CONTROVERSY AND PROOF OVER FAZILAT AND CELEBRATION OF 15TH NIGHT OF SHABAAN

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Many Muslims in various countries pray on the 15th night of Shabaan, and ask for forgiveness of their sins and on the following day proceed to fast. To do this is in no way against the Qur’an nor the Sunnah. There are many narrations that support its validity. However, there are many scholars who reject the importance of this night stating that the hadiths relating to this night daeff. Some compare the fazilat and actions with other nights to beliitle the importance of this night. But these people revere Hafidh Ibn Kathir and Ibn Taymiyya amongst many others. So let us examine what they have to say together with other scholars have to say about fazilat of Shab-e-Baraat. Read what Hadhrat Ali (radi Allahu anhu), Hahrat Aisha (radi Allahu anha), Scholars like Imam Bukhari, Imam Tirmidhi, Allama Dhahabi and even Ibn Taimiyyah have to say about celebrating the 15th Night of Shabaan.

There is one night in the year when Allahu ta’ala gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food people will have in the year, etc.
There is a Hadith which
Imam Tabari (Radi allahu unho) writes: Prophet [sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said, ‘From Shabaan to Shabaan there is a decision made of who is going to die, be married and some people get married but their names are written in the death program. [Tafsir Tabari, under Surah Dukhan, verse 1 by Imam Tabari]

Some scholars say Shab-e-Baraat night is Laila-tul-Qadar in the month of Ramadan but the other scholars like Ikramah who is student of Abdullah bin Abbas (Radi allahu unho) says that night is 15th of Shabaan. This narration is Ikrama’s, the other scholar’s statements are proven that 15th night of Shabaan is a holy night but there is no doubt that Allahu ta’ala gives the full knowledge to the Angels in the night of Laila-tul-Qadar, which is in the month of Ramadan.

If we read all the narration’s regarding Laila-tul-Qadar and the 15th night of Shabaan we can reach the conclusion that the yearly program started on the 15th night of Shabaan and completed on Laila-tul-Qadar. There might be a suspicion as to ‘why does a year program take so long from Shabaan to Ramadan? The answer is Allah knows the best. No one can understand for sure the philosophy of Allah’s work. He made the worlds in six days. Who knows why He took six days to make the worlds. To examine all of the above statements consult these books:

“Tafsir Tabari, Fathul Qadeer by Qadi Shawkani, Tafsir Qurtabi, Tafsir Bagawi, Tafsir Mazhari, Tafsir Ma’ah riyful Qur’an, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Zia-ul-Qur’an under the verse of Surah Al- Dokhan verse 1 to 5”

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.

It should also be remembered that to ignore or belittle the Hadith, the sayings of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) amounts to Kufr according to many eminent scholars. Hadiths that are classified as Dhaif or weak are classified as such because a  narrator in the chain of narrator, for example, may not be reliable. 

The narrations of some of the hadiths may be weak, for example that concerning the night of Shab-e-Baraat, but even according to Ibn Taymiyya this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions.

Some actions for auspicious days have been related by personalities such as Gharib Nawaz, Hadhrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (rahmatullah alaihi). They are the Awliyah Allah – friends of Allah – who would never recommend actions that amount to bidah or kufr. .

There are some other narrations that inform us about the Excellency of the 15th night of Shabaan. 

Imam Ibn Majah states:
 
It is narrated by  Hadhrat Ali (Radi allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) stated; “ When it is the 15th night of Shabaan, do Qiyaam in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls: ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs (rizq) food that I may give it to him.’ And this continues till the morning.” [Ibn Majah chapter Salaah] Imam Tirmidhi writes:
Hadhrat Aisha (radi Allahu anha) said: “On this night the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)went to Jannat-ul-Baqee to make du’a, I followed him. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said to me: Allah puts His attention towards the first Heaven, and forgives the sins of the people, even if they were equivalent to the hairs of the goats of Bunn Qalb. (A tribe who at the time had a lot of goats)
[ Tirmidhi , Kitab-us-Siyaam]

Imam Bukhari has objected upon one narrator but this is compensated by the fact that Ibn Maja has narrated it with different narrations (chains).

Allama Dhahabi, and Hafidhh Ibn Kathir quoted from Hafidhh Abu Zurah that only 30 Hadith in Ibn Majah are weak. [Tadhkaratul- Hufaadh by Hafidhh Dha’ha’bi and Tareek Ibn Kathir biography Ibn Majah]
Some other people have stated that more than 30 Hadith are da’eef, (weak) but the narrations we have are not amongst those 30, that is why these Hadith can be used to support the validity of 15th Shabaan night.

Even Imam Tirmidhi’s narration is weak but this does not belittle the subject, when it concerns its merits and excellence – since weak narrations are still acceptable.

Any Proof to Disprove Prayers? However, we would like to ask those people who are so against the Mid Shabaan, whether they have even a weak hadith to disprove the prayers on the 15th of Shabaan? In reality they have no narration against the 15th night of Shabaan. If there are any they should prove it. Those who are against the 15th night of Shabaan usually say ‘Why do you celebrate the 15th night of Shabaan?’ The answer is why do all of the Saudi Arabian scholars celebrate Laila-tul-Qadar on the 27th of Ramadan in Haramain (Makkah and Madinah). ‘Did the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)and his companions’ celebrate the Laila-tul-Qadar on the 27th of Ramadan?’ The answer is no, they did not. So if this is permitted the 15th night of Shabaan is also permitted as well.

