Fasting On 15 Sha’baan – A Very beloved Fast

Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:

 “When it is the night of 15th Sha’baan, then stand in Ibaadah at night and fast during the day (of 15th Sha’baan).”

Without the slightest trepidation or fear, we state that Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam ordered us to fast on the 15th of Sha’baan. A study of the Ahaadeeth reveals this fact. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam loved to be in a state of fasting whilst his actions are being raised to Allah Ta’ala. This appears in authentic Ahaadeeth (Ahmed – Tirmizi – Ibn Majah – Nasaai – Jaamiul Usool – Kanzul Ummaal – Mishkaat – Musnad Ahmed – Tahaawi).

The Fuqaha accept that A’maal are raised to Allah Ta’ala on the night of 15th Sha’baan. This is also mentioned in the Hadith kutub. Thus, it is understood that the 15th of Sha’baan is one of those days which Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam loved to fast.

Why would Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam not love to fast on 15th Sha’baan when Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam himself says that he loves to be fasting when his A’maal are presented to Allah Ta’ala?

In Mirqaat, Mulla Ali Qaari Rahimullah states:

“And what is apparent to me now is that on the night of 15th Sha’baan the A’maal of the previous year are presented just as how everything which would take place the next upcoming year are written on this night. And that is why (Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Stand in Ibaadah at night and fast during the day (of 15th Sha’baan).”

(May Allah grant us the Tawfeeq to make Amal on this Mubaarak Sunnah. Aameen)

 

THE AHAADEETH ON FIFTEEN SHA’BAAN

The fact that the 15th of Sha’baan is an auspicious day including the night which precedes it, is undoubtedly unquestionable. The auspiciousness of these occasions has been taught to the Ummah since the past fourteen centuries by the illustrious Ulama and authorities of the Shariah. Thus, it is undoubtedly inappropriate to even make an attempt to dismiss the validity of practices which enjoy the Ta-aamul of our Akaabireen.

The following are the Sunnah/Masnoon practices/A’maal of Shabe Baraat:

  1. To remain awake during the night as much as possible and engage in individual ibaadat – not congregational Ibaadat.
  2. To fast during the day
  3. To visit the graveyard at night.

Whilst some Ahaadeeth may have been declared to be weak by some ‘Muhadditheen’, they are in fact very authentic with specific reference to the three A’maal mentioned above. The Ahaadeeth are backed up with the amal of the Ulama. Maaliki Fuqaha attach much emphasis on fasting the 15th of Sha’baan. It is Mustahab and the most virtuous fast of the month according to them. Some Shaafi’ Fuqaha have written that fasting on the 15th is matloob and ma-moor (desired and instructed). In the Fataawa of Shaikh Ramli, the fast of the 15th is declared to be Sunnat and the Hadeeth in this regard is judged to be qaabil-e-hujjat (worthy of proof). One view of the Hanaabilah is that the fast on the 15th is the most emphasized of Sha’baan. This is a clear proof for the Ta’aamul of the Fuqaha on the issue of fasting on the 15th Sha’baan.

Allamah Ibn Humaam explicitly states in Fathul Qadeer:

“And from amongst the factors which render a Hadeeth ‘Saheeh’ (authentic), is the amal (action) of the Ulama in conformity to the Hadeeth.”

 

AUTHENTIC – NOT FORGED

The Hadith which exhorts one to fast on 15th Sha’baan mentioned in Ibn Majah is authentic. It satisfies the principle of Talaqqi Bil Qubool as explained above. Talaqqi Bil Qubool means that the Fuqaha have accorded acceptance to this Hadith.

In order to understand these issues of Talaqqi Bil qubool and the utility of the Muhadditheen in detail, one needs to read the book Tresses of Jannah. Each Muhaddith had his own criteria for accepting or rejecting Ahaadeeth. Likewise, the experts of Ahkaam, i.e. The Fuqaha also had criteria for accepting or rejecting Ahaadeeth. How is it possible for them to be experts in Ahkaam without understanding the science of Hadeeth fully?

