Shab e Baraat is a night that comes in the 15th day of Sha’ban and Sha’ban is the 8th Islamic month according to the Hijri calendar. Since Islamic calender is lunar so it does not synchronize with the seasons. This night got different names as mentioned below,
- Lailat al-Baraa (Arabic: ليلة البراءة, Night of Innocence)
- Lailat al-Du’a (Arabic: ليلة الدعاء, Night of Prostration)
- Nim Sha’ban in Afghanistan and Iran.
- Nisf Sha’ban (Arabic: نصف شعبان, Mid-Sha’ban) in Arabic speaking countries.
- Nisfu Sya’ban in Malay speaking countries.
- Shab e Baraat in Pakistan meaning the ‘Night of Innocence’.
- Berat Kandili in Turkish
Concept of Shab e Baraat:
According to the Muslim belief it is a night in which ALLAH determines the affairs of the coming year. Allah Almighty considers the deeds of all humans and determines their destinies.
In Islamic culture Shab e Baraat has huge importance as Muslims offer prayers and worship Allah Almighty during this entire night globally. According to the Hadith of Bukhari, Umul Momineen Hazrat Aiysha R.A. said that Prophet (PBUH) used to keep fast in the month of Shaban.
According to the Holy Book,
“Whoever of the nation [ummah] of My Beloved Prophet (PBUH) performs 2 cycles [raka’] of prayer on the 15th night of Shabaan is better than this 400 years of worship.”
Narrated by ‘Hazrat Aisha (R.A): Allah’s Apostle used to fast till one would say that he would never stop fasting, and he would abandon fasting till one would say that he would never fast. I never saw Allah’s Apostle fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan, and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha’ban. (Bukhari : Book 3 : Volume 31 : Hadith 190)
Ummul Mu’mineen ‘Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, says, “Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast the whole of Sha’ban. I said to him, ‘Messenger of Allah, is Sha’ban your most favorite month for fasting?’ He said, ‘In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting.”
In another occasion she says, “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), would sometimes begin to fast continuously until we thought he would not stop fasting, and sometimes he used to stop fasting until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, fasting a complete month, except the month of Ramadan, and I have never seen him fasting in a month more frequently than he did in Sha’ban.”
From above Hadiths it has been concluded that fasting is not an obligation during this month but our beloved prophet (PBUH) used to keep fast and did not like to miss this but it is important to note that these Sha’ban fasts are for those persons who are capable to do so and they determine that the obligatory fast of Ramadan would not effect by this.
The blessed Companion Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, says Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), to have said, “Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha’ban is gone.”
Ummul-Mu’mineen ‘Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, is reported to have said, “Once Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, performed the Salah of the night (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah until I feared that he had passed away. When I saw this, I rose (from my bed) and moved his thumb (to ascertain whether he is alive). The thumb moved, and I returned (to my place). Then I heard him saying in Sajdah: ‘I seek refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge of Your pleasure from Your annoyance, and I seek Your refuge from Yourself. I cannot praise You as fully as You deserve. You are exactly as You have defined Yourself.’ Thereafter, when he raised his head from Sajdah and finished his salah, he said to me: ‘Aishah, did you think that the Prophet has betrayed you?’ I said, ‘No, O Prophet of Allah, but I was afraid that your soul has been taken away because your Sajdah was very long.’ He asked me, ‘Do you know which night is this?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘This is the night of the half of Sha’ban. Allah Almighty looks upon His slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but keeps those who have malice (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they relieve themselves from malice).'”
From above Islamic information it has been concluded that Shab e Baraat is a very precious night and we should do our best to worship Allah so that he forgive all of us and bless us the peaceful and successful life Ahead.
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