DEFINITION The word “sha’baan is derived from the word "shu'ba", which means branch and itself means consecutively escalating or undisturbed increase. The Arabs used to branch out during this month to look for water.
The Arrival of the Sha’baan moon brings with it numerous blessings. Just as the initiation of rainfall begins with "pitter patter" such blessings reach us in the same accord and fashion. These blessings progressively escalate throughout the month so that by the middle of the month they have reached a considerable amount, reaching their peak by the end of Ramadan.
Just as a farmer prepares for a fruitful harvest by harrowing his acreage so that the soil may readily retain water; in contrast our souls are geared by the presence of such blessings in Sha’baan effectively preparing us for a fruitful and completely advantageous Ramadan. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said,
"Sha’baan is my month and Ramadan the month of Allah Ta'aalaa." [Daylami]
The month of Sha’baan is one of the meritorious months in the Islamic calendar and it is reported in an authentic hadith that the Holy Prophet (SAW) used to fast most of this month. Although these fasts are not obligatory, Sha’baan is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan, therefore some preparatory measures are suggested by the Holy Prophet (SAW) through his sunnah and his practices.
The blessed companion Anas (RA) reported that the Holy Prophet was asked
“Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan” he replied “Fasts of Sha’baan in honour of Ramadan”
The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid (RA) reported that he asked the Holy Prophet (SAW)
“O Messenger of Allah (SAW), I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha’baan so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month” he replied “That (Sha’baan) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe. So I wish that my deeds be presented at time when I am in a state of fasting”
Ummul Mu’mineen ‘Aishah said
“The Holy Prophet (SAW) used to fast in the whole of Sha’baan.” I said to him “Messenger of Allah (SAW), is the month of Sha’baan your most favourite month to fast?” He said “In this month Allah (SWT) prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death come to me when I am in a state of fasting.”
In another tradition she said
“The Holy Prophet (SAW) would sometimes begin to fast continuously until we thought he would not stop fasting, and sometimes he used to stop fasting until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) fasting a complete month, except the month of Ramadan, and I have never seen him fasting in a month more frequently than he did in Sha’baan.”
In another report she said
“I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) fasting in a month so profusely as he did in the month of Sha’baan. He used to fast in that month leaving only a few days, rather, he used to fast almost the whole of the month.”
Ummul-Mu’mineen Umm Salmah said
“I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) fasting for two months continuously except in the months of Sha’baan and Ramadan.”
These ahadith indicate that fasting in the month of Sha’baan, though not obligatory, is so meritorious, that the Holy Prophet (SAW) did not like to miss them. It should be kept in mind that the fasts of this month are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency to the obligatory Ramadan fasts. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has also forbidden Muslims from fasting one or two days prior to the commencement of Ramadan. Abu Hurairah reported the Holy Prophet (SAW) said,
“Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha’baan has gone.”
According to another report, the Prophet (SAW) said,
“Do not precede the month of Ramadan with one or two fasts.”
In essence, the Holy Prophet (SAW) himself used to fast most of the month of Sha’baan, because he had no apprehension of weakness or weariness before the month of Ramadan. As for others, he ordered them not to fast after the 15th of the month for the feat that they would lose their strength and freshness before Ramadan started and as a result would mot be able to welcome the month with enthusiasm.
The notion of fasting on the 15th day of this month with is referred to as “shabee baraat,” and standing in voluntary prayer during the night, is an innovation which has no religious significance associated with it.
A significant event that occurred during this month was the change in the direction of salat. Bukhar reported that Al-Bara said the Prophet prayed facing Bait-ul-Maqdis in Jerusalem for sixteen or seventeen months but he wished that his Qiblah would be the Ka'ba. Allah (SWT) revealed the following Qu’ranic verses
“Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's (SAW)) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid- al-Harâm (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (i.e. Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (you’re turning towards the direction of the Ka'bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah (SWT) is not unaware of what they do.” (Al-Baqarah 2:144)
The Holy Prophet then offered 'Asr prayers (in his Mosque facing Ka'ba at Makkah) and some people prayed with him. A man from among those who had prayed with him, went out and passed by some people offering prayer in another mosque, and they were in the state of bowing. He said, "I, (swearing by Allah (SWT),) testify that I have prayed with the Prophet (SAW) facing Makkah." Hearing that, they turned their faces to the Ka'ba while were still bowing. Some men had died before the Qiblah was changed towards the Ka'ba. They had been killed and we did not know what to say about them (i.e. whether their prayers towards Jerusalem were accepted or not). So Allah (SAW) revealed
“And Allah would never make your faith (i.e. prayer) to be lost (i.e. your prayers offered (towards Jerusalem). Truly Allah is Full of Pity, Most Merciful towards mankind.” (Al-Baqarah 2:143)
1. "Qibla" the direction to be adopted within salaah, was reverted back to the "Ka'aba" in Makkah (after being converted to Baitul Muqaddas in Jerusalem for a short period of time). This took place two years after Hijrion the 15th of Sha’baan
2. Fasting in the blessed month of Ramadan was made compulsory in the year 2 AH on the 25th of Sha’baan
3. Hafsa (RA) was joined in matrimony with the Prophet (SAW) in 3 AH
4. Hafsa (RA) took leave from this world in 45 AH
5. Hussain (RA), the grandson of the Prophet's (SAW) was born, four years after Hijri on the 5th of Sha’baan
6. The Battle of Banu Mustaliq took place in Sha’baan during which, the "Aayah of Tayammum" (purifying with sand before salaah) was revealed, in the year 5 AH
7. The daughter of the beloved Prophet (SAW) Umme Kulthum (RA) took leave from this world, in the 9 AH
Article ref here.