The Middle of Sha’ban.
Compiled and Translated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari
The message in red answer in black
Can anyone verify the following or get clarifications…
we were able to compile this brief response, which is by no means exhaustive and in actual fact this topic needs a more detailed researched paper due to the discussions it contains with regards to the principles of Hadeeth and Fiqh
Allaamah Ibn Al-Arabee (not the Soofee Ibn arabi who was kafir) Said there is no reliable Hadeeth regarding the middle of Shabaan with regards to its virtue or with regards to the writing of people’s ages on this night therefore do not pay attention to it. Ahkaam al-Quraan vol.4 page.169
Haafidh Ibn Qayyim said there is nothing authentic with regards to the middle of Shabaan. Al-Manaar al-Muneef pages. 98-99.
These narrations also contradict the authentic Hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) where he said, “When the middle of Shabaan comes do not fast after it in case Ramadhan comes. SAHEEH Abu Dawood no.2049, Tirmidhee with Tuhfa vol.3 page.467, Ibn Maajah no.1651, Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq vol.4 page.161 no.7325 and Saheeh al-Jaam’e vol.1 page.68 of Shaikh al-Albaanee.
Haafidh Abul-Khataab bin Dahiyyah said, according to the scholars of jarh Wat tadeel there is no authentic Hadeeth with regards to the virtue of the night of mid Shabaan. Al-Baa’ith Ala Inkaar al-Bidah Wal-Hawaadith pg.52 of Imaam Abee Shaamah al-Maqdisee.
Imaam Uqailee said, All the ahadeeth that mention Allaah descending on the 15th of Shabaan are weak. Refer to his ad-Dhu’afa Vol.3 pg.29.
The Night of Bara’ah (Laylatul Bara’ah) istonight in the UK (Sunday 23rd of June)The Hadith regarding the night of Bara’ah:There are many Ahaadith that have been narrated on the virtue of the 15th of Sha’baan.
One of them is the narration of Sayyiduna Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Allah Ta’ala turns to his entire creation on the fifteenth night of Sha’baan and forgives all of them except one who ascribes partners to Him and one who harbours enmity in his heart.’ (This Hadith has been recorded by Imaam Tabrani in his Mu’jamul Awsat Hadith6776 and Mu’jamul Kabeer vol.20 pg.108-109)
This narration has been cited by others also like Imaam Ibn Hibbaan in his saheeh, Imaam Baihaqee in his Shu’bah Eemaan and Ibn Abee Aasim in his as-Sunnah. This narration is weak. Imaam Dhahabee said makhool did not meet Maalik bin Yakhaamir. Refer to Silsilah as-Saheehah no.1144 of Imaam al-Albaanee, there is a disconnection in the chain which renders it to be weak.
Sahaba, Tabi’een, Tabi tabi’een & great scholars of the past & present on the Night of Bara’ah:
1. Ibn Taymiyya was asked about the prayer of mid-Sha`ban [i.e. the night of]. He answered: If a person prays that night alone, or in a select congregation, as many groups (tawaif) of the Early Muslims used to do, it is very good.As for gathering in the mosque for a particular fixed prayer, such as gather for 100 rakats in which 1,000 QulhuwaAllahuAhad are read every time, this is a reprehensible innovation, which none of the imams have allowed. [Ibn Taymiyya, al-Fatawa al-Kubra, 2; 222-138]
He also said regarding this night:The excellency regarding the 15th of Shabaan is an area of dispute between the Scholars, some of them say that there is no significance of this night, but Imam Ahmed recognises the excellency of this night, our other Hanbli Scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed. There are Ahadith on this night being significant, some of them are from Sunnan (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah) and the other Ahdeeth books as well [Iqtidah Siratul Mustaqeem page 203 by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyah]
Ibn Taymiyyah also said:‘As for the middle night of Sha’baan, there are various narrations that have been narrated regarding its significance and it has been reported from a group of the Salaf (predecessors) that they performed Salaat in it individually, hence, such a deed cannot be disputed.’ (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa ibn Taymiyah vol.23 pg.132)
He also said: “So many Ahaadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Shabaan that one is compelled to accept that this night possesses some virtue”. Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night for Salaat. [Faydhul-Qadeer. vol 2., pg 317].
