Shab-e-Bara’at (Night of Forgiveness)
This night has 4 names:
Lailatul Mubarak (or) Shab-e-Mubarak;
Lailat-ur-Rehmat (or) Shab-e-Rehmat;
Lailatul Barat (or) Shab-e-Barat;
Lailat-us-Sak (or) Shab-e-Parwana-e-Najaat.
(Alfutuhaat ilaahiya maroof bihi jamal, pg 100, vol 4)
Taqseem-e-umur (Passing of Orders);
Nazool-e-Rehmat (Revelation of Blessings);
Faizaan-e-Bakhshish (Granting of Forgiveness);
Qabool-e-Shifaat (Acceptance of Intercession);
Fazeelet-e-Ibaadat (Greatness of Worship).
Taqseem AmurOn this night, everything that will happen the following year including victory and defeat, happiness and sadness, death and birth is distributed amongst the specified Angels. Allah says in the Quran: “By the manifest book that makes things clear. We sent it (Quran) down on a blessed night. Verily! We are ever warning of Our fear. During this night, all decreed matters are shared out by us.” (Surah Duhaan, Ayat 5) Hadhrat Ibn Abbas RadiAllahu Anh narrates that the meaning of ‘the sharing of matters’ is that whatever happens throughout the year is written (wealth, death, life, rain, even who is going to Hajj in that year). (addur ul manthur fi tafseeri bilmaathuri, pg 25, volume 6, Beirut) Hadhrat Ikrama RadiAllahu Anh and a group of commentators of the Quran say, that in this Ayat, ‘Laila Mubaraka’ or ‘blessed night’ is indicating that the 15th of Sha’baan is Shab-e-Barat. (Alfutoohaat ilaahiya, pg 99) All these things mentioned take place on this night just like the Hadiths mention. There is a narration from Umm-ul-Mumineen Hadhrat Aisha RadiyAllahu Anha that Muhammad SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam asked her: ‘Do you know what happens on the 15th of Sha’baan?’ (Meaning the importance, blessings?). She replied: ‘Oh Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam! Tell me.’ The Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam replied:
- On that night every man whose child is to be born that year is written down;
- Every person who is going to die that year is written down;
- And all the deeds of every person (good and bad) are presented;
- And their wealth is written. (Mishkaat-ul-Masabih, pg115)
Revelation of Blessings and the Bounty of RewardsOn this night, after the day has ended Allah sends down his blessings and forgiveness onto the people of the world and blesses numerous people. Hadhrat Ali RadiAllahu Anh has narrated that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam said when the 15th night of Sha’baan arrives then do Ibaadah (worship), and fast during the day, indeed Allah on this night, from when the day has gone down, showers the world with His blessings. ‘Is there anyone in search of forgiveness that I should forgive them? Is there anyone in search of Rizq that I provide them with this? Is there anyone captured in misfortune that I guide him to safety? Is there anyone as such? (Meaning, today blessings are open to everyone. Is there anyone in search of my blessings? That I bless him with the best and most virtuous).’ (Mishqaat, page 115) This call of blessings takes place all night until Fajr time. In another narration of this Hadith the following has also been said: ‘Is there anyone who wants anything that I should give them?’ (Addur-ul-Manthur, page 26, volume 6) Hadhrat Uthman bin Abil-Aas narrates, the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has also said: ‘Whatever someone asks from Allah he will receive, except the one who is a polytheist or a woman who commits adultery (as their prayers will not be accepted).’ (Addur-ul-Manthur, page 27, volume 6) In the narrations the meaning of Fajr becoming visible is Sehri finishing. It is the height of good fortune for a Muslim that his Creator be pleased with him and asks him, ‘whatever you ask for you will receive.’ Hadhrat Aisha Siddiqa RadiyAllahu Anha has said that on one night, when it was her turn for the Holy Prophet to stay with her, she could not find the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam. When she looked he was in Baqi (graveyard). He SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam said: ‘Did you think that Allah and His Messenger would carry out injustice with you?’ I answered: ‘Oh Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam this is not what I thought. I thought that you had gone to another wife.’ The Prophet SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam replied: ‘Indeed, on the 15th night of Sha’baan Allah’s blessings descend to the sky of the World. He forgives more people than the number of hairs of the goats of the tribe of Kalb.’ (Sunnan-e-Ibn Majaa, page one hundred) The meaning of this is: ‘Oh Aisha! Even though it is your turn today, because tonight is a night of blessings, and splendour that is why I decided to intercede for my Ummah.’ Hadhrat Aisha Siddiqa RadiyAllahu Anha narrates that one night the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam started praying Nafil prayer. He lengthened his prostration so much that I started to worry that his blessed soul had left his body. When I saw this state I went towards him and moved his big toe and it started to move, so I went back. When he SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam came out of prostration and had completed his prayer he said: ‘Oh Aisha! Did you think that the beloved Messenger of Allah would carry out injustice with you?’ She replied: ‘Oh Messenger of Allah! SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam By Allah! I didn’t think so. However, you staying in prostration for so long made me think that you had left this world.’ The Prophet SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam said: ‘Do you know what night this is?’ She replied: ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam replied, ‘this night is the 15th of Sha’baan, indeed on this night Allah is attentive with his grace and blessings, so He forgives the ones who ask for forgiveness. Those who request for mercy, Allah grants them with mercy and kindness and the ones who hold grudges and have enmity Allah does not shower his blessings upon them.’ (Addur-ul-manthur, pg 27, volume 6) According to a narration from Baihaqi shareef when Hadhrat Aisha عنھا رضي١للہ mentioned Baqi she was referring to her going and returning, and then in the presence of the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam whilst she was talking to him he addressed her and said: ‘Jibrael عليه١لصلوةو١لسلآم came to me and said that this is the 15th night of Sha’baan. On this night Allah grants sinners, equalling the number of hairs on the goats of Banu Kalb, freedom from hell. But, He does not allow His blessings to glance towards a polytheist; one who keeps enmity; or an innovator ( one who stops following the Ahl-e-Sunnah); whoever breaks ties with his relatives; or whoever drags their clothes whilst they are walking (a sign of arrogance); whoever disrespects his parents or an alcoholic.’ (Addur-ul-Manthur, page 27, volume 6) In the Arab peninsula, the tribe of Kalb had the most goats. It is obvious, that wherever there is the largest number of goats, their number of hairs will also be the largest. In the Hadiths, the mentioning of the number of hairs on the goats is not to denote a specific number but instead to show abundance. The meaning of this is that on this night Allah forgives countless people and He frees them from the fire of Jahannum and makes them eligible for Jannah. There is a narration from Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq; Hadhrat Abu Musa Ashari; Hadhrat Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas and Hadhrat Ma’az bin Jabal عنھم رضي١للہ that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam said:‘Indeed, on the 15th night of Sha’baan Allah’s blessings descend close to his people; He forgives all of His creation.’ In a narration from Baihiqi it is mentioned that whoever has enmity in his heart or has a passion for revenge, Allah does not forgive such a person. There is a narration from Imam Ahmad that two people are not forgiven, someone who does bidat (leaves the group of Ahl-e-Sunnah) and someone who has killed another person. (sunan ibn maja, pg ten1; musnad imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, pg 176) Hadhrat Abu Thalba RadiAllahu Anh has narrated that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said that on the 15th night of Sha’baan, Allah forgives and showers his blessings upon those who: believe, and He grants time to the unbelievers and He leaves the people who bear grudges, so that they may forgive their grudges. (Addur-ul-manthur, page 27, volume 6 ba hawala Baihaqi) Hadhrat Abu Huraira RadiAllahu Anh reports that Hadhrat Muhammad SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam said that: Jibrael Alaihis salam came to him on the 15th night of Sha’baan and said: ‘Raise your head towards the sky.’ The prophet SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam asked, ‘which night is this?’ Jibrael replied: ‘it is that night in which Allah opens thirty doors of forgiveness to his creation and he forgives all His creation except for the non-believers and the polytheist. He does not forgive magicians, fortune-tellers, alcoholics, gamblers, and adulterers because they cannot be forgiven until they repent to Allah. When one-quarter of the night had passed Jibrael came down again and said ‘Lift your head up.’ The messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam raised his blessed head and saw that all the doors of Paradise were open.
- At the first door an Angel was saying ‘glad tidings to those who bow in ruku on this night.’
- On the second door another Angel was saying ‘glad tidings to those who do sajdah (prostration) on this night.’
- On the third door an angel was says ‘whoever makes prayer on this night may they receive goodness from it’.
- On the fourth door an angel was saying ‘whoever does dhikr (remembrance of Allah) may they receive blessings.’
