Shab-e-Barat

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Shab e Barat is an important night in the Islamic calendar and it is celebrated in the mid of Shaban (on the night in between the 14th and 15th of Shaban). This is the reason why it is called Nisf Shaban. This blessed night starts at sunset on the 14th of Shaban and ends at dawn on the 15th of Shaban.

Each country has a different name for it. Nisf Shaban is known as Shab e Barat or Shabe Barat in South Asia, especially in Sub-continent, Lailatul Barat in Arabic, Nisfu Syaban (Malam Nisfu Syaban) in Indonesia and Malaysia and Berat Kandili in Turkey. 

Shab e Barat is a night which many Muslims revere as the night of forgiveness, praying the whole night asking Allah to bestow them with His blessings.

Importance of the Month of Shaban

Shaban is the 8th month of the Islamic Calendar. It is a month of blessings and asking Allah for forgiveness. The same is also evident from the following Hadiths about this blessed month:

Aishah bint Abu Bakr (R.A.) reported that:

  • “The Messenger of Allah did not fast in any month of the year more than he did in Shaban. He (S.A.W) used to fast all of Shaban.” (An-Nasai: 2180)

Our beloved Prophet (S.A.W.) used to fast all days during this month. This fact clearly shows the virtues and importance of the month of Shaban.

Significance of the Night according to Hadith

There are no Sahih Hadiths or verses in the Quran that clearly point-out or talk about the significance of the night. But according to the Fatwa. 1095/851/B=1434, Darul Ifta, Darul Uloom, Deoband, all the hadiths related to the virtues of 15th of Shaban are weak, but all the scholars of hadith agree that it is lawful to practice weak hadiths if it is related to fazail (virtues). However, it is not lawful to practice weak hadiths if it is related to ahkam (commandments). No special worship is narrated in this night. However, if someone wants to pray he may do so in his house individually.

There are some Daaif Hadiths that mention the importance and virtues of this night.

Aishah (R.A.) narrated that:

  • “…. He (S.A.W.) said: ‘Indeed Allah, Mighty and Sublime is He, descends to the lowest Heavens during the night of the middle of Shaban, to grant forgiveness to more than the number of hairs on the sheep of (Banu) Kalb.'” (Tirmidhi: 739)

Another Hadith reported by Aishah (R.A.) stated that the Prophet (S.A.W.) spent the night of 14th and 15th Shaban in extensive prayer to the extent that she thought he had died. (Al-Bayhaqi & Al-Tabarani).

Fasting

There is no authentic Hadith that explicitly mentions the importance of fasting specially on the 15th day of Shaban. As mentioned above that Prophet (S.A.W.) used to fast frequently during this month. So 15th Shaban cannot be singled out for fasting.

Celebration of Shab-e-Barat

Different countries have different ways of celebrating this night. People often tend to distribute sweets to each other on this night. Some people even celebrate the night with fireworks although this is a result of the influence of the local traditions and does not have any religious significance and even some scholars called this Bidah (Innovation in religion). In Iraq, people often distribute sweets to children. In South Asian countries, people usually distribute a local dessert known as “Halwa” or other delicacies to neighbors, family, friends, and the poor and needy. Middle Eastern countries normally do not celebrate the night.

What should Muslims do at the night of Shab e Barat

You may spend this night by doing good deed such as making Duas for yourself and for all the Muslims around the world, reciting Al-Quran and any other act to get Allah’s attention and blessings as these deeds are Sunnah of Prophet (S.A.W.) according to the Hadiths mentioned above. But note one thing that any act of worship during this night is not obligatory.

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