The exacts words of Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah are, From this chapter is the middle of shabaan
“As there are marfoo ahadeeth and Athar with regards to the virtue of this night and some of the Salaf would specifically pray on this night (Referring to the taabieen I have mentioned further on in this response). There are However authentic ahadeeth with regards to fasting in the month of Shabaan. The scholars from the Salaf From Madeenah And some of the laters scholars have rejected the virtue of this night and have criticised the narrations regarding its virtue… However numerous people of knowledge and those from our companions have acknowledged its virtue as Imaam Ahmad has indicated with texts as a number of hadeeth and reports have been transmitted Some of the virtues have been transmitted in the masaneed and sunans. HOWEVER JUST FASTING ON THE 15TH OF SHABAAN ALONE HAS NO BASIS (in Islaam ie is its baseless and made up) AND IT IS PROHIBITIVELY DISLIKED, SIMILARLY ORGANISING FOOD AND DRESSING UP SMARTLY ARE FROM THE NEW INNOVATIONS AND THEY HAVE NO BASIS IN ISLAM.
Shaikh ul-Islaam goes onto say the gathering of the people on this night and praying Salatul al-Fiyyah in the large central mosque Is also an innovation, not allowed in the Sharee’ah And prohibitively disliked because the ahadeeth narrated concerning praying this Salah collectively are all from fabricated narrations…. (Iqtida Siratal Mustaqeem Li-Mukhalafati Ashaabul Jaheem vol.2 page. 631-632 ed.dr Naasir bin Abdul Kareem al-Aql Maktabah ar-Rushd, Riyadh KSA)
The last reference is not even Ibn Taymiyyahs book, it is the Tafseer of Imaam Shawkaanee titled Fath ul-Qadeer.
So the scholars of Madeenah rejected the virtue of this night as did the people of Hijaaz, the people of shaam gave it some credibility. Some of the scholars may have believed some of the narrations pertaining to the virtue of this night were authentic or knew they were weak but collectively they were Hasan. However all of the narrations are weak and this is why some scholars may have given this night some credibility with regards to its virtue as this was the way of the people of knowledge, they would give a weak Hadeeth precedence over their opinions.
The narrations that mention the collective praying have been declared to be fabricated, Refer to al-Laalee al-Masnooa fee ahadeeth mawdooah vol.2 pages 58-59, Fawaa’id al-Majmoo’a pages.50-51 and Tabayan al-Ajab page 25-26 of Haafidh Ibn Hajr.
Another reason for this is because some of the Salaf thought the night of power ie laylatul Qadr was on the middle of Shabaan and this is why they would pray and do other acts of Ibadah. This is however a minority opinion of the scholars of the past as the vast majority of them considered the night of power to be in Ramadhan.
2. Imam Ibn Majah states:It is narrated by Ali (Ra) that the Prophet Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) stated; “When it is the 15th night of Shabaan, do Qiyaam in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls: ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs (rizq) food that I may give it to him.’ And this continues till the morning.” [Ibn Majah chapter Salaah]
Firstly a big lie and major deception in Not translating all of the report correctly, the report clearly mentions, Allaah descends to the Heaven of this World when the sunsets and says, Who is there that seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive…..
So if you believe this narration is authentic do you also believe Allaah descends.
Ok this report is in Ibn Maajah no.1388, then this narration is FABRICATED. Imaam Nawawee said this report is weak refer to his Khulasatul Ahkaam vol.1 page.617. The narrator in the chain is Abu Bakr bin Abdullaah bin Muhammad, commonly known as Ibn Abee Sabrah, he was declared to be arch liar ie a kadhab and a fabricator of Hadeeth. Imaam Ahmad said he would fabricate Hadeeth. Refer to al-Jarh Wat-Ta’deel Vol.7 page.306. Imaam Ibn Ma’een also criticised him.
