Allah (swt) forgives many of His servants on the miracle night of Shab e Barat, which first took place on one of the middle nights of Sha’ban (either the 13th, 14th or 15th). This year, the night, which is also referred to as ‘Shab-e-Barat’, ‘Laylat-ul-Barat’, and ‘Laylat-ul-Nisf-min-Sha’ban,’ will fall on Sunday, 28 March 2021 (at Maghrib). We explain what happened on this special night, and what you should do maximize your time and effort.
What happened on Shab e Barat?
The importance of the 15th night of Sha’ban is a subject of debate among Muslims. Some celebrate the night with special prayers and fasting the following day, while others consider this practice to not be from the Sunnah.
The reality is that scholars consider the hadiths about 15th Sha’ban as being sound (Sahih), good (Hassan) and weak (Dha’if). However, as there are numerous hadith, and the weakness of them is not severe, the virtue of this night is accepted as authentic by scholars.
Ibn Taymiyyah says, ‘So many Ahadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the 15th night of Sha’ban that one is compelled to accept that this night does possess some virtue’. This is the consensus of scholars all over the world.
Why is the 15th of Sha’ban so significant?
The biggest blessing of this night is that Allah (swt) pours His mercy and forgiveness upon earth from Maghrib until Fajr. The Prophet (saw) described the extent of this forgiveness in numerous narrations, including the one below:
′Allah gazes at His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha’ban and then forgives all His slaves except for two types of people: those who attribute partners to Allah and those who have rancour for their fellow Muslims’. (Ahmad)
In other narrations, the Prophet (saw) mentioned more categories of people who wouldn’t be forgiven, including those who severed the ties of kinship and those who disobeyed their parents, among others.
The Prophet (saw) also said to Aisha (ra), ′Allah descends on the night of the middle of Sha’ban to the lowest heaven, and He forgives more than the numbers of hairs on the sheep of Banu Kalb (an Arab tribe renowned for their great flocks of sheep)’. (Ibn Majah and others)
Finally, the Prophet (saw) said that on this night, from sunset until dawn, Allah asks His servants, ′Is there anyone seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking provision from Me so I may provide for him? Is there anyone suffering so I may relieve his suffering? ′ (Ibn Majah)
What is should I pray on Shab e Barat?
Aisha (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) once remained in Sajdah for so long during this night that she became scared and touched his foot to make sure he was still alive. He (saw) moved his foot and she heard him reciting the following du’a:
This Dua is Sahih (authentic) and can be found in Imam Baihaqi’s collection, among others. It is narrated that the Prophet (saw) used to recite it during Sujood and after Witr prayer. Reciting this Dua on 15th Sha’ban is considered acceptable by scholars.
The hadith regarding prescribed salah for this night (such as fourteen raka’at) are weak hadith and so cannot be considered a Sunnah practice. However, you can still pray nafil salah during this night to benefit from its blessings. Ibn Taymiyyah says, ‘Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night (15th Sha’ban) for Salah’.
Moreover, the Prophet (saw) always encouraged praying nafil salah and making Dua at night, particularly during the last third of the night.
What should you do on the 15th of Sha’ban?
It is important to make plenty of Dua seeking forgiveness for past sins. Increase your dhikr, and ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness, mercy, relief from suffering and provision. Remember to also forgive anyone who you have a grudge against and resolve any problems you have with your loved one, especially close family members.
Should I fast on the 15th day of Sha’ban?
There is only one weak hadith regarding fasting on the 15th day of Sha’ban. However, we know that it is a Sunnah to fast on the ‘bright days’ (the 13th, 14th and 15th) of every month anyway, so fasting on Shab – Barat is highly recommended. Furthermore, it is recommended to increase your voluntary fasts during Sha’ban, as this is the month in which good actions are raised to Allah:
Is Shab – Barat the night of destiny?
Most scholars agree that the night of 15th of Sha’ban is not mentioned in the Qur’an.
Some commentators have said that the night is mentioned in Surah Dukhan - ‘Indeed, We sent it [the Book] down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. On that night is made distinct every precise matter’. (Qur’an, 44:3-4). However, most scholars agree that this ayah refers to Laylat-ul-Qadr.
Even though it is not mentioned in the Qur’an, it is still a very sacred night. Umar bin ’Abd al-’Aziz, and others, said, ’Do not neglect four nights in the year, because on those nights Allah pours His mercy upon His slaves: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Adha’.
Therefore, we should try to increase our ’ibadah and ask for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. Afterall, the month of Sha’ban is special, and we shouldn’t neglect its blessings. It is a time where our actions are raised to Allah, where our love for the Prophet (saw) increases, and where we should be preparing for the blessed month of Ramadan.
What good actions can I do in Sha’ban?
One of the ways you can prepare for Ramadan is by giving Iftar to those in need. The Prophet (saw) said,
‘Whoever feeds a person breaking his fast will earn the same reward as him,
without anything being lessened from the reward of the fasting person’. (Tirmidhi)
By giving Iftar from now, you can earn the reward of giving charity in Sha’ban - and multiply the rewards of your fasts in Ramadan!
May Allah (swt) allow us to benefit from the blessings of this night. May He forgive our sins, increase our provision and relieve us of hardship. May Allah (swt) bless us in Sha’ban and enable us to reach Ramadan, Ameen!