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The Night of Bara'ah

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 25th August 2007 23:27

The Night of Bara'ah


Another significant feature of the month of Sha'ban is that it consistsof a night which is termed in Shariah as "Laylatul-bara'ah" (The nightof freedom from Fire). This is the night occurring between 14th and15th day of Sha'ban. There are certain traditions of Prophet Muhammad,Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to prove that it is a meritorious nightin which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine mercy.Some of these traditions are quoted as follows:

1. Ummul-Mu'mineen 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, is reported to havesaid,"Once Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, performedthe Salah of the night (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah until Ifeared that he had passed away. When I saw this, I rose (from my bed)and moved his thumb (to ascertain whether he is alive). The thumbmoved, and I returned (to my place). Then I heard him saying in Sajdah:'I seek refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seekrefuge of Your pleasure from Your annoyance, and I seek Your refugefrom Yourself. I cannot praise You as fully as You deserve. You areexactly as You have defined Yourself.' Thereafter, when he raised hishead from Sajdah and finished his salah, he said to me: 'Aishah, didyou think that the Prophet has betrayed you?' I said, 'No, O Prophet ofAllah, but I was afraid that your soul has been taken away because yourSajdah was very long.' He asked me, 'Do you know which night is this?'I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'This is thenight of the half of Sha'ban. Allah Almighty looks upon His
slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness andbestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but keeps those whohave malice (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does notforgive them unless they relieve themselves from malice).'"

2. In another Tradition Sayyidah' Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, hasreported that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said,"Allah Almighty descends (in a manner He best knows it) in the nightoccurring in the middle of Sha'ban and forgives a large number ofpeople more than the number of the fibers on the sheep of the tribe,Kalb."
Kalb was a big tribe the members of which had a very large numberof sheep.Therefore, the last sentence of the hadith indicates the bignumber of the people who are forgiven in this night by Allah Almighty.

3. In yet another Tradition, she has reported Prophet Muhammad,Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "This is the middle Nightof Sha'ban. Allah frees in it a large number of the people from Fire,more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe,Kalb. But He does not even look at a person who associates partnerswith Allah, or at a person who nourishes malice in his heart (againstsomeone), or at a person who cuts off the ties
of kinship, or at a man who leaves his clothes extending beyondhis ankles (as a sign of pride), or at a person who disobeys hisparents, or at a person who has a habit of drinking wine."

4. Sayyidna Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports thatProphet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: "AllahAlmighty looks upon all those created by Him in the middle Night ofSha'ban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one whoassociates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart(against a Muslim)".

Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions sufferswith some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions arecombined together, it becomes clear that this night has some wellfounded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not abaseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on thebasis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any specialimportance to this night. In fact,some of these traditions have beenheld by some scholars of hadith as authentic and the defects in thechain of some others have been treated by
them as minor technical defects which, according to the science ofhadith, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That iswhy the elders of the ummah have constantly been observing this nightas a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship andprayers.

What should be done in this night?

In order to observe the Night of Bara'ah, one should remainawakened in this night as much as he can. If someone has betteropportunities, he should spend the whole night in worship and prayer.However, if one cannot do so for one reason or another, he can select aconsiderable portion of the night, preferably of the second half of itfor this purpose, and should perform the following acts of worship:

(a) Salah. Salah is the most preferable act to be performed in thisnight. There is no particular number of Rak'at but preferably it shouldnot be less than eight. It is also advisable that each part of theSalah like qiyam, rukoo' and sajdah should be longer than normal. Thelongest surahs of the Holy Qur'an one remembers by heart should berecited in the Salah of this night. If someone does not remember thelong surahs, he can also recite several short surahs in one rak'ah.

(b) Tilawa. The recitation of the Holy Qur'an is another form ofworship,very beneficent in this night. After performing Salah, or atany other time,one should recite as much of the Holy Qur'an as he can.

(c) Dhikr. One should also perform dhikr (recitation of the name ofAllah)in this night. Particularly the following dhikr is very useful:

One should recite Salah (durood) on Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahualayhi wa sallam, as many times as he can. The dhikr can also berecited while walking, lying on bed and during other hours of work orleisure.

(d) Dua. The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of thisnight is prayers and supplications. It is hoped that all the prayers inthis night will be accepted by our Lord, insha-Allah. Prayer itself isan 'Ibadah, and Allah Almighty gives reward on each prayer along withthe fulfillment of the supplicator's need. Even if the purpose prayedfor is not achieved, one cannot be deprived of the reward of the prayerwhich is sometimes more precious than the mundane benefits one strivesfor. The prayers and supplications also strengthen one's relation withAllah Almighty, which is
the main purpose of all kinds and forms of worship.

One can pray for whatever purpose he wishes. But the bestsupplications are the ones made by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhiwa sallam. These are so comprehensive and all-encompassing prayers thatall the human needs, of
this world and the Hereafter, are fully covered in the eloquentexpressions used in them. Actually, most of the prophetic prayers areso profound that human imagination can hardly match their greatness.

Several books in various languages are available which providethese prophetic prayers, and one should pray to Allah Almighty inaccordance with them, whether by reciting their original Arabic text orby rendering their sense in one's own language.

(e) There are some people who cannot perform any additional Salahor recitations for any reason, like illness or weakness or beingengaged in some other necessary activities. Such people also should notdeprive themselves completely of the blessings of this night. Theyshould observe the following acts:

(i) To perform the Salah of Maghrib, 'Isha' and Fajr with Jama'ah in the mosque, or in their homes in case of their being sick.

(ii) They should keep reciting the dhikr, particularly the onementioned in para (c) above, in whatever condition they are until theysleep.

(iii) They should pray to Allah for their forgiveness and for their other objectives. One can do so even when he is in his bed.

(f) The women during their periods cannot perform salah, nor canthey recite the Qur'an, but they can recite any dhikr, tasbeeh, duroodsharif and can pray to Allah for whatever purpose they like in whateverlanguage they wish. They can also recite the Arabic prayers mentionedin the Qur'an or in the hadith with the intention of supplication (andnot with the intention of
recitation).

(g) According to a hadith, which is relatively less authentic, Prophet
Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went in this night to thegraveyard of Baqi' where he prayed for the Muslims buried there. Onthis basis, some of the fuqaha hold it as mustahabb (advisable) in thisnight to go to the graveyard of the Muslims and recite Fatihah or anyother part of the Qur'an,and pray for the dead. But this act is neitherobligatory nor should it be performed as regularly as an obligatoryact.

What should not be done in this night

1. As mentioned earlier, the Night of Bara'ah is a night in whichspecial blessings are directed towards the Muslims. Therefore, thisnight should be spent in total submission to Allah Almighty, and oneshould refrain from all those activities, which may displease Allah.Although it is always incumbent upon every Muslim to abstain from sins,yet this abstinence becomes all the more necessary in such nights,because committing sins in this night will amount to responding todivine blessings with disobedience and felony. Such
an arrogant attitude can invite nothing but the wrath of Allah.Therefore, one should strictly abstain from all the sins, particularlyfrom those mentioned in the Hadith No. 3 quoted earlier in thisarticle, because these sins make one devoid of the blessings of thisnight.

2. In this night some people indulge in some activities which theyregard as necessary for the celebration of the Night of Bara'ah, likecooking some special type of meal, or illuminating houses or mosques,or improvised structures. All such activities are not only baseless andinnovated in the later days by ignorant people, but in some cases theyare pure imitation of some rituals performed by non-Muslim communities.Such imitation in itself is a sin; performing it in a blessed nightlike the Night of Bara'ah makes it worse. Muslims should strictlyabstain from all such activities.

3. Some people spend this night in holding religious meetings anddelivering long speeches. Such activities are also not advisable,because these acts can easily be performed in other nights. This nightrequires one to devote himself for the pure acts of worship only.

4. The acts of worship like Salah, recitation of the Qur'an anddhikr should be performed in this night individually, not collectively.The Nafl Salah should not be performed in Jama'ah, nor should theMuslims arrange gatherings in the mosques in order to celebrate thenight in a collective manner.

On the contrary, this night is meant for worshipping Allah insolitude. It is the time to enjoy the direct contact with the Lord ofthe Universe, and to devote one's attention to Him and Him alone. Theseare the precious hours of the night in which nobody should intervenebetween one and his Lord, and one should turn to Allah with totalconcentration, not disturbed or intermitted by any one else.

That is why Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam,observed the acts of worship in this night in total seclusion, notaccompanied by anyone, not even by his favorite life companion Sayyidah'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, and that is why all forms of the optionalworship (Nafl Ibadah), are advised by him to be done in individual, notin collective manner.

Fast of the 15th Sha'ban On the day immediately following the Nightof Bara'ah, i.e. the 15th of Sha'ban, it is mustahabb (advisable) tokeep fast. Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reportedto have recommended this fast emphatically. Although the scholars ofhadith have some doubts in the
authenticity of this report, yet it is mentioned earlier that thefasts of the first half of Sha'ban have special merits and ProphetMuhammad,Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast most of the days inSha'ban. Moreover, a large number of the elders (salaf) of the Ummahhave been observing the fast of the 15th of Sha'ban. This constantpractice indicates that they have accepted the relevant hadith asauthentic.

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

Mufti M Taqi Usmani
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 26th August 2007 13:04
Stamford Hill's Weekend radio had a 45mins bayaan on this night by Mufti Taqi today in urdu and in english on same topic by mufti zubiar bayat. quite informative mashallah.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 26th August 2007 13:08
The Fast Of 15th Shaban
Q. I have read the Shabaan issue of your magazine Al-BALAGH certain questions are bothering me with regard to fasting on the 15 th of Shabaan.I would like to explain the reason for this question. Several months ago a friend explained to me that there is no special significance of the fast of the 15th of Shabaan. However, he says this Hadith is absolutely weak to such an extent that one of its narrators was a person who was regarded by some scholars of Hadith as a fabricator of Hadith and a liar. Hence, he says that, untill another reliable Hadith can be found the fast of the 15th of Shabaan has no special virtue. He also explained to me the following points :


(1) He has not come acrose any of the Fuqaha having even mentioned fasting specifically on the 15th of Shabaan; where as they have mentioned the fasts of Aashura and the six fasts of Shawwal etc.


(2) While it has been narrated in many authentic Ahadith that Rasulullah (S.A.W.) fasted for most of the month of Shabaan, this cannot be used to prove any special significance for the specific fast of the 15th of Shabaan. He told me that those Ahadith must be explained as they are i.e. for the entire month of Shabaan - not the 15th of the month.


(3) The Hadith regarding visiting the graveyard on the 15th of Shabaan is much more authentic and reliable compared to the Hadith regarding fasting on the 15th of Shabaan. However, despite this the Ulema have prohibited the people from making it a habit. Therefore,since a very great number of people observe only the fast of the 15th of Shabaan and regard it as a Sunnah, whereas the Hadith in this regard is absolutely and totally weak, the Ulema should stop the people from this also.


(4) When I suggested that what Harm, can here be if people observed this fast even if in reality it is not Sunnah or even Nafl, he stated: This is the way many Bidat have started (though this practice is not a Bid'ah). Furthermore this is a matter of "Aqeedah" and to regard something as Sunnah which in reality is not Sunnah is a very dangerous and grave matter. Hence it is necessary that either the act be proved Sunnah or else the people should be stopped from this since, if they practice, it they would do so regarding it as a Sunnah.


Hence I now wish to pose my questions.


(1) He has stated that this Hadith is "totally and absolutely weak" whereas Mufti Sahib has stated that "the Scholars of Hadith have some doubts regarding the authenticity of this Hadith." Has he exaggerated in this claim of "totally and absolutely weak"?


(2) is it true that one of the narrators was regarded as a fabricator and liar?


(3) Are his arguments in (1),(2),(3) and (4) above correct?


(4) On page 14 Mufti Sahib has written; "Although the scholars of Hadith have some doubts about the authenticity of this report, yet it is mentioned earlier that the fasts of the first half of Shabaan have special merits...." I have not found any narration in the article which explains the special merits of fasting in the first half of Shabaan. All the narrations deel with the fasts of the FIRST HALF of Shabaan, please quote this for me.


(5) Mufti Sahib also stated the practice of the Salaf (elders). Who is meant by "elders"?


(6) If it is accepted that one of the narrators was accused of being a fabricator and a liar did the "Salaf" regard this Hadith as authentic "as is" i.e. despite the condition of this narrator?


(7) Mufti Sahib has stated; "therefore, it is adviseable to fast on the 15th of Shabaan as an optional (nafl) fast" Most people regard this fast as "Sunnah" and not nafl. Is in incorrect to regard this fast as Sunnah?


(8) Is this Nafl fast equal to keeping a nafl fast on any other day for example, the 1st of January; whichever Islamic date that may fall on? (excepting Ramadan, the 10th of Muharram, etc)?


I hope Mufti Sahib will quickly answer these questions and remove my doubts and the doubts of many others here in this regard. (Yousuf Desai, South Africa)


A. I am grateful to you for your question which provided me with an opportunity to revise my article and to study the subject in more detail.In fact, the fast of the 15th of Shabaan is based on a tradition reported by Sayiddna Ali. Its text runs as follows : When the Middle Night of Shabaan arrives, you should stand (Praying) in the night and should fast in the day following it.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 febricator. 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 febricated (Mawdu) Hadith. There are a number of books indicating the febricated AHadith, but this tradition is not included in these books as febricated.


It is well-known that Ibn Majah consists of about twenty AHadith held to be febricated. The list of these febricated 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 injuctions of Shariah. Thus, the fast of the 15th of Shabaan cannot be termed as Sunnah or Mustahabb in the strict sense of the term. Nevertheless, it may be adviseable 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. It is in this context that I had mentioned this fast as advisable in my previous article. But when I revised the article after receiving your question, I now feel that the relevant paragraph may create misunderstanding and it needs clarification. I now armend it in accordance with what is stated above in this article.


Again, I am thankful to you for your letter which enabled me to revise and correct my previous article. May Allah give you the best reward for it.


By Mufti Taq DB

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 26th August 2007 23:43
Jazakallah for the missing part Daywalk3r

--------------------



15th of Sha'ban

By Shaykhul Hadith Fazlur Rahman Aazmi

All Praise be to Allaah Ta'aala who has blessed us with a Deen wherein small actions reap tremendous rewards as expounded by His Beloved Rasul, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam), and by the blessed Sahaabah (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) who spent everything for the upliftment of the Deen.

This leaflet is a summary of the booklet by Sheikhul Hadith Hadhrat Moulana Fazlur Rahman Aazmi of Darul Uloom, Islamia, Azaadville. May Allaah grant him a long healthy life.

Allaah Ta'aala has presented His bondsmen with some special occasions with the golden opportunity of earning the mercy and forgiveness of Allaah Ta'aala. Explicit examples of these occasions are the month of Ramadaan and Laylatul Qadr. So is the fifteenth of Shabaan. Several Ahaadith extol the tremendous merits of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allaah Ta'aala during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that it is called "The Night of Baraat" (i.e. the night wherein judgement of saviour from Jahannam and punishment is passed).
However, it should be borne in mind that a vast majority of narrations describing the benefits and virtues of this night are in fact quite weak.

The foundations of the Shari'ah are the Qur'aan, the Sunnat and the lives of the Sahaabah (RadhiAllaahu-anhu).
Non of the narrations regarding the excellences of this night of Baraat are free from criticism and comment by the scholars of Hadith. Moulana Yusuf Binouri (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) says, "I have not come across any Sahih, Marfoo or Musnad Hadith regarding the excellence of the night". [Ma'aarifus Sunnan, vol 5, pg 419].

The Muhaddith, Ibnu-Dihya, has also agreed that neither has anything authentic been narrated regarding the fifteenth night of Shabaan nor has any specific Salaat been narrated for this night via reliable narrators. [Faydhul-Qadeer - Sharhul Jaamis-Sagheer. vol 2., pg 317].

Whilst even Allama Ibnu-Taymiyyah, a scholar notorious for refuting such things, also 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].

Moulana Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes in the commentary of Tirmidhi, "The sheer number of Ahaadith regarding this night serve as proof against those people who refute the excellence of this night". [Tuhfatul-Ahwazi. vol 2. pg 53].

The virtue of this night as established from these Ahaadith is that from the very beginning of the night Allaah Ta'aala turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seeks forgiveness. Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allaah Ta'aala with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a promise never to return to sin and seek forgiveness from Allaah Ta'aala. Seek forgiveness for oneself and the rest of the Muslims, living and deceased. Have firm hope and resolution in the heart that Allaah Ta'aala will surely show mercy and forgiveness.

UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE


It is understood from Ahaadith that even on this night, some are deprived of Allaah's forgiveness.They are,
1. Idolaters
2. Those who harbour enmity against others
3. Those who consume alcohol
4. Those who disobey their parents
5. Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis etc, below their ankles
6. Those who commit adultery and murders
7. Those who sever family ties.
From the above, we can gauge the severity of these sins and need to perpetually abstain from them as they are so grave that even when Allaah Ta'aala's mercy comes to the fore, they still pose an obstacle to forgiveness.

SPECIAL VIRTUES OF THE NIGHT OF BARAAT


The special virtues of the night of Baraat are,
1. Contrary to other nights wherein Allaah descends to the lowest Heaven to bestow His special blessings during the last third of the night, on the night of Baraat the special rain of mercy and forgiveness from Allaah Ta'aala begins to shower down right from the beginning of the night and continues up till dawn.
2. The Sins of countless people are pardoned. Furthermore, the number of pronouncements seeking out those who want forgiveness supersede those which occur on other nights. [Hafiz Zayud-deen Iraqi, Faydhul Qadeer, vol 2, pg 317].

It should be remembered that while the narrations regarding the night of Baraat are weak, the narrations regarding Allaah Ta'aala's descending to the nearest Heaven during the last third of every night are totally correct.


VISITING THE GRAVESIDE ON THE NIGHT OF BARAAT


Rasulullaah's (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) awakening during any night and visiting the graveyards is recorded in some previously mentioned Ahaadith. However, visiting of the graveyard is not a special characteristic of this night in particular.It is proven from another authentic narration that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam)used to visit the graveyard during the last portion of every night.
There is no specific reference in the Ahaadith to the night of Baraat or any other night. Furthermore, it is understood from the Ahaadith that whenever it was the turn for Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) to spend the night with Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha), he would visit the graveyard. [Muslim Shareef, vol 1, pg 313]. Thus a wide and general application of this practice is understood. About visiting the graveyard on the night of Baraat, we should ponder how much this practice conforms to the authentic Ahaadith of Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). Are we following the norm, or are our actions truly spurred by an intention to follow the Sunnah? The turn of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) occurred once every week. It can thus be concluded from the above riwaayat that Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) would visit the graveyard for a minimum of once a week.

NO SPECIFIC PRESCRIBED SALAAT RESERVED FOR THE NIGHT OF BARAAT.


Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R.A.) has written regarding the matter that the significance of the night of Baraat is proven. There is however, no proof for those weak and unacceptable narrations mentioned in certain books. [Alarfus-Shazi, pg 156].

Allama Yusuf Binouri (R.A.) writes in Ma'arifus-Sunan that Abu Talib Makki recorded these narrations in his book Qutul-Quloob. Imaam Ghazali, following Abu Talib Makki, did the same and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has followed them in his book Ghunyat-ut-Talibeen (See N.B. below). They mention a narration of Hadhrat Ali (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) that discusses a Salaat of a hundred rakaats. However, Ibnu-Jawzi (R.A.) and others declared this narration to be a fabrication (Mowdhu'). [Maarifus Sunan, vol 5, pg 419].

Allama Dhahabi, Ibnu-Arraq, Suyuti, Mullla Ali Qari and other scholars of Hadith have vehemently refuted such Namaazes. [Those who desire further reference should consult the books of Mowdhu'aat - Fabrications].
N.B. Imam Dhahabi says regarding the book Ghunya-tut-Talibeen that although it is the work of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, many additions were made to this book after his death. [Taqreer Moulana Shabeer Ahmed Uthmani, published by Jamea Islameah Dabhel, pg 227 - This book cannot be relied upon. As far as Ahaadith is concerned, the opinion of the scholars of Ahaadith (Muhadditheen) is always considered and not that of Waa'izeen and Sufis].
Mulla Ali Qadri has discussed this matter under a special chapter regarding the prescribed Namaazes of the night of Baraat. After mentioning these Namaazes, he declares them to be unfounded and therefore in the fourth century in Baitul-Muqaddas and thereafter Ahaadith were fabricated in order to support these baseless formulae. [Mowdhu'aatte-Kabeer, pg 330, Beirut edition, also Tadhkiratul-Mowdhu'aat of Farrbi, pg 45].

FASTING ON THE FIFTEENTH OF SHABAAN IS NOT ESTABLISHED FROM HADITH


Some people believe the misconception that fasting on the fifteenth of Shabaan is Sunnat. They have been deceived by the Hadith of Hadhrat Ali (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) that appears in Ibne-Maja which has been fabricated. The Hadith states that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "When the 15th night of Shabaan comes, then spend this night in Qiyaam (Salaah) and the day in fasting. For verily, Allaah descends during this night to the nearest Heavens". [Ibnu-Maja, pg 99]. This Hadith is however very weak. Some scholars have declared it as Mowdhu (fabricated). One of the narrators of this Hadith is Abnu-Abi-Jabrah, who has been accused of fabricating Ahaadith. [Taqrib of Ibnu-Hajar, pg 396]. Imaam Bukhari and others have also proved him to be weak. [Mizanul I'tidal, vol 5, pg 503]. Thus this Hadith cannot be relied upon. Hence the fasting of this day should not be regarded as Sunnat , since a weak narration is not sufficient to prove this fast as been Sunnat.
Another interesting fact is that fasting on this day is only discussed in this weak Hadith. If it were a Sunnat act, a stronger hadith would have been available to prove it.

FASTING DURING THE MONTH OF SHABAAN IS SUNNAT AND A CLEARLY ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF THE SHARI'AH


Fasting in the month of Shabaan, without the stipulation of any day, is proven from Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). In fact, he used to fast excessively during this month. This is substantiated by a Hadith of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) wherein she describes the fast of Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). She says that aside from the month of Ramadaan, he never used to fast for an entire month. However, of the remaining months, he would fast the most in Shabaan. [Bukhari, vol 1, pg 264].

THE NIGHT OF BARAAT AND QUR'AAN


Has the night of BARAAT been mentioned in the Qur'aan? The most correct opinion is that the night of Baraat has not been mentioned in the Qur'aan. Hafiz Ibnu-Katheer writes that those like Ikramah who have explained the "blessed night' in the Qur'aan as the night of Baraat are very distant from the correct interpretation. [Ma'arisfus-Sunan, vol 5, pg 420].

IS SUSTENANCE, LIFE AND DEATH DECIDED ON THIS NIGHT?


Qazi Abubakr bin Arabi writes that there is no reliable Hadith regarding the fifteenth of Shabaan from which it may be understood that sustenance, life and death are decided on that night. He has even gone so far as to say that there is no reliable narration concerning this night being the blessed one. [Ma'ariful Qur'aan, vol 7, pg 757]. Since the significance of the night of Baraat has been mentioned in a number of narrations, and the narrations are not in conflict with any verse in the Qur'aan or any authentic narration, we do accept its significance. However, the opinion that sustenance, death, etc. are determined on this night is in conflict with the Qur'aan and is therefore unacceptable. It has been established from the Qur'aan that these decisions are passed to the Angels on Laylatul Qadr and not on the night of Baraat. It is on this account that the scholars of research have always rejected this opinion.
The opinion of the lecturers would not be considered in this discussion, instead the opinion of the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith will be relied upon.

There is a Hadith of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) mentioned in Mishkaat [pg 115] on the authority of Baihaqi's Da'waatul-Kabeer. This Hadith discusses that the decisions are passed on this night regarding those who will be born ; those who will die ; the actions of men are placed in front of Allaah and sustenance is revealed. The Condition of this Hadith is unknown and the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith do not consider it reliable.

SOME STRANGE AND INNOVATIVE PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH SHABE-BARAAT


The occasion of Shabe-Baraat has become synonymous with some baseless beliefs and practices.

1. Burning lights and candles. :Nothing has or can be found in any Hadith, whether strong or fabricated, nor in any Islaamic books. The Muslims of India,being in close contact with the Hindus, probably began imitating them in their practices, thus resulting in the introduction of this and various other bid'ats [Ma-Thabata-bis-Sunnah, pg 215].

2. Preparing of Sweetmeats: Some consider this being compulsory. Without it there can be no Shabe-Baraat. This is absolutely baseless. Some say that this act gains significance from the fact that on the occasion of Uhud when the blessed tooth of Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) became Shaheed, he had some Halwa. Others say that Hadhrat Hamza (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) was martyred on this day and the sweetmeats are taken as his "Faatiha" (In commemoration of him). These are fabricated and concocted theories. How can it ever be possible when it is a known fact that the battle of Uhud in which Hadhrat Hamza(RA) was martyred took place in Shawwal and not Shabaan.

3. Souls Visit Families: Some people firmly believe that the souls of the deceased visit their families homes and see whether any food has been prepared for their honour or not. Some people feel that if a person dies before Shabe-Baraat than until his "Faatiha" is not made on Shabe-Baraat, he is not counted amongst the dead. These are baseless ideologies that clearly contradict the Ahaadith.

4. Distribution of Food: Some feel that it is compulsory to distribute food on this night with the intention of Isale-Sawab. There is no association between this practice and the significance of the night. No special acts of charity etc. have been prescribed for this night. [Fatawa Imdadiyyah, vol 4, pg 27].

5. Hadith on Rajab, Shabaan and Ramadaan: Some people quote the following narration in their lectures:
Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Rajab is Allaah's month, Shabaan is my month and Ramadaan if the month of my Ummah". It should be noted that this "Hadith" is a fabrication. [Akhbaare-Modhoo', pg 329].

OTHER ACTIONS WHICH ARE THE RESULT OF MISINFORMATION


On these nights, in many Masaajids,
1. Congregational Yaseen Khathams are held:
2. Congregational Zikr sessions are held;
3. Congregational recitation of Salaat wa Salaam are held;
4. One person recites the 40 Durood etc. whilst others listen;
5. Individual Quraan recitations takes place.
All the above are NOT proven in the Shariat of Islaam.
Some opine that before this we were performing hundreds of Rakaats but now this 'benefit' is lost.
To this we say,
The author of Majma ul bahrayn has related in his commentary that a man thought of saying two rakahs of nafl salaat in the Idgah before the Id Salaat. Hadhrat Ali (RA) forbade him. The man said,"O Commander of the Faithful, I well know that Allaah The Most High will not punish me for saying Salaat;(why am I then being prevented from Salaat? ) Hadhrat Ali(RA) said:"I also well know that Allaah The Most High does not recompense an act which the Rasul did not perform or for which he did not persuade (his Ummah).Hence your Salaat is in vain and a vain work (in devotions) is unlawful. Probably Allaah might punish you that you did a work which the Rasul did not do". (Majalis ul Abrar-majlis 18. pp 129).-Fatawa Rahimyah Vol.1 pp 60 -English .

Can anyone object and question why Hadhrat Ali (RA) stopped the person from performing Salaat, from reciting the Noble Quraan, from remembering Allaah?
"Oh Allaah! Show us that which is Haqq (truth) and guide us to follow it and show us that which is Batil (false) and guide us to refrain from it. May Allaah shower His choicest blessings upon the best of His creation, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) and upon his descendants and his entire Ummat".
AL-HIDAAYAH 1997 ( 1418 NO. 10 )

15th of Sha'ban

By Shaykhul Hadith Fazlur Rahman Aazmi

All Praise be to Allaah Ta'aala who has blessed us with a Deen wherein small actions reap tremendous rewards as expounded by His Beloved Rasul, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam), and by the blessed Sahaabah (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) who spent everything for the upliftment of the Deen.

This leaflet is a summary of the booklet by Sheikhul Hadith Hadhrat Moulana Fazlur Rahman Aazmi of Darul Uloom, Islamia, Azaadville. May Allaah grant him a long healthy life.

Allaah Ta'aala has presented His bondsmen with some special occasions with the golden opportunity of earning the mercy and forgiveness of Allaah Ta'aala. Explicit examples of these occasions are the month of Ramadaan and Laylatul Qadr. So is the fifteenth of Shabaan. Several Ahaadith extol the tremendous merits of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allaah Ta'aala during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that it is called "The Night of Baraat" (i.e. the night wherein judgement of saviour from Jahannam and punishment is passed).
However, it should be borne in mind that a vast majority of narrations describing the benefits and virtues of this night are in fact quite weak.

The foundations of the Shari'ah are the Qur'aan, the Sunnat and the lives of the Sahaabah (RadhiAllaahu-anhu).
Non of the narrations regarding the excellences of this night of Baraat are free from criticism and comment by the scholars of Hadith. Moulana Yusuf Binouri (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) says, "I have not come across any Sahih, Marfoo or Musnad Hadith regarding the excellence of the night". [Ma'aarifus Sunnan, vol 5, pg 419].

The Muhaddith, Ibnu-Dihya, has also agreed that neither has anything authentic been narrated regarding the fifteenth night of Shabaan nor has any specific Salaat been narrated for this night via reliable narrators. [Faydhul-Qadeer - Sharhul Jaamis-Sagheer. vol 2., pg 317].

Whilst even Allama Ibnu-Taymiyyah, a scholar notorious for refuting such things, also 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].

Moulana Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes in the commentary of Tirmidhi, "The sheer number of Ahaadith regarding this night serve as proof against those people who refute the excellence of this night". [Tuhfatul-Ahwazi. vol 2. pg 53].

The virtue of this night as established from these Ahaadith is that from the very beginning of the night Allaah Ta'aala turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seeks forgiveness. Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allaah Ta'aala with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a promise never to return to sin and seek forgiveness from Allaah Ta'aala. Seek forgiveness for oneself and the rest of the Muslims, living and deceased. Have firm hope and resolution in the heart that Allaah Ta'aala will surely show mercy and forgiveness.

UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE


It is understood from Ahaadith that even on this night, some are deprived of Allaah's forgiveness.They are,
1. Idolaters
2. Those who harbour enmity against others
3. Those who consume alcohol
4. Those who disobey their parents
5. Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis etc, below their ankles
6. Those who commit adultery and murders
7. Those who sever family ties.
From the above, we can gauge the severity of these sins and need to perpetually abstain from them as they are so grave that even when Allaah Ta'aala's mercy comes to the fore, they still pose an obstacle to forgiveness.

SPECIAL VIRTUES OF THE NIGHT OF BARAAT


The special virtues of the night of Baraat are,
1. Contrary to other nights wherein Allaah descends to the lowest Heaven to bestow His special blessings during the last third of the night, on the night of Baraat the special rain of mercy and forgiveness from Allaah Ta'aala begins to shower down right from the beginning of the night and continues up till dawn.
2. The Sins of countless people are pardoned. Furthermore, the number of pronouncements seeking out those who want forgiveness supersede those which occur on other nights. [Hafiz Zayud-deen Iraqi, Faydhul Qadeer, vol 2, pg 317].

It should be remembered that while the narrations regarding the night of Baraat are weak, the narrations regarding Allaah Ta'aala's descending to the nearest Heaven during the last third of every night are totally correct.


VISITING THE GRAVESIDE ON THE NIGHT OF BARAAT


Rasulullaah's (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) awakening during any night and visiting the graveyards is recorded in some previously mentioned Ahaadith. However, visiting of the graveyard is not a special characteristic of this night in particular.It is proven from another authentic narration that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam)used to visit the graveyard during the last portion of every night.
There is no specific reference in the Ahaadith to the night of Baraat or any other night. Furthermore, it is understood from the Ahaadith that whenever it was the turn for Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) to spend the night with Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha), he would visit the graveyard. [Muslim Shareef, vol 1, pg 313]. Thus a wide and general application of this practice is understood. About visiting the graveyard on the night of Baraat, we should ponder how much this practice conforms to the authentic Ahaadith of Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). Are we following the norm, or are our actions truly spurred by an intention to follow the Sunnah? The turn of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) occurred once every week. It can thus be concluded from the above riwaayat that Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) would visit the graveyard for a minimum of once a week.

NO SPECIFIC PRESCRIBED SALAAT RESERVED FOR THE NIGHT OF BARAAT.


Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R.A.) has written regarding the matter that the significance of the night of Baraat is proven. There is however, no proof for those weak and unacceptable narrations mentioned in certain books. [Alarfus-Shazi, pg 156].

Allama Yusuf Binouri (R.A.) writes in Ma'arifus-Sunan that Abu Talib Makki recorded these narrations in his book Qutul-Quloob. Imaam Ghazali, following Abu Talib Makki, did the same and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has followed them in his book Ghunyat-ut-Talibeen (See N.B. below). They mention a narration of Hadhrat Ali (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) that discusses a Salaat of a hundred rakaats. However, Ibnu-Jawzi (R.A.) and others declared this narration to be a fabrication (Mowdhu'). [Maarifus Sunan, vol 5, pg 419].

Allama Dhahabi, Ibnu-Arraq, Suyuti, Mullla Ali Qari and other scholars of Hadith have vehemently refuted such Namaazes. [Those who desire further reference should consult the books of Mowdhu'aat - Fabrications].
N.B. Imam Dhahabi says regarding the book Ghunya-tut-Talibeen that although it is the work of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, many additions were made to this book after his death. [Taqreer Moulana Shabeer Ahmed Uthmani, published by Jamea Islameah Dabhel, pg 227 - This book cannot be relied upon. As far as Ahaadith is concerned, the opinion of the scholars of Ahaadith (Muhadditheen) is always considered and not that of Waa'izeen and Sufis].
Mulla Ali Qadri has discussed this matter under a special chapter regarding the prescribed Namaazes of the night of Baraat. After mentioning these Namaazes, he declares them to be unfounded and therefore in the fourth century in Baitul-Muqaddas and thereafter Ahaadith were fabricated in order to support these baseless formulae. [Mowdhu'aatte-Kabeer, pg 330, Beirut edition, also Tadhkiratul-Mowdhu'aat of Farrbi, pg 45].

FASTING ON THE FIFTEENTH OF SHABAAN IS NOT ESTABLISHED FROM HADITH


Some people believe the misconception that fasting on the fifteenth of Shabaan is Sunnat. They have been deceived by the Hadith of Hadhrat Ali (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) that appears in Ibne-Maja which has been fabricated. The Hadith states that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "When the 15th night of Shabaan comes, then spend this night in Qiyaam (Salaah) and the day in fasting. For verily, Allaah descends during this night to the nearest Heavens". [Ibnu-Maja, pg 99]. This Hadith is however very weak. Some scholars have declared it as Mowdhu (fabricated). One of the narrators of this Hadith is Abnu-Abi-Jabrah, who has been accused of fabricating Ahaadith. [Taqrib of Ibnu-Hajar, pg 396]. Imaam Bukhari and others have also proved him to be weak. [Mizanul I'tidal, vol 5, pg 503]. Thus this Hadith cannot be relied upon. Hence the fasting of this day should not be regarded as Sunnat , since a weak narration is not sufficient to prove this fast as been Sunnat.
Another interesting fact is that fasting on this day is only discussed in this weak Hadith. If it were a Sunnat act, a stronger hadith would have been available to prove it.

FASTING DURING THE MONTH OF SHABAAN IS SUNNAT AND A CLEARLY ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF THE SHARI'AH


Fasting in the month of Shabaan, without the stipulation of any day, is proven from Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). In fact, he used to fast excessively during this month. This is substantiated by a Hadith of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) wherein she describes the fast of Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). She says that aside from the month of Ramadaan, he never used to fast for an entire month. However, of the remaining months, he would fast the most in Shabaan. [Bukhari, vol 1, pg 264].

THE NIGHT OF BARAAT AND QUR'AAN


Has the night of BARAAT been mentioned in the Qur'aan? The most correct opinion is that the night of Baraat has not been mentioned in the Qur'aan. Hafiz Ibnu-Katheer writes that those like Ikramah who have explained the "blessed night' in the Qur'aan as the night of Baraat are very distant from the correct interpretation. [Ma'arisfus-Sunan, vol 5, pg 420].

IS SUSTENANCE, LIFE AND DEATH DECIDED ON THIS NIGHT?


Qazi Abubakr bin Arabi writes that there is no reliable Hadith regarding the fifteenth of Shabaan from which it may be understood that sustenance, life and death are decided on that night. He has even gone so far as to say that there is no reliable narration concerning this night being the blessed one. [Ma'ariful Qur'aan, vol 7, pg 757]. Since the significance of the night of Baraat has been mentioned in a number of narrations, and the narrations are not in conflict with any verse in the Qur'aan or any authentic narration, we do accept its significance. However, the opinion that sustenance, death, etc. are determined on this night is in conflict with the Qur'aan and is therefore unacceptable. It has been established from the Qur'aan that these decisions are passed to the Angels on Laylatul Qadr and not on the night of Baraat. It is on this account that the scholars of research have always rejected this opinion.
The opinion of the lecturers would not be considered in this discussion, instead the opinion of the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith will be relied upon.

There is a Hadith of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) mentioned in Mishkaat [pg 115] on the authority of Baihaqi's Da'waatul-Kabeer. This Hadith discusses that the decisions are passed on this night regarding those who will be born ; those who will die ; the actions of men are placed in front of Allaah and sustenance is revealed. The Condition of this Hadith is unknown and the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith do not consider it reliable.

SOME STRANGE AND INNOVATIVE PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH SHABE-BARAAT


The occasion of Shabe-Baraat has become synonymous with some baseless beliefs and practices.

1. Burning lights and candles. :Nothing has or can be found in any Hadith, whether strong or fabricated, nor in any Islaamic books. The Muslims of India,being in close contact with the Hindus, probably began imitating them in their practices, thus resulting in the introduction of this and various other bid'ats [Ma-Thabata-bis-Sunnah, pg 215].

2. Preparing of Sweetmeats: Some consider this being compulsory. Without it there can be no Shabe-Baraat. This is absolutely baseless. Some say that this act gains significance from the fact that on the occasion of Uhud when the blessed tooth of Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) became Shaheed, he had some Halwa. Others say that Hadhrat Hamza (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) was martyred on this day and the sweetmeats are taken as his "Faatiha" (In commemoration of him). These are fabricated and concocted theories. How can it ever be possible when it is a known fact that the battle of Uhud in which Hadhrat Hamza(RA) was martyred took place in Shawwal and not Shabaan.

3. Souls Visit Families: Some people firmly believe that the souls of the deceased visit their families homes and see whether any food has been prepared for their honour or not. Some people feel that if a person dies before Shabe-Baraat than until his "Faatiha" is not made on Shabe-Baraat, he is not counted amongst the dead. These are baseless ideologies that clearly contradict the Ahaadith.

4. Distribution of Food: Some feel that it is compulsory to distribute food on this night with the intention of Isale-Sawab. There is no association between this practice and the significance of the night. No special acts of charity etc. have been prescribed for this night. [Fatawa Imdadiyyah, vol 4, pg 27].

5. Hadith on Rajab, Shabaan and Ramadaan: Some people quote the following narration in their lectures:
Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Rajab is Allaah's month, Shabaan is my month and Ramadaan if the month of my Ummah". It should be noted that this "Hadith" is a fabrication. [Akhbaare-Modhoo', pg 329].

OTHER ACTIONS WHICH ARE THE RESULT OF MISINFORMATION


On these nights, in many Masaajids,
1. Congregational Yaseen Khathams are held:
2. Congregational Zikr sessions are held;
3. Congregational recitation of Salaat wa Salaam are held;
4. One person recites the 40 Durood etc. whilst others listen;
5. Individual Quraan recitations takes place.
All the above are NOT proven in the Shariat of Islaam.
Some opine that before this we were performing hundreds of Rakaats but now this 'benefit' is lost.
To this we say,
The author of Majma ul bahrayn has related in his commentary that a man thought of saying two rakahs of nafl salaat in the Idgah before the Id Salaat. Hadhrat Ali (RA) forbade him. The man said,"O Commander of the Faithful, I well know that Allaah The Most High will not punish me for saying Salaat;(why am I then being prevented from Salaat? ) Hadhrat Ali(RA) said:"I also well know that Allaah The Most High does not recompense an act which the Rasul did not perform or for which he did not persuade (his Ummah).Hence your Salaat is in vain and a vain work (in devotions) is unlawful. Probably Allaah might punish you that you did a work which the Rasul did not do". (Majalis ul Abrar-majlis 18. pp 129).-Fatawa Rahimyah Vol.1 pp 60 -English .

Can anyone object and question why Hadhrat Ali (RA) stopped the person from performing Salaat, from reciting the Noble Quraan, from remembering Allaah?
"Oh Allaah! Show us that which is Haqq (truth) and guide us to follow it and show us that which is Batil (false) and guide us to refrain from it. May Allaah shower His choicest blessings upon the best of His creation, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) and upon his descendants and his entire Ummat".
AL-HIDAAYAH 1997 ( 1418 NO. 10 )

15th of Sha'ban

By Shaykhul Hadith Fazlur Rahman Aazmi

All Praise be to Allaah Ta'aala who has blessed us with a Deen wherein small actions reap tremendous rewards as expounded by His Beloved Rasul, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam), and by the blessed Sahaabah (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) who spent everything for the upliftment of the Deen.

This leaflet is a summary of the booklet by Sheikhul Hadith Hadhrat Moulana Fazlur Rahman Aazmi of Darul Uloom, Islamia, Azaadville. May Allaah grant him a long healthy life.

Allaah Ta'aala has presented His bondsmen with some special occasions with the golden opportunity of earning the mercy and forgiveness of Allaah Ta'aala. Explicit examples of these occasions are the month of Ramadaan and Laylatul Qadr. So is the fifteenth of Shabaan. Several Ahaadith extol the tremendous merits of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allaah Ta'aala during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that it is called "The Night of Baraat" (i.e. the night wherein judgement of saviour from Jahannam and punishment is passed).
However, it should be borne in mind that a vast majority of narrations describing the benefits and virtues of this night are in fact quite weak.

The foundations of the Shari'ah are the Qur'aan, the Sunnat and the lives of the Sahaabah (RadhiAllaahu-anhu).
Non of the narrations regarding the excellences of this night of Baraat are free from criticism and comment by the scholars of Hadith. Moulana Yusuf Binouri (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) says, "I have not come across any Sahih, Marfoo or Musnad Hadith regarding the excellence of the night". [Ma'aarifus Sunnan, vol 5, pg 419].

The Muhaddith, Ibnu-Dihya, has also agreed that neither has anything authentic been narrated regarding the fifteenth night of Shabaan nor has any specific Salaat been narrated for this night via reliable narrators. [Faydhul-Qadeer - Sharhul Jaamis-Sagheer. vol 2., pg 317].

Whilst even Allama Ibnu-Taymiyyah, a scholar notorious for refuting such things, also 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].

Moulana Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes in the commentary of Tirmidhi, "The sheer number of Ahaadith regarding this night serve as proof against those people who refute the excellence of this night". [Tuhfatul-Ahwazi. vol 2. pg 53].

The virtue of this night as established from these Ahaadith is that from the very beginning of the night Allaah Ta'aala turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seeks forgiveness. Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allaah Ta'aala with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a promise never to return to sin and seek forgiveness from Allaah Ta'aala. Seek forgiveness for oneself and the rest of the Muslims, living and deceased. Have firm hope and resolution in the heart that Allaah Ta'aala will surely show mercy and forgiveness.

UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE


It is understood from Ahaadith that even on this night, some are deprived of Allaah's forgiveness.They are,
1. Idolaters
2. Those who harbour enmity against others
3. Those who consume alcohol
4. Those who disobey their parents
5. Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis etc, below their ankles
6. Those who commit adultery and murders
7. Those who sever family ties.
From the above, we can gauge the severity of these sins and need to perpetually abstain from them as they are so grave that even when Allaah Ta'aala's mercy comes to the fore, they still pose an obstacle to forgiveness.

SPECIAL VIRTUES OF THE NIGHT OF BARAAT


The special virtues of the night of Baraat are,
1. Contrary to other nights wherein Allaah descends to the lowest Heaven to bestow His special blessings during the last third of the night, on the night of Baraat the special rain of mercy and forgiveness from Allaah Ta'aala begins to shower down right from the beginning of the night and continues up till dawn.
2. The Sins of countless people are pardoned. Furthermore, the number of pronouncements seeking out those who want forgiveness supersede those which occur on other nights. [Hafiz Zayud-deen Iraqi, Faydhul Qadeer, vol 2, pg 317].

It should be remembered that while the narrations regarding the night of Baraat are weak, the narrations regarding Allaah Ta'aala's descending to the nearest Heaven during the last third of every night are totally correct.


VISITING THE GRAVESIDE ON THE NIGHT OF BARAAT


Rasulullaah's (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) awakening during any night and visiting the graveyards is recorded in some previously mentioned Ahaadith. However, visiting of the graveyard is not a special characteristic of this night in particular.It is proven from another authentic narration that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam)used to visit the graveyard during the last portion of every night.
There is no specific reference in the Ahaadith to the night of Baraat or any other night. Furthermore, it is understood from the Ahaadith that whenever it was the turn for Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) to spend the night with Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha), he would visit the graveyard. [Muslim Shareef, vol 1, pg 313]. Thus a wide and general application of this practice is understood. About visiting the graveyard on the night of Baraat, we should ponder how much this practice conforms to the authentic Ahaadith of Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). Are we following the norm, or are our actions truly spurred by an intention to follow the Sunnah? The turn of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) occurred once every week. It can thus be concluded from the above riwaayat that Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) would visit the graveyard for a minimum of once a week.

NO SPECIFIC PRESCRIBED SALAAT RESERVED FOR THE NIGHT OF BARAAT.


Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R.A.) has written regarding the matter that the significance of the night of Baraat is proven. There is however, no proof for those weak and unacceptable narrations mentioned in certain books. [Alarfus-Shazi, pg 156].

Allama Yusuf Binouri (R.A.) writes in Ma'arifus-Sunan that Abu Talib Makki recorded these narrations in his book Qutul-Quloob. Imaam Ghazali, following Abu Talib Makki, did the same and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has followed them in his book Ghunyat-ut-Talibeen (See N.B. below). They mention a narration of Hadhrat Ali (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) that discusses a Salaat of a hundred rakaats. However, Ibnu-Jawzi (R.A.) and others declared this narration to be a fabrication (Mowdhu'). [Maarifus Sunan, vol 5, pg 419].

Allama Dhahabi, Ibnu-Arraq, Suyuti, Mullla Ali Qari and other scholars of Hadith have vehemently refuted such Namaazes. [Those who desire further reference should consult the books of Mowdhu'aat - Fabrications].
N.B. Imam Dhahabi says regarding the book Ghunya-tut-Talibeen that although it is the work of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, many additions were made to this book after his death. [Taqreer Moulana Shabeer Ahmed Uthmani, published by Jamea Islameah Dabhel, pg 227 - This book cannot be relied upon. As far as Ahaadith is concerned, the opinion of the scholars of Ahaadith (Muhadditheen) is always considered and not that of Waa'izeen and Sufis].
Mulla Ali Qadri has discussed this matter under a special chapter regarding the prescribed Namaazes of the night of Baraat. After mentioning these Namaazes, he declares them to be unfounded and therefore in the fourth century in Baitul-Muqaddas and thereafter Ahaadith were fabricated in order to support these baseless formulae. [Mowdhu'aatte-Kabeer, pg 330, Beirut edition, also Tadhkiratul-Mowdhu'aat of Farrbi, pg 45].

