The month of Sha’bân is one of the meritorious months for which we find some peculiar instructions in the Sunnah of Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is reported in the authentic Ahadith that Rasûlullâh  (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to fast most of the month in Sha’bân. These fasts were not obligatory upon him but Sha’bân is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadân. Therefore, some preparatory measures are suggested by Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) through his oral instructions and his practice. Some of these are given below:


  1. The blessed companion Anas RA  reports that Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was asked, “Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadân?” He replied: “The fast of Sha’bân in honour of Ramadân.” [Tirmidhi; P. 45, V.2 – Dar Al Gharb]


  1. The blessed companion Usama bin Zaid RA  reports that he asked Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) : “O Messenger of Allâh, I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha’bân so frequently that I have never seen you fasting so much in any other month.” Rasûlullâh  (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: “That (Sha’bân) is a month between Rajab and Ramadân which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe. So, I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting.” [Ahmed, Ibn Abi Shaibah; P. 127, V. 1 – Dar Al Watn]


  1. Ummul Mu’mineen Aisha RA says: “Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would sometimes begin to fast continuously until we thought he would not stop fasting, and sometimes he used to stop fasting until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allâh fasting a complete month, except the month of Ramadân, and I never saw him fasting in a month more frequently than he did in Sha’bân. [Bukhari; P. 38, V. 3 – Dar Tauq An Najah]

These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Sha’bân, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not like to miss it.

But it should be kept in mind that the fasts of Sha’bân are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency in the obligatory fasts of Ramadân. Therefore, if one fears that after fasting in Sha’bân, one will lose strength or vigour for the fasts of Ramadân and will not be able to fast in it with freshness, one should not fast in the month of Sha’bân, because the fasts of Ramadân, being obligatory, are more important than the optional fasts of Sha’bân. That is why Rasûlullâh  (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself has forbidden the Muslims from fasting one or two days immediately before the commencement of Ramadân. The blessed companion Abu Hurairah RA reports Rasûlullâh  (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to have said: “Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha’bân has gone.” [Abu-Daud, Tirmidhi; P. 107, V.2 – Dar Al Gharb]

According to another report, Rasûlullâh  (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “Do not precede the month of Ramadân with one or two fasts.” [Abu-Daud; P. 300, V. 2 – Al Asriyyah]

The gist of the above quoted Ahâdith is that Rasûlullâh  (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself used to fast most of the month of Sha’bân, because he had no apprehension of weakness or weariness before the commencement of Ramadân. As for others, he ordered them not to fast after the fifteenth of Sha’bân for the fear that they would lose their strength and freshness before Ramadân starts, and would not be able to welcome the month of Ramadân with enthusiasm.

[Madrasah Arabia Islamia]

Check Also