Text:Al-Sha'baniyya Sermon

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Al-Shaʿbānīyya Sermon (Arabic: الخطبة الشعبانية) is a sermon delivered by the Prophet (s) in the last Friday of the month of Sha'ban as a preparation for entering the month of Ramadan.

Imam 'Ali (a) reported that the Prophet (s) once delivered a speech, saying,

Translation Text
"Oh people! Month of Allah has come toward you bringing divine blessing, mercy and forgiveness. «أَیهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّهُ قَدْ أَقْبَلَ إِلَیکمْ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ بِالْبَرَکةِ وَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَ الْمَغْفِرَةِ.
In the sight of Allah, this month is the best month and its days are the best days and its nights are the best nights and its hours are the best hours. And this is the month in which you have been invited to the banquet of Allah. And in this month, you are made of those people whom Allah respects and honors. شَهْرٌ هُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَفْضَلُ الشُّهُورِ وَ أَیامُهُ أَفْضَلُ الْأَیامِ وَ لَیالِیهِ أَفْضَلُ اللَّیالِی وَ سَاعَاتُهُ أَفْضَلُ السَّاعَاتِ وَ هُوَ شَهْرٌ دُعِیتُمْ فِیهِ إِلَی ضِیافَةِ اللَّهِ وَ جُعِلْتُمْ فِیهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ کرَامَةِ اللَّهِ.
Your breaths in it (the month of Ramaḍan) are glorification (of God) and your sleep in it is worship and your deeds are accepted in this month and your prayers are responded in this month. أَنْفَاسُکمْ فِیهِ تَسْبِیحٌ وَ نَوْمُکمْ فِیهِ عِبَادَةٌ وَ عَمَلُکمْ فِیهِ مَقْبُولٌ وَ دُعَاؤُکمْ فِیهِ مُسْتَجَابٌ.
You may thus ask Allah with sincere intentions and pure hearts that He will guide you to observing fasting (properly) and to reciting His book (Al-Qur'an), verily, the true miserable is he whom is deprived of Allah's forgiveness in this magnificent month. فَاسْأَلُوا اللَّهَ رَبَّکمْ بِنِیاتٍ صَادِقَةٍ وَ قُلُوبٍ طَاهِرَةٍ أَنْ یوَفِّقَکمْ لِصِیامِهِ وَ تِلَاوَةِ کتَابِهِ، فَإِنَّ الشَّقِی مَنْ حُرِمَ غُفْرَانَ اللَّهِ فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ الْعَظِیمِ.
And as you feel hunger and thirst in this month, you should remember the hunger and thirst of the Resurrection Day. وَ اذْکرُوا بِجُوعِکمْ وَ عَطَشِکمْ فِیهِ جُوعَ یوْمِ الْقِیامَةِ وَ عَطَشَهُ.
And Give alms to the poor and the needy among you and respect those who are older than you and have mercy upon those who are younger than you and esteem your ties with your relatives. وَ تَصَدَّقُوا عَلَی فُقَرَائِکمْ وَ مَسَاکینِکمْ وَ وَقِّرُوا کبَارَکمْ وَ ارْحَمُوا صِغَارَکمْ وَ صِلُوا أَرْحَامَکمْ.
And keep your tongues and cast down your looks from all that which is unlawful for you to gaze, and close your hearing against all that which is unlawful for you to hear. وَ احفَظُوا ألسِنَتَکم، وغَضّوا عَمّا لا یحِلّ النَّظرُ إلیه أبصارَکم، و عمّا لا یحلّ الإستِماعُ إلیه.
And treat kindly the orphans among you so that yours will be treated kindly. وَ تَحَنَّنُوا عَلَی أَیتَامِ النَّاسِ کمَا یتَحَنَّنُ عَلَی أَیتَامِکمْ.
And repent to Allah from your sins and raise your hands toward Him with supplications at the times of your prayers, for these times are the best hours, in those, Allah looks at His servants with mercy – He will respond to their prayers, answer their calls and receive their supplications. وَ تُوبُوا إِلَی اللَّهِ مِنْ ذُنُوبِکمْ وَ ارْفَعُوا إِلَیهِ أَیدِیکمْ بِالدُّعَاءِ فِی أَوْقَاتِ صَلَوَاتِکمْ، فَإِنَّهَا أَفْضَلُ السَّاعَاتِ، ینْظُرُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ فِیهَا بِالرَّحْمَةِ إِلَی عِبَادِهِ یجِیبُهُمْ إِذَا نَاجَوْهُ وَ یلَبِّیهِمْ‏ إِذَا نَادَوْهُ وَ یسْتَجِیبُ لَهُمْ إِذَا دَعَوْهُ
O people, truly, your soul are dependent upon your deeds; therefore, try to free them by means of imploring for forgiveness, likewise, your backs are heavily burdened by your sins; therefore, try to lighten it by means of long sajdas. أَیهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ أَنْفُسَکمْ مَرْهُونَةٌ بِأَعْمَالِکمْ فَفُکّوهَا بِاسْتِغْفَارِکمْ، وَ ظُهُورُکمْ ثَقِیلَةٌ مِنْ أَوْزَارِکمْ فَخَفِّفُوا عَنْهَا بِطُولِ سُجُودِکمْ.
