The Month Of Sha’baan
As we witness the days of Sha’baan, we may be asking whether there are any specific virtues attached to this month. Also, what the ruling is on singling out the middle of Sha’baan for worship such as fasting, prayers, recitation of the Qur’aan and other devotional acts. Indeed Sha’baan has virtues attached to it.
Fasting in this month has been mentioned in a hadeeth related by Umm Salamah and ‘Aa’ishah, (radiya Allaahu ‘anhumma). Aa’ishah stated that:
“Muhammad, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), never used to fast a month more than Sha’baan, he used to fast it (all) except for a few days, indeed he used to fast it all.” [Agreed Upon]
Imaam Ash-Shawkaanee, said: “and these narrations have been compiled together to mean that Allaah’s Messenger, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), observed fast in most or the majority of the days.”
Usaamah ibn Zayd, (radiya Allaahu ‘anhu), said, ‘I said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I never saw you fasting in a month from among the months as you fast in Sha’baan.” He replied,
“That is a month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadaan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting.”
Singling out the 15th of Sha’baan with particular acts of worship, such as praying the whole night or fasting the day, increasing upon one’s daily recitation of the Qur’aan, reading a particular Soorah like Yaa’ Seen, adopting a particular du’aa or anything similar, through which a person believes he will secure Allaah’s approval, are nothing but unsubstantiated claims. There is no authentic evidence
confirming that they were practiced by the best of those prayed, observed fast and performed Hajj – Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).
The Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), is the one who conveyed the Message and fulfilled the responsibility of teaching us all the acts of worship. He passed away after he had fulfilled his duty of informing the Ummah of the established Truth, which is as clearly set apart from falsehood as night is from day and from whom none deviates except one doomed to perish. So, whoever comes up with a new act of worship after the death of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), such as the aforementioned ones, has in fact ended up falling into innovation and thus his deed is entirely rejected. Allaah’s Messenger, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), stated in the hadeeth narrated by Al-Bukhaaree that,
“If someone innovates something, which is not in harmony with this matter of ours [the religion of Islaam] that thing is rejected.”
Therefore, Muslims should be very cautious about innovations and superstitions (fables) because the one who innovates has actually ordained a new law which, in reality, amounts to affirming a shortcoming in the rules and regulations set out by Allaah, (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). By these incorrect actions, they have in essence, declared their doubt of the conveyance of the message by the Best of Messengers. For if one believes in the perfection of this religion and the completion of Allaah’s favour, one would never dare attempt to incorporate changes in it, whether it be through speech or action.
Imaam Maalik, (rahimahu Allaah), clarified this when he said,
“Whoever innovated in Islaam an act which he deems to be good, has indeed alleged that Muhammad, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), has betrayed his mission because Allaah, (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala), says:
“…This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you as religion Al-Islaam…”
Hence, what was not part of the religion then, can never be a part of the religion today.
Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee, (rahimahu Allaah), said, “Whoever approved (a new act of worship) has in reality ordained a divine law.”
Imaam Ahmad, (rahimahu Allaah), said, “The fundamentals of the Sunnah in our sight are to hold on to what the Companions of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), have been practicing, to follow them and to abandon any innovation, for every innovated matter is a perversion.”
An innovator in fact approves of all such acts by holding them to be correct in his mind and heart and by expressing his personal opinions. These two factors can neither make lawful what is forbidden nor forbid that which is lawful without a divine law.
Brothers and sisters, we must therefore be very careful. It is worth noting that sincere intentions regarding any matter are not sufficient for a Muslim if they are not accompanied by the right action, the action that follows the rules set forth by Allaah, (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) and his Messenger, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).