- On the fifth door an angel was saying ‘whoever cries due to fearing Allah may he be blessed’.
- On the sixth door an angel was saying ‘is there anybody who wants to ask for something? He will receive what he asks for.’
- On the seventh door an angel was saying ‘is there anybody who wants to be forgiven, for he will be forgiven.’
Those who are deprived from Allah’s BlessingsIn this world there are people who are disrespectful and commit sins and who are deprived from the splendours. According to Hadiths, they are as mentioned below:
- Polytheist (one who denies the oneness of Allah), who associates partners with Allah, regarding such a person Allah has said: ‘Allah will not forgive any partners being associated with Him (polytheism) and He forgives anything lesser than this, which He wishes.’ (Quran) A non-believer and a murtad also come under the category of a Mushrik.
- One who disrespects his mother.
- One who disrespects his father. After fulfilling the commands and rights of Allah and His Beloved Messenger SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam the parents have the most rights, so whoever disrespects them, his result will be the same. In the Hadiths regarding the person who disrespects his parents, it has been said that sucha person is disgraceful, disgraceful, and disgraceful. (For more explanation regarding this read the book called ‘Azmat-e- waleedain’).
- A conjuror – someone who attempts to calculate the future, someone who claims to know the future.
- A fortune-teller – who claims to know the unseen, Hadhrat ibn Abbas RadiAllahu Anh has narrated that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said that a conjuror is a fortune-teller, and a fortune-teller is a magician, and a magician is a kafir (non-believer). (Mishkaat, pg 394 bahawala razeen)
- Regarding such a person, a Hadith has been mentioned previously that he is a kafir. He troubles people and spreads chaos in the land. In Sharah Fiqh-e-Akbar it says that many Ullama agree that it is necessary to kill a magician. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad all agree with this statement.
- Someone who foresights – It has been forbidden to foresight in the Holy Quran.
- Innovator – who stops following the Ahl-e-Sunnah.
- Murderer – who kills another innocent being.
- Someone who breaks ties with his close relatives.
- Someone who keeps enmity – someone whose heart is filled with the enmity of another Muslim.
- Someone who takes interest – has taken interest at least three times.
- Someone who gives interest without a valid shar’i reason.
- Taking benefits that he is not eligible for, such as income tax, etc.
- Adulterer whether it is a woman or a man.
- Alcoholic (to do something 3 times is persistence)
- Someone who plays musical instruments.
- A person who lets his clothes trail on the ground, out of pride as he walks. Whether the cloth is a tehband, pyjama, trousers or a chador (big cloth), or a jubbah etc.
Acceptance of IntercessionOn this blessed night, the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam was granted the opportunity to intercede on behalf of the whole Ummah. This gift is important to a large extent; it can be estimated from the following Hadiths. There is a narration from Hadhrat Jabir bin Abdullah RadiAllahu Anh that the Beloved Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said: ‘And I have been given such blessings that no other Messenger before me has ever received. And I have been given intercession.’ (bukhari, muslim, nasai etc.) Hadhrat Abu Huraira RadiAllahu Anh has narrated that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said all the Messengers of Allah get the chance to make a special prayer. Whatever they ask for, they will receive. All the Messengers from Adam عليه١لسلآم to Isa عليه١لسلآم have all made their prayers in this world. And I have saved my prayer for the whole of my Ummah. On the Day of Judgement I will intercede for anyone who leaves this world with Imaan. (Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim) There is a narration from Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar and Hadhrat Abu Musa Ashari عنھم رضي١للہ that the Holy Prophet SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said: ‘Allah gave me a choice, either to take intercession or have half my Ummah go to Jannah. I chose intercession because it is more common and it will be more useful. Do you think my intercession is for pure, pious Muslims? No! But it is for those sinful Muslims who spent their lives committing sins.’ (Ahadeeth-e-Shifa’at, risala by Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan) This huge blessing was given on the blessed night of Shab-e-Barat, for the Ummah of prophet Muhammad SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam. The Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam in the month of Sha’baan, on the 13th night in the presence of Allah asked for intercession and he was given the permission to intercede for one-third of his Ummah. Then on the 14th night he SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam prayed for and was given intercession for two-thirds of his Ummah. Then on the 15th night (Shab-e-Barat), he made prayed for and was granted intercession on behalf of the whole Ummah, except those disrespectful people who run like camels away from Allah’s pleasure. (Al kashaaf an haqaiq tanzeel, pg 5; wa mukashifatul quloob, Arabic, pg 250)