Shaikh al-Albaanee said this narration is weak and fabricated. Refer to his Da’eef al-Jaam’e no.752, Tahqeeq Mishkaat vol.1 page.410, Daeef Ibn Maahaj no.294.
Haafidh Mundhiri used the context of Ruwiya it has been narrated Ie in the context of it being weak in his Targreeb Wat-Tarheeb
Allaamah Bausaree said in his Misbaah az-Zujaajaj Fee Zawaa’id Ibn Maajah the chain of this narration is weak due to a narrator in the chain, Ibn Abee Sabrah is weak.
Allamah Abdur Rahmaan Mubarakpooree Also said he was weak and a fabricator of hadeeth and stated what Ibn Hajr said in his Taqreeb that the scholars of Hadeeth labelled him as a fabricator and the hanafee scholar Amee Alee mentioned ijmaa on him Being weak in his Taqeeb ut-Taqreeb. Refer to Tuhfatul-Ahwadhee vol.3 page.442.
3. Hafidh Rawpari & Thana’ullah Amritsari on the Night of Bara’ah:Two great followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Al Najdi, are Hafidh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions. [Fatawa Ahl-e-Hadith by Hafidhh Rawpari and Fatawa Thanaa’iya by Thana’ullah Amritsari, chapter on fasting]
Yes in Fataawa Thanayyah vol.1 page 656 Shaikh Thanaullah said there are weak narrations pertaining to this night but doing anything good Will earn Reward. However we will inshaAllaah receive reward if we did Ibadah on any day and so Shaikh Thanaullah Said Ibadah even on this night will inshaAllaah he worthy of reward, Besides there is nothing wrong with doing ibadah on this Night or any other Night, the point of contention is singling this day Or night out alone and specific for Ibadah with the intention of receiving reward or something specific, Or ie to receive forgiveness. So where is the contradiction.
4. Sheikh Al-Albani also confirmed the significance of this night. Below is the hadith which he declares it Sahih:Hadith: Allah turns towards his creation in the Night of “MID-SHABAN” and He forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people (Albani calls it); “A SAHIH HADITH” narrated by group of Sahaba with different routes (Turuq) such as from Muadh bin Jabal (Ra), Abu Thalbah (Ra) Abdullah bin Umar (Ra), Abu Musa al Ashari (Ra), Abu Hurraira (Ra), Abu Bakr as Saddiq (ra), Awf bin Malik (ra) and Aisha (ra).The Hadith of Muadh bin Jabal (ra) comes through Makhul from Malik bin Yakhamir and It is “MARFU” narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in his As-Sunnah Hadith #512 [Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat ul-Ahadith-as Sahiha, Volume No. 3, Page No. 135 #1144]
Sheikh Al Albani also said: As for what is authentic regarding the night of the 15th of Sha’baan, [The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam, said,] “Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted, comes to His Creation on Laylatun-Nisf (the 15th night) of Sha’baan, and He forgives all of His Creation, except for the polytheist and the mushaahin .” It is an authentic narration narrated by a number of Companions with a number or different chains that strengthen each other, by way of Mu’aath ibn Jabal, Aboo Tha’labah Al-Khushanee, ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr, Aboo Moosaa Al-Ash’aree, Aboo Hurayrah, Aboo Bakr As-Siddeeq, ‘Awf ibn Maalik, and ‘Aa’ishah…Sheikh Al Albani concludes: …So in summary, the narration is authentic without a doubt, as authenticity could be established for it even if there were not so many routes, so long as they are free of any severe weaknesses, as is the case with this narration.
