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Monday, July 26, 2010

Shab-e-baraat

“Shaban” the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is a month between Rajab and Ramadhan. The significance of this month is that the deeds of the slaves of ALLAH SWT are taken up to the lord of the worlds – ALLAH SWT. This month is also an eye opener, pointing us towards the upcoming blessed month ahead. Ramadhan is considered as the month of harvest where as Shaban is the preparation for the month of harvest.

The prophet PBUH used to consistently fast in this month. It was narrated that Aa’ishah (may ALLAH be pleased with her) said: The Prophet PBUH used to fast until we said: He will not break his fast, and he never used to fast until we said: He will not fast and I never saw the Messenger of ALLAH complete a month of fasting except Ramadhan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Shaban. [Bukhaari (1868) and Muslim (1156)].

Usaamah Ibn Zayd said: I said: O Messenger of ALLAH, I do not see you fasting in any month as you fast in Shaban? He said: “That is a month that people neglect between Rajab and Ramadhan, but it is a month in which people’s deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds and I would like my deeds to be taken up when I am fasting. [Nasaa’i (2357); classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.]

The above mentioned traditions of Prophet PBUH explains the wisdom behind fasting in Shaban, as it is a month in which deeds are presented to ALLAH SWT. Some scholars are of the opinion that this fasting is like Sunnah prayers offered before the obligatory prayers, they prepare the soul for performing the obligatory action, and the same may be said of fasting in Shaban before Ramadhan.

In many parts of the world in general and the subcontinent in particular many people transgress in defining the virtues of this month. It is common to observe many celebrating the 15th night of Shaban by wearing new clothes and preparing a variety of dishes as done on the occasion of Eid. Scholars say that singling out the 15th night as auspicious and fasting the following day is an innovation bid’ah. The hadith regarding this night is daeef or weak according to many scholars “ When it is the night of the middle of Shaban, spend that night in prayer and fast that day” – is daeef (weak).

Furthermore the reports denoting the prayers in this night are all fabricated. Al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi said: “The hadith about the prayer during the night of the middle of Shaban is fabricated and is falsely attributed to the Messenger of ALLAH PBUH.”

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may ALLAH have mercy on him) said in his book Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif concerning the 15th night of Shaban was established by the Taabi’een among the people of Al-Shaam, such as Khaalid ibn Mi’daan, Makhool, Luqmaan Ibn ‘Aamir and others, who used to strive to worship on this night. The people inferred the idea of virtue of this night and venerated it. Most of the scholars of the Hijaaz denounced that, including ‘Ataa’ and Ibn Abi Maleekah. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam narrated that view from the fuqahaa’ of Madeenah, and this was the view of the companions of Imam Maalik and others. They said: this is all bid’ah. No comment from Imaam Ahmad concerning the 15th night of Shaban is known.

Imaam Abu Bakr al-Tartooshi (may ALLAH have mercy on him) said, in his book al-Hawaadith wa’l-Bida’: “Ibn Waddaah narrated that Zayd Ibn Aslam said: We never met anyone among our shaykhs and fuqahaa’ who paid any attention to Laylat al-Nusf min Shaban, or who paid any attention to the hadith of Makhool, or who thought that this night was any more special than other nights. It was said to Ibn Abi Maleekah that Ziyaad al-Numayri was saying that the reward of Laylat al-Nusf min Shaban (night of 15th Shaban) was like the reward of Laylat al-Qadr. Therefore Ibn Abi Maleekah said, if I heard him say that and I had a stick in my hand, I would hit him. Ziyaad was a story-teller.

One of the living renowned Islamic scholars Shaikh Ibn Jibreen said: There is no saheeh marfoo report (a hadith which is traced back to Prophet PBUH directly) that speaks on the virtue of the 15th day of Shaban that may be followed, not even in the chapters on al-Fadaa‟il (chapters on virtues in books of hadith etc.). Some maqtoo‟ reports (reports whose chain do not go back further than the Taabi‟een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi‟een, and there are some ahadith, the best of which are mawdoo‟ (fabricated) or da‟eef jiddan (very weak). These reports became very well known in some societies which were overwhelmed by ignorance; these reports suggest that peoples’ life spans are written on that day and on this day is decided that who is to die in the coming year. On this basis, it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. And ALLAH knows best.

It is important to note that the fore mentioned views are sourced from the material of contemporary Islamic scholar and former grand mufti of Saudi Arabia – Shaikh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah bin Baaz (late) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Aziz_ibn_Abd_Allah_ibn_Baaz. Please subscribe to our Facebook page Towards Enlightenment http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bangalore-India/Towards-Enlightenment/133130776713026?ref=search and follow this blog for more posts relating to Ramadhan.

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