Friday, 13 June 2014

Why do they Celebrate The 15th Night of Shabaan (Shab -e- Baraat) ?







Quote:

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).

Sh 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]


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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.

Sh 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]

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Sh Ibn Jibreen:

Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan) should not be singled out for worship 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.
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Sh Ibn Baaz said: "There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan. All the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo (fabricated) and daeef (weak), and have no basis. There is nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Quraan 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."
(Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/511)

[End of quote]

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The Mother of the Believers Aisha [May Allah be pleased with her] said:
“The Messenger of Allah [Peace be upon him] used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah [Peace be upon him fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Shaban. [Narrated by al-Bukhârî, no. 1833; Muslim, no. 1956]
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The Mother of the Believers Aisha [May Allah be pleased with her] reports,
"The Prophet stood up in prayer during part of the night and made his prostration so lengthy that I thought his soul had been taken back. When I saw this I got up and went to move his big toe, whereupon he moved, so I drew back. When he raised his head from prostration and finished praying, he said: "O `A'isha, O fair little one (humayra')! Did you think that the Prophet had broken his agreement with you?" She replied: "No, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah, but I thought that your soul had been taken back because your stayed in prostration for so long."

He said: "Do you know what night this is?" She said: "Allah and His Prophet know best." He said: "This is the night of mid-Sha`ban! Verily Allah the Glorious and Majestic look at His servants on the night of mid-Sha`ban, and He forgives those who ask forgiveness, and He bestows mercy on those who ask mercy, and He gives a delay to the people of envy and spite in their state."

Narrated from Aisha by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al Iman (3:382) where he comments:
 “This hadith is missing the Companion in its chain, and is a good Hadith (hadha mursal jayyid). It is probable that al-Ala’ibn al-Harith took it from *Makhul

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Mu'adh ibn Jabal [May Allah be pleased with him] reports that Prophet [Peace be upon him] said:
 “Allah looks at his creation on the night of mid-Shaban and He forgives all his creation except for the idolater and the one bent on hatred.”
[Narrated by  Ibn Hibban (12:481) with a sound chain according to al-Arna’ut and al-Haythami who said that Tabarani also narrated it in his Kabir and Awsat with chains containing only trustworthy narrators, that is: sound (sahih) chains; Ibn Khuzayma included it in his Sahih, which has the same level of acceptance among the experts as Sahih Muslim; and even Albani included it in his *Silsila sahiha. ]

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Now Note!

What their hadith master and not to forget their "mujaddid"   Al-Albani  said:

" يطلع الله تبارك و تعالى إلى خلقه ليلة النصف من شعبان , فيغفر لجميع خلقه
إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن " .

قال الألباني في " السلسلة الصحيحة " 3 / 135 :

حديث صحيح , روي عن جماعة من الصحابة من طرق مختلفة يشد بعضها بعضا و هم # معاذ ابن جبل و أبو ثعلبة الخشني و عبد الله بن عمرو و أبي موسى الأشعري و أبي هريرة و أبي بكر الصديق و عوف ابن مالك و عائشة # .

1 -
أما حديث معاذ فيرويه مكحول عن مالك بن يخامر عنه مرفوعا به . أخرجه ابن
أبي عاصم في " السنة " رقم ( 512 - بتحقيقي )


Translation: Allah turns towards his creation in the Night of "MID-SHABAN" and He forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people

Albani says in his “Silsilat as Sahiha”: (This is a) “SAHIH HADITH” narrated by group of Sahaba with different routes (Isnaad) such as from Muadh bin Jabal (ra), Abu Thalbah (ra) Abdullah bin Amr (ra), Abu Musa al Ashari (ra), Abu Hurraira (ra), Abu Bakr as Saddiq (ra), Awf bin Malik (ra) and Aisha (ra).

The Hadith of Muadh bin Jabal (ra) comes through *Makhul from Malik bin Yakhamir and It is “MARFU” narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in his As-Sunnah Hadith #512 

[Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat as Sahiha, Volume No. 3, Page No. 135 #1144]
Scan:Here 

Albani further declares 2 more ahadith to be “Hassan” and 1 to be “Mursal Jayyid”



  

 What did their master Ibn Taymiyya say?

Ibn Taymiyah said in Iqtida' al-sirat al-mustaqim:
[Some] said: There is no difference between this night (mid-Sha`ban) and other nights of the year. However, the opinion of many of the people of learning, and that of the majority of our companions (i.e. the Hanbali school) and other than them is that it is a night of superior merit, and this is what is indicated by the words of Ahmad (ibn Hanbal), in view of the many ahadith which are transmitted concerning it, and in view of what confirms this from the words and deeds transmitted from the early generations (al-athar al-salafiyya). Some of its merits have been narrated in the books of hadith of the musnad and sunan types. This holds true even if other things have been forged concerning it. [Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida' al-sirat al-mustaqim p. 302.]

