The Significance of Shab-e-Baraat
There are many merits of Shabaan, especially the 15th of Shabaan, which is known as Shab-e-Baraat or Lailatul Baraat, meaning the Night of Absolution. Insha Allah hereunder we will discuss the auspiciousness of Shab-e-Baraat and also a few things that should be read on this night.
Just to highlight the significance of Shabaan, Hazrat Anas ibn Malik (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that once when Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked about the most meritorious fasting, he replied, “Fasting in Shabaan in honour of Ramadaan.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would fast for the whole month of Shabaan and has stated that Shabaan is his month.
Shab-e-Baraat is a vessel for Mercy, Blessing, Benefit, Pardon and Forgiveness that descends upon the people of the earth. On this great night, Allah Ta’ala descends to the first heaven and proclaims, “Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who seeks sustenance so that I may grant him sustenance? Is there anyone who seeks freedom from his problems so that I may remove his problems?” This announcement continues until the break of dawn.
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “On the night of the middle of Shabaan, Allah Ta’ala descends to the heaven of this lower world and forgives every Muslim, except a mushrik (one who associates partners with Allah Ta’ala), the bearer of malice, the breaker of family ties, the adulterer, the miser, the one who is disobedient to his parents and the one who consumes alcohol. He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has also stated that during this night Allah Ta’ala opens 300 doors of Mercy unto his servants and that the slaves of Allah Ta’ala are emancipated from the fire of hell, as numerous as the hairs on the flocks of the tribe of Bani Kalb.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an, “Therein all matters of wisdom are sorted out for Decree.” [Surah 44, Verse 4]. This Aayat refers to Shab-e-Baraat and it is stated in Tafseer Noorul Irfaan that on this great night, the entire year’s programme of sustenance, death, life, honour and disgrace, in short every affair of man is listed from the Divine Tablet and handed over to the angels of each area on the earth in the form of a book. For example the Angel of Death is given a list of the names of those who would be dying in the coming year.
Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) reports that once on Shab-e-Baraat Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) went into prostration for a long time and she watched him until she thought that Allah Ta’ala had taken His Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) from this world. After a long time had elapsed, she got close enough to touch the soles of his feet. He stirred, and she heard him say in his prostration, “I take refuge with Your pardon from Your punishment. I take refuge with Your approval from Your displeasure. I take refuge in You from You. Glory be to You. I cannot fully praise You, as You have praised Yourself.” After this incident Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) asked Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “O Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), tonight I have heard you utter something during your prostration that I never heard you mention before.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then asked, “Have you learnt it?” When she said yes, he replied, “Study those words and teach them, for Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) instructed me to repeat them during the prostration.”
This Dua is given below and we must try to recite it as much as possible Insha Allah, according to the Sunnah of the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Transliteration: (Allahumma) A’oozu bi Afwika Min Iqaabika Wa A’oozu Biradaaka Min Sakhatika Wa A’oozu Bika Minka Jalla Wajhuka Laa Uhsi Sanaa’an Alayka Anta Kama Asnaita Ala Nafsik.
Hereunder are some other Ibaadaat that may be performed during this night:
- After Asr Salaah the following should be recited 70 times:
Astagh Firullaha Rabbi Min Kulli Zam Bin Wa A’tubu Elaih
- Just before sunset the following should be recited 40 times:
Laa Hawla Wala Quwata Illa Billa Hil Aleeyil Azeem
- After Maghrib Salaah 6 rakaats of Nafl Salaah should be read as three sets of two rakaats. Before the first 2 rakaats, make Dua to receive a long life through the barkat of those 2 rakaats. For the second set make Dua to be saved from all types of problems and for the third set make Dua for Allah Ta’ala not to make you needy of anyone besides Him. After each set of rakaats, recite Surah Yaseen once, Surah Ikhlaas 21 times and thereafter Dua-e-Nisfe Shabaan.
- One should also try to fast on the 15th of Shabaan as this is the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is also better to fast both on the 14th and 15th (if possible) so that one would enter the blessed night of Shab-e-Baraat in a state of fasting.
- One should also try to visit the Qabarastan (graveyard) to make Dua of Maghfirat (Forgiveness) for the deceased, as this is the Sunnah of our beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
This is an opportunity that everyone needs to take advantage of. We do not know if our names will be written on the list given to the Angel of Death this year, and whether we will have the opportunity of experiencing this blessed night again. We must make Tauba (repent) for our sins and ask for Allah Ta’ala’s Forgiveness. We are such wretched sinners but the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala is boundless. No matter how sinful we are, it is never too late to fall down in prostration before our Lord and to cry in shame for our insolent behaviour in disobeying His commands. Allah Ta’ala’s Mercy overcomes His anger therefore we should not lose hope in His Mercy, no matter how wretched we might be. Allah Ta’ala just wants an excuse to forgive us but it is we who are too lazy to humble ourselves before Him to ask for His Mercy.
On this night when Allah Ta’ala calls out, “Who is there who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive Him?” the whole night, why can’t we be the ones to respond to that call by crying in the Court of Allah Ta’ala and saying, “Ya Allah, this wretched sinner seeks Your forgiveness. I am present in Your Court and I humble myself in shame before You. Through the Sadaqah and Wasilah of Your Beloved Messenger, Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) please forgive me.” Nothing is stopping us besides our nafs and Shaitaan. Remember that Allah Ta’ala loves those who cry in His Court out of shame and repent for their sins, so do not let this blessed night go by in vain.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to take full advantage of the blessings of Shab-e-Baraat, to repent from our sins and to make as much Ibaadat as possible on this blessed night, Ameen.