Sha’baan – What is Prescribed? Shaykh Mashoor Hassan aal Salmaan (may Allaah preserve him)
Al-‘Allaamah Mashhoor bin Hassan aal Salmaan
Translated and transcribed from his Saheeh Muslim class 16/8/07
Sha’baan, it is the sunnah to fast the first half of it and the prophet forbade fasting once it has reached the fifteenth and said, ‘When Sha’baan reaches halfway, do not fast.’ And this is with regards to the one who fasts anew. As for the one who routinely fasts, they should continue upon their routine and carry on with their fasting.
As for the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, the fasting of it is not legislated, nor is it authentically related one should pray on that night. That which has been related, from 7 chains and some maraseel, on the prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, who said, ‘Indeed Allaah descends the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgives everyone, except the mushrik and the mushaakih [those who have enmity towards one-another].’
On the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, it is fitting to rectify the ties of relation between the slaves, for Allaah, with his generosity and bounty forgives people their shortcomings with regards to Him. But He has put as a condition to this, that the creation rectify their hearts toward one another before they enter Ramadhaan. And from that which is well-known, is that riddance is given precedence over establishing – so whoever wants to do good must first stop doing evil and the things that prevent the good.
For this reason, on the fifteenth of Sha’baan, Allaah descends, in a descent that is real, and forgives everyone, from the slaves of Allaah except two types: the first, the mushrikoon [polytheists]and the second, the mushaahinoon. It has been said the mushaahinoon are the people of innovation, and this is a saying that is outweighed and is not the stronger opinion. What is correct is that the mushaahana is cutting off relationships due to desires. So whosoever has enmity with his brother that is founded upon their desires, it is obligatory upon them to purify themselves – to put an end to this feud so that they can enter Ramadhaan in a state of obedience and in a good state.
As for having enmity for the people of innovation and the enemies of Allaah, then enmity of these people and declaring oneself free of them is an act of obedience to Allaah and worship of Him. And I hear our Shaykh al-Albaani say, ‘Boycotting is legislated but in these times I do not think that an individual boycotts another except that he joins the inclination of his desires with the right of his Lord’.
And we have mentioned to you the [most] important criterion [of boycotting] that was mentioned by Ibn Abi Jarra in his explanation of his summarised edition of Saheeh al-Bukharee when al-Misbah fell into fitnah and went over the boundary with regards to the honour of A’isha. Misbah was, at the time, poor and supported financially by Abu Bakr – the father of A’isha. And A’isha was the wife of his beloved and close friend, sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So Ibn Abi Jarra said that Misbah would speak [ill] and Abu Bakr would support him financially. Abu Bakr never withdrew his financial support of Misbah until Allaah revealed A’isha’s innocence from the heavens. He said, had he [Abu Bakr] cut off his support simply when Misbah spoke ill of A’isha, he would had cut off from him simply due to his desires. But, as he cut off his support of him when Allaah revealed A’isha’s innocence, the boycotting was for the sake of Allaah.
Look at this condition and how precise it is! How Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, freed himself from acting upon his desires and differentiated between that which was for him and that which was for his Lord.
This is what is related concerning Sha’baan. And Sha’baan, in my view, is like Tuesday and Thursday, for it is a month, as the prophet, sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, ‘Between Rajab and Ramadhaan, the people are negligent – actions rise to Allaah.’ Tuesday and Thursday are days in which actions are raised to Allaah – except the actions of those arguing. And this is like Sha’baan. And what appears apparent is that these actions rising are of two types. Perhaps it is that the actions of the last Ramdhaan rise to Allaah once again in this month. So one should seek [the benefits of] this month by fasting on the one hand and pursuing good relationships on the other.
Translated by Akeel Ahmed