And let it be known to you that Allah has sworn by His Mighty that He shall not chastise the performers of prayers and those who prostrate before Him and that shall not frighten them with Hellfire in that day when all humankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds. وَ اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَی ذِکرُهُ أَقْسَمَ بِعِزَّتِهِ أَنْ لَا یعَذِّبَ الْمُصَلِّینَ وَ السَّاجِدِینَ وَ أَنْ لَا یرَوِّعَهُمْ بِالنَّارِ یوْمَ یقُومُ النَّاسُ لِرَبِّ الْعالَمِینَ
O people, if anyone of you gives iftar to a faster (an observer of fasting), he shall be awarded by Allah the reward of manumitting a salve as well as a forgiveness of all his past sins. أَیهَا النَّاسُ مَنْ فَطَّرَ مِنْکمْ صَائِماً مُؤْمِناً فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ کانَ لَهُ بِذَلِک عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ عِتْقُ رَقَبَةٍ وَ مَغْفِرَةٌ لِمَا مَضَی مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ.
An attendant asked: "O Allah's Messenger (s), not all of us can do this!"
The Prophet (s) replied:
"Keep yourselves safe form the Hellfire even by a half of date. Keep yourselves safe form the Hellfire even by a sip of water. «اِتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَ لَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ، اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَ لَوْ بِشَرْبَةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ
O people, as to those among you who behave politely in this month, they shall be permitted to pass the Discriminating Bridge (sirat) on the day when many feet will slip (the day of Resurrection). أَیهَا النَّاسُ مَنْ حَسَّنَ مِنْکمْ فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ خُلُقَهُ کانَ لَهُ جَوَازاً عَلَی الصِّرَاطِ یوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِیهِ الْأَقْدَامُ
And as to those among you who relieve their servants from a part of their jobs, Allah shall make easy for them the interrogation on the Day of Resurrection. وَ مَنْ خَفَّفَ فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ عَمَّا مَلَکتْ یمِینُهُ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَلَیهِ حِسَابَهُ.
And as to those who stop bothering the others, Allah shall save them from His ire on the day when they shall meet Him. وَ مَنْ کفَّ فِیهِ شَرَّهُ کفف [کفَ‏] اللَّهُ عَنْهُ غَضَبَهُ یوْمَ یلْقَاهُ
And as to those who honor an orphan in this month, Allah shall honor him on the day when they will meet Him. وَ مَنْ أَکرَمَ فِیهِ یتِیماً أَکرَمَهُ اللَّهُ یوْمَ یلْقَاهُ.
And as to those who keep good ties with their relatives in this month, Allah will keep good ties with them through His mercy on the day when they will meet Him. On the other hand, as to those who rupture their relations with their relatives in this month, Allah will prevent them from receiving His mercy on the day when they will met Him. وَ مَنْ وَصَلَ فِیهِ رَحِمَهُ وَصَلَهُ اللَّهُ بِرَحْمَتِهِ یوْمَ یلْقَاهُ وَ مَنْ قَطَعَ فِیهِ رَحِمَهُ قَطَعَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ رَحْمَتَهُ یوْمَ یلْقَاهُ.
And as to those who voluntarily offer a prayer in this month, Allah will release them from Hellfire and as to those who perform a religious rite in this month, they shall be given the reward of performing seventy religious rites in other months. وَ مَنْ تَطَوَّعَ فِیهِ بِصَلَاةٍ کتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بَرَاءَةً مِنَ النَّارِ وَ مَنْ أَدَّی فِیهِ فَرْضاً کانَ لَهُ ثَوَابُ مَنْ أَدَّی سَبْعِینَ فَرِیضَةً فِیمَا سِوَاهُ مِنَ الشُّهُورِ.
And as to those who very frequently invoke Allah's blessings upon me in this month, Allah shall make their scales heavy (full of good deeds) in a day that the scales are light (lacking good deeds). وَ مَنْ أَکثَرَ فِیهِ مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ عَلَیَّ ثَقَّلَ اللَّهُ مِیزَانَهُ یوْمَ تَخِفُّ الْمَوَازِینُ.
As to those who recite a single verse of the Qur'an in this month, they shall have the reward of one who has recited the whole Qur'an in other months. وَ مَنْ تَلَا فِیهِ آیةً مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ کانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ مَنْ خَتَمَ الْقُرْآنَ فِی غَیرِهِ مِنَ الشُّهُورِ.
