Shaban is an exceptionally blessed month for Muslims. It is the curtain raiser to the month of Ramadan and hosts the 15th night of Shaban - a great night when Allah Ta'ala's Mercy and forgiveness is all- encompassing.
1. Allāh ta‘ālā has taken oath of ten nights in Sūrah Al-Fajr. According to the majority of the commentators of Qur’ān, the nights are those of the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
It is reported that Rasulullah (Salallahu Alaihi wa Salam) said to Hazrat ‘Aisha (R): “On this night (15 Shaban) read this dua and teach it to others. Jibra’eel u taught this dua to me.”
Sha'ban is one of the meritorious months for which we find some particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is reported in the authentic ahadith that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast most of the month in Sha'ban. These fasts were not obligatory on him but Sha'ban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. Therefore, some preparatory measures are suggested by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
On this Mubarak Day of Jummah, during this wonderful month of Rajab let us raise our hands and express our gratitude and appreciation to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala for all our blessings. Today we cry to the heavens and earth that we are rededicating our lives as true Muslims in faith and action. We announce to the world that the Muslim Ummah seeks peace and mutual respect and that we will never remain idle in the face of injustice, racism, Fithnah, oppression and repression. This Ummah today is under siege and as Muslims we should make it known that we are not an inward looking people, we are not isolationists by our nature, but we are totally committed to our Din. And we wish to remain so.
The Me’raj of Salaah
Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (j) related that on the night of the 15th of Shabaan, the Prophet e requested her permission to spend the entire night in Ibaadah, since it was not a normal practice to spend the whole night in Ibaadat.
Hazrat Ayesha (j) said that Nabi stood up and began his Salaah. He then lay in sajda (prostration) for so long that she became afraid lest his soul had left his body. So she got up and began to feel his soles with her fingers…
This was the condition of the Salaat of Rasulullah (SAW) when reading in the privacy of his home. Such was his love for Salaah that he said: “The coolness of my eye is in Salaah.”
It must be remembered that the mas’ala (ruling) in regard to Imamat is that it is necessary for the Imam to make the Salaat ‘light’, because there are all kinds of people in the congregation; some weak and some old.
Nabi said : “When you lead the prayer, you should make it short, because among those offering Salaat there may be some who are infirm, sick, and old.” …Yes, we may lengthen our individual prayers as much as we wish to.
However, that was the ‘kaifiyyat’*of the Salaah of Rasulullah (SAW). Now let us consider if we have acquired any ‘kaifiyyat’ in our Salaah? …Neither is our Salaah of the desired level, nor is our concern for the purification of our hearts apparent.
…Naturally, and it should go without saying; we should not discard the Salaah, because of a deficiency of spirit. We should develop that Salaah in spirit.
If attention is not given to the purification of the heart and the reformation of the nafs, then these evils of jealousy, greed, envy, pride, anger, lust, etc. will engulf the heart. When the evils of the nafs are yielded to, and when the nafs is then taken as ‘ilaah’ (god), then such a heart is transformed into stone that will not be able to absorb the noor of Ibaadat, Zikr (Praise of Allah Ta'ala) and Tilawat. Such a heart will then become sealed.
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur`aan Sharief :
“Have you not seen him who takes as his god,
his own vain desires; and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his
heart, and put a cover on his sight…”
[Surah Al-Jaathiya 45 : 23]
Consider the fact that all of our Akaabireen (elders) had a link with the Mashaa`ik, and all of them spent some time or the other in the Khanqas of their respective Sheikh. What was the reason for this ?
…It was for the purification of their hearts and souls. They knew that these Ahlullah (Friends of Allah Ta'ala) are the reservoirs of Ikhlaas. They also understood that minus the ‘Suhbat of the Ahlullah (Friends of Allah Ta'ala)’, their Ilm would remain just a ‘shell’.
Of course, the Khanqah must not just be for eating, drinking and partying; and the Sheikh must not be milking his mureeds of their hard-earned wealth.
Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb
Six Fasts of Shawwal
Shawwal is the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It comes immediately after Ramadan. Shawwal is also the first month of the Ashhur al -hajj - (the months of Hajj).
Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha'ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:
There are momentous times in the history of all peoples. Momentous days, weeks and months. The Muslims are no exception. To the contrary, Islamic history overflows with events and occurrences worthy of the mention, and indeed worthy of remembrance. Such comes with no surprise given the fact that the Islamic civilisation brought a new dawn to the world of the 7th century, as it established itself in the Middle East before moving forth to conquer land after land, bringing with it knowledge, civilisation and real progress.
Belief in the Unseen represents a major and essential part of Islam. When we review the key principles of Islam such as belief in Allah, the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell, angels and jinn, past prophets and books, we find that all these issues are ghayb (unseen) and need unshakable conviction in Rasulullah SAW's truthfulness. The Night Journey and Ascension (Al-Israa' wa Al-Me'raj) posed a crucial test for early Muslims to assess their belief in the Unseen. This journey brought to light the unshakeable, firmly rooted faith of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and the weak faith of some other people who rejected Islam totally once they heard the story.