Commencing in the name of the most glorified, He who bestows supreme command over everyone and everything and He who has prestigiously blessed us to be amongst His Beloved Prophet's ( ) Ummah.
WHAT IS SHA'BAAN ?
Sha'baan is the eighth Islamic month that comes between Rajab and Ramadhaan. The word 'sha'baan' means consecutively escalating and undisturbed increase.
There are many virtuous days that Allah Ta'aalaa has blessed His Prophet's ( ) Ummah with. He has promised us great reward for each and every virtuous deed, even if it be as small as removing something from a pathway that may trouble others.
Yet, look at the ignorance of our Muslim bretheren today, we let things slip through our fingers before our very eyes not realizing that 'time lost is lost forever!' Each breath of a man is a step nearer to his death, nearer to the time of reckoning before His Creator upon the Day of Resurrection.
Everyday Allah Ta'aalaa with His love and mercy has allocated a time in which those who call to Him are answered. He has made some days in which mercy has no limits, to those who plead for it. From amongst these times Allah Ta'aalaa has placed before us the month of Sha'baan, in which each deed acted upon, is rewarded more generously as compared to any other day. The arrival of Sha'baan causes the beginning of innumerous blessings that are showered upon us. These blessings progressively escalate so that by mid-Sha'baan the blessings have reached a considerable amount and finally such blessings reach their peak by the end of Ramadhaan.
WHY IS SHA'BAAN SO IMPORTANT
In a Hadith Hazrat Usaama ( ) reports, that the Prophet said,
"There is a month between Rajab and Ramadhaan called Sha'baan, people are very ignorant towards this month, even though the reward of each deed is greater within it, and the deeds are presented to Allah Ta'aalaa". (Imam Bayhaqi reports this Hadith in his Kitaab Shuab-ul-Iman).
It has been narrated by Hazrat Anas ( ) that upon the arrival of Rajab the Holy Prophet used to pray,"O Allah! bless us abundantly in Rajab and Sha'baan and deliver us safely unto Ramadhaan."
It has also been stated in the kitaab `Daylami' that the Prophet proclaimed,"Sha'baan is my month." In another hadith Hazrat Aaisha ( ) narrates that the Holy Prophet preferred to observe the fasts of Sha'baan thus uniting them with the fasts of Ramadhaan.
From the above ahaadith we learn the significance of Sha'baan and our Prophet's endearment for this blessed month. It should also be remembered that Allah Ta'aalaa within this month lists the names of the people who are to take leave of the world within the year. Yet this is the month that people are very unaware of, consequently depriving themselves of innumerable blessings.
Nowadays Muslims from all over the world are engaged in shopping for Ramadhaan, everybody is engaged in their own worldly thoughts, cares and worries. Some thinking of the future, some preparing for weddings, others checking their bank balance and choosing garments for Eid. On the other hand, Allah Ta'aala is inscribing their final departing breath which maybe before they've even finished their plans, let alone entered Ramadhaan. This month should be spent preparing for Ramadhaan, not in the heart of the city centre but by virtuous acts, so that in Ramadhaan we act upon even more virtuous deeds, hopefully religious duties would have become habitual by Ramadhaan.
Many of us do not realize but our beliefs in Sha'baan are such that we believe we may as well commit all increditable acts before the month of Ramadhaan, hoping that upon the arrival of Ramadhaan we will become pious and refrain from evil. This, is self deceit, which is a great shame and loss of very valuable time and rewards.
Shab-e-baraa'at 15th Sha'baan
One glorious night is most favoured by Allah Ta'aalaa who sends down His blessings and forgiveness to mankind.
This auspicious night takes place on the fifteenth night of Sha'baan which has been especially named as `Shab-e-baraa'at', this has the meaning of `Refuge from Hell'.
From a narration it has been acknowledged by Hazrat Aisha ( ) that on one night she found the Prophet missing from beside her, on searching she found him in Jannatul-Baqi. On seeing her the Prophet asked, "Are you in fear that Allah and his Prophet would oppress you?"
She responded, " Oh Prophet of Allah, I thought that you may have proceeded from me to another of your wives."
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied, " Allah Ta'aalaa on Shab-e-baraa'at descends onto the first of the skies, forgiving more sinners than the hair on the backs of the sheep of `Banu Kalb'." (Ibn Maja)
Hazrat Ali ( ) narrates that the Prophet ( ) informed him,
"When the 15th of Sha'baan proceeds, perform salaat and observe a fast on the following day, as Allah Ta'aalaa on this night descends onto the first of the skies,proclaiming, `Lo! Is there anyone requesting for forgiveness that I may forgive? Is there anyone requesting for provisions that I may provide? Is there anyone in misfortune that I may deliver them from their misfortune?' and so forth enquiring of every need and trouble until sunrise." (Ibn Maja)
Commentary :- The greatness and superiority of this night can be gathered from this Hadith. Glad tidings are for those who search earnestly for the shelter of their provider, consequently finding blessings and mercy on this night.
In another similar Hadith, Hazrat Abu Musa Ash'ari () reports, from the Prophet ( ) that Allah Ta'aalaa on this night forgives all his servants excluding the polytheist and one who is malicious against others.
Hazrat Aaisha ( .) reports that the Prophet () said,"Allah Ta'aalaa presents a listing of all those who are to take leave from the world within the forthcoming year to The Angel of Death, my hearty desire is such that I wish I am in the state of fasting when my name is incorporated in that list."
She has also narrated that the Holy Prophet said," Do you know what this
night holds? meaning the fifteenth night of Sha'baan." She questioned,"
And what does it hold?" He replied,"In it every child to be born in this
year is written and every
soul to leave this world in this year is recorded, and therein your deeds are raised and your sustenance is delivered." She then enquired if no-one was to enter Jannah but with the mercy of the Almighty Allah. He replied," No-one shall enter Jannah but with the mercy of Almighty Allah." He ( ) repeated this thrice. She then said," Not even yourself, O Prophet of Allah!" He proclaimed placing his hand on his head,"Not even me unless Allah bestows His mercy upon me.He ( ) repeated this thrice."
After being informed of the eminence of this night, it is a great shame and misfortune should we forsake this night and not take heed of these narrations.
Due to the benefit which one can gain on this night it is recommended to spend this entire night in worship and remembrance of Allah.
It has been approved by Ulamaa that one should perform `Salatut-Tasbih'
on this auspicious night as the benefit of this salaat is that ones'
present, previous, small, large, old, new, known and unknown, hidden and
apparent sins are all forgiven through this salaat.