Virtues of WorshippingThe reward of worshipping on Shab-e-Barat is far greater than any other night. (Many ahadith have been narrated regarding the vast amount of good deeds that can be attained by worshipping on this night. In one hadith it is stated that the reward of reading fourteen rakat salaat (in a certain manner) is equivalent to doing Hajj twenty times and fasting for twenty years. In another narration it has been said that for anyone who reads one hundred rakat salaat(in a certain manner), Allah will command the Kiraaman Kaatibeen to not write any sins of that person for the coming year but to write only his good deeds. In another narration the good news for the person who reads one hundred units is that Allah sends one hundred Angels to him, thirty will give him the good news of entering Jannah, thirty will give him the good news of gaining peace from Jahannum, thirty will remove the difficulties of the world and ten will scare shaytaan away. Sheikh Abdul Haq عليه الله رحمت has gathered these narrations in Maa thubita bisunat and has said with reference to the Hadiths that all these narrations are weak. The Sheikh himself hasn’t criticised any of the narrators. In Durat Nasiheen pg 224, Hadhrat Isa عليه١لسلآمhas mentioned a unique story which is as follows, according to this story Allah revealed to Hadhrat Isa عليه١لسلآم that according to me, my people worshipping me on Shab-e-Barat is more virtuous than them worshipping for four hundred years. This story with respect to its accuracy is a bit doubtful. And the knowledge of it in reality only Allah knows best. That is why Rehmat-e-Aalim SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has commanded his Ummah to stand in prayer on this night. And he, also, practised this command by spending this night in continuous worship of Allah. He SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said: ‘Stay awake on Shab-e-Barat and worship Allah and fast during the day.’ (Ibn Maja, pg 100) Praying nafil salaat (optional prayer), doing dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and making dua are all counted as forms of worship. Hadhrat Aisha RadiyAllahu Anha reports that Prophet Muhammad SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam on Shab-e-Barat started to pray salah, he lengthened his sajdah for so long that I got worried and thought that he had passed away. (Baihiqi) Hadhrat Ma’az bin Jab’l RadiAllahu Anh reports that whoever prays during five nights, Paradise becomes necessary upon him. From those 5 nights one is Shab-e-Barat. (bahar shariat, part 4, pg ten5, bahawala isbahani) Prophet SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam him-self has said that whoever worships on Shab-e-Barat the Angels announce: ‘On this night the people who spend the night in ruku there are blessings for them. The people who spend this night in prostration may they receive goodness and happiness.’ (Ghanayat-ul-Talibeen, pg 169, volume 1) Muslims should act upon what the Prophet SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said and remain awake on this blessed night to spend it in worshipping and remembering Allah. They should keep themselves busy in dua, and receive good news from the Angels that Paradise is decreed for them. This night is not to be spent dreaming; this night should be spent in crying whilst making dua.
Welcoming of Shab-e-BaratBefore this night arrives it is mustahab to ask all other Muslim brothers and sisters for forgiveness. Especially the previously mentioned sinful ones, they should abstain from doing sins and repent, as they will not be forgiven by Allah unless they stop committing sins and repent from the bottom of their hearts. In the previous pages all the disrespectful and sinful people which have been mentioned, are divided into 3 categories.
- Some are those who have forsaken the rights of Allah, meaning they have not fulfilled the rights of Allah, for example – the non-believers, polytheists (someone who denies the oneness of Allah), murtad (someone who becomes a non-Muslim after accepting Islam), conjuror, fortune -teller, singer, someone who plays musical instruments or people who are arrogant etc. The command for them is that they should be embarrassed of their sins and repent from their sins. They should make a firm intention and say that they will not commit these sins again. If people know about his sins, then he should announce that he has repented.
- There are some people who do not fulfil the right of the other people. Either through something they have said or done, they have hurt another muslim man or woman. For example – the son or daughter who disrespects his/her parents; the wife who disrespects her husband; an adulterer whether he is a man or woman; a magician, someone who makes someone distressed by way of a charm; someone who accuses a pious man or women of adultery; someone who makes a false accusation; someone who swears at someone or someone who backbites. The command for them is that they stop troubling everyone around them and repent to Allah. In a Hadith it has been said that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihe Wasallam has said there are three groups of sins. One group which Allah will not forgive at all. The other Allah does not care about. The last one in which Allah will not leave anything.