Rasulullah (SAW) has said “Sha’baan is my month and Ramadaan the month of Allah.” (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 Rasulullah (SAW) used to fast most of this month. Although these fasts are not obligatory, Sha’baan is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadaan, therefore some preparatory measures are suggested by Rasulullah (SAW) through his sunnah and his practices. The blessed companion Anas (RA) reported that Rasulullah was asked “Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadaan” Rasulullah (SAW) replied “Fasts of Sha’baan in honour of Ramadaan”

The blessed companion Usamah ibn Zaid (RA) reported that he asked Rasulullah (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” Rasulullah (SAW) 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 Ayesha (RA) said “Rasulullah (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 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: “Rasulullah (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 Rasulullah (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. Rasulullah (SAW) has also forbidden Muslims from fasting one or two days prior to the commencement of Ramadan. Abu Hurairah reported Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha’baan has gone.”

According to another report, Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Do not precede the month of Ramadaan with one or two fasts.”

In essence, Rasulullah (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 Ramadaan. 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 Ramadaan started and as a result would not be able to welcome the month with enthusiasm.