Shaꜥbān

The Month of the Messenger of God ﷺ

A Foreword by Habib Abu Bakr al-ꜥAdani

The month of Shaꜥban comes by and it is the month of the Prophet ﷺ because the Prophet ﷺ was granted special distinctions and honours in this month.
The first distinction he was granted was the revelation of the Verse,
Verily, God and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him a worthy salutation of peace.[33:56]
and this Verse was revealed in the month of Shaꜥban . And the reason he ﷺ mentions that this is his ﷺ month, is because his ﷺ affairs were made manifest, news of him ﷺ was made apparent; in the world of this life, in the hidden inner worlds, in the worlds of the Afterlife, in the worlds of the Divine Dominion [malakut].
The Real [al-Haqq], Transcendent and Most High is He, in His Divine Dominion, sends blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ. The Angels send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ.
What does this mean?
It means that this servant ﷺ was honoured in the Realm of the Divine Dominion, and that his ﷺ status and value were made well-known.
No one is praised for no reason!
And no one is revered for something they don’t deserve!”

From the text, ‘The Treasure of Triumph and Delight’, of the orator and eloquent speaker, Shaykh ꜥAbd al-Ḥamīd ibn Muḥammad ibn ꜥAbd al-Qādir Quds al-Makkī ash-Shāfiꜥī:

An Exposition of the Desired Deeds to be Performed in this Blessed and Sacred Month

Know well, that the gracious month of Shaꜥbān is numbered amongst the esteemed months; it is a month of renowned blessings, its goodness is abundant, repenting within it is from the mightiest righteous spoils, and acts of obedience within it are from the greatest winning trades. God the Most High has made it an arena within which is placed the safety for those who repent.

Whosoever accustoms themselves to striving within it, has triumphed in Ramadan with the most perfect training.

It is the month of the Prophet ﷺ, as has been mentioned in the Tradition that we passed before whereby he ﷺ said, “And Shaꜥbān is my month.”[1]

It is the month within which the moon was split (as a mighty miracle) for the Prophet ﷺ, and it is the month of reciting Prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ – as was mentioned in “Tuḥfat ul-Ikhwān[2]– so increase in your reciting prayers of blessings and peace upon him ﷺ, my dear brothers, in all times; especially in the month of your Prophet ﷺ, Shaꜥbān.

 

The Night of mid-Shaꜥbān

In the Night of mid-Shaꜥbān, the lifespans of each servant are determined, and proximity and remoteness (to God) are decreed therein.

It has been related in “Tuḥfat ul-Ikhwān“:

It has been narrated from ꜥAṭā’ ibn Yasār (God be pleased with him) that he said, “If the night of mid-Shaꜥbān arrives, the Angel of Death writes down who shall die from one Shaꜥbān to the next. A man may indulge in wrongdoing and immorality, marry women, plant trees and his name will be removed from the living and transferred to the dying. There is no night better than the Night of mid-Shaꜥbān, other than the Night of Destiny.”

Know, also, that the Decree of God the Most High is not changed nor altered after it has been announced to the Angels, upon them peace and blessings, and nor is it contradicted before it is announced and transcribed in the (Guarded) Tablets; for verily God ﷻ erases from it and establishes whatsoever He wills.

It has been narrated through sayings of the Righteous Ones, and singular-chained Traditions support their sayings, that God ﷻ decrees on this blessed night every lifespan, action, sustenance and the likes thereof[3]. In most narrations, it is narrowed down to being only lifespans that are decreed on this night.

 

The Wisdom behind specifying this night for altering the Scroll of the Dead

It is for the purpose of inspiring fear and hope, so the one who is legally accountable[4] hopes to seek its goodness before the night arrives, fears the oncoming of any harm, and strives in performing more acts of obedience – it may be that God ﷻ will Decree his or her happiness on that night.

Thus, will also be one’s state after that night passes; a fear that one’s name has been written on the Scroll of the Dead for that year, so that one prepares themselves for meeting God ﷻ; and this is the highest concern of the Successful Ones.

The author of ” Tuḥfat ul-Ikhwān” said:

“The Messenger of God ﷺ said, “Truly, God forgives all the Muslims on this night except for the fortune tellers, the sorcerers, people filled with malice, the alcoholics or those who are disobedient to their parents.”

