Month of Sha'ban is a month full of goodness. In that month many who failed to act pious because highly anticipated of Ramadan. Regarding the month of Sha'ban, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said,
ذلك شهر يغفل الناس عنه بين رجب ورمضان وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين فأحب أن يرفع عملي وأنا صائم
"Month of Sha'ban is the month in which humans began to neglect that is in between the months of Rajab and Ramadan. The Month is the month been increased many deeds toward Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Therefore, I like to fast when my deeds raised. "(Narrated by An Nasa'i no.2357. Shaykh Al Albani said that this hadith hasan).
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam really warned his people not to do good deeds without guidance. Rasulullah wanted his people to follow his teachings in pious charity. If he did not provide guidance in a doctrine, then no need someone to do somethings of a practice. Islam really is easy, just simply follow what the Prophet exampled, it is adequate.
From 'Aisha radi' anha, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said,
من أحدث فى أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد
"Whoever makes a new case in our religion, that there is no origin, then the case is rejected." (Narrated by Bukhari no.20 and Muslim no.1718)
In a narrated by Muslim said,
من عمل عملا ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد
"Whoever does a deed that is not our doctrine, the practice is rejected." (Narrated by Muslim no.1718)
Bid’ah (Heresy) itself is defined by Ash Syatibi rahimahullah in the book Al I'tishom,
عبارة عن طريقة في الدين مخترعة تضاهي الشرعية يقصد بالسلوك عليها المبالغة في التعبد لله سبحانه
"A term for a path in religion who are made up (without any phostulates) that resembles the Shari'ah (Islamic teachings), which meant when do it is for exageration in worship toward Allah Ta'ala."
Practices that There are guidances of Month Sha'ban
The practices who are sunnah in the month of Sha'ban is to do fast a lot. 'Aisha radi' anha said,
فما رأيت رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - استكمل صيام شهر إلا رمضان, وما رأيته أكثر صياما منه فى شعبان
"I never did see the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam fasted a whole month completely apart during Ramadan. I had never seen him fasting more than fasting in Sha'ban." (Narrated by Bukhari no.1969 and Muslim no.1156)
In the month of Sha'ban also very close to the month of Ramadan, so for those who still have debt to fast, then they have an obligation to pay it off immediately. Do not be put off next Ramadan.
No guidance practices in the Month of Sha'ban
The practices which have no guidances from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, many of it thriving in the month of Sha'ban, when approaching or in order to welcome the month of Ramadan. It may be because of assimilation in cultures that become rituals. Or it may be that the teaching is based on the dho'if (weak) or maudhu '(false) hadith. What are these deeds? Here are some of them:
1. Send prayers for the deceased relatives by reading yasin or tahleel. It’s that happen in Indonesia. Known as “Ruwahan” cause of Ruwah (a term for Sha’ban month for the Javanese) is derived from word “arwah” (soul) so the month of Sha'ban is identic with deaths. So in some areas often occur “tahlilan” or “yasinan” tradition in the month of Sha'ban. In fact, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam and the friends never exampled it.
2. Turning on Sha'ban Nishfu night with salat and prayers. About the night of Sha'ban Nishfu itself there are some criticism in it, among them:
a. Not a single phostulates that shahih explains the virtue of Sha'ban Nishfu night. Ibn Rajab rahimahullah said, "There is no shahih phostulate from the Prophet and the friends. And the phostulates that exist is only from some tabi'in which is fuqoha’ from Sham country."(Lathoif Al Ma'arif, 248). Also who told it like that was Abul 'Ala Al Mubarakfuri, author Tuhfatul Ahwadzi.
Examples dho'if hadith that discuss the virtue of Sha'ban Nishfu night, the hadeeth of Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari, he said, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said,
إن الله ليطلع فى ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لجميع خلقه إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن
"Verily Allah will reveal (down) on the night of Sha'ban Nishfu then forgives all His creatures except the idolaters (polytheist) or people that hostile to his brother." (Narrated by Ibn Majah no.1390). Author Tuhfatul Ahwadzi said, "This hadeeth is munqothi '(disconnected isnaad)." (means dho'if / weak hadith).
b. Messenger sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said,
لا تختصوا ليلة الجمعة بقيام من بين الليالى ولا تخصوا يوم الجمعة بصيام من بين الأيام
"Do not specialize Friday night from the other night for salat. And do not specialize Friday of another day to fasting. "(Narrated by Muslim no.1144).
If there was one night in particular specialism for worship, of course, Friday night devoted more mainstream than the other night. Since Friday night more mainstream than other nights. And Friday also is better than the other days because the hadith says,
"A good day when the sun rises is Friday." (Narrated by Muslim).
