Friday Sermons: The Virtues of the Month of Sha’ban ahead of Ramadan

By: Ali Farkhan Tsani, Da’i Islamic Boarding School Al-Fatah Bogor, Journalist for MINA (Mi’raj News Agency)

First Sermon

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلهِ الَّذِيْ أَنْعَمَنَا بِنِعْمَةِ الْاِيْمَانِ وَالْاِسْلَامِ وَعَلٰى نِعَمِهِ فِي شَهْرِالشَّعْبَانِ. وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلٰى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ خَيْرِ الْأَنَامِ. وَعَلٰى اٰلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ الْكِرَامِ.
أَشْهَدُ اَنْ لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوْسُ السَّلَامُ, وَأَشْهَدُ اَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا وَحَبِيْبَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ صَاحِبُ الشَّرَفِ وَالْإِحْتِرَام
أَمَّا بَعْدُ: فَيَاأَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ, اِتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوْتُنَّ اِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُوْنَ, وَاشْكُرُوْهُ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ لِلإِسْلاَمِ، وَأَوْلاَكُمْ مِنَ الْفَضْلِ وَالإِنْعَامِ، وَجَعَلَكُمْ مِنْ أُمَّةِ ذَوِى اْلأَرْحَامِ.

Honorable Brothers in Islam

We are currently in the month of Sha’ban, ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. The month of Sha’ban is a month of preparation for the blessed month of Ramadan. For that, let us pray:

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي رَجَب، وَشَعْبَانَ، وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ

Meaning: “O Allah, bless us in the month of Rajab and the month of Sha’ban, and deliver us to the month of Ramadan.” (Reported by Ahmad from Anas bin Malik).

As for Sha’ban, one of them comes from the word “syi’ab” which means the path to the top or the way to climb.

This means that the month of Sha’ban is the month of preparation for climbing provided by Allah to His faithful servants to climb and prepare themselves with various practices to face the peak of the holy month of Ramadan.

Therefore, in this month of Sha’ban, we gradually start to get used to fasting sunnah Mondays and Thursdays, for example, increasing recitation of the Quran, doing dhikr and praying, doing good, helping fellow brothers and sisters, liking to spend in the way of Allah, etc. This includes taking part in recitations, majlis ta’lim or Islamic studies.

Especially for this recitation, especially among mothers, ummahat. Precisely this is very beneficial for converts in Western countries there. As information from Fiyaz Mughal, Founder and Director of Faith Matters, a social organization in London, said that many converts in his country show enthusiasm and continue to grow, through Islamic studies.

The number of converts to Islam in the UK in the last ten years, until 2022, is recorded at around 100,000 people. This figure has doubled over the last decade. They generally admit that they are fed up with the immorality and consumerism prevailing in British society.

Most of the converts are women, the majority are mothers who are married and have dependent children. They, the mothers, then began to change their dress style. They started wearing the headscarf to cover their nakedness, after becoming Muslim women.

Many of the women said they experienced difficulties after becoming converts. It was because of the negative attitude among their families, and the discredited opinion of the media.

But they are proud, and do not care, even though some people also see it, “become more conservative”.

They are women who gain knowledge about Islam through Islamic Studies. In Indonesia, it is known as the Pengajian or Taklim Assembly. Among the well-known is The New Muslim Women’s Group Community, under the coordination of The London Central Mosque Trust.

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From that recitation, they are women, then spread Islamic values ​​that bring goodness and progress to others. They are members of the ta’lim assembly, continue to make constructive contributions to their families, communities, countries and the good of the world globally.

My beloved Muslim Brothers

Furthermore, the virtues of the month of Sha’ban are explained in many hadiths and by scholars. Among others are :

First, the month of Sya’bana is the Month of Appointed Charities

This is as mentioned in a hadith from Usamah bin Zaid, Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, I have never seen you fast in one month as you fast in the month of Sha’ban.”

The Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam also replied:

ذَلِكَ شَهْرٌ يَغْفُلُ النَّاسُ عَنْهُ بَيْنَ رَجَبٍ وَرَمَضَانَ، وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الْأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ، فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ

Meaning: “That is the month that many people often neglect, the month between Rajab and Ramadhan. This is the month in which deeds are lifted up towards the Lord of the Worlds. And I want when my charity is lifted, I am in a state of fasting.” (HR An-Nasa’i and Ahmad).

Second, the month of Sya’ban is the month of increasing fasting

This is as stated by the testimony of the wife of Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam, ‘Aisyah Radhiyallahu ‘Anha, who said:

فَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ اسْتَكْمَلَ صِيَ present

Meaning: “I have never seen the Messenger of Allah Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam” fasting more than fasting in the month of Sha’ban.” (HR Bukhari and Muslim).

As for the secrets or wisdom why the Prophet Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam fasted a lot in the month of Sha’ban is because fasting in Sha’ban is like an observance of care (worship of the sunnah that accompanies the obligatory worship).

As the caretaker prayer is a prayer that has priority because it accompanies the obligatory prayer, before or after it. Thus fasting during the month of Sha’ban is like fasting in the care of fasting before fasting in Ramadan.

Third, the month of Sya’ban is a month full of blessings

The month of Sha’ban is one of the months that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam prayed for with blessings, apart from the months of Rajab and Ramadan.

In a hadith it is stated:

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبَانَ وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ

Allah, the Most High
Meaning: “O Allah, bless us in the months of Rajab and Sha’ban, and deliver us to the month of Ramadan.” (Reported by Ahmad).

Fourth, the month of Sha’ban is the month of sending blessings on the Prophet

Scholars of commentary are of the opinion that Surah Al-Ahzab verse 56 which contains an order to pray to the Prophet Muhammad Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam was sent down in the month of Sha’ban.

