THE FIRST EVE:
Numerous prayers have been reported including twelve rakaat with the recitation of the Surah Ikhlaas eleven times after the recitation of the Surah Hamd.
THE FIRST DAY:
It is a day of great excellence and it has been reported from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) that whoever fasts on that day is assured of Heaven. Seyyed ibn Tawoos has reported from the Holy Messenger (PBUH) that a person who fasts on the first three days of this month and on their eve recites two rakaat in each of which he recites after the Surah Hamd, the Surah Ikhlaas eleven times will be greatly rewarded.
In the commentary of the Eleventh Imam (a.s) great excellence has been reported from the month of Sha’aban and its first day and its many benefits. Thiqatul Islam Noori (May Allah brightens his grave) has translated the reported at the end of this work "KALEM-E-TAYYIB" but as the report is too long to be included here fully, a summary of it is set out:
On a first of Sha’aban Commander of Faithful (a.s) passed by a group of a people who were seated in a mosque discussing the subject of destiny. Their voices were raised as the arguments were heated and the contentions severe. Commander of Faithful (a.s) stopped and greeted them. They replied, rose in deference to him and requested him to join them. Without heeding their request, he addressed them, "O people, do not indulge in discussions not beneficial to you. Are you not aware that there are creatures of Allah who, though not dumb or incapacitated, are dumbfounded out of his fear? Whenever they think of the greatness of Allah, their tongues become tied and their hearts feeble, they lose their senses and become confounded by His glory, majesty and magnificence. When they recover from this state, they revert to Allah regarding themselves sinful, though they are distant from sin and error. They are not content with their ordinary labors of Allah nor do they regard their enormous deeds as plentiful, and constantly engage themselves in efforts for the pleasure of Allah. Whenever you see them in prayer, you will notice them fearful and anxious. How do you compare with them, you the beginners? Are you not aware that the wisest of men are the most quiet and the most ignorant are the most vocal?
O fresh people, today is the first of the honored Sha’aban. Allah has so named it as the good things (khayraat) are disbursed in this month.
Allah keeps open in this month the gates of His benefaction and has made available for you His palaces and benediction for little virtue from you. So purchase them.
But the cursed devil (Iblis) has embellished for you his vices and evil and you have always wandered astray and towards rebellion associating with evil and turning away from virtue of which He has opened the gates for you. This is the first of Sha’aban and the branches of its benediction are prayers, fasting, charity, admonishing towards virtue and restraining from evil, honoring the parents, relatives and neighbors, settlement of disputes and charity to the needy and poor. However, you have imposed on yourselves the load you cannot carry of discussing destiny. Enquiry into matters that are in the hands of Allah is not permissible to everybody, for it can lead to being misguided. Beware, if you knew what Allah has in store for the obedient, you would not have been indulging in such discussions but would have been engrossed in the matters prescribed for today. "They asked, "O Commander of Faithful, what are the things Allah has kept in store this day for the obedient?" he narrated to them the episode of the army the Holy Messenger (PBUH) had sent to fight the infidels. It was a dark night and when the infidels planned a night attach, the Muslims were all asleep except for Zaid bin Harith, Abdullah bin Rawaha, Qatadah bin No’man and Qays bin Asim Munqari. Each of them was engrossed in
prayers and in recitation of the Holy Qur’an. The enemies shot arrows aimed at the Muslims. As it was pitch dark, the enemies could not see the Muslims to be frightened of its size and got so close to them that they were soon to destroy the Muslims. Suddenly such light beamed from the faces of these few individuals that the whole Muslim army became illuminated. This inspired the Muslims who unsheathed their swords and attacked the infidels killing them or wounding them and taking them prisoners. When they turned to the Holy Messenger (PBUH) and narrated their encounter to him, he said that the prayers of their brothers on the first eve of Sha’aban were the cause of the light which illuminated from their faces. Iblis spreads out his army round the earth urging them to make special efforts to attract the creatures of Allah towards them as Allah spreads His angels on this day round the world commanding them to look after His creatures well and urge them towards virtue and stating that because of them, the creatures will turn to virtue except for the disobedient and rebellious who would have united with the army of Iblis. On the first of Sha’aban Allah surely orders the Gates of Heaven to o9pen up and the "Tree of Tooba" to bring its branches closer to earth and at that time there is an announcement from Allah, "O creature of Allah, these are the branches of the "Tree of Tooba", cling to them as they will lift you to Heaven and these are the branches of the "Tree of Zaqoom", beware of them lest they lead you to Hell".
The Holy Messenger (PBUH) said, "By the one who has appointed me to the Prophet hood, whoever adopts any virtue on this day will have clung to a branch of the branches of the "Tree of Tooba" which will take him to heaven and whoever adopts evil on this day will surely have clung to a branch of the branches of the "Tree of Zaqoom" which will take him to fire".