Allah Ta’ala has afforded His servants certain selected opportunities whereby they may reap His infinite mercy and forgiveness. Some examples of these occasions are the month of Ramadhaan and Laylatul Qadr. The night of the 15th of Sha’baan is also one such opportunity.
Several Ahaadith explain the tremendous merit of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allah Ta’ala during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that it is called ‘The Night of Bara’ah’ (i.e. the night wherein judgment of salvation from Jahannam is passed). It is a special night in which the people of the earth are looked upon by special divine mercy.
Allah Ta’ala blesses us with this opportunity to prepare and cleanse ourselves before the blessed month of Ramadhaan arrives.
Virtues of this night
Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘This is the middle night of Sha’baan. Allah Ta’ala looks upon His slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who make dua for mercy but leaves out those who have hatred (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they free themselves from malice).
Hadhrat Aaisha (radiyallahu anha) has reported that Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘This is the middle night of Sha’baan. Allah Ta’ala frees a large number of the people from the fire on this night, more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe of Kalb.
The tribe of Kalb was a large tribe, the members of which owned many sheep. Therefore, the last sentence of the Hadith indicates the large number of people forgiven on this night by Allah Ta’ala.
The virtue of this night established from these Ahaadith is that from the very beginning of the night Allah Ta’ala turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seek forgiveness.
Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allah Ta’ala with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a promise never to return to sin again and seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala. Seek forgiveness for oneself and all Muslims, living and deceased. Have firm hope and determination in the heart that Allah Ta’ala will surely show mercy and forgiveness.
On this night, Allah Ta’ala descends to the first sky and announces, “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking sustenance that I may grant it to him? Is there anyone in any difficulty that I may relieve him? These announcements continue till the time of Fajar.” [Ibnu Majah Page 99]
Those who are deprived
It is mentioned in a Hadith that on this night Allah Ta’ala does not cast a glance of mercy at a person who
- Associates partners with Him
- Who harbours hatred in his heart (against someone)
- Who cuts off family ties
- Who leaves his clothes hanging below his ankles
- Who disobeys his parents
- Who commits adultery
- Who commits murder
- Who has a habit of drinking wine.’ (Bayhaqi).
What should be done on this night?
In order to obtain maximum benefit from this auspicious night, one should allocate a specific portion of the night for solitude and ibaadah to Allah Ta’ala. Fervent dua and repentance should be a priority and make the sole intention of seeking Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure and reformation of the inner self. Other observances that may be practiced are:
- Salaah: Salaah is one of the most preferable acts to be performed during this night. There is no particular number of Raka’ats, but preferably it should not be less than eight. It is also advisable that each part of the Salaah like qiyaam (standing), ruku and sajdah should be longer than normal. Also try and recite as much Qiraat (Qur’an recitation) in salaah as possible.
- Tilaawah: The recitation of the Qur’an Shareef is another form of worship that is very beneficial on this night. After performing Salaah, or at any other time, one should recite as much of the Qur’an Shareef as possible.
- Zikr: Engage one’s tongue and heart in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. One should also recite abundant durood upon Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Zikr can also be recited while walking, lying on the bed and during other hours of work or leisure.
- Dua: The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of this night is dua. Dua itself is a great form of worship, and Allah Ta’ala grants a reward for each dua that a person makes.
Women during menstruation who cannot perform Salaah, nor recite the Qur-aan Shareef, should engage in reciting any form of zikr, tasbeeh, durood and they can also ask of Allah Ta’ala for any of their needs in whatever language they wish. They can also recite the Arabic duas mentioned in the Qur-aan Shareef or in the Ahaadith with the intention of dua.
- Fasting: On the day immediately following the Night of Bara’ah, i.e. the 15th of Sha’baan, it is mustahab (advisable) to keep fast.
What happens on Laylatul Bara’ah
By: Shaikhul Hadeeth, Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (RA)
The Malaaikah are issued instructions for the whole year on this one particular night of the year. They are assigned duties for the year and informed that such and such things have been decreed for such and such person.
