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July 25, 2010

11

IS THE 15TH OF SHABAN A “SPECIAL” DAY?

by Umm Muawiyah

Assalamu Alaikum.

Short Answer: No.

I first heard of this day about 7 years ago when a sister asked about “Shabbey Baaraat” during a lecture. My Urdu being what it is (i.e. not good at all), I couldn’t figure out why she was asking about bridal processions in the middle of a lecture.

[Full Disclosure: I learnt my Urdu vocabulary the same place the entire Arabia, Malaysia, Africa, North America, etc learnt their Urdu vocabulary: Hindi movies. Alhamdulillah, I gave up that garbage years ago.]

[By the way, it’s apparently Shab-e-Baraat. Shab=Night. The little “e” thingy is the Urdu way of Mudhaaf/Mudhaaf Ilaihi (that alone took me years to figure out) and Baraat means something else (I still have no idea).]

This night is the 15th of Shaban. Apparently, many people “celebrate” this night due to its virtues.

Before we start, let’s all agree on something: if any day has “virtues”, it’s only because Allah has given it those virtues, so we need to refer back to the Quran and the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) to see whether this night really does have virtues.

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” [Surah An-Nisaa (4) :59]

So, if one truly believes in Allah and the Last Day, one will let the Quran and the authentic hadeeth dictate what is right and what is wrong.

What about a person who does not believe in Allah and the Last Day? Well, we only need to read the Quran to find out how the disbelievers of the previous nations would reply to their Prophets (alaihimissalaam) when they were advised with the truth:

“When it is said to them: “Follow what Allah has sent down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.” (Would they do that!) Even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided?” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) :170]

And no, I’m not accusing any of your family members of being misguided. All I’m trying to say is that we should follow the evidence, even if it means contradicting what our parents, spouses, children, teachers, etc did.

So, let me be clear here: I do not believe that the 15th night is a special day because I have found no authentic evidence to convince me that it is. There are some ahadeeth about the virtues of this night but 1) all the chains of narrations have some weakness in them and 2) none of them state that one needs to do more ibaadah (worship) on this night.

So, here’s some of the stuff that I could find about this issue. If you disagree with them, that’s fine (because it’s your choice and I’ve done my duty) but 1) I would appreciate it if you could provide me with some solid evidence and 2) I hope that you disagree because of the evidence and not because of cultural reasons.

What is the importance of the fifteenth night of the month of Sha’ban?

Answered by Muhammad Salah

The Month of Shaban — Clarifying Misconceptions

By Dr. Saleh As-Saleh

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/books/41

Ruling on celebrating the middle of Sha’baan

Praise be to Allaah Who has perfected our religion for us, and has completed His Favour upon us. And blessings and peace be upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad, the Prophet of repentance and mercy.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion [al-Maa’idah 5:3]

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not ordained? [al-Shooraa 42:21]

In al-Saheehayn it is reported from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected.”

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his Friday khutbahs: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation (bid’ah) is a going-astray.”

And there are many aayaat and ahaadeeth which say similar things.

This clearly indicates that Allaah has perfected the religion of this ummah, and completed His favour upon them. He did not take the soul of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) until he had conveyed the Message clearly and explained to the ummah everything that Allaah had prescribed for it of words and deeds. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that everything that people would innovate after he was gone, all the words and deeds that they would attribute to Islam, all of that would be thrown back on the one who invented it, even if his intention was good. The companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) knew this matter, as did the scholars of Islam after them. They denounced bid’ah and warned against it, as has been stated by all those who wrote books praising the Sunnah and denouncing bid’ah, such as Ibn Waddaah, al-Tartooshi, Ibn Shaamah and others.

Among the bid’ahs that have been invented by some people is celebrating the middle of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan), and singling out that day for fasting. There is no evidence (daleel) for that which can be regarded as reliable. Some da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth have been narrated concerning its virtues, but we cannot regard them as reliable. The reports which have been narrated concerning the virtues of prayer on this occasion are all mawdoo’ (fabricated),  as has been pointed out by many of the scholars. We will quote some of their comments below, in sha  Allaah.

Some reports have also been narrated on this matter from some of the salaf in Syria, and others. What the majority of scholars say is that celebrating this occasion is bid’ah, and that the ahaadeeth concerning the virtues of this occasion are all da’eef (weak), and some of them are mawdoo’ (fabricated) Among those who pointed this out was al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab, in his book Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif, and others. The da’eef ahaadeeth concerning acts of worship can only be acted upon in the case of acts of worship which are proven by saheeh evidence. There is no saheeh basis for celebrating the middle of Sha’baan, so we cannot follow the da’eef ahaadeeth either.

