بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Nafsiya Reflections: The Forgotten
Alhamdillah, we have reached the month of Shabaan. It is at times called the “forgotten month”. It comes between Rajab & Ramadan, which is around the corner. We often want to finish off our tasks before the start of Ramadan, often neglecting the benefits that Shabaan has in store for us. We remember that we want to prepare food for our dinner parties that will be held during Ramadan, putting up decorations, and finishing off our check-list before Ramadan. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the above mentioned. While we were “preparing” and getting all we thought we “needed” ready, what have we forgotten?
The Prophet(saw) said:
«ذَلِكَ شَهْرٌ يَغْفُلُ النَّاسُ عَنْهُ بَيْنَ رَجَبٍ وَرَمَضَانَ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ»
"That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting."
Yes, this month is a month that not much of us pay attention to. It is the month that Rasool Allah saw would fast most of, except little. It is a month of great virtues. Forgotten virtues. It is a time Rasool Allah would prepare himself. It is the month Allah takes up our deeds.
It was narrated from Umm Salamah: That the Messenger of Allah would not fast any two consecutive months except Shaban and Ramadan.
Sha’ban is often overlooked by many Muslims because incredible miracles took place in Rajab (Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj) and Ramadan (the revelation of the Qur’an), so we forget that Sha’ban is also a month to commemorate! The splitting of the moon took place during Shabaan and it is referred to in the Qur’an:
(اِقۡتَـرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانْشَقَّ الۡقَمَرُ)
The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]’. [Surah Al Qamar: 1]
The Aya that commanded Fasting of Ramadan was revealed during this month:
(شَهۡرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِىۡٓ اُنۡزِلَ فِيۡهِ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَ بَيِّنٰتٍ مِّنَ الۡهُدٰى وَالۡفُرۡقَانِۚ فَمَنۡ شَهِدَ مِنۡكُمُ الشَّهۡرَ فَلۡيَـصُمۡهُ ؕ وَمَنۡ کَانَ مَرِيۡضًا اَوۡ عَلٰى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنۡ اَيَّامٍ اُخَرَؕ يُرِيۡدُ اللّٰهُ بِکُمُ الۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيۡدُ بِکُمُ الۡعُسۡرَ وَلِتُکۡمِلُوا الۡعِدَّةَ وَلِتُکَبِّرُوا اللّٰهَ عَلٰى مَا هَدٰٮكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّکُمۡ تَشۡكُرُوۡنَ)
So whoever witnesses (the new moon of) the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey, then an equal number of other days (i.e. he must make up the missed fasts). Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for your hardship, and (He wants) you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that (to) which He has guided you, and perhaps you will be grateful’. [Surah Al -Baqara:185]
Let us use this time to reflect on our deeds, reflect on our actions. It is a time that we should train our minds, our bodies, and purify our hearts from all diseases. Too pay very close attention to what we feed our minds and souls. So that we may enter Ramadan in the purest of hearts and intentions. It is the forgotten month of Shaban. A month of nawafil. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,
«مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقْد آذَنْتهُ بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْت سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَلَئِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ»
“Verily Allah ta’ala has said: "Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nafil (supererogatory) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.” [Al-Bukhari]
So let us strive for the love of Allah this month. While a whole lot of us are busy ourselves with this Dunya, let us be of those who are not of the Ghafileen, the heedless, the unaware. Let us be of those Rasool Allah would be proud of. Of those who are special to Allah (swt) by fasting for Him, praying, going to the masjid, cooking something for our neighbors, calling or visiting our parents, teach our children all about our Creator, give Sadaqah, start Tahajud, recite the Quran, help someone... etc. Let it be a month of action, a month we hold ourselves to a new standard, a higher one, to push ourselves, to warm up for the month of Ramadan, so that we are truly ready, from the inside out. So that maybe, we enter Ramadan with our sins forgiven, our hearts pure, and the love of Allah (swt) gained. Wouldn’t that be the best way to start off the blessed month?!
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