Ibn Taymiayh also said:
“ As for the middle night of Sha’baan, there are various narrations that have been narrated regarding its significance and it has been reported from a group of the Salaf (predecessors) that they performed Salaat in it individually, hence, such a deed cannot be disputed.’
[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa ibn Taymiyah vol.23 pg.132]

Ibn Taymiayh is saying:
[Some] said there is no difference between this and other nights of the year. However, the opinion of many of the people of learning and that of the majority of our [Hanbali] colleagues and other than them is that it is a night of superior merit, and this is what is indicated by the words of Ahmad [ibn Hanbal], in view of the many hadiths transmitted about it and in light of what confirms this in the words and deeds transmitted from the early generations (al-athar al-salafiyya). Some of its merits have been transmitted in the books of Hadith of the types Musnad and Sunnan. This holds true even if other things have been forged concerning it.
[ Ibn Taymiyya Iqtida al-Sirat al-Mustaqim (1369/1950 ed. P 302)]

Ibn Taymiyyah accepts the virtue of the Night of Baraat he says,
“So many Ahaadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Shabaan that one is compelled to accept that this night possesses some virtue
Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night for Salaat.”
[Faydhul-Qadeer. vol 2., pg 317].

Ibn Taymiyyah does not say they that all the narrations with regards to the significance of this night are weak, rather he says some things have been forged regarding the night, but this does not mean everything is forged!
Further Albani said regarding the Hadith:"As for what is authentic regarding the night of the 15th of Sha'bân, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Allâh, the Blessed and Exalted, comes to His Creation on the 15th night [laylat un-nisf] of Sha'bân, and He forgives all of His Creation, except for the polytheist and the one who has animosity towards other Muslims [al-mushâhin]."

It is an authentic narration narrated by a number of Companions with a number or different chains that strengthen each other by way of Mu'âth ibn Jabal, Abû Tha'labah al-Khushanî, 'Abdullâh ibn 'Amr, Abû Mûsâ al-Ash'arî, Abû Hurayrah, Abû Bakr as-Siddîq, 'Awf ibn Mâlik, and 'Â'ishah…

(…What follows here in the Arabic is a long, 4-page discussion by al-Albânî of the different chains of the narration.To summarize what he said, different wordings of the narration can be found in 'as-Sunnah' of Ibn Abî 'Âsim, 'Sahîh Ibn Hibbân,' 'Shu'ab al-'Îmân' of al-Bayhaqî, 'al-Mu'jam al-Kabîr' and 'al-Awsat' of at-Tabarânî, the 'Musnad' of al-Imâm Ahmad, the 'Sunan' of Ibn Mâjah, the 'Musnad' of al-Bazzâr, and many others, on the authority of the eight mentioned Companions.)

…So in summary, the narration is authentic without a doubt, as authenticity could be established for it even if there were not so many routes, so long as they are free of any severe weaknesses, as is the case with this narration." 
[ 'Silsilat ul-Ahâdîth as-Sahîhah' #1145]

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Imam Shafi rahmatullahi alayh said in Al-Umm, Vol. 1 p. 231:
Imam Shafi (ra) said, “of the narrations that have reached us, verily, dua is accepted on five nights: the night of Juma’, the night of E’id Al-Adha, the night of E’id Al-Fitr, the first night of Rajab, and the 15th night of Shabaan”.
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Al-Shafi'i in al-Umm about the 15th night of Sha'ban:
الأم للشافعي (1/ 264)
(
قَالَ الشَّافِعِيُّ) : وَبَلَغَنَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ يُقَالُ: إنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يُسْتَجَابُ فِي خَمْسِ لَيَالٍ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْجُمُعَةِ، وَلَيْلَةِ الْأَضْحَى، وَلَيْلَةِ الْفِطْرِ، وَأَوَّلِ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَجَبٍ، وَلَيْلَةِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ أَخْبَرَنَا الرَّبِيعُ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا الشَّافِعِيُّ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا إبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ قَالَ رَأَيْت مَشْيَخَةً مِنْ خِيَارِ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ يَظْهَرُونَ عَلَى مَسْجِدِ النَّبِيِّ - صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - لَيْلَةَ الْعِيدِ فَيَدْعُونَ وَيَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ حَتَّى تَمْضِيَ سَاعَةٌ مِنْ اللَّيْلِ، وَبَلَغْنَا أَنَّ ابْنَ عُمَرَ كَانَ يُحْيِي لَيْلَةَ جُمَعٍ، وَلَيْلَةُ جُمَعٍ هِيَ لَيْلَةُ الْعِيدِ لِأَنَّ صَبِيحَتَهَا النَّحْرُ (قَالَ الشَّافِعِيُّ) : وَأَنَا أَسْتَحِبُّ كُلَّ مَا حُكِيَتْ فِي هَذِهِ اللَّيَالِيِ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَكُونَ فَرْضًا.