Shaikh al-Albaanee only graded this Hadeeth authentic based on his ijtihad not the others, he has categorically declared them to be weak And the only reason he declared it to be authentic was due to other supporting chains, answering this point is way to lengthy as one would need to look at the various types of Hasan and if Hasan Li-Ghayrihi Can be used as evidence. Shaikh al-Albaanee himself said after citing Imaam Dhahabee about Maalik Ibn Yakhaamir not hearing from makhool, that if he did hear from him, the chain of this narration would be Hasan.
Source: NEWS \ INNOVATION ALERT – Shabbee Baraat (15th Sha’baan)
5. Imam Nawawi (Ra) mentioned in his Majmu`, where he also quoted Imam al-Shafi`i from the latters al-Umm that it has reached him that there are 5 nights when dua is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.
6. Imaam ibn Hibbaan (RA) has classified this narration as Sahih (authentic) and has included it in his book – al-Saheeh. (see Sahih ibn Hibbaan vol.12 pg.482; Hadith5665).
7. Hafiz al-Haythami (RA) has mentioned that all the narrators of this Hadith arereliable. (Majma-uz-zawaaid vol.8 pg.65)
8. It is also classified as sound by Haafiz al-Mundhiri(RA) in his (Al-Targheeb (vol.3 pg.459)).
points no. 5-8 are all related to the Hadeeth of Mu’adh Ibn Jabal which is weak Due to inqita ie disconnection in the chain how can it be authentic.
9. This narration is of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and is recorded by Imaam Bazzaar (RA) in his Musnad.
This report is also weak. A narrator in the chain Abdul Maalik bin Abdul Maalik is weak according to the majority of the scholars. Imaam Daarqutnee said he is matron ie abandoned.(suwaalaat Al-Burqaanee no.304) Imaam BUKHAARI said look into him which means he was criticised according to Imaam bukhaari a terminology. Taareekh al-Kabeer vol.5. Page. 424.Imaam Ibn Hibbaan said severely rejected in Hadeeth, Kitaab al-Majrooheen vol.2 page.136. Another narrator in the chain Musab bin Abee Dhib was declared to be abandoned by Imaam Daarqutnee. Refer to suwaalaat al-Burqaanee no.508)
10. In fact, Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA) has also classified one of its chains as Hasan (sound).(al-Amaalil mutlaqah pgs.119-120)Besides the above, there are many other Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) that narrated Ahaadith regarding the merit of this night, such as:
a chain can be Hasan that does not necessitate the main ie text is authentic.
11. Abu Hurayra (Musnad al-Bazzaar),
This is also a weak narration as the narrator Hishaam bin Abdur Rahmaan is unknown. Haafidh Haithamee said I do not know him refer to Majma’a az-Zawaa’id vol.8 page.65. If the narrator is unknown how can the narration be authentic. Imaam Ibn al-Mundhir said it is not permissible to use the narration of an unknown narrator to be evidence because it is disconnected. Refer to al-Awsth vol.2 page.223 of Ibn al-Mundhir. Imaam Daarqutnee and Imaam Tabaree said the same. Refer to Sunan Daarqutnee Vol.1 page.141 no.498) and for TabareeS statement refer to Haafidh Ibn Hajrs Fath ul-Baaree vol.10 page.195)
12. Abu Tha’labah (Shu’ubul Imaan),
This is also weak a narrator in the chain, Ahwas bin Hakeem was weak with regards to his memory refer to Ibn Hajrs Taqreeb no.290. Haithamee said the majority of the scholars declared him to be weak.Majma’a az-Zawaa’id vol.3 page.42
13. Awf ibn Maalik (Musnad al-Bazzaar),
The chain of this narrationis weak. Abdur Rahman bin Ziyaad al-Ifriqi is In the chain Who is considered to be weak according to the majority of the scholars of Hadeeth and he was also a mudalis. Imaam Nawawee said about him, he is weak with agreement. Khulasatul Ahkaam Vol.1 page.449. Imaam Ibn Hibbaan brings him in his Book about abandoned and crit incised narrators. Refer to his al-Majrooheen vol.2 page.50. Imaam Bazzaar himself said its chain is weak refer to Kashful-Astaar Ni-Zawaa’id Musnad al-Bazzaar vol.1 pg.245.
14. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas (Musnad Ahmad Hadith6642),
Narration is weak it contains Ibn Laheeyah who is weak, a mudalis and also forgetful ie mukhtalam. He was declared weak by Imaam Abdur Rahmaan Mubarakpooree, Imaam Mundhiri said Imaam Ahmad transmitted this with a weak chain refer to Targheeb Wat-Tarheeb vol.3 page.460. Shaikh al-Albaanee said Ibn Laheeyah is supported by rishdeen bin saad, but rishdeen Ibn saad is also weak. Refer to Taqreeb no.1943 of Haafidh Ibn Hajr. hHaithamee said about him the majority declared him to be weak. Majma’a az-Zawaa’id vol.1 page.160 And vol.5 page.66 therefore the support is useless.
15. Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (ibn Majah Hadith1390; Shu’ubul Imaan Hadith3833) and others. The collective strength of these narrations cannot be refuted.
The chain of this report is also weak As it contains Ibn Laheeyah who is weak and a mudalis and he also became forgetful. zubair bin Salem in the chain is majhool ie unknown. Taqreeb ut-Tahdheeb no.1996, also in the chain is Abdur Rahman bin Arzab who is also majhool refer to Taqreeb no.3950, Another narrator in another chain of a report in Ibn Majaah is dhihaak bin A’yaan who is also majhool Taqreeb no.2965 and also Waleed Ibn Muslim in the chain used to do tadlees taswiyyah but was a great scholar.
The general virtue of this night has been accepted by many great Ulama of the past. From among many great scholars which have agreed to the virtue of this night are:
16. Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz,
17. Imaam al-Shaafi’ee,
18. Imaam al-Awdhaa’ie,
19. Attaa ibn Yassaar,
20. Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali
what a deception Haafidh Ibn Rajab said some of the people of shaam like Khaalid bin ma’dam, makhool, luqmaan bin Aamir and others would do Ibadah on this night and some of the people of Basrah followed them in this. However the the great majority of the scholars of Hijaaz like A’taa, Ibn Abee Mulaikah, And the Fuqahah of Madeenah And the companions of Imaam Maalik rejected this and said it was an innovation. Refer to Lataa’if al-Ma’arif page 142.
So most of the Ibadah that is done on this was due to some taabieen regarding this night to be virtuous and they would worship on this night and the people of shaam began to follow them.
Haafidh Ibn Rajab also said numerous reports have been transmitted with regards to the virtue of this night, there is difference of opinion if they are authentic or not But most of the scholars of Hadeeth have said They are weak. Ibn Hibbaan said some are authentic and the best of them is that of Aishah (RadhiAllaahu Anha). Lataa’if al-Ma’arif page.144.
Imaam Ibn Hibbaan was lenient in his grading and therefore his grading on its own is not weighty as the scholars of Hadeeth have elucidated.
21. Hafidh Zaynu-deen al-Iraaqiy (Rahmatullaahi alayhim) – refer Lataiful Ma’aarif of Hafiz ibn Rajab pgs.263-264 and Faydhul Qadeer vol.2 pg.317
Haafidh al-Araaqee said the Hadeeth about the prayer on the 15th of Shabaan is Baatil in his takhreej Hayaan Uloom ud deen refer To al-Mughnee Ann Hamal al-Asfaar vol.1 page.182
Moulana Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes in his commentary of Tirmidhi, “The sheer number of Ahaadith regarding this night serve as proof against those people who refute the excellence of this night”. [Tuhfatul-Ahwazi. vol 2. pg 53].