We do not also blindly follow what the Muhadditheen say. We do not make their Taqleed – neither in Hadeeth, nor in Fiqh. The narrator in Ibn Majah, Hazrat Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Saburah was privileged with the seat of Iftaa in Madeenah Munawwarah. Imaam Abu Dawood Rahimahullah said: “He was the Mufti of Ahle-Madinah (The people of Madinah).”

He lived in Khairul Quroon and was the judge (Qaadhi) before Imaam Abu Yusuf Rahimahullah. In the presence of Imaam Maalik and other great Fuqahaa-e-Mujtahideen of the time, it would never have been possible for him to be a Qaadhi and the accepted Mufti of Madinah if he was a fabricator (Nauthu Billah).

Similarly, it would not have been possible for Imaam Maalik to mention and propose Hazrat Ibn Abi Saburah’s name as one of three pious and recognized persons of the sacred city at the time. This was in response to the query from Mansoor, the Khalifah of the time at Madeenah Munawwarah. Imaam Maalik was asked: “In Madinah, which Mashaaikh are left?”

Imaam Maalik responded: “Ibn Abi Zi’b, Ibn Abi Saburah, and Ibn Abi Salmah Al-Maajishoon.”

The above suffices to explain how great Hazrat Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Saburah Rahmatullahi Alayh was. His truthfulness and integrity are proven by the fact that he was the Mufti of Madinah Munawwarah in the presence of Imaam Maalik. What more should we even say in order to reject what some Muhadditheen have to say about him. The criticism of the Muhadditheen has to be dismissed as baseless. It should not be difficult to understand that it is Sunnah to fast on 15th Sha’baan. The principle of Talaqqi Bil Qubool is enough for us Muqallideen who should not try to act bigger than our boots when even the Muhadditheen were unable to reach the toes of the Fuqaha!

 

IT IS BID’AH TO:

(1) Congregate for lectures in the Musaajid on this night or on any of the other auspicious nights.

(2) Believe that there are special types of Salaat for observance on this night.

(3) Install special or decorative lights in the Musjid on this occasion.

(4) Serve milk or any sweetmeats on this night.

(5) Have Yaseen Khatams and Forty Durood Functions even in the Musjid.

(6) Giving ‘Siennie’ (sweets, fruits, chocolates, ice creams, etc.) at home or after the Bid’ah lecture program at the Musjid.

(7) Giving gifts to one’s family and friends specifically on this day.

(8) Bid’ah Loud Thikr sessions.

(9) Haraam Bid’ah Mowlood/ Meelaad on this auspicious night.

(10) Bid’ah Nazm or Thikr Jalsahs and Seerah conferences.

VERY EVIL ACTS ON THIS NIGHT:

(1) Watching Television (Dajjaal’s Eye) especially ITV!

(2) Listening to Music.

(3) Chatting to ghair-mahrams on Facebook, Whatsapp, etc.

(4) Sending and Indulging in Photography.

(5) Sending messages such as Lailatul Baraat Mubaarak, etc.

(6) Indulging in fireworks, celebrations, parties, etc.

Fasting On 15 Sha’baan – A Very beloved Fast

A Simple Format for ‘Ibadah on Auspicious nights

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Our Beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has mentioned:

“Indeed your Rabb has reserved certain special moments in time (in which He emits abundant/special mercy). Be sure to avail yourselves for these opportunities.”

(Majma’uz Zawaid)

We are usually aware of the significant occasions that present themselves each year. The crucial thing is how do we “avail ourselves” and maximise our benefit from these blessed nights?

Here under is a suggested format for “What to do on Blessed nights?”

1. Offer ‘Isha and Fajr Salah in congregation.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“One who performs ‘Isha in congregation gets the reward of spending half the night in worship. And he who follows that up with the Fajr salah in congregation, will be as if he has stayed up all night in ‘ibadah.”

(Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abi Dawud)

2. Sleep in the state of wudu

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has mentioned a reliable narration that states: “The soul of one who sleeps with wudu makes sajdah (prostrates) at the ‘Arsh of Allah.”

(Fathul Bari)

Imagine our souls making sajdah at the throne of our Creator on a night like Laylatul Qadr!

