In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful
For those of us who want to take a step and get closer to Allah, there is a special and opportune season. In this period of time one’s efforts and attempts are more rewarded and the journey towards Allah gets quicker. The scent of divinity and the tune of the Quran are spread everywhere. The golden opportunity of dawn (sahar) becomes more important. Righteous people identify the months of Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan as the spring of the heart.
According to some the Ahadith, the first one is the month of Velayat, the second month is the month of Prophethood and the third month is the month of Allah.
فقد روي عن أمير المؤمنين ع أنه كان يصومه (رجب) و يقول شهر رجب شهري و شعبان شهر رسول الله ص و شهر رمضان شهر الله عز و جل
It is narrated about the Commander of the Faithful that he would fast in the month of Rajab and he is narrated to have said, “The month of Rajab is my month and the month of Shaban is the month of Messenger of Allah and the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah Almighty.” 1
According to some Islamic scholars, most of the people who wanted to start a special program for refinement of their souls and to purify themselves, implemented a forty day plan within these months.2
So the wayfarers towards Allah in the month of Shaban are in the middle of this spring and if they have used the opportunity of Rajab, they have already achieved a certain level of proximity to Allah. They can continue their ways and add to it by prayers, worship and recitation of the Quran. Even if some of us were lazy in the month of Rajab we can make up for our shortage in the month of Shabaan and prepare ourselves for the upcoming month of Ramadan.
The month of Shaban is really valuable and a lot of our Ahadith point to the significance of this great month. Some of our great scholars and narrators of Ahadith like Shaikh Saduq have gathered these Ahadith in a book and in order to remind ourselves of the high rank of this month we narrate some of them here:
الصدوق بسنده عن ابن عباس قالقال رسول الله ص و قد تذاكروا عنده فضائل شعبان فقال شهر شريف و هو شهري و حملة العرش تعظمه و تعرف حقه و هو شهر يزاد فيه أرزاق المؤمنين و هو شهر العمل فيه يضاعف الحسنة بسبعين و السيئة محطوطة و الذنب مغفور و الحسنة مقبولة و الجبار جل جلاله يباهي فيه بعباده و ينظر إلى صيامه و صوامه و قوامه و قيامه فيباهي به حملة العرش
فقام علي بن أبي طالب ع فقال بأبي أنت و أمي يا رسول الله صف لنا شيئا من فضائله لنزداد رغبة في صيامه و قيامه و لنجتهد للجليل عز و جل فيه
فقال النبي ص من صام أول يوم من شعبان كتب الله له سبعين حسنة تعدل عبادة سنة ....
و من صام ثلاثين يوما من شعبان ناداه جبرئيل من قدام العرش: يا هذا استأنف العمل عملا جديدا فقد غفر لك ما مضى و تقدم من ذنوبك
Sheikh Saduq narrates from Ibn Abbas with the chain of narration, “In the presence of Prophet Mohammad we discussed the greatness of the month of Shaban. Prophet Mohammad said, “It is an honorable month and it is my month. The carriers of the throne of Allah respect it and know its great magnitude. The blessings for the faithful increase in this month. This month is the month of performing actions, so the reward of good actions is seventy times more (than other months). The evil gets cleansed and sins get forgiven and the good deeds are accepted. Allah is proud of his servants. (In this month) Allah looks at the fast of those who fast and the worship of worshipper and boasts about it to the carriers of His throne.”3
At that moment Ali Ibn Abu Talib stood up and asked, “May my mother and father be sacrificed before you, please tell us some of the virtues of this month so we are encouraged to pray and fast more and strive more in the way of our Beloved Lord.” Then the Prophet started with some of the rewards of fasting in this month and said, “Anyone who fasts on the first day, Allah gives him seventy rewards each equal to the reward of one year of worship….” And at the end he said, “Anyone who fasts all the thirty days of Shaban, Gabriel calls out to him from the front of Allah’s throne and says, “Start your life anew! Allah has forgiven all the sins that you had done!”4
الصدوق بسنده عن ابی عبد الله ع سمعت أبي قال:كان أبي زين العابدين ع إذا اهل شعبان جمع أصحابه فقال معاشر أصحابي أ تدرون أي شهر هذا؟ هذا شهر شعبان و كان رسول الله ص يقول: شعبان شهري ألا فصوموا فيه محبة لنبيكم و تقربا إلى ربكم فو الذي نفس علي بن الحسين بيده لسمعت أبي الحسين بن علي يقول سمعت أمير المؤمنين ع يقول: من صام شعبان محبة نبي الله ع و تقربا إلى الله عز و جل أحبه الله عز و جل و قربه من كرامته يوم القيامة و أوجب له الجنة
In another hadith Saduq narrates from our sixth Imam that he said, “My father told me that his father gathered all of his companions on the first of Shaban and he said, “Do you know what month is this month? This month is the month of Shaban. About this month Prophet Mohammad has said, “Shaban is my special month. Be aware and fast in this month to get closer to Allah, for the love of your Prophet.”
I swear by Allah who holds my life in His Hand, I heard from my father, Imam Husayn and he said, “I heard my father Ali Ibn Abu Talib say, “Anyone who fasts in this month for the love of the Prophet and wants to get closer to Allah, Allah will make heaven obligatory for him.”5
About the month of Shaban, the great scholar Ayatollah Mirza Javad Maleki Tabrizi in his book of Almoraqebat said,
“This month is extremely valuable for the seekers of Allah. One of the nights that could be the Night of Qadr is in this month. From the time that Adam came to earth, God promised all of His messengers that victory will be in the hands of the man who will be born in this night (the fifteenth night). Also God promised that He will fill the earth with justice after it will be filled with oppression and cruelty.”
About the importance of this month it is enough to know that the Prophet has said,
شعبان شهري، رحم اللّه من اعانني على شهري”
“This month is my month and may Allah bless those who help me in this month”
Whoever hears this invitation must strive to respond to it and be included amongst the invited ones. His brother and his successor said,
«ما فاتني صوم شعبان مذ سمعت منادي رسول اللّه صلّى اللّه عليه و آله و سلّم ينادي في شعبان، فلن يفوتني ايام حياتي ان شاء اللّه»
“I have not missed the fasting in Shaban from the time that I heard someone calling out at the Prophet’s order (to encourage people for the fasting in Shaban) and I will not miss it until the end of my life Insha’Allah”.
By this hadith you can understand the significance of fasting over praying, donation and other good deeds.6
One of the Mostahabaat that are highly encouraged in this month is a Salawat that has been narrated from Imam Zein Al-Abedin. This salawat is not only a religious masterpiece or a lovely supplication with Allah, but it is also a deep sea of theology and knowledge. Its teachings are primarily about the Imamat and its high position in Islam.
I had a chance to speak on Iran’s national TV about the Salawat Shabaniyeh but unfortunately the program was very short and the information that I could gather from the Quran and Ahadith was more than could be delivered in the program. So, I decided to publish it in a small booklet for anyone who wants to take benefit from the seas of the knowledge of the Ahlul Bayt.
The fourth of Shaban 1428 A.H
Seyed Mahmoud Madani