Shaban month in Islamic calendar is the eight month that precedes the holy month of Ramadan. People widely celebrate the month for Shab-e-Barat or 15th of Shaban. Fasting during Shaban is recommended for those seeking forgiveness and praise Allah, the Almighty.In this month, Muslims prepare for the prolonged fasting of Ramadan by eating nutritious food and praying for long hours. Shaban acts as a bridge between the sacred month of Rajab and the holy month of Ramadan. Scholars narrate that Rajab is the month of planting, Shaban is for cultivation, and Ramadan is for harvesting. Therefore, good deeds and charity should be planned in Rajab, and performed in Shaban. The blessings of all kind deed is enjoyed in Ramadan.
Meaning of Shaban
The literal meaning of the word Shaban is ‘dispersion’ or ‘separation’. In the past, Arab tribes used to disperse and look out for water and oasis during this month. They did this to prepare for the heat following the month. Shaban gave hope and optimism to bear the heat that prevailed in Ramadan. In the modern world, Shaban metaphorically continues the traditions of preparations, but today, for the long fasting days of Ramadan.
Shaban 2023 dates: Shaban month 2023 will begin from the 22nd Feb and will end on 22nd March. The 15th of Shaban will fall on 8th March 2023.
Shaban month importance
Shaban has many virtues, among which fasting makes the way to reach Allah. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to fast more in Shaban than any other month (Ramadan being the exception).
The Prophet on Shaban:
“It is a month where people tend to neglect, between the months of Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the worlds, and I like my deeds to be raised while I am fasting.”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) learned about the Surah Al Ahzab, the 56th verse of the Holy Quran in Shaban. The surah aims at revealing the benefits and rewards of praying to Allah. Additionally, the Muslims used to pray towards Qibla located in Masjid Al Aqsa. Allah later revealed to the Prophet that he and all the believers of Islam should face Masjid Al Haram as the correct direction during Namaz. Also, the birth of Abbas Ibn Ali is celebrated on 4 Shaban.
Upon the question from Usamah ibn Zaid related to increased fasting in the month of Shaban by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Prophet Muhammad 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.” (An-Nasa’i)
As Ramadan is the month of harvesting good deeds, fasting before and after multiplies the harvest. Therefore, fasting during Shaban and Shawwal is highly beneficial and rewarding. Fasting in the month of Shaban fetches blessings far and beyond. Along with Shaban fasting, Muslims should pray to Allah and recite the holy Quran for asking His permission to keep the fasts and be blessed in Ramadan.
Importance of 15th of Shaban
The 15th of Shaban or Shab-e-Barat is the night people use to seek forgiveness for the deceased. Shaban itself is a month in which good deeds are raised and brought in light to Allah, the all knowing. Therefore, praying for forgiveness and blessings paves the path to Jannah (Heaven). People can also fast on 15th of Shaban but it is not obligatory to fast on Shab-e-barat.
Abū Mūsa al-Ash’arī says that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told:
“Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven on the night of the middle of Sha’bān and forgives the occupants of the Earth except for the one who associates partners with Allāh and one who harbors enmity.”
Fasting on 15 Shaban
One cannot simply fast on 15th of Shaban for its religious significance. As, fasting on 15th of Shaban will lead to invention in the religion that is strictly forbidden in Islam. However, fasting on 13, 14, 15 Shaban can be done only if it falls on the days of fasting in a week allocated in Islam.
Dua for Shaban month
Muslims should recite the given dua for 1000 times in the month of Shaban:
لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ ٱللَّهُ وَلاَ نَعْبُدُ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ ٱلْمُشْرِكُون
Meaning – “There is no god save Allah. We do not worship save ‘He’ alone, making religion pure for Him (only) However, the disbelievers are averse.”
Further, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked people to conduct four units of rakats a day and recite Surah al Tawheed for 50 times after Surah Al Hamad. This will bestow easy death when the time comes for a Muslim.
Benefits of Shaban month 2023
As mentioned, performing good deeds and praying to the almighty is more rewarding than any month except Ramadan. However, there are countless benefits that an individual can enjoy during the month of Shaban. Some of which are:
1. The month to seek forgiveness
The all-merciful, Allah, forgives His creations who offer sincere prayer with remorse. Allah accepts every offering with love. One needs to be aware of their sins with faith in Allah’s mercy and do the needful deeds of praying, reciting the Quran, and charity during Shaban. The all-forgiving pardons His subjects who have pure hearts.
2. Allah answers the prayers in Shaban month
To be at peace and blissful, prayers are an ideal instrument to speak to Almighty Allah. The almighty admire and acknowledge the recitations of duas and sincere supplications in Shaban. Angels keep the record of an individual’s prayers and narrate the proceedings they find on earth to Allah. Hence, Shaban intensifies the rewards of prayers, and Allah answers most of these prayers.
3. Shaban hadith on advantages of the month
With the virtues of Shaban, the month is ideal for coming close to Allah. There are several Shaban hadiths narrating the benefits of the month of Shaban.
Abu Tha`labah Al-Khushni narrates that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told:
“When it is the night of the middle of Sha`ban, Allah looks down on His creation and forgives the believers, prolongs hope for the disbelievers and leaves the spiteful to their rancor until they desert it.” (At-Tabarani)
Cultural Practices and Traditions
The observance of Sha’ban, like other Islamic months, can vary significantly among different cultures and regions with Muslim populations. Cultural practices and traditions during Sha’ban often reflect local customs and historical influences. These may include special foods, decorations, communal gatherings, storytelling sessions, and acts of charity that enhance the sense of community and spirituality during the month.
Connection to Ramadan
Sha’ban serves as a bridge between Rajab and Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a month of preparation, both spiritually and physically, for the arrival of Ramadan. Muslims use Sha’ban to increase their devotion, seek forgiveness for their sins, and engage in acts of worship to get ready for the fasting, increased prayer, and heightened spirituality that Ramadan entails. The observance of Sha’ban helps Muslims transition smoothly into the holiest month of Ramadan, where fasting from dawn to sunset is obligatory for adult Muslims.
Shaban is the month of repentance, showing gratitude, and seeking rewards from Allah. It is the month of preparations and making amends before the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims all over the world should make full use of Shaban month 2023 to enjoy the blessings of Allah, the Almighty.
Shaban Month 2023 FAQs
When will the Shaban month begin in 2023?
The month of Shaban 2023 will last from 22nd Feb to 22nd March.
What is the date for Shab-e-barat or 15th Shaban in 2023?
The date for Shab-e-barat in 2023 is 8th March.
What can an individual do in Shaban?
People should fast, perform charity and do good deeds in Shaban.
Which is the month in which qibla was changed?
Qibla was changed from Al Aqsa to Al haram in Shaban.
What is the meaning of Shaban?
Shaban is the eight month of the lunar calendar which means separation or dispersion.
What is the significance of the Islamic month of Shaban?
Shaban is the month of preparation for the month of Ramadan. Therefore, Muslims fast and indulge in devotional activities.
Is there a specific religious importance attached to the 15th night of Shaban?
It is considered a night of special significance and blessings. Many Muslims believe that on this night, Allah decrees the destiny of individuals for the coming year, forgives sins of those who repent sincerely, and grants His mercy and blessings. As a result, Muslims often engage in extra acts of worship and seek forgiveness during this night.
How does the observance of Shaban differ from other Islamic months?
Are there any recommended acts of worship or special prayers during the month of Shaban?
The acts that Muslims engage in are fasting, prayers, charity, and repentance.