3. Abstain from sin

It’s not logical to fill the bucket when it has a hole…

One should specifically free the heart of any ill-feelings or malice towards fellow Muslims. (See here for “how to clean the heart” of such ailments)

4. Clear your heart from ill-feelings towards fellow Muslims.

The ‘Ulama state that those who harbour ill-feelings are deprived of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness on occasions like these.

A Hadith in Sahih Ibn Hibban, mentions of four people that will be deprived on auspicious nights:
a) An Alcoholic.
b) One who disobeys his parents.
c) One who severe family ties
d) One who harbours ill-feelings in his heart for others.

5. Salatut Tasbih

This is very strongly recommended due to its huge reward. See here for a detailed article on it’s authenticity, and here for the format of Salatut Tasbih.

6. Tawbah

Since the purpose of the turning to Allah on these nights is precisely to attain forgiveness from Allah, this act is a fundamental on such occasions.

The procedure for Tawbah is:
a. Perform two rak’ats of Salah. (Optional)
b. Stop the sin that one is repenting from.
c. Regret the sin from the bottom of your heart.
d. Make a determined pledge with Allah never to repeat that sin. Besides the two rakats of Salah, the remainder are all fundamental.

Furthermore, if the sin involved usurping the right of the next person, one needs to ask him/her for forgiveness too. Without this we are not guaranteed forgiveness.

If that person has passed away, we could make du’a for him and repay the debt (if any) to his heirs.

7. Dhikr

There are many forms of dhikrullah. I would suggest the following:
A hundred times: “La ilah illallah”
A hundred times repeating the name of “Allah”
And a hundred times: “Subhanallahi wabihamdihi subhanallahil ‘Azim”

The reason for the third one is the following:

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

1. “He who recites this one hundred times will have all his sins forgiven even if it be equal to the foam of the ocean” (Sahih Bukhari)

2. “These words are beloved to Allah Ta’ala, easy on the tongue and weighty on the scales (of deeds on Qiyamah)” (Sahih Bukhari)

Furthermore, this is the form of dhikr that the entire creation is engaged in. (Surah: 17 ayah: 44)

8. Salawat on Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam)

If it was not for our beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) we would not have these Blessed occasions. Therefore we cannot afford moments like these to pass without remembering him. In Fact by doing so we ourselves benefit.

One Hadith states:
“He who sends salutations upon me once, Allah Ta’ala sends ten salutations upon him.”

9. Tilawat (Recital) of Quran

This is considered the best form of Dhikr. One could recite even a quarter juz or just the masnun Surahs that are to be recited every night. Like Surahs Waqi’ah, Mulk, Sajdah, Yasin etc.

10. Du’a

“Du’a is the essence of Worship” and hence cannot be omitted when we engage in worship.
More so on occasions when Almighty Allah accepts du’as such as on the night of Qadr. One should spend a lengthy duration in begging from Allah, as we are all in need of it.

In light of the current world crisis, do remember our oppressed brethren around the globe.

On the night of Qadr the following du’a should also be repeated as taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam) to his beloved wife Sayyidah ‘Aishah (radiyallahu ‘anha):

اللهم إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العَفْوُ فَاعْفُ عَنِّيْ
“Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘Anni”
O Allah! You are indeed Most Forgiving, so forgive me.

Note 1: The above can all be achieved in about 1 hour.

Salatut Tasbih: 20 mins
Tawbah: can be incorporated in the du’a
Zikr: 10 mins
Salawat: 5 mins
Tilawat: 15 mins
Du’a and Tawbah: 10 mins

However if one is short on time for whatever reason, my suggestion would be to at least do the first four and the last one. That would be:

a) ‘Isha and Fajr with Jamat
b) Sleep with wudu
c) Abstain from sin
d) Clean the heart
e) Du’a

Note 2: The night commences at Maghrib, not after ‘Isha or after Tarawih or at Sehri time. Therefore one can and should commence ‘ibadah from Maghrib, although it is indeed best to do so at the last part of the night.

Note 3: These are mere suggestions intended to make it easy for people. One may engage in whatever form of ‘ibadah one is comfortable with.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all complete forgiveness and steadfastness on guidance. Amin.

Please do remember the writer in your supplication as well.

Download the e-book of the above, here

 

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