The Month of Shaaban and Misconceptions Related to its Virtues

Based on the ahadith of the Prophet and the interpretation of the ahadith, it is mustahab to fast a great deal in the month of Shaa’ban.  It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast the whole of Sha’baan.

Ahmad (26022), Abu Dawood (2336), al-Nasaa’i (2175) and Ibn Maajah (1648) narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fast two consecutive months apart from the fact that he used to join Shaa’ban and Ramadan.”

However, there are many other practices related to the month of Shaaban common among Muslims that are not supported by any authentic hadith of the prophet (s). This post summarizes some of those mistakenly held beliefs. Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said: “Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed those ahadeeth of the prophet (s) as da’eef (weak), and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh.” (Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261.)

Similar to other matters, care should be taken to verify those ahadeeth, even though some of those ahadeeth mention a chain of narrators. As Muslims, we have been cautioned to not attribute anything to the prophet (s) that he (s) did not say. It makes no difference whether such an attribution is intended for good or for evil intentions. We see that in the stern warning contained in the words of the prophet (s.a.w.) in which he said: “Whoever tells a lie about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari, 10; Muslim, 4.) (Source: islamqa.info).

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Here is an explanation of some of those mistakenly held beliefs and the various explanations of the known scholars of Ahl-us-Sunnah (followers of the Sunnah of the prophet.)

No special virtues for middle of Shabaan

One of the very common but mistaken beliefs has to do with attributing special virtues to the 15th of the month of Shaaban. The reality, however, is that the hadith literature lacks the evidence of any authentic ahadith related to this topic. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen states the following:

There is no saheeh marfoo’ report (A Hadith that traces a statement directly to the Noble Prophet (saw) without any break in the chain of reporters) that speaks of the virtue of the middle of Sha’baan that may be followed, not even  in the chapters on al-Fadaa’il (chapters on virtues in books of hadeeth etc.). Some maqtoo’ reports (reports whose chain of narrations do not go back further than the time of Taabi’een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi’een, and there are some ahaadeeth, the best of which are mawdoo’ (fabricated) or da’eef jiddan (very weak). These (weak) reports suggest that people’s lifespans are written on that day or that it is decided on that day who is to die in the coming year. On this basis (lack of any authentic hadith), it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. One should not be deceived by (such ignorance)… And Allah knows best.

Singling out the Middle of Shaaban for special worship is not allowed

Based on the above, therefore, the middle of the month of Shaaban should not be singled out for special worship. In this context, the scholars have stated the following:

if a person wants to pray qiyaam on this night as he does on other nights – without doing anything extra or singling this night out for anything – then that is fine. The same applies if he fasts the day of the fifteenth of Shaaban because it happens to be one of the ayyaam al-beed, along with the fourteenth and thirteenth of the month, or because it happens to be a Monday or Thursday. If the fifteenth (of Shaaban ) coincides with a Monday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with that (fasting on that day), so long as he is not seeking extra reward that has not been proven (in the saheeh hadith texts).” (islamqa.info)

Fasting on the last day of Shaaban is not allowed

The third issue has to do with fasting on the last day of Shaaban, which is also referred to as the “day of doubt.” It is so called because at times it is not possible to ascertain whether that day is the start of Ramadan or not. There are a number of ahadith and scholarly opinions on this issue some of which are as follows:

‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir said: “Whoever fasts on the day concerning which there is doubt has disobeyed Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” This was narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 553.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: “It was understood from this that it is haraam to fast the day of doubt, because the Sahaabah would not say such a thing based on personal opinion, so a report such as this has the same status as a marfoo’ hadeeth. 

The Prophet (S) said: “Do not anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it begins, but if a man habitually fasts, then let him fast.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1914; Muslim, 1082. So if a person is used to fasting on Mondays, for example, and that coincides with the last day of Sha’baan, then it is permissible for him to observe that as a voluntary fast and it is not forbidden for him to do so.

The scholars have stated concerning the day of doubt, “The Sunnah indicates that it is haraam to fast this day (last day of Shaaban).” (Fataawa al-Lajnah, 10/117). 

Weakness of the Hadith Related to Forgiveness on the 15th of Shaaban

A weak hadith that is circulated on this issue states that it was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbors hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1390. (The “one who harbors hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother.)

There is some scholarly difference of opinion as to the soundness of such ahaadeeth. There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban, especially as it relates to Allah descending to forgive sins. For such ahadith, the isnaads (chain of narrations) are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak. Many other scholars have attributed this hadith to be as weak because of the weakness of the chain of narrators.

The scholars have maintained that Allah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Shaaban is included in this general meaning.

