THE 15TH' NIGHT OF SHABAAN (SHAB e BARAAT)
A Muslim worships Allah Ta'ala and makes dua to Allah Ta'ala every day. However, Allah Ta'ala has granted some nights, which are superior in excellence and more merciful than other nights. One such night is the Night of 15th of Shabaan (Shab e Baraat).
The entire month of Shabaan has a lot of significance. Hazrat Aa'isha(Radi Allaahu Anha) narrates that 'Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not fast in any month more than Shabaan'. (Bukhari).
Sheikh Muhaddith Shah Abdul Haqq Dehlvi(Rahmatullah Alaih) narrates that Prophet ﷺ said, 'Shabaan is my month and Ramadhan is the month of Allah Ta'ala'.
Shab e Baraat is one of the most revered nights.
Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:
'Therein all matters of wisdom are sorted out for Decree'
(Surah Al-Dukkhan. verse 4)
On this great night, the entire year's programme of sustenance, death, life, honour, and disgrace; in short, every affair of man is listed from the divine tablet and handed over to the angels of each area on earth in the form of a book, e.g. the angel of death is given the list of names of those people who would be dying in that year, etc.
Hazrat Ali(Radi Allaahu Anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, 'when it is the 15th of Shabaan, then stand in worship at night, and fast during the day. Because Allah Ta'ala descends in this night at sunset to the first Heaven and says, 'Is there any seeker of sustenance, that I may sustain him? Is there anyone in affliction, that I may remove his affliction? Is there anyone like this, like that (and so on)?' This continues until Fajr.' (Ibne Majah).
In another hadith, it is narrated that in the night of Shab e Baraat, three hundred doors of mercy are opened. At every door, there is a crowd and the mercy is bestowed in abundance. (Baihiqi).
A person may be very charitable, but his generosity is closed in the night. But Allah Ta'ala opens the door of His mercy in the nights. Specialized rewards are bestowed in the time after midnight.
Laylat Ul-Qadr, Laylat Al-Me'raj, Laylat Ul-Baraat are all nights. Thus the nights have a lot of significance.
All the mystics, saints, Peers achieve their divine status in the nights. The kings sleep in the night, but the spiritual masters govern in the night. While the entire world sleeps, the mystics and the saints stay awake and beg in the court of Allah Ta'ala, because the doors of mercy, bounty and divine blessings are opened in the night.
Allah Ta'ala states in The Holy Quran:
'Indeed, the rising up by night is the foremost way to subdue the soul and the best corrective (measure) for the words (of prayer)'
(Surah Al-Muzammil. verse 06)
Waking up at night from sleep for performing salaah is more unbearable than other salaahs.
Sadly, the trend nowadays is that we stay awake in the first part of the night, but when the doors of mercy and divine blessings are opened after midnight, we go off to sleep.
Shab e Baraat is a night of deliverance and forgiveness. Sins are forgiven and the Mu'min are freed from the Hell.
The deviant sects in the Muslim nation propagandize that worshipping Allah Ta'ala, seeking forgiveness of sins, seeking deliverances in the 15th night of Shabaan is an innovation (bida'h). When asked which part of it is an innovation, the reply we get is that staying awake in this night is a bida'h. We have to make it clear that staying awake is not a bida'h. It is fervent love (ishq) of Allah Ta'ala and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that keeps the Sunnis awake in Shab e Baraat.
There are two types of thieves who strike when one is asleep. The first type steals your worldly possessions, and the second is iblees/shaitaan who steals your faith (imaan).
In the night of Shab e Baraat, envisage yourself as a fervent lover and seek forgiveness, the blessings and mercy of Allah Ta'ala. In this blessed night, from sunset till dawn, Allah Ta'ala says, 'is there a seeker of forgiveness whom I can forgive? Is there a seeker of sustenance whom I can provide for?...'
In Arab, the tribe of Banu Kalb had the most number of goats. Hazrat Aa'isha(Radi Allaahu Anha) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, 'In the middle night of Shabaan (Shab e Baraat), Allah Ta'ala descends to the lowest Heaven and remits more sins than the hair of the goats of Banu Kalb'. (Tirmidhi).
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, 'in the 15th night of Shabaan, Allah Ta'ala bestows His special attention to his entire creation, and forgives all His creation except for the polytheist and the ones who harbour enmity'. (Ibne Majah).
Hazrat Aa'isha(Radi Allaahu Anha) narrates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to fast for most of Shabaan. I said to him, 'O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, is Shabaan your favourite month for fasting?' He ﷺ replied, 'In this month Allah Ta'ala prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that when my death is written, I am in a state of fasting'.
Therefore, we should spend the night of Baraat in worshipping Allah Ta'ala and seeking forgiveness of our sins, and seeking mercy, and blessings.
The deviant sects also propagandize that going to the graveyard in the night of Shab e Baraat and making dua for the deceased is another bida'h. We, again make it clear that going to the graveyard in this night is not a bida'h, but a sunnah of Prophet ﷺ.
Hazrat Aa'isha(Radi Allaahu Anha) narrates, 'I missed the Messenger of Allah ﷺ during the 15th night of Shabaan, and found him in Al-Baqi making dua. He ﷺ said, 'were you afraid that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would deal unjustly with you?' I said, 'O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, I thought that you had gone to some of your other wives'. He ﷺ said, 'verily Allah, the exalted and glorious, comes down to the Heaven of the world in the middle night of Shabaan and forgives sins even more abundant than the hair of the goats of Kalb'. (Tirmidhi).
Sheikh Muhaddith Shah Abdul Haqq Dehlvi(Rahmatullah Alaih) records in his book 'Madarijun Nabuwwat that Hazrat Aa'isha(Radi Allaahu Anha) narrates that 'on a 15th of Shabaan, Prophet ﷺ prolonged his sajda so much that I thought he ﷺ had passed away. I touched his ﷺ blessed toes, and when came up from sajda, he ﷺ said, 'Aa'isha, don't you know which night is this?' I replied, 'Allah and Prophet ﷺ know the best'.
Prophet ﷺ replied, 'this is the night of 15th of Shabaan'.
In a hadith, Prophet ﷺ said, 'on the 15th of Shabaan, Hazrat Jibreel(alaihis salaam) descended and asked me to look up towards the sky. I asked Jibreel(alaihis salaam), how is this night?' Hazrat Jibreel(alaihis salaam) replied, 'in this night Allah Ta'ala opens three hundred doors of mercy and forgives all His creation, except the idolaters and the spiteful'.
Shab e Baraat is the blessed night in which a Muslim can repent on the previous mistakes and sins wholeheartedly and receive forgiveness from Allah Ta'ala. Muslims should turn towards Allah Ta'ala, as His doors of forgiveness are opened in this blessed night. Muslims should repent so that Allah Ta'ala forgives the sins.
May Allah Ta'ala give us the strength to follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
This article is an abridged English translation of Urdu sermons delivered by his eminence, Peer Syed Imroz Dean Saifi, Hanfi, Maturidi of Masjid Anwaar e Madina, Surrey BC Canada
If there is an inaccurate translation, please pardon it and not let it be a means to negatively reflect on the honoured presenter.