The Bid‘ah of Sha‘baan (What is Shab E Baraat?)

Praise be to Allaah.

In some parts of the world, many Muslim brothers and sisters celebrate the middle of the shabaan. They fast during the day and spend the night in prayer.

There is a hadith concerning that which is not saheeh hence the scholars regard it as innovation or biddah.

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Salaam al-Shuqayri said: Imam al-Fatni said in Tadhkirat al-Mawdoo‘aat: Among the innovations that have been introduced on “Laylat an-Nusf” (mid-Sha‘baan) is al-Salaat al-Alfiyyah, which is one hundred rak‘ahs in which Soorat al-Ikhlaas is recited ten times in each rak‘ah, offered in congregation; they pay more attention to this than to Jumu‘ah and Eid prayers, although there is no report concerning it, except da‘eef (weak) and mawdoo‘ (fabricated) reports, and we should not be deceived by the fact that these reports were quoted by the authors of al-Qoot and al-Ihya’ and others, nor should we be deceived by what was mentioned in Tafseer al-Tha‘labi, that it is Laylat al-Qadr. End quote.

The scholars are of the view that the hadith about the prayer on laylat al nisf i.e. mid shaban is not true and is purely an innovation.

The hadith is as: “When the night of ‘nisf Sha‘baan’ (mid-Sha‘baan) comes, spend the night in prayer and fast on that day” was narrated by Ibn Maajah from ‘Ali.

Its isnad is daeef because of the weakness of Ibn Abi Basrah, of whom Ahmad and Ibn Ma‘een said: He fabricates hadeeth. End quote.

On the occasion of laylat al Nisf, people pray six rakahs with the intention of warding off the evil and clamities, having a long life and being independent of people. They also recite surah Ya-seen and make dua inbetween that. There is no doubt that this is bidah and has been introduced in the deen of Allah by some later sufi scholars and is contarary to the sunah of prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him). There is no saheeh report on this from any of the best three generation of islam. There is no authentic hadith to support this prayer or this occasion.

It is not permissible to gather on any of such occasions and pray in such a manner anywhere. It is denounced by the majority of scholars. All of them are of the view that this is bidah and that there is no report to suggest that it was carried out by prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) or it is recommended by any of the shahaba.

Al-Nawawi said: The prayers of Rajab and Sha‘baan are two reprehensible innovations. End quote from al-Sunan wa’l-Mubtada‘aat, p. 144

Al-Fatni (may Allah have mercy on him) said, after the comments quoted above: The common folk is so infatuated with this prayer that they stored up a lot of fuel for it and many evils resulted from it, and many transgressions are committed which we do no need to describe. (It is so bad that) the close friends of Allah feared His punishment and fled into the wilderness. The first time this prayer occurred was in Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) in 448 AH. Zayd ibn Aslam said: We never saw any of our shaykhs or fuqaha’ saying that Laylat al-Baraa’ah (15 Sha‘baan) had any superiority over other nights. Ibn Dihyah said: The hadeeths about the prayer on Laylat al-Baraa’ah are fabricated and one has an interruption in the isnaad. Anyone who acts upon a report which is known to be false is a servant of the Shaytaan.

End quote from Tadhkirat al-Mawdoo‘aat by al-Fatni, p. 45

See: al-Mawdoo‘aat by Ibn al-Jawzi, 2/127; al-Manaar al-Muneef fil Saheeh wa’l-Da‘eef by Ibn al-Qayyim, p. 98; al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo‘ah by al-Shawkaani, p. 51

Some of the people also take last days of shabaan as the days of virtue. They refer the last days as al-Shabaaniyyah and say “These are the days of bidding farewell to food,” and they take advantage of these days to eat a lot before Ramadan begins.

Some scholars claim that this idea is taken form Christians who used to do this and ate a lot before their fasting period approached.

Conclusion:There is no celebration in shaban and there is no such night of prayer and no special act of worship has been prescribed in shabaan. Doing that is an innovation that has been introduced into the religion.

And Allah knows best.

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