This maghrib ushered in the 15th of Shabaan. The storm abated, the rain paused to show us the full moon over the parking lot at the masjed. People tiptoed and whispered to each other about ebadah tonight………others hushed them with a single poisonous word “bidah” The left brain and the right brain or literalism and spirituality are at odds with each other tonight.
I look around the musallah and while the men chastise each other with the word “bidah” women quietly recite the Quran.
I had published a guest article on the subject of the significance or according to the guest author the insignificance of the 15th of Shabaan. After that I had the honor of witnessing the hearts of people in South Africa and their practices in Shaban 15. No invitations are accepted it is a night of sober and concentrated ebadah, There is not a minute to lose……… Why I wonder and then my thoughtful brother sends the article I have posted below for those of you who like solid references.
What it means is that this night is a sentinel night for reasons that are frightening to the simple soul. As we speak and as I pause between reciting the Quran and doing Tasbeeh to write this post, the angels are retrieving the hard discs of our deeds into the past year and presenting it to Allah Subhnawataala.
Prophet Muhammad who spent and inordinate amount of time in ebadah would say and I para phrase: “Wouldn’t I want to be in ebadah when my record is being perused by Allah zojal”
This night is the night when Allah decided that three boys from our community would fall like leaves from the tree of life and they did. This is the night when our Qadar for living is being decided and written for the coming year. Some, many or all of us may not be on this planet next year this time.
Thus it is best to be in prayer while our fate is being sealed and beg for forgiveness for our sins, even those minor sins that we have rationalized into imperceptions. To empty our heart of the disease of Bughaz, grudges and feelings that would impede our heart from hearing and answering the call from our Lord when it comes.
Tonight sleep weighs heavy on my lids unlike other nights…….. I try to put it off, I may go to sleep any night I tell myself, I do that everyday, and perhaps I wont wake up. What is the hurry? Why not add some hasanaat to my record, and so it is on this night of Shabaan 15.
Here is the article, Courtesy Brother Wahaj:
Allah (swt), out of His infinite mercy, has created varying seasons throughout the year for people’s benefit. Similarly, Allah (swt) has also assigned different seasons for particular ibadah. These are special times designated by Allah (swt) for increased Ibadah.
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ – رضى الله عنها – قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يَصُومُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ لاَ يُفْطِرُ ، وَيُفْطِرُ حَتَّى نَقُولَ لاَ يَصُومُ . فَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – اسْتَكْمَلَ صِيَامَ شَهْرٍ إِلاَّ رَمَضَانَ، وَمَا رَأَيْتُهُ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِى شَعْبَانَ . – بخاري ح1833، مسلم ح1956، نسائي ح2311، ابوداؤد ح2079Aishah radhiallahu anhaa narrates: The Blessed Prophet (saw) fasted for so long [so many days] we thought he would never break his fast. Then he would do iftar (for so many days) we thought he will never fast. I have never seen the Blessed Prophet (saw) fast for a whole month besides the month of Ramadan and keep more fasts [outside of Ramadan] than in the month of Shabaan. (Reported in Bukhari, Muslim, Nisai, Abu Dawood)
عَنْ أُسَامَةُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَمْ أَرَكَ تَصُومُ شَهْرًا مِنَ الشُّهُورِ مَا تَصُومُ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ. قَالَ ذَلِكَ شَهْرٌ يَغْفُلُ النَّاسُ عَنْهُ بَيْنَ رَجَبٍ وَرَمَضَانَ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِى وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ. – نسائي ح2317، مسند احمد ح20758Usamah bin Zaid narrates that I said:Oh Blessed Prophet (saw)! I do not see you fasting any month more than the month of Shabaan. The Blessed Prophet (saw) replied:
