Sha'baniyya Holidays

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Sha'ban 15th celebration in Jamkaran Mosque

Shaʿbāniyya holidays are celebrated during the month of Sha'ban and mark the birthdays of several Shia Imams (a) and Imamzadas (the descendants of Imams (a)). According to sources, Imam al-Husayn (a) was born on the third or fifth of Sha'ban in 3/10. Imam al-Sajjad (a) was born on either the fifth or ninth of the same month, while Imam al-Mahdi (a) was born on the 15th. However, some sources suggest that 'Ali al-Akbar (a) was born on the 11th while al-'Abbas (a) was born on the fourth of Sha'ban. It's worth mentioning that different sources record different dates for the births of Imam al-Sajjad (a) and Imam al-Mahdi (a). Additionally, earlier sources do not mention the exact dates of the births of al-'Abbas (a) and 'Ali al-Akbar (a). Shia Muslims during these days celebrate by adorning the streets, mosques, and shrines of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), reciting hymns and praises to the Imams (a), and holding feasts. The largest of these celebrations in Iran occurs on the eve of the fifteenth of Sha'ban at Jamkaran Mosque. In Iraq, Shia Muslims also observe the festivities of the eve of Sha'ban, often embarking on foot pilgrimages to visit the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a). Shia communities in Islamic countries such as Bahrain, Egypt, India, and other countries also hold these Sha'ban celebrations.

The Iranian calendar recognizes some of these birthdates as national holidays:

  • The 3rd of Sha'ban celebrates Imam al-Husayn's (a) birthday, referred to as Guards Day.
  • The 4th of Sha'ban marks Disabled Veterans Day, linked to al-'Abbas' (a) birthday.
  • The 5th honors Imam al-Sajjad's (a) birthday as the Day of Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya.
  • The 11th observes Youth Day in honor of Ali al-Akbar's (a) birth.
  • Lastly, the 15th is celebrated as the World Day of the Impoverished, commemorating Imam Mahdi's (a) birthday.

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