He states, "It has reached us that supplications are answered on five nights: the night of Jumu'ah, the night of al-Adha, the night of al-Fitr, the first night of Rajab, and the middle night of Sha'ban."

He then afterwards comments, "And I prefer [acting on] what that has been reported concerning these nights without deeming it an obligation."

It seems - and Allah knows best - that al-Shafi'i was aware that there are no specific authentic reports about singling out the 15th of Sha'ban for worship but he preferred it nonetheless in light of the general reports concerning its virtue. It seems al-Shafi'i felt it is good to take advantage of this blessed time to worship Allah. It could be for this reason that he does not cite any specific evidence for this act, but only vaguely mentions that it is said that du'a is answered on this night.

One might jump to the conclusion that this is no evidence, but I'm pretty sure al-Shafi'i, rahimahullah, was not in need of any lessons in Usul al-Fiqh! 
see: scan/Image Here
Read more: Here
and do not forget: Who is Abdur Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam Here
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Imam al-Suyyuti said:
“As for the night of mid-Sha’ban it has great merit and it is desirable (mustahab) to spend part of it in [supererogatory] worship.”
[Al-Suyyuti, Haqiqat al-Sunna wal-Bida wa al-Amr bil-itiba wal-Nahi an al-Ibtida (1405/1985 ed. P. 85) translation by Shaikh Gibril Haddad in his Sunnah Notes (Vol 1, p. 208) ]

Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Gilani recommended the following modality in his Ghunya:
“As for the ritual prayer traditional for the night of mid-Shaban, it consists of one hundred cycles, including one thousand repetitions of Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad (that is to say, ten recitations in each rak’a). This prayer is called Salat al-Khayr, and its blessings are many and varied. Our righteous predecessors used to gather to perform it in congregation. It contains much merit and rich reward. It is reported of al-Hasan [al=Basri], may Allah be well-pleased with him, that he said: ‘Thirty of the companions of the Messenger of Allah [Peace be upon him] related to me that Allah will look seventy times upon one who performs this prayer on this night, and with each glance He will fulfill seventy of that persons needs, the last of them being forgiveness.’”
[ Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Gilani, Ghunya cited in Shaikh Gibril Haddads Sunnah Notes Volume 1 (p. 210) ]

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Shab e Bara'at - Following Weak Hadith
It cannot be said that Shab e Bara’at (or Laylat al-Nisf min Sha’ban) has no basis from the Sunnat hence; it is a Bid’at (innovation). As there are many Ahadith that prove the excellence and virtue of this night, which can be found in reputable books of Ahadith such as;
Saheeh Ibn Hibban – Hadith number 5636
Shu'ab al-Iman – Entire chapter on fasting on 15th of Sha’ban; consisting of 21 Ahadith. 
Sunnan Ibn Majah –  Chapter regarding 15th of Sha’ban; consisting of 3 Ahadith.

If a Hadith is not mentioned in Bukhari or Muslim, or scholars have stated that it is not Saheeh, then this does not make the Hadith fabricated or not accepted, it only means that the narration chain (Sanad) does not meet those requirements set out by the Muhadditheen for it to be classed as Saheeh. However, it can still be classed under another category such as Hasan or Daeef. (Refer to Muqaddimah Ibn al-Salah and Taqreeb wa Tadreeb)

The uneducated deviant sects, who refute the night of Shab e Bara’at by labelling it an innovation claim that the Ahadith regarding Shab e Bara’at are Daeef (weak), therefore not accepted. Allah knows best, which book of principles they use to derive such rules. Any individual who has studied the principles of Hadith will know that a Daeef Hadith does not always mean it is Mawdu’ (fabricated).


The scholars of Hadith and the prominent jurists agree that despite a Hadith being Daeef, it can still be acted upon when it concerns excellence and reward.

Imam Muhaqqiq Alal Itlaq Allama Ibn al-Humam writes in Fath al-Qadeer:
“In reward and excellence, a Daeef Hadith will be acted upon, so long as it is not Mawdu’ (fabricated).” [Fath al-Qadeer]

Mawlana Ali Qari mentions in Mawdu’at e Kabeer after mentioning the Hadith of wiping the neck (in Wudu) as Daeef:
“In reward and excellence, it is agreed that a Daeef Hadith will be acted upon. This is why our scholars have stated that wiping the neck [in Wudu] is Mustahab or Sunnat.” [Mawdu’at e Kabeer]

Imam Nawawi in Araba’een, Imam Ibn Hajar Makki in Sharh Mishkat and Mawlana Ali Qari in Mirqat & Hirz e Thameen write:
“The Hafiz of Hadith and scholars of religion agree that in reward and excellence, it is permissible to act upon a Daeef Hadith.” [Sharh Araba’een al-Nawawi and Hirz e Thameen]

