It is reported in authentic Ahadith that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to fast in most of the days of the month of Sha’baan. These fasts were not obligatory, but Shabaan is the month which precedes the month of Ramadan, and it was done in preparation for this auspicious month. A few Ahadith are cited here regarding fasting in the month of Shabaan:

Hazrat Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was asked, ‘Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan?’ He replied, ‘Fasts of Shabaan in honour of Ramadan.’ (Ibnu Abi Shaybah #9856)

Hazrat Usamah ibnu Zayd (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that he asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): ‘O Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Shabaan so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month.’ Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: ‘That (Shabaan) 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 a time when I am in a state of fasting.’ (Ibnu Abi Shaybah #9858)

Hazrat Aaisha (Radiyallahu Anha) says, “I never saw the Messenger of Allah, (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), fasting in a month so profusely as he did in the month of Sha’ban. He used to fast in that month leaving only a few days, rather, he used to fast almost the whole of the month.” (Ibnu Abi Shaybah #9855, #9859)

These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Shabaan, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not like to miss them.

In Ramadan, everyone finds observing the first few fasts difficult, but if we are accustomed to it already, we will be able to embrace Ramadan better. However, it should be kept in mind that the fasts of Shabaan are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency in the obligatory fasts of Ramadan. Therefore, if one fears that after fasting in Shabaan, one will lose strength for the fasts of Ramadan, he/she should not fast in Shabaan, as the fasts of Ramadan, being obligatory, are more important than the optional fasts of Shabaan.

May Allah Ta’ala give us the ability to increase in our good deeds.