This important principle was mentioned by Imaam Abu’l-‘Abbaas Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him).

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) were agreed that it is obligatory to refer matters concerning which the people dispute to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Whatever ruling both or one of them give is the sharee’ah which must be followed, and whatever goes against them must be rejected. Any acts of worship which are not mentioned in them are therefore bid’ah and it is not permissible to do them, let alone call others to do them or approve of them. As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination [al-Nisaa’ 4:59]

“And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allaah (He is the ruling Judge)”

[al-Shooraa 42:10]

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31]

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”

[al-Nisaa’ 4:65]

And there are many similar aayaat which clearly state that matters of dispute are to be referred to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and that their ruling is to be accepted. This is the requirement of faith and this is what is best for people in this world and in the next: “That is better and more suitable for final determination” [al-Nisaa’ 4:59 – interpretation of the meaning] means, in the Hereafter.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif concerning this matter – after previously discussing it – “Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan) was venerated by the Taabi’een among the people of al-Shaam, such as Khaalid ibn Mi’daan, Makhool, Luqmaan ibn ‘Aamir and others, who used to strive in worship on this night. The people took the idea of the virtue of this night and of venerating it from them. It was said that they heard of Israa’eeli reports (reports from Jewish sources) concerning that. Most of the scholars of the Hijaaz denounced that, including ‘Ataa’ and Ibn Abi Maleekah. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam narrated that view from the fuqahaa’ of Madeenah, and this was the view of the companions of Maalik and others. They said: this is all bid’ah… No comment from Imaam Ahmad concerning Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan is known of…  Concerning spending the night of the middle of Sha’baan in prayer, there is no sound report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions…”

This is what was said by al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allaah be pleased with him). He clearly states that there is no sound report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) about Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan).

In every case where there is no sound shar’i evidence that a thing is prescribed in Islam, it is not permissible for the Muslim to innovate things in the religion of Allaah, whether these are individual acts or communal acts, whether he does them in secret or openly, because of the general meaning of the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever does any action that is not a part of this matter of ours [Islam], will have it rejected.” And there are other daleels (evidence) which indicate that bid’ah is to be denounced and which warn against it.

Imaam Abu Bakr al-Tartooshi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, in his book al-Hawaadith wa’l-Bida’: “Ibn Waddaah narrated that Zayd ibn Aslam said: We never met anyone among our shaykhs and fuqahaa’ who paid any attention to Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan, or who paid any attention to the hadeeth of Makhool, or who thought that this night was any more special than other nights. It was said to Ibn Abi Maleekah that Ziyaad al-Numayri was saying that the reward of Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan was like the reward of Laylat al-Qadr. He said, If I heard him say that and I had a stick in my hand, I would hit him. Ziyaad was a story-teller.”

Al-‘Allaamah al-Shawkaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo’ah:

“The hadeeth: ‘O ‘Ali, whoever prays one hundred rak’ahs on Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan, reciting in each rak’ah the Opening of the Book [Soorat al-Faatihah] and Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad ten times, Allaah will meet all his needs…’ This is mawdoo’ (fabricated) [i.e., it is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]. Its wording clearly states the reward that the person who does this will attain, and no man who has any common sense can doubt that this is fabricated. Also, the men of its isnaad are majhool (unknown). It was also narrated via another isnaad, all of which is mawdoo’ (fabricated) and all of whose narrators are majhool (unknown).

In al-Mukhtasar he said: The hadeeth about the salaah for the middle of Sha’baan is false, and the hadeeth of ‘Ali narrated by Ibn Hibbaan – “ When it is the night of the middle of Sha’baan, spend that night in prayer and fast that day” – is da’eef (weak).

In al-La’aali’ he said, “One hundred rak’ahs in the middle of Sha’baan, reciting (Soorat) al-Ikhaas ten times in each… (this is) mawdoo’ (fabricated), and all its narrators in its three isnaads are majhool (unknown) and da’eef (weak). He said: and twelve rak’ahs, reciting al-Ikhlaas thirty times in each, this is mawdoo’; and fourteen (rak’ahs), this is mawdoo’.

A group of fuqahaa’ were deceived by this hadeeth, such as the author of al-Ihyaa’ and others, as were some of the mufassireen. The prayer of this night – the middle of Sha’baan – was described in different ways, all of which are false and fabricated.”

