The month of Shabaan and getting ready for the month of Ramadhaan

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Allah Ta’ala has created out of nothing all things which we see and which we do not. The heavens, the earth, water, angels, man, wild animals, satan the outcast, time and the pen of destiny are among His creations. To fashion a universe, innumerable creations and things have to be assembled. In the world of creation, Allah Ta’ala has wished to express His Majesty and splendor through differences between light and darkness, the forces of good and those of evil, dry land and open space, the lion and the sheep, man and the angels, the prophets and the disbelievers, fertile soil and the desert, rich and poor, paradise and hell, the Masjid or the Holy House (Ka’bah) and the market places, and so on.

It is by Devine decree that some have been favored above others. This has been done principally to make us understand the different ranks which will exist in eternity. Allah Ta’ala has stated: “See how We favor some above others. And in the Hereafter, there will be higher ranks and privileges.” (Al-Isra: 21)

And it is in this allotment by Allah that man has been designated above all other creations. Allah Ta’ala has stated: “We have indeed honored the sons of Adam. We have carried them on land and sea, have assigned for them good things as food, and We have distinctly preferred them above many of Our creatures.” (Al-Isra: 70). Allah Ta’ala has fashioned man with “His own Hands” (in the figurative sense). Allah told satan: “O Iblis! What made you refuse to bow down before what I have created with My Hands.” (Saad: 75)

There are, for man, several instructions for various circumstances and at different times.

Some places and some months, days and hours are more sacred and carry with them more benefits than others. Among months that He has created, the month of Ramadhaan is the most outstanding. It is precisely during this month that the inspiration of the light of revelation started in the cave of Hira. And the Prophet (saw) used to start preparations for the month of Ramadhan as soon as the moon of Shabaan appeared, that is, two months in advance. Ramadhaan requires preparations for both body and soul.

The Fast of Shabaan

The fast of Ramadhaan (the third pillar of Islam) also necessitates a preparation. To be in good shape during the fast of Ramadhaan, a few days of fasting in the month of Shabaan allow our body to be ready for the blessed month.

That is why Prpohet Muhammad (saw) used to fast during the days of Shabaan. Hazrat Ayesha (ra), mother of believers, has narrated that the beloved holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to observe much fasting during the month of Shabaan. (Bukhari). Save for a few last days, he used to fast during the whole month of Shabaan.

Whenever the Prophet of Allah (saw) fasted during that month, our mother Hazrat Ayesha (ra) used to follow his example and fast herself and take opportunity to replace fasts missed during the previous Ramadhaan. She relates: I had to observe some fasts of Ramadhaan and (during the whole year) I was busy in the service of the Prophet (saw) and could not replace them except in the month of Shabaan. (Bukhari)

It was only during the month of Shabaan that she could free herself from her duties and hence replace the fasts she had missed on account of her monthly period.

Shab-e-Baraat or 15th night of Shabaan

Several accounts taken from various volumes of hadith reveal the virtues of the night of Shab-e-Baraat or 15th night of Shabaan. It is a night during which Allah Ta’ala forgives without reckoning. (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah). Forgiveness and mercy are present during the whole night. Through prayer 9salah) and invocations (duah), one can obtain one’s forgiveness and salvation from Allah Ta’ala.

Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions to Allah’s mercy even during that night: idolaters, those who have severed family ties, those who harbor resentment against others, those who disobey their parents, men who allow their trousers to fall below their ankles, and alcoholics. (Shu’abul Imaan)

The dua (prayer), which is recited in order to reach the month of Ramadhaan in good health, is as follows: Allahoumma barik Allahoumma sallimni li ramadhana wa sallim ramadhana li wa sallimhou li moutaqabbala. (Kanzul `ummal)

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