The Blessed Month of Sha’ban

July 19, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Sha‘bān Letter

- compiled and translated by Sidi Amjad Tarsin

All praises are due to Allah the Exalted who has blessed us to be on the doorstep of Ramadan. Many of the pious predecessors used to spend months preparing for the efforts they were going to exert in the holy month of Ramadān. These are excerpts from the book, “Kanz An-Najāḥ wa As-Surūr” (The Treasuries of Success and Happiness) regarding the greatness of Sha‘bān and some of the recommended things to do during this month.

Repentance & Fasting:

It is highly recommended to repent frequently (tawbah) and increase in acts of worship, especially fasting. Whosoever prepares themselves with acts of worship and repentance in Sha‘bān will reap the benefits of those acts in Ramadān.

Usama ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, “I have never seen you offer fast in a month as you do in Sha‘bān.” The Prophet said, “It is a month people disregard that is between Rajab and Ramadān. In that month deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds, so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting.” [Nasa'i].

Salutations Upon the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Sha‘bān is the month of the Prophet peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, for he said, “Sha‘bān is my month.”

It was in this month that the famous verse regarding sending blessing and peace on the Prophet was revealed:
{ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَـتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً}
{ Allah and His Angels send their blessings upon the Prophet, O you who believe send blessings upon him and salutations of peace} (33:56)

Therefore, it is highly encouraged to increase in sending one’s salutations upon the Prophet, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him. Scholars have said, “Rajab is the month of repentance, Sha‘bān is the month of sending salutations upon the Prophet, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, and Ramadān is the month of the Qur’an.”

The 15th Night of Sha‘bān:

On the relation of ‘Atā’ ibn Yasār, may Allah be well pleased with him, who said, “On the 15th night of Sha‘bān the Angel of Death, peace be upon him, copies down the names of all those who will die from that Sha‘bān to the next Sha‘bān…and there is no night after Laylat Al-Qadr better than the 15th night of Sha‘bān.”

Other hadiths also describe the 15th night as being the night in which Allah decrees everyone’s provisions, even after-worldly provisions (Paradise, Hell), therefore it is important to bring that night to life through Prayer, reading Qur’an, and repentance.

Related by Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be well pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet, peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, said, “There are five nights on which du‘ā’ is not turned back: Friday eve, on the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha‘bān, Laylat Al-Qadr, and on the eve of the two ‘Eids.”

It is also recommended to say the du‘ā’:

اللّهُمَ إنَّكَ عفوٌ كريمٌ تُحِبَّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَني، اللّهُمَّ إنّي أسْألُكَ العَفْوَ والعَافية والمُعَافَاةَ الدَّائِمة في الدِّين والدُّنيا والأخِرَة

Allahumma innaka ‘Afūwun Karīmun tuḥib ul ‘afwa fa‘afu ‘annī, Allahumma innī as’aluka al-‘afū, wa al-‘āfīyah wa al-mu‘āfāt ad-da’imah fī ad-dīni wa ad-dunyā wa al-ākhirah.

O Allah, You are Pardoning and Generous and You love to pardon, so pardon me. O Allah, I ask You for pardoning, good health [in body], and to be [spiritually] health always in my religion, and in this life, and in the hereafter.

It is also highly recommended to read Surah Yā-Sīn 3 times that night, each time with a specific intention:

1. The first time with the intention of Allah increasing the length of your life in worship and good deeds.

2. The second time with the intention of Allah protecting you from tribulations.

3. Lastly, with the intention of Allah not making you reliant on other people.

Clarification: “Giving life to the night” is said to be staying up most of the night in worship, although other scholars have said just one hour. Others have said just be determined to pray ‘Ishā in congregation and Fajr in congregation and that will fulfill “giving life to the night.”

May Allah bless us and the entire Ummah throughout this month, and bless us even more in Ramadan. Amin.

Ya Haqq!

Note: Reposted from the most excellent Interpreter’s Path blog of AbdulKarim Yahya


The Servant’s Call

April 27, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “By Him in Whose hand is my life, the servant will supplicate God Most High while God is angry with him, and God will turn away from him. Again he will supplicate, and God will turn away, and again he will supplicate, and God will turn away. Then again he will supplicate, and God Most High will say to the angels, ‘My servant refuses to call upon anything other than Me so I have answered him.”