The author then mentioned multiple Traditions until he said:

“It has been collated from all the various narrations that those who are denied from receiving forgiveness and mercy (on that night) include the idolaters, people full of hatred and malice, those who take unlawful taxes[5], murderers, people who cut off familial ties, those who arrogantly let their garments hang beyond their ankles (in a show of pride), fornicators and adulterers, drinkers of wine, slanderers, sculptors/painters (who sculpt or paint things resembling bodies that have souls), insolent disobedient children, those who withhold payments (from their workers), innovators in the religion, and those who harbour enmity in their hearts for the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ (God ﷻ be pleased with them). Whosoever acquires any of the above-mentioned sins has missed obtaining forgiveness on the Night of mid-Shaꜥbān unless they actively free themselves of these sins, repent to their Lord a sincere repentance, and wash away their misdeeds in the waters of remorse. Once that is done, then God ﷻ will set them upon the straightest of paths, and will enter them into the circle of the highest companionship as mentioned in the verse of “And whoever obeys God and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom God has bestowed favour, from of the Prophets, the Truthful Ones[6], the Martyrs and the Righteous. And excellent are those as companions”[7].

The author also mentioned that:

“It is from God’s ﷻ Sunnas on this night to increase the volume of the waters of Zamzam by an apparent amount.”[8]

It is a Sunna to enliven this night with worship. It was narrated by al-Aṣfahānī in “at-Targhīb” that:

Muꜥādh bin Jabal said, “The Messenger of God ﷺ said, “Whosoever brings life (through means of worship) to these five nights, the Garden is incumbent upon them, (and these nights are): the Night of Tarwiya (the night before ꜥArafa), the Night of `Arafa, the Night of Sacrifice (the night before the day of the sacrifices of Hajj are made), the Night of Fitr and the Night of mid-Shaꜥbān.”[9]

Some scholars have mentioned the following:

“The best (nights) of Rajab are its first ten (nights) due to the superiority of its first night, and the best (nights) of Shaꜥbān are its middle ten (nights) due to the Night of mid-Sha`ban, and the best (nights) of Ramadan are in its last ten (nights) due to the Night of Decree.”[10]

The Names of the Night of mid-Shaꜥbān

The Night of mid-Shaꜥbān is known by a multitude of names, and a thing having multiple names indicates the great honour that that thing has. Al-Fashnī in his text “at-Tuḥfa” mentioned most of these names and with each name, he mentioned the wisdom behind it and related it back to a Tradition or Saying (from the Companions or Righteous) or the like. So, make sure you read it, as you shall find within it the most amazing of astounding things.

From its names, he mentioned the following:

  • The Blessed Night
  • The Night of Absolution
  • The Night of Dividing Apportioning and Decreeing
  • And, the Night of Answering

(The author of at-Tuḥfa) also mentions a narration from ibn ꜥUmar (may God be pleased with them both) that he said:

“There are five nights in which the supplication is not rejected: Friday night, the first night of Rajab, the Night of mid-Shaꜥbān, the Night of Decree and the two Nights of ꜥĪd.”[11]

This is backed up by the Tradition that was brought forth by as-Suyūṭī which was mentioned in the previous chapter on the desired deeds to be performed in Rajab.

 

Footnotes:

[1] See p138 of the Arabic text as its source has been mentioned there.

[2] See Tuḥfat ul-Ikhwān, p74.

[3] Said, the Sayyid Muḥammad ibn Alawī al-Mālikī, may God’s ﷻ mercy be upon him, in his blessed text “What is in Shabān?” on page 131:

And what words are better said than those lines of poetry of al-Hassan, may God enshroud him with mercy and His good-pleasure:

Rajab has passed you O friend with its grace

Witnessing that you did not give its due

And now half of the month of Shaꜥbān has passed you

And you are doing that which I cannot describe

So, hurry to performing acts of goodness before it concludes

And be alert from the onslaught of death, by diverting it

For how many of the youth spent this half (of the month) with delusions of safety

While their names have been written on the Scroll of the Dead

Stand the noble night of the mid(-month) in prayer

For the noblest night of this month is in its half

And fast its day (following this night) for God and seek its rewards

So that you may succeed on the Day of Gathering by His Subtle Kindness

May God send prayers and blessings of peace upon our Master Muhammad and upon his family and companions. All praise is due to God the Lord of everything.

[4] mukallaf

[5] The Unlawful Tax Collector [`ashshār] is a person who takes the tithes (a tax of one-tenth) from the people based on the customs of the Age of Ignorance [jāhiliyya] and is barred from receiving forgiveness because they are abandoning an Obligation from God ﷻ, which is take one-fortieth, and because of their harming people (with their high taxes). A weaker position is that it refers to the tollman.

[6] ṣiddiqīn

[7] Qurʾān, Nisā’ 4:69

[8] See Tuḥfat ul-Ikhwān, page 85-86.

[9] at-Targhīb wat-Tarhīb with its chain of narration.

[10] See Tuḥfat ul-Ikhwān, page 84.

[11] See Tuhfat ul-Ikhwan, page 84 and what follows. The Tradition was brought forth by Bayhaqi in ash-Sha`b, #3440.