Here’s How to Prepare for Ramadan in the Month of Shaban
There’s just one month until Ramadan! What does that mean for you, and what can we do right now while we’re still in the month of Shaban?
Let’s start with this sunnah supplication!
The sacred month of Rajab has left us, and the closeness of Ramadan can be felt ahead of us. During these months, there is a dua our blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) would say, which would benefit us in doing the same. This supplication is also a strong reminder to not take for granted that being able to worship in Ramadan is a blessing given to us.
“O Allah! Make the months of Rajab and Shaban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan.”
اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان
Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Shaban wa ballighna Ramadan.
[at-Tabarani and Ahmad]
Understanding the Month of Shaban
The month of Shaban is the eighth month in the lunar calendar (Islamic Hijri calendar). It is also an exceptional month because of the blessings within it.
The root word for the month of Shaban means “branching off” or “separating,” which hints at the importance of this month. Shaban is like a branch between the sacred month of Rajab and the very blessed month of Ramadan.
Another name for Sahban is Al’Ajlan which means “a quick month” because it seems to go by very fast, and Ramadan comes quickly.
The Importance of the Month of Shaban
The month of Shaban is special, and here’s why you don’t want it to slip away!
Abu Musa reports that The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Verily, Allah looks down in the middle night of Shaban, and He forgives all of His creatures, except for an idolater or one filled with malice.” Sunan Ibn Mājah 1390
This month is a time to increase our fasts and prepare our minds, body, and soul for Ramadan!
As the month of Shaban quickly disappears, remember what our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) tells us about it here:
Usamah ibn Zayd reports: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as you fast during Shaban.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “It is a month people neglect between the months of Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the worlds, and I like for my deeds to be raised while I am fasting.” Sunan al-Nasā’ī 2357
Preparing For Ramadan in the Month of Shaban
Many of us are not fasting outside of Ramadan. Still, the month of Shaban is a month our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast more than any other month outside of Ramadan.
In trying to do more to strengthen ourselves spiritually, consider embarking on this practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Following the Sunnah is filled with rewards, and InshaAllah will help us come closer to Allah. May He accept our efforts, Ameen!
Consider the following in preparing for Ramadan:
Abu Dharr (RAA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded us to fast for three days of every month; that is, on the days of the full moon, the 13th, 14th, and 15th (of the lunar month).’ Related by An-Nasa’i and At-Tirmidhi and rendered authentic by Ibn Hibban Book 5, Hadith 35
Just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast every lunar (Islamic) month on the 13th, 14th, and 15th, let’s try to do the same in the blessed month of Shaban to fulfill two Sunnah:
- Increase in fasting (use this time to make up any missed fasts)
- Fast on the days our Prophet (peace be upon him) would do every month.
Other Acts of Worship for the Month of Shaban
Some other acts of worship will also help to get you ready for most of the blessed month of Ramadan:
- Increase the amount of Quran you read, or set a time to be consistent daily.
- If you are having difficulty reading Quran and need help, consider reaching out to people in the community who can help. Or register with IQRA Network and get your 1-on-1 lessons. This should be done before Ramadan because we receive significantly more inquiries during Ramadan, and people are placed on a waiting list.
- Increase in good deeds. There’s an opportunity to do good all around us; look for it daily. Keep it to yourself and make it something between you and Allah.
- Increase in asking Allah for forgiveness. Though we know we need Allah’s forgiveness and are all sinful, it can be easy to forget. Post up some reminders around the house and make it a daily practice.
- Increase in Glorifying Allah: Subhan’Allah (Glory be to Allah), Alhamdulilah (All Praise is due to Allah), Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest).
- Increase in making duas, especially by using Allah’s names and attributes, as indicated in the hadith below.
Buraydah ibn al-Husayb reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, heard a man supplicating, saying, “O Allah, I ask you by my testimony that you are Allah. There is no God but you, the One, the Eternal Refuge, who does not give birth and was not born, and to whom no one is equal,” (112:1-4). The Prophet said, “By the One in whose hand is my soul, he has asked Allah by His greatest name, for which He answers when called upon and He gives when asked.” Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3745
Even if you can’t make half this list, at least try doing one thing more than you would typically do. Bring awareness to the month of Shaban, hoping you will approach Ramadan more seriously. Never underestimate those small actions because, over time, they lead to significant changes.