Al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi said: “The hadeeth about the prayer during the night of the middle of Sha’baan is fabricated and is falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).”

Imaam al-Nawawi said in his book al-Majmoo’: “The prayer that is known as salaat al-raghaa’ib, which is twelve rak’ahs between Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ on the night of the first Friday in Rajab, and the prayer of Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan, of one hundred rak’ahs – these two prayers are reprehensible bid’ahs. No one should be deceived by the fact that they are mentioned in the books Qoot al-Quloob and Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom al-Deen, or by the hadeeth which is mentioned in these two books. All of that is false. Nor should they be deceived by the fact that some of the imaams were confused about this matter and wrote a few pages stating that these prayers are mustahabb, for they were mistaken in that.”

Shaykh al-Imaam Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Ismaa’eel al-Maqdisi wrote a very valuable book proving that these (reports) are false, and he did a very good job. The scholars spoke at length about this matter, and if we were to quote all that we have read of what they have said about this matter, it would take far too long. Perhaps what we have already mentioned is sufficient to convince the seeker of truth.

From the aayahs, ahaadeeth and scholarly opinions quoted above, it is clear to the seeker of truth that celebrating the middle of Sha’baan by praying on that night or in any other way, or by singling out that day for fasting, is a bid’ah which is denounced by most of the scholars. It has no basis in the pure sharee’ah; rather it is one of the things that was innovated in Islam after the time of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). It is sufficient for the seeker of truth, in this case and in others, to know the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you…”[al-Maa’idah 5:3]

and other similar aayaat; and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected”

and other similar ahaadeeth.

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Do not single out the night of Jumu’ah for praying qiyaam and do not single out the day of Jumu’ah for fasting, unless is it part of the ongoing regular fast of any one of you.’”

If it were permissible to single out any night for special acts of worship, the night of Jumu’ah would be the most appropriate, because the day of Jumu’ah (Friday) is the best day upon which the sun rises, as is stated in the saheeh hadeeth narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Since the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against singling out that night for praying qiyaam, that indicates that it is even more prohibited to single out any other night for acts of worship, except where there is saheeh evidence to indicate that a particular night is to be singled out.

Because it is prescribed to spend the nights of Laylat al-Qadr and the other nights of Ramadaan in prayer, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) drew attention to that and urged his ummah to pray qiyaam during those nights. He also did that himself, as is indicated in al-Saheehayn, where it says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan out of faith and seeking reward, Allaah will forgive him his previous sins” and “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer  out of faith and seeking reward, Allaah will forgive him his previous sins.”

But if it were prescribed to single out the night of the middle of Sha’baan, or the night of the first Friday in Rajab, or the night of the Israa’ and Mi’raaj, for celebration or for any special acts of worship, then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have taught his ummah to do that, and he would have done it himself. If anything of the sort had happened, his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) would have transmitted it to the ummah; they would not have concealed it from them, for they are the best of people and the most sincere, after the Prophets, may blessings and peace be upon them, and may Allaah be pleased with all the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Now we know from the words of the scholars quoted above that there is no report from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) concerning the virtue of the first night of Jumu’ah in Rajab, or the night of the middle of Sha’baan. So we know that celebrating these occasions is an innovation that has been introduced into Islam, and that singling out these occasions for acts of worship is a reprehensible bid’ah. The same applies to the twenty-seventh night of Rajab, which some people believe is the night of the Israa’ and Mi’raaj; it is not permissible to single this date out for acts of worship, or to celebrate this occasion, on the basis of the evidence (daleel) quoted above. This is the case if the exact date (of the Israa’ and Mi’raaj) is known, so how about the fact that the correct scholarly view is that its date is not known! The view that it is the night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab is a false view which has no basis in the saheeh ahaadeeth. He indeed spoke well who said: “The best of matters are those which follow the guided way of the salaf, and the most evil of matters are those which are newly-innovated.”

We ask Allaah to help us and all the Muslims adhere firmly to the Sunnah and to beware of everything that goes against it, for He is the Most Generous, Most Kind.

May Allaah bless His slave and Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, and all his family and companions.