So if the above Sahaba, Salaf, Tabi’een, Tabi Tabi’een and great scholars of the past and present accept and declare this night as having some significance then who are we as lay people to say otherwise without any proof or evidence but just parroting what certain scholars have said instead of respecting it as a valid difference of opinion. Therefore to declare such night as a bida’a is declaring the above scholars as those who promote bida’a and also being ignorant to valid differences of opinion. So if one wants to worship this night then let him and if one does not then that is also fine, but the least one can do is to accept valid differences of opinion.
Sheikh Mufti Taqi Uthmani concludes regarding the night of Bara’ah:Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions regarding this night suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night. In fact, some of these traditions have been held by some scholars of hadith as authentic and the defects in the chain of some others have been treated by them as minor technical defects which, according to the science of hadith, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That is why the elders of the Ummah have constantly been observing this night as a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship and prayers.
The Salafis are not obliged to answer on behalf of the Hanafee deobandees who promote shirk.
And Allah knows best in all matters
if some of the taabieen did Ibadah on this night, this may have been their own ijtihad, what is obligated upon is to follow the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) and his companions and we find nothing authentically established from him that he offered prayers specifically for this night for the various benefits nor has this been authentically reported from the noble companions.
Those who intend to promote the virtue of this night based on the research presented above, we put to them do they agree with everything that is done on this night ie the 100 rakahs and the 1000 Soorah ikhlas. Do they light fireworks and candles, do they clean their houses believing the souls return so on and so forth. Some of them even go and offer their Salah in the grave yard, they make sweet dishes and distribute them, I thought not. So why is their selective practise of certain things only when the same principle should be applied.
Because their numerous reports with regards the virtue of this night some of the scholars held the opinion this night maybe virtuous and it is due to these texts that Imaam Ahmad held this opinion as Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned. We have also mentioned Imaam Ahmad manhaj was that he accepted weak Hadeeth over opinion and Qiyaas.
Imaam Abu Shaamah wrote an amazing book on innovations and he talks about this in great detail in his book titled, Al-Baaith Ala Inkaar al-Bidah Wal-Hawaadith.
They pray a prayer on this night called the al-Fiyyah ie thousand and what they do is pray 100 rakah and in each rakah they recite Soorah ikhlas 10 times making the recitation of Soorah ikhlas 1000 times hence the al-fiyyah. Refer to al-Baa’ith.
Another early work on Bidah was by Imaam Muhammad bin Waddah al-Qurtubee who was from the third century Titled al-Bidah Wa Nahya Anhu. He brings 2 reports from his own chain pertaining to the 15th of Shabaan and says, our jurists and scholars never used to pay any attention to The night of the middle of Shabaan, nor would they do such things or offer such prayers.
He brings another report that Ibn Abee Mulaikah was told that Ziyad an-Numairee says that the reward of the night of the middle of Shabaan is similar to the reward of laylatul Qadr, so Ibn Abee Mulaikah said, if I had heard this from him and I had a stick in my hand I would have hit him with it and this Ziyaad was the time was the Qaadhee of his era. Refer to Bidah Wa Nahya Anhu page.46.
This said, this article by no means or serves justice to this topic and contention issue and more research should be done it and likewise and similarly people should not be hung about ibadah on this day. It is safe to use the Scholars differ over this issue some use the principle of Fadhail al-A’mal for ibadah on this day and night but without designation. Therefore all the scholars of Ahlul Hadith who are quoted in this regard ie the virtue of this day and night are from the perspective that any ibadah will be rewarded. The late indian hadith master Shaikh Shams ul-Haq Azimabadi has followed this line as per his fatwa and Defender of Ahlul Hadith Shaikh Abul Qasim Saif Banarasi has concurred with Shaikh Azimabadi as well as the ones cited above in nothing being authenically narrated with regards to fasting on this day.
We pray that the brothers are able to produce some detailed papers making jamm between the adillah for and against and reconcile the various statements of the scholars.
Allahu Ta’ala A’lam