|Dastgah · Ghazal · Madih
Mid-Sha'ban is the 15th day of the Muslim month of Sha'ban. Laylatul Bara'ah is the night preceding the 15th day of Shaban.
The month of Sha’ban is the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The fifteenth night of this month is known as Laylatul Bara’ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha’ban in the Arab world. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, etc., it is known as Shab-e-barat.
Sunni observe Mid-Sha'ban as a night of worship and salvation, commemorating when Allah saved Noah's followers from the deluge. According to Sunni tradition, Allah determines the destiny of all people, including whether a person lives or dies, in the coming year. For this reason it is sometimes called the "Night of Emancipation".
Imam Nawawi mentioned in his Majmu`, where he also quoted Imam al-Shafi`i from the latters al-Umm that it has reached him that there are 5 nights when dua is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.
The night of the 15th starts at sunset on the 14th and ends at sunrise on the 15th.
It is reported from Sayyiduna Ali that the Prophet Muhammad said: "Let all of you spend the night of mid-Sha`ban in worship (i.e. partly) and its day in fasting. Allah descends to the nearest heaven during this night, beginning with sunset, and says: Is there no one asking forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant them sustenance? Is there no one under trial that I may relieve them? Is there not such-and-such, is there not such-and-such, and so forth until until dawn rises." [Narrated by Ibn Majah.]
There are many other narrations from the Companions and early Muslims confirming this matter, as mentioned by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lataif al-Ma`arif, and others.
There is general consensus that weak hadiths may be acted upon for virtuous acts, such as voluntary fasting and prayer, as long as the hadith is not excessively weak, returns to a general basis in the Shariah, and one is not convinced that Muhammad specifically prescribed it.
1. About hadith:
As for the other narrations concerning the 15th of Sha'baan (which are not believed authentic), the Hanafi scholar, Shaikh Mulla 'Alee al-Qaaree (d.1014H) records some of these hadith:
In another narration, the following people have also been mentioned: 1. One who deals in usury (Riba), 2. One who wears his trousers below his ankle with pride and arrogance (In Arabia, people displayed their wealth and boasted in this manner), 3. One who creates disunity among two Muslims, 4. The person who unjustly takes away the right and property of another Muslim and has not yet rectified himself. All these persons are not shown mercy on this auspicious Night. A humble appeal to seek pardon and ask Allah’s forgiveness
Also on this night the Doors of Mercy and Forgiveness are opened wide,and those who sincerely grieve over and repent for their past sins and seek forgiveness from Allah are pardoned and forgiven by the Grace of Allah the Merciful.
Hadrat Ghawth al-A’zam, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani has mentioned in his famous ”Gunyat-ut Talibeen” that the month of Shaban according to some narrations is related to Muhammad. So, it is our duty, as the followers of Muhammad to love and respect this month more than any other month (besides Ramadhan). One should also offer abundantly salutations (Salaat-o-Salaam) upon Muhammad.
It is the special night of seeking forgiveness and repenting to God, remembering past sins and sincerely settling the mind that one will never commits sins in the future. All the deeds that are against Shari’ah must be totally avoided so that our Du’a and Istighfaar, hopefully, will be accepted.
Dr. Muhammad al – Jibaly said: The hadith indicates that this night surely has a special merit
THE EXCELLENCY OF THE 15TH NIGHT OF SHABAAN
Many Muslims in various countries pray on the 15th night of Shabaan, and ask for forgiveness of their sins and on the following day proceed to fast. To do this is in no way against the Qur’an nor the Sunnah. There are many narrations that support its validity.
There is one night in the year when Allah gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food people will have in the year, etc.
The Majority of the scholars of Islam say:
That night is Laila-tul-Qadar in the month of Ramadan but the other scholars like Ikramah who is student of Abdullah bin Abbas says that night is 15th of Shabaan. There is a Hadith which Imam Tabari writes: Prophet said, ‘From Shabaan to Shabaan there is a decision made of who is going to die, be married and some people get married but their names are written in the death
program. [Tafsir Tabari, under Surah Dukhan, verse 1 by Imam Tabari]
This narration is Ikrama’s, the other scholar’s statements are proven that 15th night of Shabaan is a holy night but there is no doubt that Allah gives the full knowledge to the Angels in the night of Laila-tul-Qadar, which is in the month of Ramadan.
If we read all the narration's regarding Laila-tul-Qadar and the 15th night of Shabaan we can reach the conclusion that the yearly program started on the 15th night of Shabaan and completed on Laila-tul-Qadar. There might be a suspicion as to ‘why does a year program take so long from Shabaan to Ramadan? The answer is Allah knows the best. No one can understand for sure the philosophy of Allah’s work. He made the worlds in six days. Who knows why He took six days to make the worlds. To examine all of the above statements consult these books:
“Tafsir Tabari, Fathul Qadeer by Qadi Shawkani, Tafsir Qurtabi, Tafsir Bagawi, Tafsir Mazhari, Tafsir Ma’ah riyful Qur’an, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Zia-ul-Qur’an under the verse of Surah Al- Dokhan verse 1 to 5”
There are some other narrations that inform us about the Excellency of the 15th night of Shabaan.