Adapted from Majmoo’ Fataawa Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, 2/882

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/8907

I read in a book that fasting on the middle of Sha’baan is a kind of bid’ah, but in another book I read that one of the days on which it is mustahabb to fast is the middle of Sha’baan… what is the definitive ruling on this?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is no saheeh marfoo’ report that speaks of the virtue of the middle of Sha’baan that may be followed, not even  in the chapters on al-Fadaa’il (chapters on virtues in books of hadeeth etc.). Some maqtoo’ reports (reports whose isnaads do not go back further than the Taabi’een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi’een, and there are some ahaadeeth, the best of which are mawdoo’ (fabricated) or da’eef jiddan (very weak). These reports became very well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; these reports suggest that people’s lifespans are written on that day or that it is decided on that day who is to die in the coming year. On this basis, it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. One should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do these things. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen.

If a person wants to pray qiyaam on this night as he does on other nights – without doing anything extra or singling this night out for anything – then that is OK. The same applies if he fasts the day of the fifteenth of Sha’baan because it happens to be one of the ayyaam al-beed, along with the fourteenth and thirteenth of the month, or because it happens to be a Monday or Thursday. If the fifteenth (of Sha’baan) coincides with a Monday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with that (fasting on that day), so long as he is not seeking extra reward that has not been proven (in the saheeh texts). And Allaah knows best.

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/11722

what is the importance of 15 shaban,is it the night in which the fate of every one is decided for the next year?
the especial night mentioned in surah Dakan means which night.is it the shaban or Qadar?

Praise be to Allaah.

Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the 15th of Sha’baan) is like any other night, and there is no sound report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to indicate that on this night the fate or destiny of people is decided.

See Question no. 8907.

With regard to the night mentioned in the verses:

“We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship].

Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments”

[al-Dukhaan 44:3-4]

Ibn Jareer al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: the commentators differed concerning that night, i.e., which night of the year it is. Some of them said that it is Laylat al-Qadr, and it was narrated from Qurtaadah that it is Laylat al-Qadr. Others said that it is the night of the 15th of Sha’baan. The correct view is the view of those who say that it is Laylat al-Qadr, because Allaah has told us of that when He says, ‘Verily, We are ever warning’ [al-Dukhaan 44:3].”

(Tafseer al-Tabari, 11/221)

With regard to the phrase, “Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments”: Ibn Hajar said in his commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhaari: “What this means is that the decrees for the year are decided on that night, because Allaah says: ‘Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments’. And al-Nawawi said: the scholars said that it is called Laylat al-Qadr because on this night the angels write down the decrees (aqdaar), because Allaah says, ‘Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments’. This was also narrated by ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and other mufassireen with saheeh isnaads from Mujaahid, ‘Ikrimah, Qutaadah and others. Al-Toorbashti said that the word used in the Qur’aan is qadr, whereas people think it is qadar (decree); the word qadr refers to the detailed manifestation of the decree.

Laylat al-Qadr brings great reward for the one who does good deeds and strives in worship on that night.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).

And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees,

(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”[al-Qadr 97:1-5]

There are many ahaadeeth which speak of the virtue of that night, such as the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from Abu Hurayrah, in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and hoping for reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and hoping for reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Sawm, 1768).

And Allaah knows best.

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/49678

Does Allaah come down to the first heaven on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgive all the people except two types, namely kaafirs and those engaged in disputes?

Praise be to Allaah.

This is mentioned in some ahaadeeth, but there is some scholarly difference of opinion as to the soundness of those ahaadeeth. There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan.

It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbours hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1390.

The “one who harbours hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother.

In al-Zawaa’id it says: Its isnaad is da’eef, because ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Lahee’ah is da’eef (weak) and al-Waleed ibn Muslim is mudallis.

There is also some idtiraab (weakness) in the hadeeth, as stated by al-Daaraqutni in al-‘Ilal, 6/50, 51. He said: This hadeeth is not proven.

It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, ‘Aa’ishah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani and others, but the isnaads are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak.

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed them as da’eef, and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh.

Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261.

Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allaah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in this general meaning.

Hence, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allaah on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, he said to the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!”

Narrated by Abu ‘Uthmaan al-Saabooni in I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah, no. 92.

Al-‘Aqeeli (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

With regard to Allaah’s descending on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are ahaadeeth which are weak, but the reports that He descends every night are proven and saheeh, so the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in that, in sha Allaah.

Al-Du’afa’, 3/29.

See also the answer to question no. 8907.

On this site you can also find an article by Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allaah have mercy on him) concerning the ruling on celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan. You can find it under the heading, Periodic Topics (under “Useful Material” on the Islam Q&A Library page).

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/49675

Is it permissible, even after finding out that a hadeeth is da’eef (weak), to follow it, by way of doing righteous deeds? The hadeeth says: “When it is halfway through Sha’baan, spend that night in prayer and fast on that day.” The fast is observed as a voluntary act of devotion to Allaah, as is spending that night in prayer (qiyaam al-layl).

