بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Yes, we’re almost in Shaban.
SHABAN THEN (i.e. in the good old days)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) fasted most of Shabaan, as is well-known.
Well, one of the wisdoms behind this is that the body gets prepared for fasting.
If we were to start fasting on the first day of Ramadan, we would waste quite a few days whilst our bodies adjusted to the situation.
One of the other reasons for fasting is to increase in ibaadah (worship) before Ramadan.
You know, it’s strange. When many of us think of ways to increase our iman (faith), we generally think of praying, reciting the Quran, seeking knowledge, etc but I’ve rarely heard many people mention fasting.
Why not? Isn’t it one of the greatest acts of worship?
You know, we wonder why Ramadan is… Ramadan. One of the reasons is the fasting.
[Haven’t you ever felt that Ramadan feeling whilst fasting outside of Ramadan?]
It’s strange. We’re always talking about those who just pray during Ramadan and not outside of it.
Perhaps someone should dedicate an article to those who just fast in Ramadan and not outside of it……?
Now someone might say, “Hey, prayer is an obligation the whole year round but fasting isn’t!”
No, it isn’t but it is still great act of worship. It doesn’t matter if it is not an obligation.
Besides, paying the zakaah is obligatory only once a year but many people still give charity at the other times.
Also, Hajj can only be done once a year but many people still do Umrah at the other times of year.
So, why don’t many of us fast outside Ramadan?
Now, someone might say: “Well, we fast on Arafah and Ashoorah!”
Well, yes we do, but what about Mondays and Thursdays? What about 3 days every month?
What abut the best of all fasts: fasting every other day?
So, why don’t we all start fasting (if we haven’t started already)?
– The heat, you say? Well, it’s going to be hot in Ramadan as well, isn’t it?
An important point: If you have fasts to make up, then do those first. Don’t do any voluntary fasts if you have obligatory ones to make up.
We have less than three weeks to go before Ramadan. Let’s try to fast as much as possible, insha-Allah.
[If you’re wondering why I never talk much about fasting on this blog, it’s because I have difficulty fasting due to a variety of ailments so I don’t advertise what I don’t practice.
However, I think I should take a fresh approach to fasting and just try as much as I can outside Ramadan, insha-Allah.]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Just one month left before the main event…
We should all ask ourselves:
1) Have we finished our pending fasts from last year?
2) Do we do dua to Allah to enable us to reach Ramadan and benefit from it?
3) Have we started to increase in our ibaadah (worship)?
4) Are we just daydreaming or do we really have goals which we are striving to attain this Ramadan?
5) Do we have a plan for pre-Ramadan (Shabaan), Ramadan and post-Ramadan (Shawwal) so that we can maintain out high levels of iman?
If we haven’t gotten started, we need to do so now.
It doesn’t matter if we have work, we still have to make time for this.
And for those who haven’t prepared much for Ramadan, I’d ask you to work backwards:
1) Write the 5-7 major goals that you want to achieve in Ramadan. [It helps to try to remember the things which messed up past Ramadans and then write the exact opposite thing.]
2) Write what you need to do in Shabaan to achieve them.
3) Start working!
For example, if one of your major goals is to understand the taraweeh prayers, then you need to be able to understand Quranic Arabic.
Impossible in a month? Well, no.
What about if your goal is to get healthy by Ramadan?
Too late? Of course not.
Just change your diet (starting from right now!) and start walking. You should see a big improvement in your health in a month’s time, insha-Allah.
So, it’s not that difficult.
Remember: Just write everything down and start working.
Also, remember one more thing: If you get into action now, it will benefit you whether you reach Ramadan or not.
If you reach Ramadan, you will be prepared for it, insha-Allah. And if you die before Ramadan, you’ll die in a higher state of iman, insha-Allah. So, it will be a win-win situation.
What do I mean by that?
Well, let me explain. We have 11 more days to go before Shaban. Rather than dreaming about how you’re going to be worshipping Allah in Ramadan, start worshipping Allah in the remaining days of Shaban. You don’t know if you’ll reach Ramadan.
Also, instead of dreaming about the last 10 days of Ramadan, first focus on the first 20 days.
Also, instead of dreaming about how you will make a change in your life one day, start making a change today even if it’s a small step.
All I’m saying is this: Do things steps by step and don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
I think the following animation summarises things perfectly:
[Click on the animation to view it.]
Yup. You think you’ve made it and then…
“The Bidah of Shabaan”, you ask? Yes. This is a month where people do lots of things which are not to be found in the Sunnah.
Okay, you might say, that doesn’t make it a bidah (innovation)! Yes, it does. Why? Because an innovation is something that is done to come closer to Allah. Ask those people why they do those certain things and they’ll tell you that these are “good” and “pious” things, meaning that they do intend to come close to Allah by doing them.
However, we can only come close to Allah by doing the things that He loves. How do we know what He loves? Well, He told us in the Quran and the Sunnah, which is why we follow them. If He had not informed us, how would we know? How could we dare to assume something about the Lord of the Worlds without any proof?
Here’s a lecture on the bidahs committed during Ramadan*:
[Okay, I’m assuming that’s the topic due to the title. I don’t think I’ve heard this lecture so I can’t be sure.]
The Bidah of Shabaan By Abu Saifillah Abdul Qaadir (Download):
As the month of Shabaan is right around the corner, I think the following article will be of benefit:
The month of Sha’baan
Sha’baan is the name of the (eighth) month, and it is so called because in this month the Arabs used to disperse (tasha’’aba) in search of water, or it was said that they dispersed to carry out raids and forays. Or it was said that it is so called because it sha’aba (branches out or emerges) i.e., it appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadaan. The plural forms of the word Sha’baan are Sha’baanaat and Sha’aabeen.