- A hadith from a longer and extremely beautiful post at the Almiskeenah blog.

Ya Haqq!


What Man Does Not Know

March 1, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

God Almighty has created separate food for the physical and spiritual parts of the human being. The food of the body is material like the body itself; while the soul’s food is of a spiritual nature. It is love of God, remembrance of God, nearness, presence and union with the Divine Beloved. Thus, thirst for the material and spiritual food is in the very nature of man and nobody can change his nature.

Hence, the present frustration, lack of peace of mind, mental diseases, suicides, universal conflicts, confrontations and wars, in short all our individual and collective woes and worries are due to the fact that, while every thing possible is being done to feed and fatten the body (the horse), nothing is being done to feed the soul (the rider) who really matters. So, the result cannot be different from what is before us in the form of global strife, warfare and frustration, which even the best brains are unable to eradicate.

Therefore, it can be safely said that one of the greatest tragedies, the worst failures and the severest misfortunes of all times is that man does not try to know that he is the masterpiece of God’s creation. He does not know he is the Vicegerent of God on earth. He does not know that he is the microcosm combining within himself all the forces of Nature. He does not know how many suns, moons and stars rise and set in him. He does not know that oceans, mountains and deserts lie dormant in him. He does not know what forces of construction and destruction he combines. He does not know that beasts, monsters and demons lie within him. He does not know how many angels adore his audience and his countenance. He does not know what pearls of wisdom and excellence are stored in his nature. He does not know what powers of miracles and supernatural acts he possesses. He does not know what Divine Mysteries, Divine Beauty, Grace, Love, Light and Divine Wisdom he has been blessed with. He does not know what his worth is, his value, greatness, honor and esteem in the scale of creation, so that angels are commanded by the Lord to salute him. He does not know what heights of spiritual perfection in the nearness, presence and union with the Divine Lord he is capable of scaling, and what depth of Reality he is capable of fathoming. He does not know that he can fly far beyond the orbits of the sun, moon and stars and reach the regions of Divine proximity where he is delegated with Divine powers to rule over the universe. He does not know what charms, fascinations, raptures and ecstasies he enjoys in the company of the Divine Beloved so that all barriers of physicality are broken, all veils are lifted, all curtains are removed, and he stands face to face with Divine Beauty. Not only that, he becomes one with the One Beloved.

- Hazrat Maulana Wahid Bakhsh (d. 1995), one of the great modern Sufi saints of the Chisti Sufi Order. Edited from a longer excerpt and posted with permission from the excellent and spiritually enlightening Green Sufi blog.

Ya Haqq!


A Handful of Dirt

February 4, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

For a moment ponder the Lord’s subtleties and kindnesses and the traces of the divine solicitude and care that have arranged this handful of earth. Look at the different kinds of honor and the special privileges of nearness that He has placed within human beings. For He created the whole cosmos, but He looked not upon a single creature with the eye of love, He sent not a single messenger to any existent thing, He sent no message to any creature. When the turn of the children of Adam arrived, He pulled them up through gentleness and caressed them through bounty and quarries of light. He made their inmost mystery the place of His own glance, He sent them messengers, He set angels over them as guardians, He placed the fire of love in their hearts, and He sent them continuous incitements to yearning and motives for desire.

The purpose of all these words and allusions is to show that a human being is a handful of earth. Whatever ennoblement and honor people have received derives from the gentleness and care of the holy Lord. When He gives, He gives because of His own generosity, not because of your worthiness. He gives because of His magnanimity, not because of your prostration. He gives through His bounty, not because of your good works…

- From the Kashf al-asrar wa ‘uddat al-abrar (Unveiling of Mysteries and Provision of the Righteous), by Rashid al-Din Maybudi, a Sufi Persian commentary, or tasfir, on the Noble Qur’an. The Kashf al-asrar is based on, and probably embodies, the only surviving text of an earlier Qur’an commentary by the famous Hanbali mystic, ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. Click HERE for more information.

With thanks and gratitude to the Journey to the Garden blog for pointing the way.

Ya Haqq!


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