The month of Sha’ban is the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The fifteenth night of this month is known as Laylatul Bara’ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha’ban in the Arab world. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, etc., it is known as Shab-e-barat.
THE BELIEVES ABOUT THIS DAY:
- Some people believe that in Surah al-Dukhan (44:3-4) there is a reference to this night as Allah says,
“We sent it (the Qur’an) down during a blessed night. We are truly
warners. In that night is made distinct every affair of wisdom”
But the night referred to here cannot be a Sha’ban night, because it is said here clearly that the Qur’an was revealed in this night. We know from the Surah al-Qadr (97) that the Qur’an was revealed in the night of Qadr and we also know from the Qur’an (Al-Baqarah 2:185) that the Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan, so it is obvious that the night of the revelation of the Qur’an was in Ramadan, not Sha’ban, and that it was Laylatul Qadr not Shab-e-barat (or the Sha’ban night).
- Some people also say that in the 2nd year of Hijrah, the direction of Qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to Ka’bah (Makkah) on the 15th day of Sha’ban.
This report is also not confirmed by authentic Ahadith.
According to most of the scholars of Tafsir, the Qur’an has not mentioned anything about the Sha’ban night. There are some ahadith that speak about the Middle of Sha’ban and its night. However, the scholars of Hadith say that most of the ahadith concerning this night are not sound. They are weak (da’if) according to the criteria of the Muhaddithin.
THE SUPERSTTIONS ABOUT THIS DAY:
Some people believe that the spirits (arwah) of the deceased visit their relatives during this night.
Some believe that there is a special Tree in the heaven upon whose leaves are the names of all human beings, and whatever leaves drop
during this night, those people are destined to die in this year.
Some think that the decisions about the life and death of people are made during this night.
All these beliefs and superstitions do not belong to the authentic teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
AHADITH ON (15TH) MID-SHABAN:
The Mother of the Believers Aisha [May Allah be pleased with her]
reports I missed the Prophet one night so I went out to al-Baqi` (and
found him). He said: "Were you afraid that Allah would wrong you and
that His Prophet would wrong you?" I said: "O Messenger of Allah, I
thought that you might have gone to visit one of your wives." He said:
"Allah Glorious and Exalted descends to the nearest heaven on the
night of mid-Shaban and He forgives to more people than the number of
hairs on the hides of the sheep of the tribes of Kalb.
Narrated from Aisha by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and al-Tirmidhi who said that he heard al-Bukhari grading this Hadith as weak because some of the sub-narrators did not narrate directly from each other.
Abd Allah ibn `Amr [May Allah be pleased with him] reports that
Prophet [Peace be upon him] said “Allah looks upon His creatures on
the night of mid-Shaban and He forgives all His servants except two:
one intent on hatred, and the homicide.”
-Narrated from Abd Allah ibn Amr by al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad and al Bazzar with a chain he graded fair (hasan) through the great Tabi’I jurist
al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn bi Bakr al-Siddiq.
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 and Allah knows best.”
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
-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. his memory was not of the standard required for the
Authenticity of a tradition. That is why most of the critics and
scholars of Hadith like Imam Bukhari etc. Have held him as weak.
AS THERE IS NO AUTHENTIC HADITH ABOUT MID SHABAN, BUT THERE ARE NUMBERS OF WEAK HADITH’S IN RELATION, THE OPINION OF THE SCHOLARS DIFFERED AT THIS POINT.
SOME OF THEM BELIEVED AS THERE ARE MANY (NEAR A DOZEN) WEAK HADITH, SO, MID-SHABAN CARRIES SPECIAL IMPORTANCE, AND SPECIAL ACTS SHALL BE PERFORMED AT THIS NIGHT!
OTHERS BELIEVED THAT, AS MOST OF THE HADITH ARE WEAK OR THERE IS NOT A SINGLE SAHIH HADITH AMONG THEM, PERFORMING ANY SPECIAL ACT ON THIS SPECIFIC NIGHT IS BIDAH (INNOVATION).
IN BRIEF, WHAT WE FIND IS:
There is no specific prescribed Salaah reserved for this night.
There is no specific form of Ibadah prescribed for this night.
It was the noble habit of Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam to engage in ibadah during the last portion of every night. Ibadah was not restricted to the 15th of Shaban or any other specific night. Ayesha Radhiyallahu anha reports that Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam used to go to bed during the first portion of the night and he would stay awake the last portion of the night (spending it in ibadah). (Bukhari and Muslim)
Allah Ta'ala descends to the nearest heaven during the last third of every night. (Bukhari) This is not restricted to the 15th night of Sha'ban.
Visiting the graveyard is not a special characteristic of this night; it is proven from other authentic narrations that Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam would visit the graveyard during the last portion of many nights.
Fasting on the 15th of Sha'ban is not proven from any Sahih Hadith
It is a misconception that the fast of the 15th of Sha'ban is Sunnah.
There is only one hadtih regarding fasting on this day but it is extremely weak, as one of its narrators, Ibn Abi Sabirah is extremely weak, has been accused of fabricating Ahaadith too. (Mizaan al-I'tidaal, p. 503)
Fasting in the month of Sha'ban without the specification of any day is proven from Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. Infact, he used to fast excessively during this month. (Narrated by al-Bukhârî, no. 1833; Muslim, no. 1956)
Fasting on the 13th, 14th and 15th of Every lunar month is proven from the Ahaadith.
The BLESSED NIGHT, mentioned in Surah Dukhan of the Quran, is the night of Qadr, and not the 15th night of Sha'baan.
The name Laylatul Bara'at was intoduced after a few centuries. Earlier Hadith books would mention Ahaadith regarding this night under the heading laylat al-Nisf min Sha'ban (Chapter on the night of the 15th of Sha'ban)
The custom of cooking a specific food for the 15th night of Sha'ban has no basis in the Qur'an or Sunnah. Nor does the lighting of lamps or having lighting outside the Masaajid as practised by some people.
It is the consensus (ijma) of all jurists that it is better for an individual to perform optional prayers in ones own home.
It was the practice of Rasoolullah Salllallahu alaihi wasallam and the Sahaabah Radhiyallahu anhum to engage in any Nafl/optional prayers in their own homes.
One can conclude from this that the customs and traditions prevalent today where people assemble on nights such as these have no basis in the Qur'an or Sunnah.
Don’t engage in any form of Bid'ah, Success lies in obeying the commands of Allah and adhering to the teachings of our Prophet, Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam.
ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST. JAZAKALLAH KHAIR.