Each of the months of the lunar calendar holds its own importance. Although all the acts of worship done with pure intentions are rewarded well at all times, for some acts, certain periods are more favored than others.
Ramadan is the blessed month in which Holy Qur’an was revealed and fasting has been made obligatory for all Muslims, while Rajab is one of the four sacred months. Between these two blessed months is the month of Shaban. This month used to get neglected. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), however, used to fast on many days during this month. It is narrated by Usamah bin Zaid:
“I said: ‘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.” [Nasai]
Fasting in this month is a Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H). Hazrat Aisha (R.A) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to fast until we would say, ‘he never breaks his fast (i.e. he never stops fasting)’, and he would abandon fasting (at other times) until we would say that he never fasts. I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) fast for a complete month except for the month of Ramadan, and I never saw him fast in a month more than he did in the month of Sha’ban.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Fasting is a worship which is especially appreciated by Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala. In a hadith Qudsi, the Lord of the Worlds says:
“Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…” [Bukhari and Muslim]
And, in this blessed month of Shaban, this mode of worship is stressed upon by the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H). He used to observe more voluntary fasts in this month than any other of the year. Since he was sent as a role model to be followed, we should also try to observe voluntary fasts in Shaban.
Also, since the month of Shaban is immediately followed by Ramadan which requires us to fast every day and encourages us to perform the deeds to please Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala, this month is a good time to start practicing the righteous deeds one will be undertaking in the holy month of Ramadan. This is a suitable period to pay attention to our conduct and analyze ourselves before we enter into the month of Qur’an revelation and obligatory fasts.
May Allah help us improve ourselves and accept all forms of our worships.