The Ahl-Sunnah say this is a permissible act, but it is not a Sunnah. There is enough proof that if the majority of the Muslims consider it to be good then it is sufficient. As the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) stated: The thing that group of a Muslims says is good, it is accepted to Allah. [“Mishkat chapter Ihtisaam”]

Two great followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Al Najdi, are Hafidhh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions.
[Fatawa Ahl-e-Hadith by Hafidhh Rawpari and Fatawa Thanaa’iya by Thana’ullah Amritsari, chapter on fasting]

Hafidhh Ibn Tayymiyah writes:

The excellency regarding the 15th of Shabaan is an area of dispute between the Scholars, some of them say that there is no significance of this night, but Imam Ahmed recognises the excellency of this night, our other Hanbli Scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed. There are Ahadith on this night being significant, some of them are from Sunnan  (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah) and the other Ahdeeth books as well” 

[Iqtidah Siratul Mustaqeem page 203 by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyah]

 Allama Ibnu-Taymiyyah, is also mentioned in Faydul Qadeer, He is 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]. 

Ibn Tamiyyah fatwa has challenged  bin Baaz, the Wahhabi leader’s position on the subject of 15th night of Shabaan.
Ibn-Taimiyyah was asked about of the 15th night of Sha’ban. He replied:

“ As for the 15th night of Shabaan, there are many narrations and Athar (quotes from the Sahabah) regarding its virtue. It has been reported of the salaf that they prayed in this night. Therefore, praying alone on this night, having precedence in the salaf, is sufficient evidence and something of this kind surely cannot be denied”.

At another occasion, Ibn-Taimiyyah was asked the same question and he replied:
“ If one prays on this night alone or in a select company of people as many groups amongst the salaf did, then it is good(arabic: fahuwa ahsan)“. [Fatawa Ibn Taimiyyah Volume 23, Page 131-132]

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 people who reject the significance of this night argue that the holy Qur’an was not revealed on this night so that is why there is no significance of this night It is true that the Holy Qur’an was revealed in Ramadan, but the significance is because the Ahadeeth that tells us about the reward one will get if he/She worshipped on15th night of Shabaan. We pray to Allah if everything stated is correct eccept it, but if there is any mistake may Allah forgive us. (Amin)

 

Contrary to other nights wherein the last third of the night has special blessings and Allah descends to the lowest  Heaven during this section of the night, on the night of Bara’ at the special rain of the mercy and forgiveness of  Allah begins to shower down right from the beginning of the night and continues right up till dawn.

The sins of countless of people are pardoned. As already mentioned, Allah’s descension during this night to the  nearest Heaven occurs from the very beginning, unlike the other nights. Furthermore, the number of pronouncements seeking out those who want forgiveness far supersede those which occur on other nights. (This  is the opinion of Hafidh Zaynud-deen Iraqi – Faydhul Qadeer Page 317 VI)

Visiting the Graveyard on the night of Bara’at

Rasulullah (sallaho alaihe wasallam) awakened during the night and visiting the graveyard is recorded in some of the previously mentioned Ahaadith. However, visiting of the graveyard is not a special characteristic of this night.

Instead, it is proven from another authentic narration that Rasulullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) would visit the graveyard during the last portion of every night.

Sayyidituna Aisha (radi Allahu anhu) narrates that whenever it was her turn for Rasulullah (sallaho alaihe wasallam) to spend the night with, he would visit the Baqee (graveyard of Madinah) and would say:  

 “Peace be upon you O dwellers of the Muslim graveyard. Death, which was promised to you has indeed befallen you. You are already journeying towards tomorrow (the Hereafter). Verily, if Allah wills, we will also join you. O Allah, forgive the inmates of Baqee”. (Sahih Muslim Page 313 V1)

Imam Nawawi writes “From this it is learnt that visiting the graveyard, greeting its inmates and making dua of forgiveness and mercy for them is Mustahab (desirable).”  (Sahih Muslim Page 313 V1)

ADVICE FROM A’LA HADRAT IMAM AHMAD RAZA FADIL E BAREILLVY

It is the special night of seeking forgiveness and repenting to Almighty Allah, remembering our past sins and sincerely settling the mind that one will never commits sins in the future. All the deeds that are against shari’ah must be totally avoided so that our Du’a and Istighfaar, hopefully, will be accepted. Muslims should check themselves and A’la Hadrat, Imam Ahmad Raza Fadil e-Bareilly radi Allahu anhu has given a beautiful advise in this regard. This great Imam said:

“Verily the auspicious night of Shab-e-Bara’ah is drawing near when the deeds of the slave will be presented to the Almighty Allah. I humbly supplicate in the Darbar-e-Aqdas of the Almighty Allah that through the wasila-e-uzma of Sayyiduna RasulullahSalla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa ‘ aalihi wa Sallam He forgives the sins and transgressions of all Muslims. Aameen.

On this occasion, it should be the duty of all Sunni Muslims to forgive one another and to make sure that whatever debts owed to one another is settled. The importance of Huqooq al-Ibaad cannot be over-emphasised as this is among the pre-requisites for proper Ibaadat. I pray that all Muslims humbly remember this night and try as much as possible to perform Ibaadat and other pious deeds so that their Record of Deeds be presented in all dignity.

Finally, I pray that the Almighty Allah assists you and I and the Muslim Ummahwherever you may be. Muslims should be aware of sincerity and honesty in all their deeds. May Almighty Allah forgive all of us. Aameen.” 

 

 

 

 

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