Imam Ibn Majah states:
It is narrated by Ali that the Prophet stated; “ when it is the 15th night of Shabaan, do Qiyaam in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls: ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs (rizq) food that I may give it to him.’ And this continues till the morning.” [Ibn Majah chapter Salaah]
Imam Tirmidhi writes:
Aisha Radi Allahu unha said: “On this night the Prophet went to Jannat-ul-Baqee to make du’a, I followed him. The Prophet said to me: Allah puts His attention towards the first Heaven, and forgives the sins of the people, even if they were equivalent to the hairs of the goats of Bunn Qalb. (A tribe who at the time had a lot of goats)
[ Tirmidhi , Kitab-us-Siyaam]
Imam Bukhari has objected upon one narrator but this is compensated by the fact that Ibn Maja has narrated it with different narrations (chains).
Allama Dhahabi, and Hafidhh Ibn Kathir quoted from Hafidhh Abu Zurah that only 30 Hadith in Ibn Majah are weak. [Tadhkaratul- Hufaadh by Hafidhh Dha'ha'bi and Tareek Ibn Kathir biography Ibn Majah
Some other people have stated that more than 30 Hadith are da’eef, (weak) but the narrations we have are not amongst those 30, that is why these Hadith can be used to support the validity of 15th Shabaan night.
Even Imam Tirmidhi’s narration is weak but this does not belittle the subject, when it concerns its merits and excellence - since weak narrations are still acceptable. However, we would like to ask those people who are so against the Mid Shabaan, wether they have even a weak hadith to disprove the prayers on the 15th of Shabaan? In reality they have no narration against the 15th night of Shabaan. If there are any they should prove it. Those who are against the 15th night of Shabaan usually say ‘Why do you celebrate the 15th night of Shabaan?’ The answer is why do all of the Saudi Arabian scholars celebrate Laila-tul-Qadar on the 27th of Ramadan in Haramain (Makkah and Madinah). ‘Did the Prophet and his companions' celebrate the Laila-tul-Qadar on the 27th of Ramadan?’ The answer is no, they did not. So if this is permitted the 15th night of Shabaan is also permitted as well.
The Ahl-Sunnah say this is a permissible act, but it is not a Sunnah. There is enough proof that if the majority of the Muslims consider it to be good then it is sufficient. As the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] stated: The thing that group of a Muslims says is good, it is accepted to Allah.
[ “Mishkat chapter Ihtisaam”]
Two great followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Al Najdi, are Hafidhh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions.
[Fatawa Ahl-e-Hadith by Hafidhh Rawpari and Fatawa Thanaa’iya by Thana’ullah Amritsari, chapter on fasting]
Hafidhh Ibn Tayymiya writes:
The excellency regarding the 15th of Shabaan is an area of dispute between the Scholars, some of them say that there is no significance of this night, but Imam Ahmed recognises the excellency of this night, our other Hanbli Scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed. There are Ahadith on this night being significant, some of them are from Sunnan
(Tirmizy, Ibn Majah) and the other Ahdeeth books as well
[Iqtidah Siratul Mustaqeem page 203 by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyah]
The people who reject the significance of this night argue that the holy Qur’an was not revealed on this night so that is why there is no significance of this night It is true that the Holy Qur’an was revealed in Ramadan, but the significance is because the Ahadeeth that tells us bout the reward one will get if he/She worshipped on15th night of Shabaan. We pray to Allah if everything stated is correct eccept it, but if there is any mistake may Allah forgive us. (Amin)
The Shia spend the entire eve of the 15th of Sha'ban in prayers and worship. Twelvers spend the 15th day in celebration, as it marks the birthday of their final Imām, Muhammad al-Mahdi. Twelvers believe him to be the Mahdi, an important figure who Muslims believe will rid the world of tyranny and injustice.
Many scholars and general people believe that Shab-e-Barat is not what it is believed to be. This belief is based on the fact that there is no mention of such a night in the Quran.
Some quote 44.3 of the Quran to justify the Night from the Quran. However, reading the entire quote,
44.1 Ha. Mim. 44.2 By the Scripture that maketh plain 44.3 Lo! We revealed it on a blessed night - Lo! We are ever warning - 44.4 Whereon every wise command is made clear
It demonstrates that this Night referred to in 44.3 is in fact the Night in which the Quran was revealed, which is the Laylatul Qadr and not Laylatul Barat. Hence the concept of Laylatul Barat is somewhat disputed.
In the Indian subcontinent Muslims make sweets (especially Halwa or Zarda) to be given to the neighbors and the poor on the evening prior to the 15th of Sha'ban, but is deemed as an innovation to the faith by some Sunni scholars; some even consider it as a sin.
Even when hadiths are used to justify the night, some Sunni scholars have labeled such hadiths as weak (da'if).
Some Muslims are not convinced with the idea that fate for the coming year is to be determined in this very night.