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The 15th of Shaban

There are many virtuous nights mentioned in Islam. We all know the nights of Laylatul Qadr and the last 10 nights of Ramadan. The 15th night of Sha’ban (Laylatul Bara’ah) is also from amongst these virtuous and blessed nights. Sadly however, some deviated groups have attempted to strip away the virtue of this night by performing innovation on this night. Today, we are going to look at the virtues of this night, what we should do on this night, and how we can stay away from innovations.


Virtues:

There are many virtues of this night established in the Ahaadith. It is narrated by Abu Tha’labah that Rasulullah (SAW) said “On the 15th night of Sha’ban, Allah devotes special attention towards his slaves. He then pardons the believers and gives respite to the disbelievers and he leaves the spiteful ones as well, until they abandon their spite (they give up their evil quality)”. It is also narrated by Aishah (RA) that Nabi (SAW) said “Allah descends to the nearest sky on the 15th night of Sha’ban and forgives more people than the number of hair on the goats of Banu Kalb”. These Ahaadith show the virtues of this night, how Allah will forgive those who ask forgiveness on this night and gives respite and mercy on this night. The next section will explain what we should do on this night


Acts of Worship:

From amongst the Ahaadith, we can deduce many actions one should perform not only on this night, but during all nights. ‘Amr bin Absah reports that Rasuullah (SAW) said “Allah is nearest to his slaves during the last portion of the night, if you have ability, then make dhikr of Allah during this time”. This shows we should try to perform dhikr during the last portion of the night. ‘Aishah (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) would never perform more than 11 rak’aat of Salaah (tahajjud and witr). He would first perform 4 Rak’aat, the magnificence and length of which is beyond words. He would then perform another 4 Rak’aat of resplendent beauty and length. He would thereafter pray 3 Rak’aat of Witr”.

This shows how Rasulullah (SAW) would pray long Salaah and concentrate deeply in his Salaah, and this shows the superiority of the quality of the Salaah over the quantity of Rak’aat prayed. The Ahaadith above show that we should all try to do ‘Ibadah during the night all the time, and we shouldn’t single out the major virtuous nights such as Laylatul Qadr or during Ramadan. Rather, we should give importance to all days of the week. May Allah give us Tawfiq to do ‘Ibadah during the night daily. Ameen

As for fasting, we should not single out this day specifically for fasting but rather we should fast in the days that have been established in the Sunnah, which are the Radiant Days (Ayyaamul Beedh). These are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every month, which naturally includes the 15th of Shaban and we should be punctual over this Sunnah every month.


Innovations:

Sadly during this night, some deviated groups perform innovated activities completely alien to Islam. The purpose of mentioning this is so that we can avoid practicing such actions. These are:

1) Burning lights and lanterns

Shah Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi (RA) writes that in India this practice occurs commonly. They burn many lights in their houses and they often boast about how many lights they have in their house. It is said that this practice comes from the Majus (fire worshippers).

2) Preparing of Sweetmeats

Again, this practice has not been established through any Ahaadith, and are rather misinterpretations of unrelated Ahaadith.

There are also many more innovations such as the souls visiting the living, to distribute food and the fabricated statement attributed to Nabi (SAW) that Rajab is Allah’s month, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadan is my Ummah’s month. This statement is falsely attributed to Nabi (SAW). It is important that we do actions only verified from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and whatever new establishment in Deen which is not supported by it is rejected. Rasulullah (SAW) says,


من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد


“Whoever innovates in this matter of ours that which is not from it, it is rejected.”


Therefore, we should be careful and should assess our actions, whether it comes from other sources or the Qur’an and Sunnah.


Conclusion:

In conclusion, the day of Laylatul Bara’ah (15th night of Sha’ban) is a virtuous night and it is the night where Allah forgives his slaves and gives respite. We should all try to perform ‘Ibadah and Tahajjud Salaah during every night and we should all make a habit of having ‘Ibadah performed at night. We should also stay away from innovated practices and only take whatever is from Haqq (the truth) and reject Baatil (falsehood). May Allah (SWT) give us the Tawfiq to act upon what has been said, and avoid that which is from falsehood and innovation. Ameen.


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