Allah (swt) , due to his infinite grace and mercy, presented to His bondsmen some special occasions wherein they have a golden opportunity of earning the mercy and forgiveness of Allah.
Some explicit examples of these special occasions are the nights of Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr. In the same mold is the fifteenth night of Sha'baan.
Several Ahaadith extol the tremendous merit of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allah during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that this night is called "The night of Bara'at" (i.e. the night wherein judgment of being from Jahannam and punishmentis passed).
SOME AHADITH CONCERNING SHAB-E-BARA'AT
1. It is reported from Hazrat Mau’dh Ibn-e-Jabal (R.A.) that Rasulullah (S.A.W.)said: "On the fifteenth night of Sha’ban Allah bestows his special attention on His entire creation. He then pardons His entire creation except an idolater and one who harbours enmity.'
2. It is narrated from Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr (R.A.) that RasulAllah (S.A.W.) said "Allah looks with special attention towards His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha'baan and forgives all his servants except two categories of people; the person who harbours enmity and a murderer."
And countless other such narrations are found. However while some of the narrations regarding Laylatul Bara’ah are weak and may lead one into the error of totally disregarding this wondrous night, we have to see what the understanding of Muhaditheen was regarding these narrations & save ourselves from adopting an attitude that might lead us into missing out on this night’s Barakah.
VIEW OF MUHADITHEEN REGARDING SHAB-E-BARA'AT
“An overview of the various narrations regarding this night lends credence to the acceptability of the virtue of this night. The Reason being that although these narrations are weak, they are numerous and narrated by a number of Sahabah.
Some are such that not much criticism has been leveled at their Sanad (chain of narrators). Ibnu-Hibbaan has included some of these narrations in his 'Sahih" and Hafiz Mundhiri has remarked regarding the Sanad of some that 'LA BA'SA BIHI' (it is acceptable).
Therefore, according to the principal of the Muhadditheen, the excellence of the night of Bara'at is proven from a conjunction of all narrations. This is the general consensus of the Muhadditheen and Fuqaha and this is correct.
Even Ibn-e-Taymiyyah, accepts the virtue of the night of Bara'at. He says: 'So many Abaadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Sha'ban that one is compelled to accept that this night does possess some virtue.' Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night for Salah” -Muhaddith Shaykh Fazl-ur-Rahman al-Azam
VIRTUE OF THIS NIGHT AS ESTABLISHED BY MUHADITHEEN
“The virtue of this night that is established from these Ahaadith is that from the very beginning of the night Allah turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seek forgiveness. Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allah with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a promise never to return to sin again and seek forgiveness from Allah. Seek forgiveness for oneself and the rest of the Muslims, living and deceased. Have the firm hope and resolution in the heart that Allah will surely show mercy and forgiveness.” - Muhaddith Shaykh Fazl-ur-Rahman al-Azam
UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE WHO ARE DEPRIVED ON THIS NIGHT
It is understood from the Ahaadith that even on this night, some servants of Allah are deprived of His forgiveness. They are as follows:
2. Those who harbour enmity against others
3. Consumers of alcohol
4. Those who disobey their parents
5. Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis, etc. below their ankles;
6. Those who commit adultery and murderers
7. And those who sever family ties.
We can thus gauge the severity of these sins and the need to perpetually abstain from them as they are so grave that even on an occasion when Allah's mercy comes to the fore, they still pose an obstacle to our forgiveness.
Every Muslim should consider carefully and if he is involved in any of these sins, he should sincerely repent and seek forgiveness for his sin lest he be deprived of this night.
THE SPECIAL VIRTUE OF THE NIGHT OF BARA'AT
The special virtues of the night of Bara'at are:
1. Contrary to other nights wherein the last third of the night has special blessings and Allah descends to the lowest Heaven during this section of the night, on the night of Bara'at the special rain of the mercy and forgiveness of Allah begins to shower down right from the beginning of the night and continues right up till dawn.
2. The sins of countless of people are pardoned. The numbers of pronouncements seeking out those who want forgiveness far supersede those which occur on other nights.