It is in Mazahir e Haq (Urdu translation of Miskhkat Sahreef by a Wahabi) after mentioning Imam Bukhari’s stance that the Hadith regarding Shab e Bara’at is Daeef, the author writes:
“Even though this Hadith is Daeef, however to act upon a Daeef Hadith when it concerns excellence and reward is permissible.” [Mazahir e Haq]

Muhaqqiq Alal Itlaq Allama Ibn al-Humam states in Fath al-Qadeer:
“It is possible that a Saheeh Hadith can be incorrect and a Daeef Hadith can be correct.”  [Fath al-Qadeer]

Allama Ibraheem Halabi mentions in Gunyah al-Mustamli Fi Sharh Munyat al-Musalli:
“(It is Mustahab to wipe the body parts after Ghusl) As Aisha narrates that the Prophet of Allah would wipe his body parts dry after Wudu.” [Tirmidi] Imam Tirmidi mentions that this Hadith is Daeef, however in excellence and reward a Daeef Hadith will be acted upon. [Gunyah al-Mustamli Fi Sharh Munyat al-Musalli]

Hence, it is established that although the Ahadith regarding Shab e Bara’at are Daeef – as they concern excellence and reward, they will still be classed as a Hadith of the Prophet and thus will be acted upon as mentioned by the erudite scholars of Hadith. Also, it cannot be labelled Bid’at as Bid’at means an action which has no basis from the Sunnat, however there are many Ahadith present in reliable books of Hadith that mention the virtues and excellence of Shab e Bara’at or Laylat al-Nisf min Sha’ban.
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Ali ibn Abi Talib [May Allah be pleased with him] reports that the Prophet [Peace be upon him] is reported to have said: “The night of mid-Shaban, let all of you spend in prayer and its day in fasting, for Allah descends to the nearest heaven during that night beginning with sunset and says: ‘Is there no one asking sustenance that I may forgive them? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant them sustenance? Is there no one under duress that I may relieve them? Is there not such-and-such, is there not such-and-such, a so forth until dawn rises’”

Narrated from Ali by Ahmed and Ibn Majah with a chain containing Ibn Abi Sabra, Mufti Taqi Uthmani says regarding the authenticity of this hadith This Hadith is recorded by Ibn Majah in his Sunan, one of the famous six books of Hadith, and also by Baihaqi in his famous book Shu'ab-al-'iman'.

Both of them have reported it without any comment about its authenticity. But after a critical analysis of its chain of narrators it is found that this tradition is mainly based on the report of Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Saburah whose narrations cannot be relied upon. That is why the scholars of Hadith have declared it as a weak (da'if) tradition.

However, the allegation that the narrator of this Hadith i.e. Abu Bakr ibn Abi Saburah, is a fabricator who used to coin forged traditions does not seem correct.

In fact, he was mufti of Madinah, a well-known jurist and he was appointed as a qadi (Judge) of Iraq in the days of Mansur and was succeeded in this office by Imam Abu Yousuf. He was a colleague of Imam Malik.

Once Mansur, the Abbasi Caliph, asked Imam Malik referred to three names, and one of them was that of Ibn Abi Saburah. Had he been a fabricator, Imam Malik would have never referred to his name in this context. But despite his high position among the jurists, his memory was not of the standard required for the uthenticity of a tradition. That is why most of the critics of Hadith like Imam Bukhari etc. Have held him as weak, but did not declare him a fabricator. Only Imam Ahmed is reported to have remarked about him that he fabricates Hadith. But this remark alone is not sufficient to hold him as a fabricator, for two reasons: Firstly Imam Ahmed was born long after him, and his contemporary scholars never held him as such, secondly the Arabic words used by Imam Ahmed are some times used for confusing one tradition with another, and not for deliberate fabrication.

This is the reason why the majority of the scholars of Hadith have held Abu Bakr ibn Abi Saburah as a weak reporter of Hadith, but they did not declare him as a forger or fabricator. Now, coming to his tradition about the fast of the 15th Ramadan it is held by the scholars to be weak but i have not come across an authentic scholar who has treated it as a fabricated (Mawdu) Hadith. There are a number of books indicating the fabricated Ahadith, but this tradition is not included in these books as fabricated.

It is well-known that Ibn Majah consists of about twenty Ahadith held to be fabricated. The list of these fabricated AHadith is available, but the tradition in question is not included therein.
Therefore, the correct position is that this Hadith is not fabricated. However, being reported by a weak narrator, it cannot be relied upon in the matter of the injunctions of Shariah. Thus, the fast of the 15th of Shabaan cannot be termed as Sunnah or Mustahab in the strict sense of the term. Nevertheless, it may be advisable to fast in the 15th of Shabaan without taking it as Sunnah for several reasons:

Firstly it is fully established through a large number of Ahadith that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) has emphasized on the merits of fasting in Shabaan, and particularly in the first half of the month. The 15th day of Shabaan, being the last day of the first half, is included in the preferable days for fasting.

