The Night of 15th mid Shabaan (Laylat ul Baraat)

night-15-mid-shaban-laylatul-baraah-baraat

1. Ahadith

1.1 It is narrated that Ummul-Mu’mineen

`A’ishah (رضي الله عنها) awoke one night to find the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) missing, and so she went out to look for him. She found him in the Baqee` cemetery, with his head raised to the Heavens [it is recommended in general to visit cemeteries for the purpose of reminding ourselves of death, and to ask Allah to forgive the deceased Muslims]. After helping to further reassure her, it is reported that he said, “Surely Allah, the Possessor of Blessings, the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven [with a meaning appropriate to Allah’s majesty; not to be likened to the descending of finite, spatial, created things] on the night of mid-Sha`ban, and forgives more [people] than the the hairs on the sheep of [the tribe of] Kalb.

(At-Tirmidhi, Kitab as-Siyam)

1.2 The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) said,

‘From Sha’ban to Sha’ban there is a decision made of who is going to die and who is to be married. And some people get married but their names are written in the death program’”

[at-Tabari, Tafsir Tabari, under Sura ad-Dukhan*, verse 1]

*Ha, Meem.  By the clear Book,  Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Surely, We are the Warner.  In that night is made distinct every precise matter.  By Our command; surely, it is We Who send.” [Surah Dukhan 44, Verses 1-5]

1.3 The Mother of the Believers Aisha (رضي الله عنها) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) 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.

(al-Bukhari, 1833, Muslim, no. 1956)

1.4 The Mother of the Believers Aisha (رضي الله عنها) 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.”

(al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al Iman 3:382)

1.5 Mu’adh ibn Jabal (رضي الله عنه) reports

That Prophet (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) said:“Allah looks at his creation on the night of mid-Shaban and He forgives all his creation except for the mushrik (polytheist) and the mushāhin* (one bent on hatred).”

(Ibn Hibban 12:481)

1.6 Abdullah b.’Amr (رضي الله عنه) narrated

That the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) said: “Allah looks at His creation during the night of the 15th of Sha’ban and He forgives His servants except – one intent on hatred (mushāhin) and a murderer (qatilu nafs).

(Musnad Ahmad 2/176, 6642)

*Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (رحمه الله) said
“I heard al-Awza’i explain the mushāhin (one who harbours rancour) as: every person of innovation, who has left the jamā’a (majority) and the Ummah.”
Umar ibn Hani’ said: I asked Ibn Thawban about the meaning of mushāhin (one who harbours rancour).  He said,
“He is the one who has left the Sunna of his Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who speaks ill of his Ummah, and spills their blood.”
(Risalat al-Kashf wal Bayaan ‘an Fadaail Laylat an-Nisf min Sha’ban)

1.7 It is narrated by Ali (رضي الله عنه)

That the Prophet Mohammed (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) stated; “When it is the 15th night of Shabaan, do Qiyaam in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls: ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs Rizq (sustenance) that I may give it to him.’ And this continues till the morning.”

(Ibn Majah, chapter Salaah)

2. Fuqaha

2.1Ikrmah (رضي الله عنه) is of the view that 44:1 refers to the 15th night of Sha’ban.

(Tafsir Tabari)

2.2 It is reported of al-Hasan al-Basri (رحمه الله) that he said:

‘Thirty of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) 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.’”

(Ghunyat al-Talibeen)

2.3 Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Gilani (رحمه الله) recommended:

“As for the ritual prayer traditional for the night of mid-Shaban,  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.”

(Ghunyat al-Talibeen)

2.4 Imam Shafi (رحمه الله) 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”.

(Al-Umm, Vol. 1 p. 231)

2.5 Imam al-Suyyuti (رحمه الله) said

“As for the night of mid-Sha’ban it has great merit and it is mustahab desirable to spend part of it in [supererogatory] worship.”He adds: “However, this must be done alone, not in congregation.”

(Haqiqat al-Sunna wal-Bida)

2.6 Ibn Taymiayh (رحمه الله) 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)

2.7 Imam Haskafi (رحمه الله) said

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.

(Durr al-Mukhtar)

2.8 Imam Nawawi (رحمه الله) has 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.

(al-Majmu)

2.9 Ashraf Ali Thanvi (رحمه الله) 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.” 

(Bahishti Zewar, part 6, pp 61-62)

2.10 Mufti Taqi Uthmani (رحمه الله) 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 (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) to prove that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine mercy.”

(Sha’ban: Merits, Do’s, and Dont’s)

2.11 Hafiz ‘Abdullah Rawpari (رحمه الله) and Thana’ullah Amritsari (رحمه الله)

Both state that to worship on the 15th night of Sha’ban is not a bid’a (innovation) and the person who worships 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.

(Hafiz Rawpari, Fatawa Ahl al-Hadith; Amritsari, T., Fatawa Thana’iya, chapter on ‘Fasting’)

2.12 Shaykh Muhammad Qutubuddin Khan Dehlvi (رحمه الله)

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)

2.13 Imam Ahmed (رحمه الله) recognises the excellency of this night, and other Hanbali scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed.

(Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqim)

2.14 Al-Albani (رحمه الله) said

As for what is authentic regarding the night of the 15th of Sha’bân, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, comes to His Creation on the 15th night [Laylat un-Nisf] of Sha’ban, and He forgives all of His Creation, except for the polytheist and the one who has animosity towards other Muslims (al-mushahin).”

