My dear brothers and sisters. This week we entered the month of Sha’ban, alhamdul’illah. It is a great gift that Allah (swt) has allowed us to again come to this time of the year. And soon, insha’allah we will enter the most blessed month of Ramadan. Sha’ban is a great opportunity for us to think about the things we need to from the past year and to look forward to and prepare for Ramadhan.
We are aware of the great guidance that Allah (swt) gives us in the Qur’an. Guidance for prayers, guidance for tauba, guidance for taqua. We see that every ayah in the Qur’an sharif is a sign from Allah (swt) about what direction to take in our lives. Indeed our hearts and our intention should always be towards Allah (swt) and that we should act in the way He has enjoined us to act and to avoid all those things which we are told to avoid.
Of course our other great guidance in our deen comes from the sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad (saw) who was brought to us as a mercy to the worlds as Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to all the worlds.”Qur’an 21:107
And so there is no separation here, Allah (swt) says “for ALL the worlds” The worlds of men and jinn, of all creatures, of all nations and races and worlds unseen to us and beyond our imagination.
And so we follow in the traditions of our beloved prophet (saw) and a great body of knowledge has been brought to us today through the 1441 years since His (saw) revelation.
It is so important for us to follow his example (saw) that Allah (swt) enjoins this upon us:
“Thus, have We revealed to you [O Muhammad], a message of spirit by Our command. While you did not know what is The Book and what is the Iman (faith)? We have made it a light whereby We guide those of Our servants whom We please; and surely you are guiding mankind to the Right Way”Qur’an 42:52
And in this way Allah (swt) is telling us that if we follow Muhammad (saw) we are following one who has the light of guidance from Allah (swt) bestowed upon him and the he will guide us on the right way – Siraat al mustaqeem.
“Say: ‘If ye do love Allah follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.“Qur’an 3:31
So here again we see that Allah (swt) is telling us through the Quran and through his chosen messenger al Mustafa (saw) that surely we must follow his example (saw) for it is something that Allah (swt) loves.
And so throughout the generations, people of wisdom and knowledge have collected these traditions, the sunnah. This is no news to you, but I am reminding you as I remind myself today how important it is to learn and know these for every aspect of our lives. For as we have spoken about many times, we can not know how or when we will be called back to Allah (swt). We cannot control these things, but we are given the opportunity in this life to follow Allah’s guidance, to be true Muslims.
And so I want to leave you with some hadith to learn about Muhammad’s (saw) own practice during the month of Sha’ban.
The first comes from Aishah
“I never saw the Messenger of Allah fast a complete month except for Ramadan, and I have never seen him fast more in a month than he did in Sha`ban.”Bukhari, Muslim
And in another hadith, related by Abu Dawud and others: Usamah ibn Zaid inquired:
“O Messenger of Allah, I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Sha’ban.” The Prophet responded: “That is a month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting.”Abu Dawud
Wa allahu alim (and Allah knows best)