Clarification on the significance of 15 Shaban

 

The fifteenth night of Sha’bān is commonly referred to as Shabbe Barā-ah or Lailat al-Barā-ah, which means the night in which Allāh’s decision of forgiveness is passed.

 

The Muhaddithīn (experts in Hadīth sciences) spent their lives in ensuring that the Ummah receives reliable Ahādīth (narrations) of Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam. They scrutinized the various dimensions of each Hadīth and gave a ruling on the strength and reliability of the Hadīth. The Ahādīth that extol the merits of the fifteenth night of Sha’bān are so many that it is impossible for one to deny. Even though these Ahādīth are not so strong on an individual capacity, yet the combination of all these Ahādīth together proves the virtues of this night. Consider the following Ahādīth:

 

 

 

1.    عن معاذ بن جبل، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «يطلع الله إلى خلقه في ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لجميع خلقه إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن    (رواه ابن حبان في صحيحه والطبراني في الكبير والأوسط، وقال الهيثمي في المجمع: ورجالهما ثقاة)

 

 

 

It is reported from Muā’dh bin Jabal Radhiyallāhu Anhu that Rasulullah (S.A.W.)

 

said: "On the fifteenth  night of Sha’bān, Allah bestows His special attention to His entire creation. He then pardons His entire creation except an idolater and one who harbors enmity.

 

(Sahīh Ibn Hibbān, Mu’jam at-Tabrānī)

 

 

 

Imām Tabrāni Rahimahullāh has recorded this Hadith in his Awsat and Kabīr, and Ibn Hibbān in his Sahih.  And Allāmah Haithamī has mentioned in Majma’ az-Zawāid that the narrators are authentic.

 

 

 

2.    عن عبد الله بن عمرو، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: " يطلع الله عز وجل إلى خلقه ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لعباده إلالأثنين: مشاحن، وقاتل نفس(رواه أحمد وقال الهيثمي: وَفِيهِ ابْنُ لَهِيعَةَ وَهُوَ لَيِّنُ الْحَدِيثِ، وَبَقِيَّةُ رِجَالِهِ وُثِّقُوا)

 

 

 

It is narrated from Hadhrat Abdullah bin Amr Radhiyallāh Anhū that Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam said: “Allah bestows His special attention to His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha'bān and forgives all His servants except two categories of people: the person who harbors enmity and a murderer."

 

(Musnad Ahmad)

 

 

 

Imām Ahmad narrates this Hadīth with a slight weakness in the chain.  Allāmah Haithamī states that all the narrators are authentic except for Ibn Lahīa’h.

 

 

 

3.    عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ أَبِي الْعَاصِ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: " إِذَا كَانَ لَيْلَةُ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ نَادَى مُنَادٍ: هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ؟ هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَأُعْطِيَهُ؟ فَلَا يَسْأَلُ أَحَدٌ شَيْئًا إِلَّا أُعْطِي إِلَّا زَانِيَةً بِفَرْجِهَا أَوْ مُشْرِكًا (رواه البيهقي في فضائل الأوقات)

 

 

 

It is reported from Hadhrat Uthmān bin Abil Aas Radhiyallāhu Anhu that RasuIullah Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam said, “On the fifteenth night of Sha'bān, a call is made, “Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may  forgive him? Is there anyone who desires anything so that I may grant his wishes? Allah thus fulfills the requests of all except the adulteress and idolater.

 

(Baihaqī)                                                                      

 

 

 

4.    حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مَنِيعٍ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ هَارُونَ قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنَا الحَجَّاجُ بْنُ أَرْطَاةَ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ: فَقَدْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَيْلَةً فَخَرَجْتُ، فَإِذَا هُوَ بِالبَقِيعِ، فَقَالَ: «أَكُنْتِ تَخَافِينَ أَنْ يَحِيفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكِ وَرَسُولُهُ» ، قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنِّي ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّكَ أَتَيْتَ بَعْضَ نِسَائِكَ، فَقَالَ: «إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَنْزِلُ لَيْلَةَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا، فَيَغْفِرُ لِأَكْثَرَ مِنْ عَدَدِ شَعْرِ غَنَمِ كَلْبٍ (سنن الترمذي، بَابُ مَا جَاءَ فِي لَيْلَةِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ)