Hence, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allah on the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban, he said to the one who asked him: “…The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!” (Narrated by Abu ‘Uthmaan al-Saabooni in I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah, no. 92.)

Source: islamqa.info

— End

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20 comments… add one
  • Mudassir Garba Othman

    This is a good reminder, thank you very much, I really appreciate all your posts. May Allah continue to guide us Ameen.

  • Sameena

    Alhamdulillah! JazkAllah Khair for clarifying the misconceptions about Shaaban. In the eagerness to gain as many rewards as possible, many Muslims do that which is not supported by the Prophet’s (SAWS) Sunnah or ahadeeth. We should realise that the greatest reward for a Muslim lies in obedience of Allah’s Laws which include following the instructions of the Prophet (SAWS). May Allah Guide us and enable us to do that which He (SWT) Favors and Accepts – Aameen.

  • Jazakum Allah Khair for the nice and important clarification.
    Best Regards,

  • SYED SHAHEEN AKHTAR

    JAZAKALLAH E KHAIR FOR GIVING US THIS INFORMATION.ALLAH BLESS ALL THE MOMINS AND MUSLIMS. SHAHEEN

  • Abdulwasiu Junaid

    Jazakallah khayran for this info, may Allah let us witness the coming Ramadan in sha Allah

  • hafsa

    waaleykum salaam, jazakallah for the wonderful reminder may Allah bless us in this month of shaaban and make us to be among those who will witness the coming ramadhan in shaa Allah……..Allah bless you

  • Amina

    Jazajakallah khairan and may Allah guide us aright and make us among those that will witness and perform the fasting of the holy month of Ramadan amin. may Allah also continue to give you the wisdom and perseverance to continue educating the Ummah

  • sayed reshma

    Jazakum Allah Khair for the nice and important clarification.
    Best Regards,

  • Aisha Bakari

    May Allah bless and reward you . Any deed that is not according to prophet is not accepted in Islam

  • Tijani A. Ibraheem

    May Allah appreciate u more than any one as prayed. May Allah spear n sustain your life in the course of goodness. May Allah protect u n ur family and enrich u more with beneficial knowledge.
    Jazaka ALLAHu khayra.

  • Alhassan Ibrahim

    May the Almighty Allah bless you and put Barka in your efforts. I really appreciate your articles and it has been beneficial.

  • Tanweer

    Thanks a lot for such informative text. May Allah show us the straight path and hidaya us to follow and pass our lives as per Holy Quran and sunnah of our brloved prophet pbu
    Amin

  • Shirin

    Jazak Allah khair. May Allah bless all muslims in the holy month of ramadan. Ameen

  • MOHAMED TURAY

    Thanks for the educative article which is a must-read for all Muslims.Thought we are anxious to reap substantial rewards from Almighty Allah, we should at the same time be careful not to do unacceptable/un-islamic practices. May God Almighty and the Islamic authorities guide us in the right path or directions. May the Holy Month of Ramadan meet us well. Ameen! Once again, SHUKRAN. Allah bless and reward you abundantly.

  • Abu Moosa

    Thanks a lot, it’s a great reminder that Muslims should always follow the Holy Prophet and obey Allah and his words(Quran). We should never practice Bidah at any cost. Had we followed the above two properly, there wouldn’t have been so many man-made sects in Islam(sunni, shia, shafi,ismaili). I am proud to call myself “Muslim” and my religion “Islam”. I will never stamp any sect names when I mention I am Muslim because it directly violates the Quran’s verse : “As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no part in them in the least: Their affair is with Allah. He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did. [Al-Qur’an 6:159]” Read and understand Quran deeply for only Allah could give Muslims guidance, not the imams nor the scholars nor the rebellions who do mischief in the name of Islam. “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger” [Al-Qur’an 4:59]

  • Abdulbasit Hassan

    I ALWAYS APPRECIATE ALL YOUR POST(ADMONISION)
    Jazakumullahu khairan.
    May Allah reward you abundantly.
    thank’s alot.

  • Absolutely gorgeous remainder…May D Almighty Infinity protect us 4rm all Acts dat has no Basis.
    Jazaka’allahukhair!!!

  • Muhammad Alfa

    Jazakumun Allahu khairan. I think every true Muslim should be happy getting associated with you and also admonish others to do same. Your bold effort in presenting Islam to fellow brothers and sisters with the hope of emancipating them from the darkness of ignorance to the true light of Islam can only be rewarded by Allah. May Allah reward you abundantly. Ameen.

  • Mumin

    Thanks so much for this clarification I had plans and was informed by my friend to fast on this special day .

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