Significance of the 15th of Sha’baan

Q: I heard from an Arab Shaykh that although there are ahaadith with regards to the virtues of the night of shab-e-baraat, but nothing is authentic. So we dont need to attach special reverence to this day or night. Is this true? If not, please provide authentic ahaadith.

A: There are many authentic Ahaadith reported regarding the virtues of the fifteenth night of Sha’baan (Shab-e-baraa’at). Hereunder are a few Ahaadith:

Hadhrat Usama ibn Zaid (Radiallahu Anhuma) reports that on one occasion I asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) “I do not see you fasting in any month as much as I see you fasting in Sha’baan?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “The month of Sha’baan is that month which comes in between Rajab and Ramadhaan. In this month many people are negligent (of Allah Ta’ala and doing righteous deeds). It (Sha’baan) is a month in which the actions of man are raised to Allah Ta’ala, and I desire that my actions be raised whilst I am fasting.”

Mu’aaz ibn Jabal (Radiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, Allah Ta’ala focuses towards His creation (with mercy) on the fifteenth night of Sha’baan, thereafter He forgives His entire creation with the exception of those who ascribe partners with Allah Ta’ala and those who harbour malice for the creation.

Hadhrat ‘Aaisha (Radiallahu Anhaa) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to fast for the entire month of Sha’baan. Hadhrat ‘Aaisha (Radiallahu Anhaa) said that I enquired “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), is Sha’baan regarded as the most beloved month for one to fast in.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “It is in this month that Allah Ta’ala decides who is going to pass away that year, I desire that the decision of my death take place at the time when I am fasting.”

As far as the fast of Sha’baan is concerned, there are many authentic Ahaadith that give a clear description of how Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) fasted. Some Ahaadith explain that he fasted throughout the month of Sha’baan while other Ahaadith mention that he fasted for most of the month of Sha’baan. Apart from this it is proven that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s Mubaarak habit was to fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every month. In view of the above-mentioned Ahaadith we presume that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was fasting on the fifteenth day of Sha’baan. Hence, since this day (the fifteenth) coincides with the fast of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), fasting on this day alone will also be permissible (though it is better for one to fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth).

As far as the Hadith that commands fasting on the fifteenth day of Sha’baan is concerned, though it is regarded as weak according to the Muhadditheen (not competent to establish a Sunnah independantly), practicing upon it will be permissible since it comes within the purview of the other ahaadith which explain the fasting of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) . Over and above, it is authentically reported that when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked the reason for him fasting during the month of Sha’baan, he said, “In this month of Sha’baan there is a night wherein the book of deeds of a person (in which the entire years actions are recorded) is raised to Allah Ta’ala and I desire that my deeds also be raised in the condition that I am fasting. From this Hadith we understand that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was fasting on the fifteenth of Sha’baan since the fifteenth night is the occasion when the actions are raised to Allah Ta’aala.

From the above-mentioned proofs it is evident that there is no harm in one fasting on the fifteenth of Sha’baan.

Contemporary fataawa of Mufti Taqi Usmani (pg. 107)

Answered by: Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved: Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)