Secondly,
the merits of the 15th night of Shabaan is established by more than a dozen Ahadith. It means that this night should be spent in prayers and other forms of worship. On the other hand, all the blessed nights which the Muslims are advised to spend in worship are generally followed by fasting on the coming day like in the Laylatul-Qadr, where fasting on the following day is obligatory, or like the first night Zilhijjah where fasting on the following days is optional, rather advisable. on this analogy, too, the 15th night of Shabaan may be followed by an optional fasting on the following day.

Thirdly, the tradition relating to the merits of fasting on 15th of Shabaan is, no doubt, a weak tradition, not competent to prove this practice to be a Sunnah or a formal Mustahabb, but it can be acted upon as a measure of precaution, provided that the practice is not taken as Sunnah or a formal Mustahabb. It is for these reasons that some Ulama and elders have been fasting on the 15th of Shabaan and have been taking it an advisable practice.

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Al Hafidh Ibn Rajab Al Hanbali stated the following in Lataa’if Al-Ma’arif :

Some of the tabi’een (followers of the prophetic companions) based in Shaam such as Khalid ibn Ma’dan, Mak’hul, and Luqman ibn ‘Amir would revere the 15th of Sha’ban by offering supererogatory prayers during the night – it is said that they were influenced by isra’eeliyyat (Judaic traditions).

Gradually, this custom spread to many areas of the Muslim empire creating misunderstandings and differences of opinion amongst the people. Some accepted it, among whom were devout worshippers from Basra, but most of the scholars of the Hijaz rejected and condemned it such as ‘Ataa’ and lbn Abi Mulaika, as well as the scholars of Madinah such as Abd Al Rahman ibn Zayd and the Maliki school of law, all agreeing to it being an innovation.

The scholars of Shaam differed as to how the 15th of Sha’ban should be distinguished. The first set preferred spending the night in the mosque collectively as being recommended.

Amongst those who opined thus were Khalid ibn Ma’dan, Luqman ibn ‘Amir et al, all who would adorn themselves with special apparel for the occasion and hasten to the mosque where they would remain in worship throughout the night.
Is’haq bin Rahaway’h endorsed such a practice and said that celebrating this night collectively in the mosque is not to be considered an innovation.
The other set of scholars regarded marking the 15th of Sha’ban by collective prayer, story-telling and supplication as being disliked.

However, Al Awza’i, the Imam, jurist and scholar of Syria opined that and it is not disliked for a person to pray at home individually; this is closest to the truth.

Quote:
“As for the Night of Mid-Sha’ban, the Tabi’een in Shām, like Khalid ibn Ma’dan, Makhul, Luqman ibn ‘Amir, and others, used to honor this night and strive hard in their worship in it. It is from them that the people learned the virtue of this night and learned to honor it.”
[Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif , Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 137.]




Now the question is, why was it in particular the Tabi’een of Shām that taught this?
Read : Here

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Hadith on 15th of Sha’aban

Very early Hadith books such as the Mussanaf of Abdul Razzaq Ibn Humam
(May Allaah have mercy on him) (126-211 AH)( Ref: Musannaf Abdur Razzaq 4/317) and the Musnad of Ahmed bin Hanbal (May Allaah have mercy on him) (164-241 AH) ( Ref: Musnad Ahmad 2/176 & 6/238) contain Ahadith relating to the virtues of 15th Sha’ban.

Even within the famous Six Books of Hadith
(al-Kutub al-Sittah), Trimdhi ( Ref: Jami’ Al-Trimidhi: Kitab Al-Sawm, Bab “Ma ja’a fi Laylatin Nisfi min Shaban” #739 (Vol.3 p107) and Ibn Majah (Sunan Ibn Majah: Kitab Al-Iqamah, Bab “Ma Ja’a Fi Laylatun Nifsi min Sha’ban” #1388 (Vol. 1 p444)

 Have devoted a special chapter on

 “The Night of the Middle of Sha’ban” in their Hadith collections!

In fact there are over a dozen Ahadith available which establish the significance of the night of the 15th of Sha’ban.There are many hadith on the merits of this Night and some of them are weak ( dai’f).

However, it is to be noted that not all of the ‘weak’ Ahadith suffer from major weaknesses and in fact the minor weaknesses in some Ahadith are curable and strengthened by other narrations.

(Albani : : Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al Sahihah 3/135)
When all the numerous weak Ahadith are combined together, they reach a level of acceptability among Hadith scholars equivalent to being ‘Hasan’ (good).

Here are a few Sahih (Authentic) Hadith on the merits on the Night of 15 th of Shaba’an.