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

What is narrated concerning the virtue of praying, fasting and worshipping on the fifteenth of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) does not come under the heading of da’eef (weak), rather it comes under the heading of mawdoo’ (fabricated) and baatil (false). So it is not permissible to follow it or to act upon it, whether that is in doing righteous deeds or otherwise.

A number of scholars ruled that the reports concerning that were false, such as Ibn al-Jawzi in his book al-Mawdoo’aat, 2/440-445; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in al-Manaar al-Muneef, no. 174- 177; Abu Shaamah al-Shaafa’i in al-Baa’ith ‘ala Inkaar al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith, 124-137; al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom il-Deen, no. 582. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] narrated that there was consensus on the fact that they are false, in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 28/138.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Hukm al-Ihtifaal bi Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (Ruling on celebrating the fifteenth of Sha’baan):

Celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan) by praying etc, or singling out this day for fasting, is a reprehensible bid’ah (innovation) according to the majority of scholars, and there is no basis for this in sharee’ah.

And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan). All the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo’ (fabricated) and da’eef (weak), and have no basis. There is nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Qur’aan or prayer, whether alone or in congregation, is specified for this night. What some of the scholars have said about it being special is a weak opinion. It is not permissible to single it out for any special actions. This is the correct view. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/511.

See also question no. 8907.

Secondly:

Even if we assume that the hadeeth is da’eef (weak) and not mawdoo’ (fabricated), the correct scholarly view is that weak ahaadeeth should not be followed at all, even if they speak of righteous deeds or of targheeb and tarheeb (promises and warnings). The saheeh reports are sufficient and the Muslim has no need to follow the da’eef reports. Nothing is known in Islam to suggest that this night or day is special, either from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions.

The scholar Ahmad Shaakir said: There is no difference between rulings or righteous deeds; we do not take any of them from da’eef reports, rather no one hast he right to use any report as evidence unless it is proven to be soundly narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a saheeh or hasan hadeeth.

Al-Baa’ith al-Hatheeth, 1/278.

For more information, see: al-Qawl al-Muneef fi Hukm al-‘Aml bi’l-Hadeeth al-Da’eef.

See also the answer to question no. 44877.

And Allaah knows best.

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http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=82434

Question

I would like to know the importance of 15 Shaaban, In Pakistan and India it is a practice of Muslims to visit the graves of the relatives. Kindly quote the Hadith or any reference on the above subject.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.Choosing a given day from the days of the year such as the day of Mid Sha’ban or the 1st day of Rajab or the days of the feasts to visit graves and tombs is an innovation and an act that can lead a person astray. In fact, this practice was not reported in any sound Hadeeth from the Prophet or from any of his companions. Muslim narrated that the Prophet said: “If somebody tries to introduce into this faith of ours (Islam) something which is not a part of it, is to be rejected and that person is condemned”.

Some people even believe that the souls of dead visit the dead’s relatives on Mid-Sha’ban. Consequently the relatives of the dead prepare the foods which were favored by the dead people based on the mentioned belief. Believing that souls of dead person visit them is a null faith adopted from the Hindoos and Pharaoh’s heathens. Muslims should avoid such beliefs.

Allah knows best.

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http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&lang=E&Id=82376&Option=FatwaId

Question

What are the important nights for prayer (like Laiat ul-Qadar, Laiat ul-Barat (the night when Allah makes decisions about the world, etc. and the night of Miraj (when the Prophet ascened to heaven and visited Allah) and how to celebrate them?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Allah, the Alone, Creator of all times and all places, gives priority to some places over some other places and some periods over some other periods.

Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no choice have they (in any matter). Glorified be Allâh, and exalted above all that they associate as partners (with Him).}[28: 68]. Allah gives preference of some nights over other nights and of some days over other days. Lailat al-Qadar is among the virtuous nights and it is the most virtuous of all nights. Allah Says about this night (interpretation of meaning): {The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allâh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).}[97: 3].

The act of a person in this night is better than a thousand months. This night exists in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. The Prophet said: “Search for it in the last ten days of the month of the Ramadan”. [Bukhari and Muslim].

The nights of the month of the Ramadan are among the virtuous nights in general and the nights of the last ten days in particular since the reward of the acts is multiplied in this month. The Prophet used to lighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.

