It is admitted fact that every moment, second, minute, hour, day or night that is spent in the submission of Allah Almighty and His Beloved Prophet (SAW) is exceedingly meaningful and precious. But there are some days, nights and months which have their own weight and Allah, the compassionate, lays immense stress upon them to unveil their importance to his rationale creatures.
What is Shabaan?
Among those months, those hold much importance is Sha’ban and the holy month of Ramadhan, The Holy Month of Sha’ban is one of the blessed months that holds much too for us from the mercy, compassion and kindness of Allah Almighty. Sha’ban is the name of the (eigth) month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and it is so called because in this month the Arabs used to disperse (tasha’aba) in search of water, or it was said that it is so called because it sha’aba (branches out or emerges) i.e., it appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadan.
Fasting Entire month of Shaban ?????
‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – PBUH) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’ban.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim).
She also narrated “Shaban was the most beloved month to Allah’s Prophet to fast in it till the beginning of Ramadan” [Declared Authentic by Al-Albani]
According to a report narrated by Muslim, “He used to fast in Sha’ban.”
A group of scholars, including Ibn al-Mubarak and others, thought that the Prophet did not fast all of Sha’ban, but he fasted most of it. This is supported by a report in Saheeh Muslim narrated from ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: “I never knew of him – meaning the Prophet (PBUH) – fasting for any entire month apart from Ramadan.”
According to another report also narrated by Muslim, A’ishah said:
“I never saw him fast for any entire month from the time he came to Madeenah, apart from Ramadan.”
It was reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) did not fast any entire month apart from Ramadan.” Ibn ‘Abbas regarded it as makrooh to fast any entire month apart from Ramadan. Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “He observed more voluntary fasts in Sha’ban than in any other month, and he used to fast most of Sha’ban.”
DA’EEF HADITHS ABOUT THE NIGHT OF 15TH SHABA’AN
Apart from fasting in the month of sha’ban that has been proved authentic by above narrations, there is a concept of Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the 15th of Sha’baan). Which infact is like any other night, and there is no sound report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to indicate that on this night the fate or destiny of people is decided.
It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbours hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1390.
The “one who harbours hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother.
In al-Zawaa’id it says: Its isnaad is da’eef, because ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Lahee’ah is da’eef (weak) and al-Waleed ibn Muslim is mudallis.
There is also some idtiraab (weakness) in the hadeeth, as stated by al-Daaraqutni in al-‘Ilal, 6/50, 51. He said: This hadeeth is not proven.
It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, ‘Aa’ishah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani and others, but the isnaads are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak.
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:
Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed them as da’eef, and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh.
Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261.
Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allaah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in this general meaning.
Virtue of praying, fasting and worshipping on the fifteenth of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) does not come under the heading of da’eef (weak), rather it comes under the heading of mawdoo’ (fabricated) and baatil (false). So it is not permissible to follow it or to act upon it, whether that is in doing righteous deeds or otherwise.
A number of scholars ruled that the reports concerning that were false, such as Ibn al-Jawzi in his book al-Mawdoo’aat, 2/440-445; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in al-Manaar al-Muneef, no. 174- 177; Abu Shaamah al-Shaafa’i in al-Baa’ith ‘ala Inkaar al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith, 124-137; al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom il-Deen, no. 582. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] narrated that there was consensus on the fact that they are false, in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 28/138.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Hukm al-Ihtifaal bi Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (Ruling on celebrating the fifteenth of Sha’baan):
Celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan) by praying etc, or singling out this day for fasting, is a reprehensible bid’ah (innovation) according to the majority of scholars, and there is no basis for this in sharee’ah.
And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan). All the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo’ (fabricated) and da’eef (weak), and have no basis. There is nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Qur’aan or prayer, whether alone or in congregation, is specified for this night. What some of the scholars have said about it being special is a weak opinion. It is not permissible to single it out for any special actions.
The innovations of the fifteenth night of Shabaan:
1- All kinds of celebrations at that night whether meeting for religious observances, recitation of poems or feeding people and to consider that these deeds are a stated Sunnah while they aren’t.
2- Praying Alalfia or Albarae prayer at that night.
3- Also praying fourteen, twelve or six Rakat at that night.
4- To specify Ishah (night) prayer, at that night, with recitation of Surah YaSin or certain number of surah Al-Ekhlaas or specifying that night with a certain invocation; called (the fifteenth of shaban night invocation, they may also stipulate praying two Rakat or reciting surah Ya-Sin (one chapter of the holy Quran) before this invocation to be accepted. Among the innovations of this night also, is to specify its day with fasting or charity or to believe that the fifteenth night of Shaban is better than the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).
fatwa from scholar of MAkkah bin baz whom we follow most:
Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Baz may Allah bestow his mercy upon him- was asked about the 15th night of Shaban and if it has a special prayer?
He answered: (there is no sound hadith indicating the virtue of this night and all the reported a hadith in its virtue are weak or fabricated. It’s an ordinary night and has no special recitation, prayer or meeting and the saying of its specialty is a weak opinion.
And Allah knows best!
Jazakallahu Khair for reading.
We wish and pray that May Allah keep us away from bida’ah and give us strength to follow the only path of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him)!