Shaban is the 8th month in the Islamic calendar and is considered one of the meritorious months for which we find particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad . It is reported that Prophet Muhammad, used to fast most of the month in Shaban except the last few days of the month.
These fasts are supererogatory (nafl). Shaban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. The Prophet mentioned in a hadith, “Rajab is the month of Allah, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of the Nation”.
1. The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid , reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad : “Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Shaban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month.” Prophet Muhammad , replied: “That (Shaban) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan 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.”
2. Ummul Mu’mineen ‘Aishah (r), says, “Prophet Muhammad , used to fast for most of Shaban. I said to him, ‘Messenger of Allah, is Shaban your favorite month for fasting?’ He said, ‘In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting.’ ”
These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Shaban, though not obligatory but is very deserving and that Prophet Muhammad did not like to miss it.
The Night of nisf (mid) Shaban
Various Islamic scholars have recommended special worshiping during the night of 15th of Shaban. This is based on the saying (Hadith) of prophet Muhammad , the meaning of which is that during the night of 15th of Shaban, Allah will say “is there any person repenting so that I forgive him, and any person seeking provision so that I provide for him, and any person with distress so that I relieve him, and so on until dawn.” reported by Ibn Majah.
This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Shaban. Traditions of Prophet Muhammad , show that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine Mercy.
On the Night of 15th Shaban, after Maghrib or Isha prayer it is traditional practice to read Surah Yasin and make special supplications for good health, protection from calamities and increased Iman.
According to tradition this night has special blessings that are directed towards the faithful. Therefore, as much as possible, this night should be spent in worship and total submission to Allah Almighty. Also, fasting is recommended on the day immediately following this Night, i.e. the 15th day of Shaban.