The night of fifteenth of Sh’aban is among the virtuous nights. The Prophet said: “Allah looks upon His creatures in the night of the fifteenth of Sh’aban and then forgives them except a polytheist or the one who keeps enmity”.But there is no true evidence proves celeberating or doing any special worship in this night.

In general all the nights of a Muslim are excellent nights since Allah descends every night in the last third of the night and Says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?”

There are many virtuous days such as the days of the month of the Ramadan, the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, especially the day of Arafah, the day of tenth Muharram. Monday, Thursday, the days with nights are bright (thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every month). The four sacred months (i.e. Dhul-Qadah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) fasting in the above days is desirable. Fasting the day of Arafah is desirable for the one who is not performing Hajj. The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are more virtuous than other days. The Prophet said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah)”. Then some companion of the Prophet said: “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things”.

The last ten nights of the month of the Ramadan are more sacred than the first ten nights of the month of the Dhul-Hijjah and the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah are more sacred than the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. This is the preponderant opinion of the Muslim scholars. The Day of Arafah is the best day in general. It is narrated from the Prophet that he said: “No day is most virtuous to Allah than the day of Arafah”.

The mentioned days and all the times of a Muslim are good and appropriate for worshipping Allah. But Allah gives preference to some times over some others only to make them an opportunity for doing good acts as much as possible and these acts are useful for the Muslim in this life and in the Hereafter life.

Celebrating the mentioned days means using them for doing good deeds as much as possible. One should use them for fasting, praying, supplicating Allah, avoiding all kinds of innovations practiced by many people who spend these times in amusement and other useless activities.

We do not know the day of “Bara” and there is no such night in Sharia to our knowledge. And there is no true evidence specifying the night of Isra and Miraaj. All the narrations concerning these nights are weak even if it is assumed to be true, celebrating or making certain kinds of worship is forbidden since the companions of the Prophet who are the good examples for us did not do such things. If celebrating or doing any special worship would have been a good act, then they would have done them before us. Dear brother, try to follow the Sunnah only and avoid all innovation.

There are kinds of Salah called Salat al-Ragaib, which are prayed in the beginning of the month or Rajab. This is an innovation and it is not reported from the Prophet and his companions.

A Muslim should keep himself away from all innovations. All matters of worshipping Allah are reported from Allah and His Prophet and they are protected from any addition or diminution. Meanwhile the matters of customs are not so; those customs which do not contradict the Sharia could be practiced. But anything that contradicts the Sharia must be avoided.Allah knows best.

 

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http://www.fatwaislam.com/fis/index.cfm?scn=fd&ID=567

Question:

We have some practices that we have become accustomed to and have inherited concerning some special occasions for example, making cakes and biscuits on the day of Eid al-Fitr. We also prepare meat and fruit for the night of the 27th of Rajab and the night of 15th Shaban. Furthermore, there is a specific type of sweet that we must prepare during the day of Ashura. What is the ruling of the Islamic Law concerning these things?

Answer:

As far as displaying pleasure and happiness during the days of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al- Adha, there is no harm in that as long as it is within the limits of the Shariah. That would include people preparing food, drink and so forth. It has been confirmed that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) said, ” The Days of Tashreeq are days of eating and drinking and remembrance of Allah.” [1]

The Days of Tashreeq are the three days following the Day of Eid al- Adha in which the people slaughter their sacrifices, eat from that meat and enjoy the bounties Allah has bestowed upon them. Similarly, during Eid al- Fitr there is no harm in showing one’s pleasure and happiness as long as that does not go beyond the limits of the Shariah.

As for the merriment on the night of the 27th Rajab, the night of the 15th Shaban or during the Day of Ashura, such practices have no source for them whatsoever. Indeed, they are prohibited. No Muslim should attend such celebrations if he is invited to such gatherings. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) said,

” Stay away from innovated matters. Verily every innovated matter is heresy. And every heresy is straying [from the Straight Path] .” [2]

As for the night of 17th Rajab, some people claim that it is the night of the Miraj in which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) ascended into heaven to Allah. However, historically speaking, that is not confirmed. Everything that is not confirmed is false. Even if, hypothetically speaking, that was the night of that event, it is not allowed for us to introduce any new practices with respect to celebrations or acts of worship on that day, since such were not done by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam). Infact, such is not confirmed from the Companions who were the people who followed the sunnah and the Law of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) most closely and enthusiastically. How is it permissible for us to invent something new that was not practiced during the time of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) nor during the time of the Companions?

Even for the 15th of Shaban, there is nothing confirmed from the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) about venerating that day or praying during its night. Some of the Followers [3] used to spend its night in prayer and remembrance of Allah, and not in eating, celebrating or taking it as a holiday.

As for the day of Ashura, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) was asked about fasting on that day and he said,

” It is expiation for the previous year .”

Therefore, it is not allowed to display any form of celebration or grieving on that day as such a display of celebration or grieving goes against the sunnah. The only thing that is narrated from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) is that one should fast that day , although he also ordered that a person should fast the day prior or the day after Ashurah in order to be different from the Jews who simply fast on that day alone.

____________________

[1] Recorded by Muslim .

[2] Recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmed. Muslim also has something very similar.

[3] This is reference to the generation that followed that of the Companions.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen
Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women – Darussalam Pg.50-52
____________________________________________________________
Question: We see some people specifying the 15th of Sha’baan with particular supplications and reciting the Qur.aan and performing naafilah prayers. So what is the correct position concerning this, and may Allaah reward you with good?
Response: That which is correct is that fasting the 15th of Sha’baan or specifying it with reciting (the Qur.aan) or making (particular) supplications has no basis. So the day of the 15th of Sha’baan is like any other 15th day of other months. So from that which is known is that it has been legislated for a person to fast the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month, however, Sha’baan is characterised unlike the other months in that (except for Ramadhaan) the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) used to fast more in Sha’baan than any other month . So he used to either fast all of Sha’baan or just a little. Therefore, as long as it does not cause difficulty for a person, it is befitting to increase in fasting during Sha’baan in adherence to the example of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
al-Bid’u wal-Muhdathaat wa maa laa Asla lahu – Page 612
Fataawa Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen – Volume 1, Page 190

____________________________________________________________
Question: Is standing the night of the 15th of Sha’baan in prayer and fasting during it’s day legislated?
Response: Nothing firm and reliable has been established on the authority of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that he stood in prayer in the night and fasted during the day of the 15th of Sha’baan. So the night of the 15th of Sha’baan is like any other night, and if someone is a regular worshipper during other nights, then he may stand the night in prayer on this night without assuming anything special (because of it being the night of the 15th of Sha’baan). This is because specifying a time for any act of worship requires a authentic proof, so if there is no authentic proof then the act is regarded as an innovation and all innovations are misguidance. Likewsie, regarding specifically fasting during the 15th day of Sha’baan, then no (authentic) proof has been established on the authority of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) to indicate the legislation of fasting on that particular day.

As for that which is mentioned from the ahaadeeth regarding this subject, then all of it is weak as the people of knowledge have indicated. However, whoever has the habit of fasting the 13th, 14th and 15th (of every month), then he can continue and fast during Sha’baan as he fasts during the other months, without assuming anything special about the 15th of Sha’baan. Also, the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) used to increase in fasting during this month (Sha’baan), however, he did not particularise the 15th day, rather proceeded as per norm.

Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan
al-Bid’u wal-Muhdathaat wa maa laa asla lahu – Page 614
Noorun alad-Darb Fataawa Shaykh Saalih Ibn Fowzaan – Volume 1, Page 87

____________________________________________________________
Question: When my father was alive, he entrusted me to give sadaqah (charity) according to my means on the 15th of Sha’baan every year, and likewise I have been doing this ever since. However, some people have admonished me for doing so saying it is not permissible. So is giving sadaqah on the night of the 15th of Sha’baan permissible according to the willment of my father or not? Kindly advise us and may Allaah reward you with good.
Response: To specify the giving of sadaqah on the night of the 15th of Sha’baan every year is an innovation, and despite your father having entrusted you with that, it is not permissible. It is befitting you give this sadaqah without specifying the night of the 15th of Sha’baan, rather do so every year and in whichever month, but without particularising any one month (on a consistent basis). However, it is permissible to do so in the month of Ramadhaan (for the evidence which indicates so).

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa
al-Bid’u wal-Muhdathaat wa maa laa Asla lahu – Page 611
Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Fatwa No. 9760

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. UmmeHashir
    Jul 27 2010

    As-Salaam-o’ALaikum my sister,

    May Allah (SWT) reward you in plenty for doing such a wonderful work. All the blogposts are simly so wonderful and this one in particular was so much needed. Insha Allah, I will try to forward it to all my friends and relatives who blindly follow the custom (a biddah) of shab-e-baaraat.

    And I think teh word baaraat here means “accountability”, for I have always understood the term as “the night of accountability” .

    Jazak Allahu Khairan katheeran fee duniya wal aakhirah.

    Wasalaam

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Jul 27 2010

      Wa Alaikum Assalam Sister.

      Ameen to your dua and jazakillahu kheira for your enthusiasm and your encouragement.

      One of my friends told me (after reading the post) that it comes from the Arabic word “baraa”, and means freedom or emancipation (which would fit in with the Arabic meaning).

      Perhaps in Urdu, “baraat” means both accountability and emancipation?

      Allah Alam, I wouldn’t know (as my Urdu level is “Ek chai, please”).

      Once again, jazakillahu kheira for your kind words.

      Reply
  2. UmmeHashir
    Jul 27 2010

    I don’t know what exactly the word baaraat means, but Shab-e-baaraat is translated as The Night of Accountability, The Night of Salvation, The Night of Privilege and so on.

    After seeing your comment here, I tried to google it and found this meaning:
    Shab-e-barat is observed with great reverence and fervor among Muslim communities. It is celebrated as the night of accountability. In their language “Shab” means night and “Barat” means “the night of assignment or commission.” It is also called by names: Sob-e-barat, Sab-e-baraat and Boraks Nigh.

    Whatever it means, it was never celebrated in the lifetime of RasoolALLAH (SAWS) and so I think it is not for us to celebrate.

    JazakALLAH my sister. Love you and your work for the sake of ALLAH (SWT)

    Wasalaam.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Jul 27 2010

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      Jazakillahu kheira for the clarification.

      And you’re right, it’s not for us to celebrate this day.

      Wa iyaaki and may He, for whose sake you love me, love you.

      Reply
  3. nazneenabdulghafoor
    Jul 4 2012

    Wa ALAIKUM ASSALAAM,jazakakallahu khairan,i felt very relieving,ALHAMDULILLAH.

    Reply
  4. fehmidaayub
    Jul 5 2012

    jazakallah o kherun kasira great work for the guidence of those who seek may Allah guide us all to the one and only sirate mustaqim aamin.

    Reply
  5. Farooq Ahmad
    Jul 6 2012

    We Muslims are divided by Mullahs(The so called Scholars) these people have miss interpreted many things. A common man is confused; what to follow and what not? I personally believe it is ignorance and lethargy of an individual not to read and understand Qura’an. Our first and foremost duty is to learn Qura’an and seek guidance from Qura’an and Sunnah and request to Almighty Allah for the correct (Serat-e-Mustaqim). May Almighty Allah guide all the Muslims to unite on one platform. Aamin!!!!!

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Jul 6 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      The scholars are the ones who have studied this religion, unlike people who just randomly give their opinions on blogs.

      They don’t divide, rather it is the ignorant laymen who do this.

      Yes Brother, I agree that we should read the Quran. After that, we’ll realise that Allah has asked us to refer our matters to the well-grounded scholars (i.e. those who follow the Quran and the Sunnah).

      A word of advice: Please be clear about what you’re trying to say. It seems that you tried to say everything (without any proofs) and ended up saying nothing.

      As for your dua, then if the “platform” is understanding the Quran and the Sunnah according to the understanding of the early generations, then “Ameen” to your dua.

      Baarakallahu feek.

      Reply
  6. Abu 'Abdillaah
    Jul 9 2012

    Bismillaah Hir-Rahmaan Nir-Raheem

    It is worthy to mention that citing the virtue of this night as authenticated by Shaiykh Al-Albaani and other than him from amongst the muhadditheen, scholars like Ibnu Taiymiyyah (rahimahullaah) and other than him have mentioned that there is no harm if one spends this night in worship individually. The virtue of this night lends credence to worship (within shariah limits and without specifying formulae) as there is no virtuous day in Sharee’ah, except that we turn to Allaah in worship. It is true however that none of the reports concerning worship on this night reach the level of maqbool (accepted).

    This write up was not to convince anyone about the above opinion, rather to make aware of those who may not be, that this too is an opinion.

    May Allaah guide us to the correct view concerning that which they differ in, aameen.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Jul 10 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      Jazakallahu kheira for the input.

      I was going to put up Shaikh Al-Albaani’s authentication this year but I found far too many scholars who went against his grading.

      As for the post, I did mention that there is another view but that the ahadeeth had weakness. [And I did imply that there is another opinion.]

      Baarakallahu feek.

      Reply
  7. askaroundnow
    May 23 2016

    JazaKumullahi Khairan for sharing this and may Allah continue to increase you in Knowledge

    Reply

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