After Rajab al-Murajab, Shaban al-Moazzam is the second month of Ibadah (worship) in order to make preparations for the grand and majestic month of Ramadhan al-Mubarak - the month of fasting and forgiveness.
Shaban al-Moazzam is a month of high excellence and is dedicated to the Leader of the Prophets, Muhammad (saw). He used to keep fasts during this month and join it with the month of Ramadhan al-Mubarak. He used to say, "Sha'ban is a month dedicated to me. Whoever keeps one fast during my month will definitely go to heaven".
Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as) once said, "When his eyes fell on the new moon of Sha'ban, the Messenger of Allah ordered somebody to declare the following to the people of Medina: Oh people of Yathrib! I am Allah's Messenger to you all (carrying this message): Verily, Sha'ban is my month; therefore, may Allah have mercy upon him who helps me undertake my month."
It has also been reported from Imam Ja'far Sadiq (as) that on the commencement of the month of Sha'ban, Imam Zainul Abideen (as) would gather his companions and address them, "O my companions, do you know which month this is? It is the month of Sha'ban about which Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to say that it is dedicated to him. So keep fasts during this month in the love of your Holy Prophet (saw) and to attain closeness to your Creator. By Allah (SWT) in whose hands is my soul, I have heard from my father, Hussain ibn Ali (as), that he had heard from Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (as), that whoever keeps fast during the month of Sha'ban in the love of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and to attain closeness to Allah (SWT) will become a friend to Allah (SWT) and on the Day of Judgement will be close to Allah (SWT) by His grace and Paradise will be assured to him."
This is the month of asking for forgiveness of sins, giving alms, charity and fasting. Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to observe fasts during the whole month. Imam Zainul Abideen (as) has said: "Whosoever is in love with Prophet Muhammad (saw), wishes to seek nearness to Allah (SWT) and receive His bounties, favours and rewards in this world and in the hereafter, must connect Shaban with Ramadhan in the matter of fasting and special prayers".
It is also reported from Prophet Muhammad (saw), "Whosoever observes nine fasts in the whole month of Shaban should not fear the interrogation of Munkar and Nakeer. Whosoever observes twelve fasts in the month of Shaban, 70,000 angels will descend over his/her grave on the first night of his burial, the night of Wahshah, to remove his/her fear and loneliness".
Keeping fast on Thursdays of the month of Shaban also carried great significance. It has been reported that the heavens are decorated each Thursday in the month of Sha'ban and the angles pray to Allah (SWT) to forgive all those who fast on that day and their prayers are accepted. It is stated in the reports of the narrations of Prophet Muhammad (saw) that whoever fasts on Mondays and Thursdays of this month, Allah (SWT) will fulfill twenty of his worldly wishes and twenty of his wishes of the Hereafter.
It is recommended to give alms in this month even if it is as small as a half date. Almsgiving in this month brings about rescue from Hellfire. In this respect, it has been narrated that when Imam Ja'far Sadiq (as) was asked about the merits of observing fasting in Rajab al-Murajab, he answered, "Why do you not ask about the merits of observing fasting in Sha'ban." "What is then the reward of him who observes fasting on one day in Sha'ban, Son of the Messenger of Allah?" asked the narrator. Imam Ja'far Sadiq (as) answered, "The reward will be Paradise. I swear it by Allah (SWT)." The narrator then asked again, "What are the best deeds that should be done in the month of Sha'ban." Imam Ja'far Sadiq (as) answered, "Almsgiving and seeking forgiveness are the best deeds in Shaban al-Moazzam. Verily, if anyone of you gives alms in Sha'ban, Almighty Allah (SWT) will breed those alms in the very same way as you breed your small camels. Hence, these alms will be as huge as Mount Uhud on the day of Resurrection."
Recommended Fasts for the Islamic Lunar month of Sha'ban:
1st, 2nd and 3rd of Shaaban. 1st Thursday, Mid-Wednesday and last Thursday of Shaaban. 13th, 14th and 15th of Shaaban.
Any Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Shaaban. The last three days of Shaaban to connect with the Holy month of Ramadhan.
Usamah ibn Zaid inquired: "O Messenger of Allah, I never find you fasting in any month like you do during the month of Shaban." Prophet Muhammad (saw) responded: "That is the month the people neglect. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are raised to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting."
Other Aamal for the Islamic Lunar month of Shaban al-Moazzam:
Recite everyday 70 times: Astaghfirullaha wa as-aluhut Tawbah (I seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) and beseech Him repentant).
Recite everyday 70 times: Astaghfirullahal Ladhee Laa ilaaha illa Huwar-Rahmanur-Raheemul-Hayyul-Qayyoomu wa Atoobu ilaihi (I seek forgiveness of Allah who is "There is no god save He", the Beneficent, the Merciful, the Ever-living, the Eternal and I turn repentant to Him).
Give as much Sadaqah (alms) as possible.
Recite Salawaat as many times as possible on Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Recite 1000 times the following Dhikr within the month i.e. divide it throughout the month of Shaaban:
Laa ilaaha illallahu walaa Na'budu illa iyyaahu Mukhliseena Lahud-deen walau karihal-mushrikoon (There is no god save Allah, we do not worship save Him, making religion pure for Him only, however much the disbelievers be averse).