THE FAST OF THE 15TH OF SHA'BAAN
Whereas the fast of 15th of Sha’ban is not Sunnah, however it was a Sunnah of Nabi SAW to fast a lot in the month of Sha’baan. And if we have uptil now been deprived of this Sunnah, 15th of Sha’baan can be a good chance for us; a night of Ibadah followed up by a day of fasting will inshAllah benefit us spiritually.
Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed, regarding the fast of 15th of Sha’ban states:
“Muhadiseen have viewed the reports about the 15th of Shaban to be transmitted by a chain that is known as ‘hasan’. Ibn-e-Tamiyah himself mentions the amal or the practice of all the great and pious generations of Muslims, that they would make special worship on this night and that they would fast on the day of the 15th of Sha’ban. So, I would encourage generally that the Prophet saw used to increase his fasts in the month of Sha’ban and if someone hasn’t started as yet, starting from the 15th would be a wonderful way to start. Otherwise, it was a year round sunnah of the Prophet saw, that he saw used to fast on the 13th, 14th and 15th of any month.”
The shaykh also states:
“For us, who live extremely busy lives that are distracted from the remembrance of Allah swt, we may need something to snap us into this reality that the month of Ramadan is indeed coming soon and I think for that reason, if nothing else, marking the night before the 15th of Sha’ban with extra ibadat and spending the day of the 15th of Shaban in a state of fasting is even more important and critical for us modernity afflicted Muslims, because we don’t have that Sunnah temperament that we are present and preparing for the month of Ramadan, which for us still seems like a distant future event.
The thing that is critical for many of us that we should spend the night of the 15th of Shaban with as much ibadat as we can and that day in a state of fasting to snap us out of worldly distractions and back into heightened remembrance and awareness of Allah swt and to really make us feel the imminent coming of the month of Ramadan like the Prophet saw felt the imminent coming of the month of Ramadan.”
WHAT IBADAH TO DO IN THIS NIGHT?
A person can do any sort of Ibadah on this night. No nawafil or special Salah of Laylatul Bara’ah are sunnah. One should try to do all sorts of Ibadah; darood, astaghfar, nawafil, zikr, dua etc.
Also no special amal is associated with this night, according to Sunnah.
MAKE SPECIAL DUA ON THIS NIGHT REGARDING SPIRITUAL RIZQ
Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed states:
“There are some Ahadith that mention that the night of 15th Sha’ban is a night in which Allah swt decides the Rizq of the creation for the upcoming year again these ahadith are hasan in their chain of narration, they are reliably sound but not of utmost soundness. So, it’s not a necessary part of the Deen of Islam that a person believe in this but again we have to look and make our response the way that the muhadiseen and ullema was and it is that the vast overwhelming 95% of all of the mufasireen, muhadiseen, fuqaha, usooleen, auliya-e-kamileen took this to heart and they would make extra prayers and dua to Allah swt to make them a good Rizq in the following year.”
CONCEPT OF RIZQ
Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed: “We need to understand that the concept of Rizq is much more than just monetary wealth and our sustenance, it includes first and foremost our spiritual rizq: that how much ‘amal we are going to do next year, how much ikhlaas it is going to have, how much qubooliat it will have i.e. how much will be accepted by Allah swt, how much tahajjud we are going to do, how much fajr we are going to do, how much isha we are going to do or how much jama’at we are going to do, how much dhikr we are going to do, how much tillawat, istighfar, durood salawaat, khidmat etc that we are going to do.
And when we think of it like that, it’s very interesting that in the deen of Islam, Allah swt has linked this annual planning to the month of Ramadan, it almost seems that the 15th of Shaban is the initial decision by Allah swt about about how much to bestow upon us the following year but then Allah swt gave us the rest of Sha’ban and all of Ramadan to earn more and more.
**The above mentioned text has either been taken from “15th of Sha’ban in the Light of Quran & Hadith” by the great Muhaddith Shaykh Fazl-ur-Rahman al-Azam. Or from the audio by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed.
The full text can be read at:
And the audio at: