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Mid-Sha'ban

Mid-Sha'ban

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Mid-Sha'ban is thereceding night is known as Laylatul Bara’ah
Laylat al Bara'at
Laylat al Baraat is a Muslim holiday celebrated on the 15th night of the month of Sha'aban, the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.-Description:...

 or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha’ban in the Arab world, and as Shab-e-barat (شب برات) in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. These names are translated to the night of records, the night of assignment and the night of deliverance, and the observance involves a festive nightlong vigil with prayers. In some regions, this is also a night when one's deceased ancestors are commemorated.

Other names

  • Lailatul Biraat
  • Lailatul Dua
  • Nim Sha'ban in Afghanistan and Iran.
  • Nisf Sha'ban in Arabic speaking countries.
  • Nisfu Sya'ban in Malay speaking countries.
  • Shab e Bira'at in South Asia
    South Asia
    South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

     meaning the 'Night of Emancipation'.
  • Berat Kandili in Turkish

Sunni view


Sunnis observe Mid-Sha'ban as a night of worship and salvation. Various hadiths have been transmitted in this regard, some weak and others graded hassan or sahih. Scholars including Imam Shafii, Imam Nawawi, Imam Ghazzali and Imam Suyuti have declared praying on the night of mid shaban as acceptable.

In his Majmu`, Imam Nawawi quoted Imam al-Shafi`i's
Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i
Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shafiʿī was a Muslim jurist, who lived from 767 CE to 820 CE. He was active in juridical matters and his teaching eventually led to the Shafi'i school of fiqh named after him. Hence he is often called Imam al-Shafi'i...

 Kitab al-Umm
Kitab al-Umm
The Kitāb al-Umm is a book of law that is used as an authoritative guide by the Shafi'i school of fiqh within the Sunni branch of Islam. The work was composed by the founder of the Shafi'i school, Imām ash-Shāfi‘ī...

 that there are 5 nights when dua (prayer) is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.

The hadith by Imam Ibn Hajr Haythmi, states:Narrated by Muadh bin Jabal (RA) from Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) who said: Allah turns towards his creation in the Night of "MID-SHABAN" and He forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people [Az Zawaid #12860].
Classed sahih by salafi scholar Nasiruddin Albani in his silsilah Al-Sahihah.

Another hadith in Musnad Ahmed hanbal "Allah looks at His creation during the night of the 15th of Sha'ban and He forgives His servants except two- one intent on hatred (mushanin) and a murderer (qatilu nafs). Classed Hassan by Albani in his silsilah Al-Sahihah.

Hadith classed sahih by Ibn Hibban "Allah looks at His creation in the night of mid-Sha`ban and He forgives all His creation except for a mushrik (idolater) or a mushahin (one bent on hatred)." [sahih Ibn Hibban 7/470]. Also reported by Tabrani [Al muajamul Kabir 20/108-9] and Al Bayhaqi [Shubul Iman 2/288]

Some Salafi
Salafi
A Salafi come from Sunni Islam is a follower of an Islamic movement, Salafiyyah, that is supposed to take the Salaf who lived during the patristic period of early Islam as model examples...

 minhaj
Minhaj
Minhaj means "the way" or "the path". Minhaj may refer to:*Minhaj-ul-Quran International*Al Minhaj Be Sharh Sahih Muslim*Minhaj us Sawi*Minhaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah...

claimants, among the Sunni, oppose the recognition of Mid-Sha'ban as exceptional. However, those "neo-"Salafis dont consider quotations from Imam Ibn Khuzaymah
Ibn Khuzaymah
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Khuzaymah was a prominent Muslim hadith and Shafi'i fiqh scholar best known for his hadith collection, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah.- Biography :...

's book, Kitab At-Tawheed wa Ithbat Sifat ar-Rabb (which is used extensively by Salafis for 'Aqeedah
Islamic theology
Islamic theology is a branch of Islamic studies regarding the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Islamic history and theology, denoting those...

), about Mid-Sha'ban. Imam Ibn Khuzaymah has specifically mentioned the night of Nisf-Sha'ban in his book (in the section on Nuzool, i.e. The descent of Allah) from the hadith of Abu Bakr as-Siddique. He clarified in the same book that, while it has been revealed that Allah does descend to the world every night, the exact method of the descent remains unrevealed.

The night of the 15th starts at sunset on the 14th and ends at sunrise on the 15th.

It is reported from Sayyiduna Ali that the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 said: "Let all of you spend the night of mid-Sha`ban in worship (i.e. partly) and its day in fasting. Allah descends to the nearest heaven during this night, beginning with sunset, and says: Is there no one asking forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant them sustenance? Is there no one under trial that I may relieve them? Is there not such-and-such, is there not such-and-such, and so forth until dawn rises." This hadith was classified as weak however there is general consensus that weak hadiths may be acted upon for virtuous acts (Fadaail A'mal), such as voluntary fasting and prayer, as long as the hadith is not excessively weak, returns to a general basis in the Shariah, and one is not convinced that Prophet Muhammad specifically proscribed it.