O people, certainly, the gates of Paradise are wide open in this month; therefore, pray your Lord not to close them before you. And similarly, the gates of Hellfire are close in this month; therefore, pray your Lord not to open them on you. And devils are tied up in this month; therefore, pray your Lord not to set them up over you". أَیهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ أَبْوَابَ الْجِنَانِ فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ مُفَتَّحَةٌ، فَاسْأَلُوا رَبَّکمْ أَنْ لَا یغَلِّقَهَا عَلَیکمْ، وَ أَبْوَابَ النِّیرَانِ مُغَلَّقَةٌ، فَاسْأَلُوا رَبَّکمْ أَنْ لَا یفَتِّحَهَا عَلَیکمْ. وَ الشَّیاطِینَ‏ مَغْلُولَةٌ فَاسْأَلُوا رَبَّکمْ أَنْ لَا یسَلِّطَهَا عَلَیکمْ.»
Imam 'Ali (a) said: then I stood up and asked:
"O Allah's Messenger (s), what is the best deed in this month?" «یا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا أَفْضَلُ الْأَعْمَالِ فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ؟»
The Prophet (s) replied:
"O Aba l-Hasan [kunya of Imam 'Ali (a)], the best deed in this month is abstinence from what Allah has forbidden". «یا أَبَا الْحَسَنِ أَفْضَلُ الْأَعْمَالِ فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ الْوَرَعُ عَنْ مَحَارِمِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ.»
Then he started weeping. I (Imam 'Ali (a)) asked:
"O Allah's Messenger (s), what caused you to cry?" «یا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا یبْکیک»
He said:
"O Ali, I cry for what will happen to you in this month. I can see you praying to your Lord when the most evil person from the first and the last, who likes the killer of she-Camel of Thamud, hits you on your head and dyes your beard with your blood." فَقَالَ: «یا عَلِی أَبْکی لِمَا یسْتَحَلُّ مِنْک فِی هَذَا الشَّهْرِ. کأَنِّی بِک وَ أَنْتَ تُصَلِّی لِرَبِّک وَ قَدِ انْبَعَثَ أَشْقَی الْأَوَّلِینَ وَ الْآخِرِینَ شَقِیقُ عَاقِرِ نَاقَةِ ثَمُودَ، فَضَرَبَک ضَرْبَةً عَلَی قَرْنِک فَخَضَبَ مِنْهَا لِحْیتَک.»
I (Imam 'Ali (a)) asked:
"O Allah's Messenger (s), do I have the right beliefs when this happens?" «یا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَ ذَلِک فِی سَلَامَةٍ مِنْ دِینِی؟»
He replied,
"Yes, you have the right beliefs". «صفِی سَلَامَةٍ مِنْ دِینِک»
Then he continued,
"O 'Ali, whoever kills you, has killed me, and whoever hates you, has hated me, and whoever swear at you, has sworn at me; because you are related to me like how my soul is related, your soul is from my soul and your mud (tinat) is from my mud. «یا عَلِی مَنْ قَتَلَک فَقَدْ قَتَلَنِی وَ مَنْ أَبْغَضَک فَقَدْ أَبْغَضَنِی وَ مَنْ سَبَّک فَقَدْ سَبَّنِی؛ لِأَنَّک مِنِّی کنَفْسِی، رُوحُک مِنْ رُوحِی وَ طِینَتُک مِنْ طِینَتِی
Allah the Almighty created me and you and selected me and you and chose me for prophethood and chose you for Imamate, whoever denies your Imamate has denied my prophethood. إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَک وَ تَعَالَی خَلَقَنِی وَ إِیاک وَ اصْطَفَانِی وَ إِیاک وَ اخْتَارَنِی لِلنُّبُوَّةِ وَ اخْتَارَک لِلْإِمَامَةِ، فَمَنْ أَنْکرَ إِمَامَتَک فَقَدْ أَنْکرَ نُبُوَّتِی
O 'Ali, your are my executor and the father of my children and the husband of my daughter and my successor in my Umma (nation) in my life and after my demise, your orders are my orders, and your forbidding is my forbidding. یا عَلِی أَنْتَ وَصِیی وَ أَبُو وُلْدِی وَ زَوْجُ ابْنَتِی وَ خَلِیفَتِی عَلَی أُمَّتِی فِی حَیاتِی وَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِی، أَمْرُک أَمْرِی وَ نَهْیک نَهْیی.
I swear to Who has sent me as a prophet and put me at the top rank of all his creatures that you are hujjat Allah (God's demonstration) on his creatures and his trustee on his secrets and his representative (caliph) among his servants." أُقْسِمُ بِالَّذِی بَعَثَنِی بِالنُّبُوَّةِ وَ جَعَلَنِی خَیرَ الْبَرِیةِ إِنَّک لَحُجَّةُ اللَّهِ عَلَی خَلْقِهِ وَ أَمِینُهُ عَلَی سِرِّهِ وَ خَلِیفَتُهُ عَلَی عِبَادِه»[1]

Notes

  1. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol. 96, p. 157; Al-Saduq, 'Uyun akhbar al-Rida, vol. 1, p. 295

References

  • Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali al-. 'Uyun akbar al-Rida (a). Tehran: Jahan. According to Jami' ahadith noor [software] ver. 3.5.
  • Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir al-. Bihar al-anwar. Lebanon: Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-'Arabi.