The verse about the prayer reads:

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلاَئِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّوْنَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَآأَيُّهَاالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُـوْا صَلُّوْا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوْا تَسْلِيْمًا

Meaning: “Indeed, Allah and His Angels pray for the Prophet. O you who believe, pray for the Prophet and salute him.” (QS Al-Ahzab/33: 56).

In relation to this verse, Imam Al-Qurthubi explained, the meaning of Shalawat from Allah to the Prophet is a form of His mercy and pleasure. Meanwhile, blessings from the Angels for the Prophet mean prayers and requests for forgiveness for the Prophet. As for the meaning of Shalawat for those who believe in the Prophet, it is a prayer and a form of our exaltation of the Prophet Muhammad. Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam.

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For this reason, in this month of Sha’ban, let us send more blessings to the Prophet Muhammad Shallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam.

The virtue of prayer is also mentioned in the hadith:

مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ صَلَاةً وَاحِدَةً صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَشْرَ صَلَوَاتٍ وَحُطَّتْ عَنْهُ عَشْرُ خَطِيئَاتٍ وَرُفِعَتْ لَهُ عَشْرُ دَرَجَاتٍ

Meaning: “Whoever among your people prays on you once, then Allah writes down ten good deeds for him, removes from him ten bad things, exalts him by ten degrees, and returns him ten degrees too” (HR Ahmad).

My Brothers in Islam

Furthermore, Fifth, the Month of Sha’ban is the Month of Al-Quran Readers

Some scholars call the month of Sya;ban the month of Syahrul Qura, the month of Al-Quran readers. While the month of Ramadan is called Syahrul Quran, the month of the Quran.

Because of this, among the habits of the former righteous traders, among others, every month of Sha’ban and Ramadhan closed their shop.

They want to be more humble and spend more time reading, studying and contemplating the contents of the Al-Quran. This is at the same time getting used to it so that it becomes easier to enter the month of the Quran, Ramadan.

So, it’s good for those who haven’t gotten used to studying the Al-Quran regularly, this month of Sha’ban is the best opportunity to read it. Those who are used to the status of “one day one juz”, for example, can be upgraded to “one day two juz” or “one day three juz”, and so on or also start studying reading books of interpretation, it could also be translations, re-listening to Islamic books, and so on.

Finally, or sixth, in the month of Sha’ban there is an important event in Islamic history, namely the moving of the Qibla from previously facing the Aqsa Mosque in Palestine, to the Kaaba in Mecca Al-Mukarramah.

Allah immortalizes it in the verse:

قَدْ نَرٰى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِى السَّمَاۤءِۚ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضٰىهَا ۖ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ…..

Meaning: “Indeed, We see your face (Prophet Muhammad) often looking up to the sky. So, surely We will turn you to the Qibla that you like. Then, turn your face toward the Grand Mosque….. (QS Al-Baqarah: 144).

In connection with this verse, in the Interpretation of the Quran, the Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia explains, all Muslims in various corners of the earth must face the Kaaba in prayer. So, to carry out this task, Muslims are required (fardfhu kifayah) to know geography (geology) to find out the Qibla direction in prayer. Including having to know the science of astronomy (astronomy) to find out the schedule of prayer times.

This at the same time encourages Muslims, especially among the younger generation, to master science and technology (science and technology), based on the Al-Quran as a source of divine knowledge. This includes having to master the knowledge of natural exploration (mining), medicine and medicine, social affairs, mass media communications, to information technology.

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Citing the views of Prof. Dr. Ir. H. AM Saefuddin, Professor of IPB and Bogor Ibn Khaldun University, in his book “Integration of Science and Islam”, said that Islamic leadership has experienced the glory of world civilization as a blessing from adherence to carrying out Islamic sharia and the spirit of gaining knowledge. So that the light shines everywhere. Making students of the Western world to study Islam.

So that the Western world, which at that time was underdeveloped, shone because of the role of Muslim experts and thinkers, many of whom were also memorizers of the Koran. Call it Ibn Sina (Avicinna), expert in medicine, astronomer and geographer Al-Khwarizmi, father of Al-Jazar robith, and expert in sociology and economics, Ibn Khaldun.

And that’s true, when science and technology is mastered by pious people who live up to the values ​​of the Koran, God willing, the results will be used for the benefit and rahmatan lil a’alamin.

Then after the glory days of those centuries, it began to fade, and the world was controlled by people who were far from Allah’s law, so even managing nature was only for destruction. This is due to the loosening of the enthusiasm of Muslims to learn science and technology, and divisions within the bodies of Muslims.

For this reason, let’s achieve the glory of Islam again, no other way is by returning to Allah’s guidance, the Koran, increasing the enthusiasm for learning science based on the values ​​of the Koran, and strengthening the brotherhood and unity of Muslims, in congregation, based on the guidance of the Koran.

How important the unity and oneness of the Muslim Ummah, and how dangerous divisions are, is mentioned in the Al-Quran:

وَاعْتَصِمُوْا بِحَبْلِ اللهِ جَمِيْعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُوْا

Meaning: “And hold fast all of you to the rope of Allah while in congregation, and do not be divided …..” (QS Ali Imran: 103).

In another verse it says:

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْل above
Meaning: “And those who believe, men and women, some of them (are) helpers for others. They ordered (to do) what is ma’ruf, and prevented what was evil.” (QS At-Taubah [9]: 71).

In another verse Allah reminds:

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ

Meaning: “Obey Allah and His Messenger, do not argue that causes you to be afraid and lose your strength, and be patient. Surely Allah is with those who are patient.” (QS Al-Anfal: 46).

Thus, hopefully we can take the momentum of the month of Sha’ban as a time of increase in worship, both specific in nature such as daily worship, as well as general and broad in nature, such as increasing science and technology and empowering the universe, according to God’s guidance. Amen. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)