There are many other narrations from Sahaba (radhe allaho ajmaeen) and early Muslims confirming this matter, as mentioned by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lataif al-Ma`arif, and others.

About hadith


On this night, Muslims perform Nawaafil
Nafl salat
Nafilah salah is a type of optional salah in Islam. Like Sunnah salat, they are not considered obligatory but are thought to confer extra benefit on the person performing them. For example, offering Duha prayers.-Ishraq prayer:...

, recite the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, Salawat, Kalima Tayyibah, and seek forgiveness.

As for the other narrations concerning the 15th of Sha'baan (which are not believed authentic), the Hanafi scholar, Shaikh Mulla 'Alee al-Qaaree (d.1014H) records some of these hadith:

In another narration, the following people have also been mentioned:
  1. One who deals in usury (Riba),
  2. One who wears his trousers below his ankle with pride and arrogance (In Arabia, people displayed their wealth and boasted in this manner),
  3. One who creates disunity among two Muslims,
  4. The person who unjustly takes away the right and property of another Muslim and has not yet rectified himself.

All these persons do not receive mercy of Allah at all time, as well as on this auspicious Night. A humble appeal to seek pardon and ask Allah’s forgiveness

Also on this night the Doors of Mercy and Forgiveness are opened wide,and those who sincerely grieve over and repent for their past sins and seek forgiveness from Allah are pardoned and forgiven by Allah.

Each Tasbih or Du’a should begin and terminate with the recital of Salawat and one who wishes for the acceptance of his Du’as
Dua
In the terminology of Islam, Duʿāʾ Plural: Dow'āt literally meaning invocation, is an act of supplication. The term is derived from an Arabic word meaning to 'call out' or to 'summon', and Muslims regard this as a profound act of worship. This is when Muslim people from all over connect with God...

 should use the Wasila
Tawassul
Tawassul is the Islamic understanding of intercession. It is a religious practice in which a Muslim seeks nearness to Allah. A rough translation would be: "To draw near to what one seeks after and to approach that which one desires." The exact definition and method of tawassul is a matter of...

 of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

.

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani has mentioned in his famous book ”Ghunyat li Talibee Tariqil Haqq” (i.e., The Gift for the student who seeks the path of truth) that the month of Shaban according to some narrations is related to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. So, it is the duty of Muslims, as the followers of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 to love and respect this month more than any other month (besides Ramadhan). Muslims should also offer abundantly salutations upon Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

.

Ruling


It is the special night of seeking forgiveness and repenting to God, remembering past sins and sincerely settling the mind that one will never commit sins in the future. All the deeds that are against Shari’ah must be totally avoided so that our Du’a and Istighfaar, hopefully, will be accepted.

Dr. Muhammad al-Jibaly
Muhammad al-Jibaly
Muhammad al-Jibaly is an Islamic scholar affiliated with the Salafi school of thought ....

 said: The hadith indicates that this night surely has a special merit

Even when hadiths are used to justify the night, some Sunni scholars have labeled such hadiths as weak (da'if). Day of Arafa, Laylat al-Qadr
Laylat al-Qadr
Lailatul Qadr , the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures, is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan...

 and Day of Ashura
Day of Ashura
The Day of Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram.It is commemorated by Shia Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10...

 on the other hand have much stronger references in Quran and/or Hadith.

Shia view


The Shia spend the entire eve of the 15th of Sha'ban in prayers and worship. This day also marks the birthday of their final Imām
Imamah (Shi'a twelver doctrine)
Imāmah means "leadership" and it is a part of the Shi'a theology. The Twelve Imams are the spiritual and political successors to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in the Twelver or Ithna Ashariya branch of Shia Islam....

, Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī is believed by Twelver Shī‘a Muslims to be the Mahdī, an ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams...

. Shia's believe him to be the Mahdi
Mahdi
In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

, an important figure who all the Muslims believe will rid the world of tyranny and injustice.

Many scholars and general people believe that Shab-e-Barat is not what it is believed to be. This belief is based on the fact that there is no mention of such a night in the Quran.

Some quote 44.4 of the Quran to justify the Night from the Quran.

In the Indian subcontinent Muslims make sweets (especially Halwa
Halva
Halva refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, served across the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Malta and the Jewish world.The term halva ,...

 or Zarda
Zarda (food)
Zarda is a traditional South Asian sweet dish, made by boiling rice with food coloring milk and sugar, and flavoured with cardamoms, raisins, saffron, pistachios or almonds. The name Zarda comes from Persian and Urdu 'zard' meaning 'yellow', hence named since the food coloring added to the rice...

) to be given to the neighbors and the poor on the evening prior to the 15th of Sha'ban.
This hadith is very weak and many scholars advise praying in this night for any special prayers or Dua or any belief that the dead return is false and should not be followed.

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