Hadith 1
Ibn Hibban narrated from Mu`adh ibn Jabal in his Sahih the following narration which the hadith scholar and editor of the Sahih Shu`ayb Arna’ut confirmed as sound:
The Prophet said : yattali`u Allahu ila khalqihi fi laylati al-nisfi min sha`bana fa-yaghfiru li-jami`i khalqihi illa li mushrikin aw mushahin.
Allah looks at His creation in the night of mid-Sha`ban and He forgives all His creation except for a mushrik (idolater) or a mushahin (one bent on hatred).
( Reference: Al-Tabarani: Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir 20/108-9, Ibn Hibban:
Sahih Ibn Hibban 7/470, Al-Bayhaqi: Shu’bal Iman 2/288, Abulhasan
Al-Qazwini: Al-Amali 4/2, Ibn ‘Asakir: Al-Tarikh 15/302 & Ibn Abi ‘Asim:Al-Sunna1/224)

Note :
1) Ibn Hibban (May Allaah have mercy on him) considered this Hadith to be Sahih.
(Ibn Rajab: Lataif Al-Ma’arif 1/224)
2) And Ibn Hajr Al-Haytami (May Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This Hadith is related by Al-Tabarani (May Allaah have mercy on him) in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir and Al-Awsat and the narrators of both are trustworthy”(thiqat) ( Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami: Majma’ Al-Zawaid 8/65)
3) The great hadith scholar of the present time , Shaykah Shuayb Al-Arna’uat ( Rh) and the self claimed Wahabi hadith scholar Nasiruddin Al-Albani, have also considered this Hadith as ‘Sahih’.
( Ref: – Shuayb Al-Arna’ut: Al-Ihsan fi Taqrib Sahih Ibn Hibban 12/481 #5665 & Nasiruddin Al-Albani: Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al-Sahihah 3/135 #1144 )  

Hadith 2
There is another identical Hadith related from the Companion Abdullah b.’Amr (May Allaah be pleased with him) which says that the Prophet(Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: “Allah looks at His creation during the night of the 15th of Sha’ban and He forgives His servants except two- one intent on hatred (mushanin) and a murderer (qatilu nafs).
( Ref : Musnad Ahmad 2/176 #6642. Al-Bazzar also related this Hadith and he classified it as ‘hasan’. )

Note :
In his edition of Musnad Ahmed, Shaykh Ahmed Shakir has classified this Hadith as’Sahih’ and
Nasiruddin Al-Albany classified it is ‘Hasan’ ( Al-Albani: Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al-Sahihah 3/136).

Hadith 3
A similar narration as above , but narrated by Abu Bakr Siddiq Rd .
It has been classified as sound by Haafiz al-Munzhiri (RA) in his al-Targheeb (vol.3 pg.459). This narration is of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and is recorded by Imaam Bazzaar (RA) in his Musnad. In fact, Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA) has also classified one of its chains as Hasan (sound). (al-Amaalil mutlaqah pgs.119-120)

An important Note:

All the weak hadith which talks about the merits of 15th of Shaba’an, have got only minor weakness in them. Going by the principle of hadith, these weak hadiths also strengthen each other.
Besides the above, there are many other Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) that narrated Ahaadith regarding the merit of this night, such as:

Abu Hurayra (Musnad al-Bazzaar), Abu Tha’labah (Shu’ubul Imaan), Awf ibn Maalik (Musnad al-Bazzaar), Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas (Musnad Ahmad Hadith6642), Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (ibn Majah Hadith1390; Shu’ubul Imaan Hadith3833) and others. The collective strength of these narrations cannot be refuted.

Once again what did the Scholars say about this Night:

The general virtue of this night has been accepted by many great Ulama of the past. From among many great scholars which have agreed to the virtue of this night are: 

Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz, Imaam al-Shaafi’ee, Imaam al-Awzaa’ie, Attaa ibn Yassaar, Imaam al-Majd ibn Taymiyah, ibn Rajab al-Hambaliy and Hafiz Zaynu-ddeen al-Iraaqiy (Rahmatullaahi alayhim) .
Refer Lataiful Ma’aarif of Hafiz ibn Rajab pgs.263-264 and Faydhul Qadeer vol.2 pg.317.

As you know that even Ibn Taymiyya – the putative authority of “Salafis” — considered the night of mid-Sha`ban “a night of superior merit” in his Iqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim:
[Some] said: There is no difference between this night (mid-Sha`ban) and other nights of the year. However, the opinion of many of the people of learning, and that of the majority of our companions (i.e. the Hanbali school) and other than them is that it is a night of superior merit, and this is what is indicated by the words of Ahmad (ibn Hanbal), in view of the many ahadith which are transmitted concerning it, and in view of what confirms this from the words and deeds transmitted from the early generations (al-athar al-salafiyya). Some of its merits have been narrated in the books of hadith of the musnad and sunan types. This holds true even if other things have been forged concerning it.
( Ref:Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim (1369/1950 ed.) p. 302.)