 

 

 

Hadhrat A‘isha Radhiyallāhu Anhā says, “I woke up one night and did not find Rasulullah Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam.  I went outside and found him in Baqī’. He said to me, "Did you fear that Allah and His Messenger would oppress you?”. I replied, "0 Rasulullah Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam, I thought that you had gone to meet the other wives." He then said to me, “Allah does Nuzūl to the nearest sky on the fifteenth night of Sha‘bān and He forgives more people than the number of hair on the goats of the Banu Kalb tribe.

 

(Sunan at-Tirmidhī)

 

 

 

The combination of all these Ahādīth proves the merit of this night.  Allāh Ta‘ālā forgives the sins of many servants on this night.  Also, Allāh’s special Mercy and Forgiveness descends from the beginning of the night till dawn[1] and prayers are accepted on this night.  Hence, one should spend this night in the worship of Allāh Ta‘ālā. However, one should bear in mind that there is no specific form of worship or Salāh that is specific to this night.

 

Fasting on the fifteenth of Sha‘bān is not proven through any authentic narration.  The Hadīth in which fasting on this day is mentioned is extremely weak. Hence, the fasting on the fifteenth of Sha‘bān is not a Sunnah. [2] However,one may keep Nafl fast on that day since it is reported in Sahīh al-Bukhārī that Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam would fast excessively in the month of Sha’bān. The Hadīth is as follows:

 

وَمَا رَأَيْتُهُ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِي شَعْبَانَ (صحيح البخارى، بَابُ صَوْمِ شَعْبَانَ)

 

Aishah Radhiyallāhu Anhā states, “I have never seen Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam fasting in any other month (besides Ramadhān) more than his fasting in Sha’bān. (Sahīh al-Bukhārī)

 

In the Ahādīth it is mentioned that Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam visited the graveyard on this night.  However, from another authentic Hadīth, it is proven that Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam would visit Baqī‘ every night he spent at the home of Aishah Radhiyallāhu Anhā[3], which was once every week.  Hence, visiting the graveyard is not a special characteristic of this night.  Instead, it is a Sunnah to visit the graveyard at least once every week. [4]

 

For further details, you may refer to “SHABE BARAAT”, a book written on the topic by Sheikh al-Hadīth Moulānā Fazlur Rahman Azmi. The book may be downloaded from the following link:

 

http://attahawi.com/2009/08/07/shabe-barat-the-fifteenth-of-shabaan-in-the-light-of-the-quran-and-hadeeth-by-shaykh-fazlur-rahman-azmi/

 

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

 

Abdul Azīm bin Abdur Rahman,
Student Darul Iftaa
U.S.A.


(In response to a query received regarding the significance of 15th of Sha’bān)

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Husain Kadodia.

 

With comments by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

 

 



[1] SHABE BARAAT (MOLANA FAZLUR RAHMAN ‘AZMI), PG. 16

[2] SHABE BARAAT (MOLANA FAZLUR RAHMAN ‘AZMI), PG. 23-24

 

[3]   حدثنا يحيى بن يحيى التميمي، ويحيى بن أيوب، وقتيبة بن سعيد - قال يحيى بن يحيى: أخبرنا، وقال الآخران: - حدثنا إسماعيل بن جعفر، عن شريك وهو ابن أبي نمر، عن عطاء بن يسار، عن عائشة، أنها قالت: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم - كلما كان ليلتها من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم - يخرج من آخر الليل إلى البقيع، فيقول: «السلام عليكم دار قوم مؤمنين، وأتاكم ما توعدون غدا، مؤجلون، وإنا، إن شاء الله، بكم لاحقون، اللهم، اغفر لأهل بقيع الغرقد (صحيح مسلم، ج 2، ص 669، دار إحياء التراث العربي – بيروت)

[4] SHABE BARAAT (MOLANA FAZLUR RAHMAN ‘AZMI), PG. 19-20

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