This holy month is ascribed to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) who used to observe fasting and connect it to the obligatory fasting of Ramaḍān. He (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) used to say,
Sha’ban is my month; hence, Paradise will be incumbently decided for one who observes fasting on one day of my month.
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said: Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) used to gather all his companions at the beginning of Sha’ban and say to them,
O my companions, do you know what this month is? It is Sha’ban. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) used to say, ‘Sha’ban is my month.’ You should thus fast in this month as a sign of your love for your Prophet and as a sign of seeking nearness to your Lord. I swear by Him Who grasps my soul in His Hand, I heard my father, al-Husayn (‘a) saying that he heard Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, saying, ‘As for anyone who observes fasting in Sha’ban for the love of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) and for seeking nearness to Almighty Allah, Almighty Allah will love him, draw him near to His honor on the Resurrection Day, and decide Paradise for him incumbently.
Shaykh al-Tusi has narrated on the authority of Safwan al-Jammal that Imam al-Sadiq (عليه السلام) instructed him to urge all people he knew to observe fasting in Sha’ban. “May Allah accept me as ransom for you! There is a reason for this instruction. Is there not?” asked Safwan al-Jammal. Imam al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) answered,
Yes, there is. When his eyes fell on the new moon of Sha’ban, the Messenger of Allah (عليه السلام) ordered a spokesman to declare the following to the people of al-Madinah: O people of Yathrib! I am the messenger of 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.
Imam al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) then added,
Ameer al-Momineen (Imam Ali) used to say, ‘I have never missed the fasting in Sha’ban since I heard the call of the Messenger of Allah in Sha’ban. Furthermore, I shall never miss it so long as I am alive, God willing.
Imam al-Sadiq (عليه السلام) further said,
To fast in two consecutive months is repentance before Almighty Allah.
Isma’il ibn ‘Abd al-Khaliq narrated that when the subject of observing fasting in Sha’ban was once discussed in the presence of him, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq(عليه السلام) said,
The merits of observing fasting in Sha’ban are so great that even one who sheds inviolable blood is expected to be forgiven.
The recommended rites of Sha’ban are divided into two parts: general and particular. The general rites are those which are advisedly practiced each day in the month without distinction, while the particular rites are dedicated to certain days and nights in this month.