Islamic months and when they actually occur haven’t been something I have ever really been in tune with, I mean aside from Ramadan I had no clue when and what month Islamically we were observing. It’s only now with children that I’ve begun to try and understand just a little more about the Islamic months. I’ve always proclaimed that Ramadan is my favourite month, the month where I came to the deen and actually began to practice Islam but on hearing more about each month over the last few years I begin to have more of an understanding and appreciation of the significance of each month, at times they have most definitely acted as a guide to nurturing my own self-development and discovery and the month of Sha’ban is no different.
As the months has just come in I want to encourage myself to firstly prepare for Ramadan and observe the month to reap the blessings, here are a few ideas on what you could do, I’ve also linked to other articles that helped me learn a little more about each suggestion.
It’s the 8th month of the Islamic Hijri calendar and comes just before Ramadan, just this fact alone fills me with excitement! It is reported that:
“The months’ names reflected the prevailing social practices and weather conditions at the time. For example, it is reported that the name of the month of Ramadan was derived from “ramadha” which indicates intense heat; Ramadan was named so because it coincided with the severe heat of summer.”
It was also reported that the Prophet Muhammad used to perform many voluntary fasts during this month in preparation for Ramadan.
“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.” (Quran 3:92)
This doesn’t have to always be in the form of money, often when we think about ‘giving’ we focus of the financial aspect, it may be sharing cans/packets of food you have in your cupboards and giving them to a local food bank or perhaps lending time to a friend who needs help to improve their Arabic, even giving someone flowers is an act of charity. Charity does not diminish your wealth and I’ve definitely often witnessed that there is great benefit in giving charity, even the act itself carries benefit for the hereafter:
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 604)
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How to build a relationship with the Quran explained
Whilst it’s not fardh it’s highly recommended to read a lot of Quran during the month of Ramadan, I have found that inorder to contribute to completing the Quran inRamadan you need to build the habit of reading it more frequently now and thus the relationship in picking it up multiple times a day. Taking time to research and planning how much you aim to complete reading each day is also super useful. One of the best tips I have heard was to pick it up before and after each salah, this really helps you to get through the Quran and build a strong relationship and habit.
“O You who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance” [33:41].
Repeating words and praises like ‘Alhamdulilah, Astaghfirullah and Subhan Allah’ with the right intention will get you in line to receive benefits, to revive your connection with the words just doing a little more deep-diving into the meanings can really contribute to intentional and meaningful dhikr, even if your not ‘feeling’ it, it’s still beneficial. I’ve found learning what the rewards of various duas and dhikr have also encouraged me in the past.
The reward of saying SubhanAllah or SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi is that a tree will be lanted in jannah for you Insha Allah! I’m a keen gardener so I’m so ready to grow a whole forest!
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was reported to have fasted the most in this month.
“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Shaaban.’ He said: ‘That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.”‘ [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
The struggle with the physical aspects of fast can be somewhat minimised or at least managed better when you fast before Ramadan arrives, I have found in years where my fasts through the year were low I struggled with the physical aspect of fasting but years where I had ‘got in some practice’ it certainly helped when Ramadan came about. We have the opportunity to fast now in preparation and reap the rewards, Insha Allah.
Whenever your reading this article I hope that the tips are beneficial and ensure with everything set your intention and begin!
Co-founder of Amaliah amongst many other roles. Selina is passionate about empowering those around her and just trying to be a better person. She loves looking after plants and a good cuppa because motherhood and running Amaliah.com is not for the faint hearted. She is also Co-founder to Aishah and Eesa and currently a one digit mother, Alhamdulilah. You will find her in the local charity shop, garden centre or park with her kids. Have a listen to the Amaliah Voices podcast. Link in bio peeps. To join the Amaliah Writer Community email me at [email protected]