was reported that the Prophet advised him to do three things: 

“Fast for three days every month, perform two rakats of Duha prayers and pray witr before sleep” (Sahih Al-Bukhari). 

May Allah guide us to pursue the benefits of Shaban. “O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Shaban, and let us reach Ramadan.”


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