NO CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING SHABE BARAAT

Many senior Ulama and Akaabireen have mentioned that after Laylatul Qadr the night of Shabe Baraat is one of the most important nights of the year. Unlike Laylatul Qadr, we are fortunate that Shabe Baraat is a specific night in which there is no ambiguity. Many senior Awliyaa from the Salaf always gave special attention to this night and would exert themselves more on this night. For it is on this night in which our deed are taken up to Allah Most High.

Usamah bin Zaid Radiallahu Anhu said:

“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting any month as much as Shaban.’ He said: ‘That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.”‘ An-Nasa’i

It was also narrated by Ibn Majah in his Sunan in which the Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:

When it is the night of mid-Sha‘ban, you should spend its night in Salah and its day in Sawm, for Allah (may He be Exalted) descends on it at sunset to the nearest heaven and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there anyone who asks for sustenance that I may provide for them? Is there any afflicted person that I may relieve them?’ and so on and on, until the break of dawn.

Ibn Hibban ranked some Hadiths narrated in regard to the merit of spending the night of mid-Sha‘ban in Salah as Sahih, including the one reported in his Sahih, from `Aishah who said: 

“I missed the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) during one night, so I went out to search for him, and I found him in Al-Baqi‘. He (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said (to her), ‘Did you fear being wronged by Allah and His Messenger?’ She said, ‘O Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam! I thought that you had gone to one of your wives.’ He (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Verily, Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) descends on the night of mid-Sha‘ban to the nearest heaven, and He forgives a number of people which exceeds the number of the sheep owned by the people of Kalb (a tribe known for their sheep).’

It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari Radiallahu Anhu that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Shaaban and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbors hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah. (The “one who harbors hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother.)

There are many who advocate singling out mid-Shaaban with optional acts of devotion. The reasoning is straightforward enough. According to certain established rules in the science of hadith, these Ahaadith yield a final grading of sahih or hasan (“authentic” or “sound”). On this basis, Ibn al-Salah, the notable Shafi‘i jurists and hadith master, ruled: ‘The middle night of Sha‘ban does have merit. To spend its night in acts of worship is recommended (mustahabb); but on an individual basis, not collectively.

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote: ‘Hadiths and salaf-reports about the virtues of the middle night [of Sha‘ban] have been related. It is also reported about a group of the salaf that they would pray during the night. Thus the prayer of someone praying individually during the night has a precedent with some of the salaf, and therefore stands as a proof for it. So it cannot be objected to.

In another fatwa, he stated: ‘If someone offers prayer in the middle-night of Sha‘ban, whether individually or collectively, then this is excellent.

Ibn Rajab, in closing his definitive account about the 15th of Sha‘ban and the stance of the early scholars concerning it, states: ‘Thus it befits a believer to devote himself in this night to God’s remembrance (dhikr), exalted is He, and to asking Him to pardon one’s sins, conceal one’s faults and relieve his hardships. This should be preceded by offering sincere repentance. For God, exalted is He, relents towards those who turn to Him in repentance.

The above is a sample of the authenticity of  the auspiciousness surrounding mid-Sha‘ban. Insofar as there is a legitimate difference on the subject, there need be no fussing over the 15th of Sha‘ban; no dividing Muslims over it; no deploying it as a benchmark to distinguish ‘pure’ follower of the Sunnah from ‘tainted’ ones; and no whipping up a frenzy among the public by blowing things out of proportion. Wherever such schisms are occurring, they simply have to stop, and repentance be made.