Ibn Taymiayh also said
“ As for the middle night of Sha’baan, there are various narrations that have been narrated regarding its significance and it has been reported from a group of the Salaf (predecessors) that they performed Salaat in it individually, hence, such a deed cannot be disputed.’
(Majmoo’ al-Fataawa ibn Taymiyah vol.23 pg.132)

Imam Suyuti (Rh)says in his Haqiqat al-sunna wa al-bid`a:
“As for the night of mid-Sha`ban, it has great merit and it is desirable (mustahabb) to spend part of it in supererogatory worship.”
( Ref: Suyuti, Haqiqat al-sunna wa al-bid`a aw al-amr bi al-ittiba` wa al-nahi `an al-ibtida` (1405/1985 ed.) p. 58. He adds: “However, this must be done alone, not in congregation.”)

Imam Haskafi ( Rh) said in his Durr al-Mukhtar, one of the primary references in the Hanafi school:
“Among the recommended [prayers] are on. . . . the nights of the two Eids, the middle of Sha`ban, the last ten of Ramadan, and the first [ten] of Dhul-Hijjah”.

Imam Nawawi ( Rh) mentioned in his Majmu`, where he also quoted Imam al-Shafi`i from the latter’s 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.

Only Sahih hadiths have been quoted above. The weak hadith on this topic suffer only from minor weakness . 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 the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) specifically prescribed it.

There are many other narrations from the Companions and early Muslims confirming the merits of this night as mentioned above by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma`arif, and others.
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The Deobandi say?



Question: 40579 from India
Is it right to fasting on 14th or 15th nights of Shaban as per the Shariah?

Answer: 40579 ,  Jul 30,2012 (Fatwa: 1271/791/L=1433)

There is no fixed order of fast on the 15th Shaban. However, the order of keeping fast on 15th of Shaban is mentioned therein a weak traditions of Ibn Majah; hence it is better to keep the fast of 15th of Shaban.
Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband India: 
 Here
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Ashraf Ali Thanvi writes “Its significance is this that 15th night and 15th day of this month are very blessed ones. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), urged Muslims to stay up during the night and fast during the day. At this night the prophet used to go to the graveyard of Madinah and prayed for the dead. Therefore, it is desirable that the Muslims should pray during that night and fast during the following day. They should also seek the forgiveness of their dead either by reciting the Qur’an or by feeding the hungry or by giving the money in charity or by just praying for them.” [Ashraf Ali Thanvi in his Bahishti Zewar (Heavenly Ornaments), part 6, pp 61-62 ]

Mufti Taqi Uthmani writes: “Another significant feature of the month of Sha'ban is that it consists of a night which is termed in Shariah as "Laylatul-bara'ah" (The night of freedom from Fire). This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Sha'ban. There are certain traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to prove that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine mercy.”

[Mufti Taqi Uthmani in his article entitles Sha'ban: Merits, Do's, and Dont's]

Also:

Muft Taqi Uthmani also writes regarding the fast of 15th Shaban:

"On the day immediately following the Night of Bara'ah, i.e. the 15th of Sha'ban, it is mustahabb (advisable) to keep fast. Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have recommended this fast emphatically. Although the scholars of hadith have some doubts in the authenticity of this report, yet it is mentioned earlier that the fasts of the first half of Sha'ban have special merits and Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast most of the days in Sha'ban. Moreover, a large number of the elders (salaf) of the Ummah have been observing the fast of the 15th of Sha'ban. This constant practice indicates that they have accepted the relevant hadith as authentic.

Therefore, it is advisable to fast the 15th of Sha'ban as an optional (nafl) fast. One can also keep a fast of qada on this day and it is hoped that he can also benefit from the merits of this fast."

Source: Here

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The fifteenth night of Sha’bān is commonly referred to as Shabbe Barā-ah or Lailat al-Barā-ah, which means the night in which Allāh’s decision of forgiveness is passed.

The Muhaddithīn (experts in Hadīth sciences) spent their lives in ensuring that the Ummah receives reliable Ahādīth (narrations) of Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam. They scrutinized the various dimensions of each Hadīth and gave a ruling on the strength and reliability of the Hadīth. The Ahādīth that extol the merits of the fifteenth night of Sha’bān are so many that it is impossible for one to deny. Even though these Ahādīth are not so strong on an individual capacity, yet the combination of all these Ahādīth together proves the virtues of this night. Consider the following Ahādīth: Here
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Two great followers of Ibn Taymiyah and M 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]
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What is The Night of Salvation [Shab-e-Barat] and How to Spend it?

Laylat al-Barat – Night of Salvation
The 15th night of Shabaan is a very blessed night. According to the Hadith Shareef, the name of this Mubarak night is “Nisf Sha’baan” which means 15th night of Shabaan. The reason for this special night to attain its name of Laylat al-Bara’ah, meaning the Night of Salvation, Seeking Freedom from Azaab and Calamity, is that in this night the Barakaat and acceptance of repentance may be accomplished. Laylat al-Baraa’ah in Persian, as well as in Urdu, is called Shab-e Bara’at. It is the special night of seeking forgiveness and repenting to Almighty Allah, remembering our 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.

Advise from Imam of Ahlus Sunnah:
Muslims should check themselves and Ala Hadrat, Imam Ahmad Rida al-Qadiri Fadhil e-Bareilly (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu) has given a beautiful advise in this regard.