When the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam warned not to specialize on Friday night from the other night with a particular salat, this shows that other nights are more devoted not to special it by some practices except if there are phostulates that support it. (At Tahdzir minal Bida', 28).
c. evening nishfu Sha'ban actually like the other night. Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih Al Uthaymeen rahimahullah said,
"He who used to wake up night to prayer, don’t wake up at night of Sha'ban Nishfu. Or the one who used to fast on ayyamul biid (on 13, 14, 15 H), do not someone fasting on the day of Sha'ban Nishfu (15 H).
"Remember, what we mean is do not specialize it with certain prayers or some fasting during that day." (Liqo 'Al Bab Al Maftuh, tape no.115)
d. On the hadiths about the virtues of Sha'ban Nishfu night, mentioned that Allah would come to his servant or will fall into the sky world. Keep in mind that Allah's descent here is not only on that night. As mentioned in Bukhari-Muslim hadith that Allah comes down to the world’s sky on every 1/3 last part of the night, not only on the night of Sha'ban Nishfu. Therefore, the virtue of the night of Sha'ban Nishfu is already entered on the generality of the night, so do not need to be privileged.
'Abdullah bin Al Mubarok rahimahullah was ever asked about Allah’s descent on the night of Sha’ban Nishfu , then he gave an answer to the questioner,
"O people of the weak! Do you mean the night of Sha'ban Nishfu?! You need to know that Allah down in every night (not on the night of Sha'ban Nishfu only)." Issued by Abu 'Uthman Ash Shobuni in I'tiqod Ahlis Sunnah (92).
Al 'Aqili rahimahullah said,
"About the descent of Allah on the Sha'ban Nishfu night, the hadiths are layyin (widely criticized). The narrated that explains that Allah will come down every night, it is contained in every authentic hadith. Know that the Sha'ban Nishfu night have entered the generality of the night, "Mentioned in Adh Dhu'afa' (3/2)
3. Toward of Ramadan month, it is believed to be the primary time to visit the grave, that is visiting the grave of parents or relatives (known as "nyadran" in Indonesia). The right is, to visit the grave is not devoted in the month of Sha'ban alone. We are ordered to pilgrimage grave every time so that our heart are getting softer for remembering the dead. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said,
زوروا القبور فإنها تذكركم الآخرة
"Do pilgrimage grave because it is more remind you of the Hereafter (death)." (Narrated by Muslim no. 976).
So the problem is if someone specializing pilgrimage grave at a certain time and believe that before Ramadan is the prime time for 'nyadran' or 'nyekar'. It's really a mistake because there is no basis of Islamic teachings of this.
4. Welcoming Ramadan with a large shower, bathing, or “keramasan” (In Indonesia). Such practice is also not at all admonitions of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam. The big bathing is there if there is a demand for a shower cause such as junub, so it must obligatory bath (shower junub). Enough only with the teachings from the Prophet,
Ibn Mas'ud radi 'anhu said,
اتبعوا, ولا تبتدعوا فقد كفيتم, كل بدعة ضلالة
"Follow the (direction of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), do not make a practice which no admonitions. Since (teachings of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) it is enough for you. All heresies are misguidance. "(Narrated by Ath Thobroniy Al Mu`jam Al-Kabir in no. 8770. Al Haytsamiy said in Majma Zawa'id that the narrators are the ones used in the shohih books.)
Those who do deeds in accordance with guidance of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, that they would feel the pleasure of His pond later. Meanwhile, people who do teaching without guidance, that are who would be prevented from drinking from the pond of bliss. The Prophet said,
أنا فرطكم على الحوض, ليرفعن إلى رجال منكم حتى إذا أهويت لأناولهم اختلجوا دونى فأقول أى رب أصحابى. يقول لا تدرى ما أحدثوا بعدك
"I will precede you in al Haudh (pond). It is showed in front of me about some of you there. When I'll get (drink) for those from al Haudh, they kept away from me. I then said, 'O Allah, these are my people.' Then Allah said, 'You actually do not know they did and made some teachings that have no guidance after you.' "(Narrated by Bukhari no. 7049).
So we should be careful with that practice without guidance. Just do some deeds accordance with the knowledge and guidance of the Prophet. 'Umar bin' Abdul 'Aziz said,
من عبد الله بغير علم كان ما يفسد أكثر مما يصلح
"Those who worship Allah without knowledge, then he will make more the damage than the good one." (Amar Ma'ruf Nahi Munkar, Ibn Taymiyyah)
Allaah knows the best