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’ath ibn Jabal, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, ‘Awf ibn Malik, and ‘A’ishah…

He said, different wordings of the narration can be found in ‘as-Sunnah’ of Ibn AbI ‘Asim, ‘Sahih Ibn Hibban,’ ‘Shu’ab al-‘Iman’ of al-Bayhaqi, ‘al-Mu’jam al-Kabir’ and ‘al-Awsat’ of at-Tabarani, the ‘Musnad’ of al-Imam Ahmad, the ‘Sunan’ of Ibn Majah, the ‘Musnad’ of al-Bazzar, 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-Ahadith as-Sahihah’ 1145)

2.15 Al-Mubarakpuri (رحمه الله) said

You should know that a sufficient number of hadith has been narrated confirming “the virtues of the 15th night of Sha`ban”. All these ahaadith prove that it has a basis. The sum of all these ahadith is strong evidence against the one “who thinks there is no proof” of the virtue of the 15th night of Sha`ban” and Allah knows best.

(Tuhfatl Ahwadhi)

2.16 Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani (رحمه الله) said

Al Khallal narrated in his book about the virtues of Rajab- through Khaled bin Ma’dan
saying: Five nights in the year, whosoever consistently seeks them hoping in reaping their reward, believing in that, Allah will enter him into Paradise; the first night of Rajab; staying upbits night and fasting its day, the night of Eid Al Fitr, the night of Eid Al Adha, the night of Ashura, and the night of Nisf-Sha’baan.

(Al Talkhis 2/160)

2.17 Al Khatib (رحمه الله) narrated

With an isnaad to Umar bin Abdul Aziz (رحمه الله)that he wrote to Adai bin Arta’a saying: “ You should be concerned with four nights in the year, for Allah showers His Mercies in them; the first night of Rajab, the night of Nisf-Sha’baan, the night of Eid Al Fitr, and the night of Eid of sacrifice.

(Ghunyatul-Multames)

2.18 Al Hafeth Ibn Rajab Al Hanbali (رحمه الله) said

Sa’id bin Mansur narrated; we were told by Abu Ma’shar, through Abi Hazem and Muhammad bin Qays, to Ata’ bin Yasaar said: “ No night after Laylatul Qadr is better than the night of Nisf Sha’baan.

(Lataaef Al Ma’aref p263)

2.19 Allama Al Buhuti Al Hanbali (رحمه الله) said 

About the night of Nisf-Sha’baan, it has virtues and among the Salaf -pious predecessors used to offer prayers in it, but gathering in group to staying up the night at the Masjid is Bid’a.  On the encouragement of staying up in it, meaning the night of Nisf-Sha’baan is similar to what is in staying up the night of the Eid. This is what is meant by the statement of Abdur-Rahman bin Ahmad ibn Rajab.

Al Baghdadi then Al Dimashqi  in his book that is named Al Lataaef fil Wathaaef. It is strengthened by the hadith: “Whosoever stays up the night of the two Eids and the night of Nisf-Sha’baan, Allah will revive their heart when the hearts die”. It was narrated by Al Munthiri in his Tarikh with his Isnaad through Ibn Kardous through his father. Others said also the night of Ashura, and the night of the first of Rajab, and the night of Nisf- Sha’baan).

(Kashaf Al Qin’a 1/444)

2.20 Al Allama Ar-Ramli (رحمه الله)

After talking about staying up the night of the two Eids:

Supplication in them, and on the night of Jumu’a, and the two nights; of the first of Rajab and Nisf-Sha’baan is answered, so that is encouraged.

(Nihayatul Muh’taj 2/397)

2.21 Allama Sharbini Al-Shafi’iy (رحمه الله)

After talking about staying up the night of the two Eids:

Staying up the night is done by staying up the whole night such as in Mina, and some said partial of the night, even an hour of it. On the authority of Ibn Abbas radiya’Allahu anhuma :praying Isha in congregation and intending to pray Fajr in congregation as well. Praying/Du’a in them (the night of the two Eids), and in the night of Jumu’a, the first of Rajab, and Nisf Sha’baan is answered, so it is encouraged as mentioned in the Rawdah (of Imam Nawawi.

(Mughni Al Muh’taaj 1/591)

2.22 Ibn Abidin (رحمه الله) mentioned 

In Hashiya > Chapter: Staying up the nights of the two Eids, the Middle, the 10 of Hijjah, and Ramadan. > Saying staying up the night of the two Eids preferably the two nights ; the night of Eid Al-Fitr and the night of Eid Al-Adha. > Saying the Middle means staying up the night of the middle of the Sha’baan. > Saying the first means the first ten nights etc. > Sharnablawi has explained the virtues of all those nights in details in Al-Imdad, so refer back to it. Saying it shall be a worship that spans over all the night or most of it.

(Hashiya 2/25)

2.23 Imam Ibn Nujaym Al Hanafi (رحمه الله) said  

Among the encouraged things is to stay up the last 10 nights of Ramadan, the night of the Two Eids, the 10 nights of Thil Hijjah, and the night of Nisf-Sha’baan, as was transmitted in the Ahadith and mentioned in details in the Targhib and Tarhib. What is meant by staying up the night is apparently the whole night, and it could be most of it. It is, however, discouraged to gather (in groups) to stay up a night of the above mentioned nights at the Masjid. As it was said in Al Hawi Al Qudsi; no optional prayer other than Taraweeh should be prayed in congregation, and what was narrated about prayers in honourable nights such as the Night of Qadr, Nisf Sha’baan, night of two Eids, Arafah, Jumu’a, and others , should be prayed individually.

(Al Bahr Ar-Raa’eq 2/56)

2.24 Imam Al-Hafeth Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (رحمه الله) said

The Tabi’ieen –followers of the Sahaba- from the people of Shaam like Khald Ben Ma’daan, Mak’hool, Lokman bin Amer and others, used to glorify the night of the middle of Sha’baan, and strive in it with worship. From them (the Tabi’ieen) people took the glorification and virtues of the middle of Sha’baan.

(Lataaef Al Ma’aref, p195)

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