 This great Imam said:
“Verily the auspicious night of Shab-e- Bara’a is drawing near when the deeds of the slave will be presented to the Almighty Allah. I humbly supplicate in the Darbar-e-Aqdas of the AlmightyAllah that through the Wasila-e-Uzma of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) He forgives the sins and transgressions of all Muslims. Aameen.
On this occasion, it should be the duty of all Sunni Muslims to forgive one another and to make sure that whatever debts owed to one another is settled. The importance of Huqooq al-Ibaad cannot be over-emphasised as this is among the pre-requisites for proper Ibaadat. I pray that all Muslims humbly remember this night and try as much as possible to perform Ibaadat and other pious deeds so that their Record of Deeds be presented in all dignity.
Finally, I pray that the Almighty Allah assists you and I and the Muslim Ummah wherever you may be. Muslims should be aware of sincerity and honesty in all their deeds. May Almighty Allah forgive all of us. Aameen. — Faqeer Ahmad Rida Qadiri ”

How to welcome the Night?
On this auspicious night, you should perform fresh Ghusal and Wudhu and perform the two Rakaat of Tahhiyatul Wudhu. In every Rakaat, after the Suratul Fatiha, you should read Ayatul Kursi once and Surah Ahad 3 times. Also perform eight Rakaats of Salah with four Salaams.In each Rakaat after the Surah Fatiha, you should read the Ayatul Kursi (once) and Surah Ahad fifty times.
What to Recite immediately after Sunset?
After sunset, you should recite “La Hawla walaa Quwwata illa Billahil-aliyil Azeem” forty times with three times Durood Shareef before and after. It is mentioned that by reciting this, Almighty Allah will forgive forty years of your sins and forty Hoors will await to serve you in Jannat al-Firdous.
Countless Mercies:
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has stated: “Verily! Almighty Allah directs His Special Grace on the world on this Night. He forgives my Ummah more than the number of wool that is found on the sheep of the Bani Kalb”. We should remember that in those days the Bani Kalb possessed the most number of sheep that any other tribe.
How great is the Mercy of Almighty Allah on this night that He forgives millions of Muslims. We also realise from this that these numbers can only pertain to the Ahl as-Sunnah Wah Jama’ah collectively, for the righteous followers of the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali indeed number millions of Muslims.
The visitors of this Night:
It is narrated that the departed souls (Arwaah) of the Muslims visit the houses of their friends and relatives on this night and proclaim: “O people of the house! You stay in our houses and enjoy the wealth that we have left behind. You use our children and take work from them, please perform our Esaale Sawaab. Verily our deeds have become complete, while your record of deeds is still spread”.
If the people of the house perform the Esaale Sawaab and Khatam Shareef on this night, then the Arwaah depart will the Sawaab extremely happy and overjoyed all the time making Du’a for the people.
Visit to the Cemetery:
Hadrat Ayesha Siddiqa (radi Allahu ta’ala anha) reports: “One night, which was the 15th of Shabaan, I did not find the Beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) in the house so I went in search of him. After a long search, I found him in Baqiah (the cemetery of Madinah) offering Du’a for the deceased and praying for their forgiveness”. (Baihaqi)
A special point must be made to visit the cemetery during this night and pray for the deceased buried therein, as the Most Beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) is been reported as having visited the cemetery on this night and spending a long time therein, lamenting, reading and praying for the deceased.
To keep Fast:
According to the Hadith Shareef which is narrated by Ibne Habaan (radi Allahu ta’ala anhu) that Rasoolullah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “When the night of 15th Shabaan arrives spend the night awake and keep fast the next day”.
Hadrat Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu ta’ala anhu) reports that the Most Beloved (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) of Allah ta’ala said often in his Khutba (sermon): “O people! Lighten and cleanse your bodies by way of fasting during Shabaan, so that it shall be easy and helpful to you for the fast during Ramadan. Whoso fasts for three days during Shabaan, all his past sins are wiped off”. (Baihaqi) Fasting is also recommended on the 13th, 14th and 15th of Shabaan.
How to spend the Night?
On this night, perform Nawaafil, recite the Qur’an Shareef, recite abundant Durood Shareef, Istighfaar and Kalima Tayyibah. It is also mentioned that if one reads Surah Dukhan seven times on this night, Almighty Allah will reward you with 70 worldly needs and 70 deeds for the Hereafter.
Do not be amongst deprived of Mercy:
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Almighty Allah forgives all Muslims on this night, besides the fortune tellers, the magicians, the alcoholics, those who disrespect their parents and those who take part and encourage adultery”.
In another narration, the following people have also been mentioned:
One who deals in usury (Riba),
One who wears his trousers below his ankle with pride and arrogance (In Arabia, people displayed their wealth and boasted in this manner),
One who creates disunity among two Muslims,
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
Read more:Here

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Edited by ADHM