FASTING ON THE FIFTEENTH OF SHABAAN IS NOT ESTABLISHED FROM HADITH


Some people believe the misconception that fasting on the fifteenth of Shabaan is Sunnat. They have been deceived by the Hadith of Hadhrat Ali (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) that appears in Ibne-Maja which has been fabricated. The Hadith states that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "When the 15th night of Shabaan comes, then spend this night in Qiyaam (Salaah) and the day in fasting. For verily, Allaah descends during this night to the nearest Heavens". [Ibnu-Maja, pg 99]. This Hadith is however very weak. Some scholars have declared it as Mowdhu (fabricated). One of the narrators of this Hadith is Abnu-Abi-Jabrah, who has been accused of fabricating Ahaadith. [Taqrib of Ibnu-Hajar, pg 396]. Imaam Bukhari and others have also proved him to be weak. [Mizanul I'tidal, vol 5, pg 503]. Thus this Hadith cannot be relied upon. Hence the fasting of this day should not be regarded as Sunnat , since a weak narration is not sufficient to prove this fast as been Sunnat.
Another interesting fact is that fasting on this day is only discussed in this weak Hadith. If it were a Sunnat act, a stronger hadith would have been available to prove it.

FASTING DURING THE MONTH OF SHABAAN IS SUNNAT AND A CLEARLY ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF THE SHARI'AH


Fasting in the month of Shabaan, without the stipulation of any day, is proven from Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). In fact, he used to fast excessively during this month. This is substantiated by a Hadith of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) wherein she describes the fast of Nabi (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam). She says that aside from the month of Ramadaan, he never used to fast for an entire month. However, of the remaining months, he would fast the most in Shabaan. [Bukhari, vol 1, pg 264].

THE NIGHT OF BARAAT AND QUR'AAN


Has the night of BARAAT been mentioned in the Qur'aan? The most correct opinion is that the night of Baraat has not been mentioned in the Qur'aan. Hafiz Ibnu-Katheer writes that those like Ikramah who have explained the "blessed night' in the Qur'aan as the night of Baraat are very distant from the correct interpretation. [Ma'arisfus-Sunan, vol 5, pg 420].

IS SUSTENANCE, LIFE AND DEATH DECIDED ON THIS NIGHT?


Qazi Abubakr bin Arabi writes that there is no reliable Hadith regarding the fifteenth of Shabaan from which it may be understood that sustenance, life and death are decided on that night. He has even gone so far as to say that there is no reliable narration concerning this night being the blessed one. [Ma'ariful Qur'aan, vol 7, pg 757]. Since the significance of the night of Baraat has been mentioned in a number of narrations, and the narrations are not in conflict with any verse in the Qur'aan or any authentic narration, we do accept its significance. However, the opinion that sustenance, death, etc. are determined on this night is in conflict with the Qur'aan and is therefore unacceptable. It has been established from the Qur'aan that these decisions are passed to the Angels on Laylatul Qadr and not on the night of Baraat. It is on this account that the scholars of research have always rejected this opinion.
The opinion of the lecturers would not be considered in this discussion, instead the opinion of the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith will be relied upon.

There is a Hadith of Hadhrat Aisha (RadhiAllaahu-anha) mentioned in Mishkaat [pg 115] on the authority of Baihaqi's Da'waatul-Kabeer. This Hadith discusses that the decisions are passed on this night regarding those who will be born ; those who will die ; the actions of men are placed in front of Allaah and sustenance is revealed. The Condition of this Hadith is unknown and the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith do not consider it reliable.

SOME STRANGE AND INNOVATIVE PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH SHABE-BARAAT


The occasion of Shabe-Baraat has become synonymous with some baseless beliefs and practices.

1. Burning lights and candles. :Nothing has or can be found in any Hadith, whether strong or fabricated, nor in any Islaamic books. The Muslims of India,being in close contact with the Hindus, probably began imitating them in their practices, thus resulting in the introduction of this and various other bid'ats [Ma-Thabata-bis-Sunnah, pg 215].

2. Preparing of Sweetmeats: Some consider this being compulsory. Without it there can be no Shabe-Baraat. This is absolutely baseless. Some say that this act gains significance from the fact that on the occasion of Uhud when the blessed tooth of Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) became Shaheed, he had some Halwa. Others say that Hadhrat Hamza (RadhiAllaahu-anhu) was martyred on this day and the sweetmeats are taken as his "Faatiha" (In commemoration of him). These are fabricated and concocted theories. How can it ever be possible when it is a known fact that the battle of Uhud in which Hadhrat Hamza(RA) was martyred took place in Shawwal and not Shabaan.

3. Souls Visit Families: Some people firmly believe that the souls of the deceased visit their families homes and see whether any food has been prepared for their honour or not. Some people feel that if a person dies before Shabe-Baraat than until his "Faatiha" is not made on Shabe-Baraat, he is not counted amongst the dead. These are baseless ideologies that clearly contradict the Ahaadith.

4. Distribution of Food: Some feel that it is compulsory to distribute food on this night with the intention of Isale-Sawab. There is no association between this practice and the significance of the night. No special acts of charity etc. have been prescribed for this night. [Fatawa Imdadiyyah, vol 4, pg 27].

5. Hadith on Rajab, Shabaan and Ramadaan: Some people quote the following narration in their lectures:
Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Rajab is Allaah's month, Shabaan is my month and Ramadaan if the month of my Ummah". It should be noted that this "Hadith" is a fabrication. [Akhbaare-Modhoo', pg 329].

OTHER ACTIONS WHICH ARE THE RESULT OF MISINFORMATION


On these nights, in many Masaajids,
1. Congregational Yaseen Khathams are held:
2. Congregational Zikr sessions are held;
3. Congregational recitation of Salaat wa Salaam are held;
4. One person recites the 40 Durood etc. whilst others listen;
5. Individual Quraan recitations takes place.
All the above are NOT proven in the Shariat of Islaam.
Some opine that before this we were performing hundreds of Rakaats but now this 'benefit' is lost.
To this we say,
The author of Majma ul bahrayn has related in his commentary that a man thought of saying two rakahs of nafl salaat in the Idgah before the Id Salaat. Hadhrat Ali (RA) forbade him. The man said,"O Commander of the Faithful, I well know that Allaah The Most High will not punish me for saying Salaat;(why am I then being prevented from Salaat? ) Hadhrat Ali(RA) said:"I also well know that Allaah The Most High does not recompense an act which the Rasul did not perform or for which he did not persuade (his Ummah).Hence your Salaat is in vain and a vain work (in devotions) is unlawful. Probably Allaah might punish you that you did a work which the Rasul did not do". (Majalis ul Abrar-majlis 18. pp 129).-Fatawa Rahimyah Vol.1 pp 60 -English .

Can anyone object and question why Hadhrat Ali (RA) stopped the person from performing Salaat, from reciting the Noble Quraan, from remembering Allaah?
"Oh Allaah! Show us that which is Haqq (truth) and guide us to follow it and show us that which is Batil (false) and guide us to refrain from it. May Allaah shower His choicest blessings upon the best of His creation, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu alayhi wasallam) and upon his descendants and his entire Ummat".
AL-HIDAAYAH 1997 ( 1418 NO. 10 )

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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 5th August 2009 21:02
Assalamu Alaykum,

A reminder of the importance and virtues of tonight.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 12th June 2014 23:43
Daywalk3r wrote:
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Perfect post!
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 31st May 2015 15:29

A reminder

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