Many a man is engrossed in sports and pastimes while, in the heavens above, orders have gone out for his arrest. It has been decreed that he will suffer death and no one can intercede with Allah Ta’ala, or appeal to Him, to change His decree! Nor can the decreed hour of a man’s death be delayed by even a minute! A Hadith reports Ibne Abbaas (radiyallahu anhu) as saying: ‘You will notice that a person is walking about in the bazaars, though his name has been recorded in the list of those who are destined to die in that year.” Abu Nadhrah (radiyallahu anhu) says: “On this night, the angels are assigned their duties for the whole year. Orders are issued about the means of welfare apportioned for the year, about the evils to be suffered, about the sustenance to be provided, about the people destined to die, about the afflictions and about the high or low prices of commodities.”
‘Ikramah (radiyallahu anhu) says, “On the middle night of Sha’ban (Laylatul Bara’ah), all the events decreed for the year are assigned to the angels. The lists of people destined to die, and of those who will perform Hajj during the year are handed over to the angels. No changes can be made to these lists’
According to another Hadith, Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] once said: “(On this night), the angels are given the names of people who are going to die during the year from one Sha’baan to the next, with the specific hours of death destined for each person. Many a man gets married in this world and a child is born to him while, in the heavens above, his name has been recorded in the list of the dead.”
Hadhrat Aaishah (radiyallahu anha) says: “Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] used to fast very frequently during Sha’baan, for it is in this month that a list is prepared of those who are destined to die during the year. And many a man is engaged in getting married while, in the heavens above, his name has been recorded among the dead; or, again, a man is preparing for Hajj while his name has been enlisted among the dead.”
Another Hadith reports that once Hadhrat Aaishah (radiyallahu anha) asked Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] why he fasted more frequently in the month of Sha’baan, to which he replied: “In this month, a record is made of those who are destined to die during the year and I wish that, when my name is recorded in the list of the dead, I should be fasting.”
A Hadith says that, every year, on the middle night of Sha’baan, Allah Ta’ala informs Izraeel (alayhis salaam), the Angel of Death, about all those who are destined to die during the year.
[Fazaail-e-Sadaqaat Page 653-654]
Important tips for this mubaarak night
- The Mubaarak night starts from Maghrib. Therefore one should commence whatever Ibaadat you can from the Maghrib Salaah.
- Perform the Esha and Fajar Salaah with Jamaat. It is mentioned in a Hadith that one who performs the Esha and Fajar Salaah with Jamaat earns the reward of staying awake the entire night in Ibaadat.
- Make as much Ibaadat as possible before going to sleep. Don’t allow shaytaan to deceive you saying that, “Go to sleep and wake up early for Tahajjud.” You may never wake up and the entire night will be lost.
- Shaytaan makes one very tired when engaging in Ibaadat. Hence to combat this, keep on changing from one Ibaadat to another. e.g. recite Qur-aan Shareef, thereafter make zikr, then do some kitaab reading, then read durood shareef, etc. and continue your Ibaadat in this manner.
The following are some of the Ibaadaat we can engage in on this mubaarak night;
- Recitation of Qur-aan
- Performing of Salaah (Tahajjud, Salaatut Taubah, Salaatush Shukar, Salaatul Hajaat, etc.)
- Performing of Salaatut Tasbeeh
- Istighfaar (at least 1000 times)
- Zikr of First kalimah, third kalimah, etc.
- Recitation of Durood Shareef
- Reading the Hizbul Azam or Munaajaat-e-Maqbool
- Collective ta’leem of Fazaail-e-Ramadhaan
- Teach your children their Qur-aan lessons.
- Engage in fervent dua.
- Do some collective ibaadat with your entire family e.g. zikr, durood shareef, ta’leem and dua. You may make the dua and the children in the home can say Aameen to the dua. May Allah Ta’ala bless us all with bara’ah (freedom) from the fire of Jahannam.