People are ignorant of it, being between the months of Rajab and Ramadan. All deeds are raised towards Rabb ul Alameen in that month. Thus, I wish that my deeds are raised when I am fasting. (Reported in Nisai, Musnad Ahmad)
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ مَا رَأَيْتُ النَّبِىَّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فِى شَهْرٍ أَكْثَرَ صِيَامًا مِنْهُ فِى شَعْبَانَ كَانَ يَصُومُهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً بَلْ كَانَ يَصُومُهُ كُلَّهُ. – ترمذي ح668، نسائي ح2149، ابوداؤد ح2079، مسند احمد ح23402
Aisha radhiallahu anhaa narrates that I never saw the Blessed Prophet (saw) fast in any month more than the month of Shabaan. He used to fast the whole month except for some days; in fact, he used to fast the whole month (of Shabaan). (Reported in Nisai, Abu Dawood, Musnad Ahmad)
عن أبي هريرة أن عائشة حدثتهم أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصوم شعبان كله قالت قلت يا رسول الله أحب الشهور إليك أن تصومه شعبان؟ قال إن الله يكتب على كل نفس ميتة تلك السنة فأحب أن يأتي أجلي وأنا صائم – مسند ابويعلى ص311 ج8، الترغيب والترهيب ص72 ج2 وقال:وهوغريب واسناده حسن
Abu Huraira (ra) relates that Aisha radhiallahu anhaa narrated to them the hadith that the Blessed Prophet (saw) fasted the whole month of Shabaan. She said: I asked the Blessed Prophet (saw): Oh Blessed Prophet (saw), is Shabaan your most favorite month to fast? He replied: Allah (swt) assigns the year of death for each person (in the month of Shabaan), thus, I wish my death come when I am fasting. (The chain of narration is ranked “Hasan” in al-Targheeb wal Tarheeb and is also related in Musnad Abu Yala)
The following things are very clear from the several ahaadith above:The month of Shabaan is a very important month and Shari’ah encourages us to perform optional Ibadah during this month:
Rasulullah (saw) used to fast most of the month of ShabaanIn this month, all of the people’s deeds are presented to Allah (swt)
Rasulullah (saw) disliked for the people to neglect the importance of the month of Shabaan
In Shabaan, the list of all the people that are supposed to die in that year are handed over to the angels.
In addition to all of these virtues, there is particular emphasis for the 15th of Shabaan which is called Laylatul Bara’a. Although some people deny the importance of the 15th night of Shabaan; there are authentic ahaadith which clearly indicate its importance.
The following few hadith have been presented with scholarly critique in order to illustrate the special virtues of this night so people are not deprived of a great opportunity of Ibadah through which they can attain more nearness to Allah (swt).
It is related by Muaz bin Jabbal (ra) that the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: Allah (swt) looks over at his creation on the fifteenth night of Shabaan and forgives everyone but for two people:
Imam Ibn Hibban has narrated this hadith in his Sahih, Imam Bayhaqi in his Shua’bal Imaan, Imam Tabarani in Al Mu’jam al Kabeer, & Abu Nu’aym in Al Hulya. Imam Haithami has also narrated this hadith in his Majmu’al Zawaid and after narrating it, he has commented that all of the people in the chain of narrators of the above hadith are trustworthy and this hadith is authentic.
It is related by Abu Thalaba (ra) that the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: On the 15th night of Shabaan, Allah (swt) looks over at his creation and forgives all the believers except for the one who begrudges and hates. He leaves them in their enmity.
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قَالَ « يَطَّلِعُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَى خَلْقِهِ لَيْلَةَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَيَغْفِرُ لِعِبَادِهِ إِلاَّ لاِثْنَيْنِ مُشَاحِنٍ وَقَاتِلِ نَفْسٍ.Sayyidina Abdullah bin Amar (ra) has narrated that Rasulullah (saw) has said,“Allah (swt) on the 15th night of Shabaan looks at the people and He forgives all believers except for two kinds of people: 1) Someone who holds a grudge against others and 2) someone who has taken an innocent life.
قال الشافعي وبلغنا أنه كان يقال إن الدعاء يستجاب في خمس ليال في ليلة الجمعة وليلة الأضحى وليلة الفطر وأول ليلة من رجب وليلة النصف من شعبان – الأم ج: 1 ص: 231