Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Shaban is a blessed month.
2- Every wise Muslim should seize the opportunity doing his best to achieve the most benefits he can during this month.
Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
1- Fasting is highly recommended in this month, especially in the first half. However, we should stop fasting as we get closer to Ramadan. In this way, we stay away from joining the fasting of Shaban with that of Ramadan.
2- Reading of the Qur’an is another great virtue to practice. Some of the salaf called this month as the month of recitations.
3- Engaging in dhikr and establishing consistency in it is highly rewarding.
4- We may do well to use the time to brush up on our knowledge of Ramadan and the rules and adab (teachings) of fasting of Ramadan. `Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph, said, “There are no benefits to be derived from worship without knowledge.”
5- Last but not least, let us pray to Allah in the manner of some of the pious elders, who used to pray, “O Allah, bless us in the months of Rajab and Shaban and take us to Ramadan.”
It has been reported by the Companions that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast in the month of Shaban more than any other month (except Ramadan). As mentioned by scholars, it is a preparation for Ramadan. Here are some of the tips to follow in order to seize the blessings of Shaban-as can be gleaned from the observations of as-salaf as-salih (the pious ancestors) or pious predecessors:
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.