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Merits of Sha’baan and Nisful Sha.baan

Posted by al Adaab on August 24, 2007

 

 

Merits of Sha’baan and Nisful Sha’baan Shaabi Baraa’at
From Ghunyat lit-Taalibi Of Sayyidinaa El Sheikh Muhyuddin Abdul Qadir El Jilani


{Quddusus Sirruhoo}

 

The Sixth Discourse

On the special merit of the month of Sha’baan, and the divine forgiveness [maghfirah] and good pleasure [ridwaan] sent down on the middle night of that month.

 

Sayyida A’isha, the wife of the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim wa Rahdiyallahu anhaa), is reported as having said:

Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to fast until we would say he was never going to stop fasting, and he would go so long without fasting that we would say he was never going to fast, but I never saw Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) continue a fast from the beginning to the end of any month except the month of Ramadaan, [apart from which] I never saw him do more fasting in any month than he did in Sha’baan.

Sayyida ‘Aisha (Radhi Allahu anhaa) is also reported as having said:

Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to fast until we would say he was never going to stop fasting, and go so long without fasting that we would say he was never going to fast. The fasting he liked best was that he did in Sha’baan, so I said to him: “O Messenger of Allaah, how is it I always see you fasting in Sha’baan?” and he said (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim):
“O ‘A’isha, it is the month in which the Angel of Death has to note down the name of anyone whose soul he must take before the year is out, so I would rather he did not record my name except while I am fasting.”

Sayyidinaa Umm Salama (Radhi Allahu anhaa) is reported as having said:

In no other month, apart from Ramadaan, did Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) fast more often than in Sha’baan. And that was because, each Sha’baan, all who must die in the course of that year have their names transcribed from the list of the living onto that of the dead, and a man may embark on a journey even while his name is listed among those about to die.

Sayyidinaa Anas [ibn Maalik] (Radhi Allahu anhu) once said:

When asked about the most meritorious fasting, the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said: “Fasting in Sha’baan in honor of Ramadaan.”

Sayyidinaa ‘Ubaidu’llaah ibn Qais once heard ‘A’isha (Radhi Allahu anhaa) say:

“The dearest of months to Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) was Sha’baan, which he would link to Ramadaan.”

According to Sayyidinaa ‘Abdullaah (Radhi Allahu anhu), Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) once said:

Anyone who fasts on the last Monday of Sha’baan will be granted forgiveness. -meaning the last Monday that falls within it, not as the very last day of the month, for it is forbidden to anticipate the month [of Ramadaan] by one or two days.

Anas ibn Maalik (Radhi Allahu anhu) is the authority for the report that Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) once said:

“It is called Sha’baan simply because it is juxtaposed [yansha’ibu] to Ramadaan, containing many blessings, while Ramadaan is so called because it scorches [yurmidu] sins.”

Allaah (Exalted is He) has said:

Your Lord creates and chooses what He wills. wa Rabbuka yakhluqu maa yashaa’u wa yakhtaar. (Holy Qur’an, 28:68)

Thus Allaah (Exalted is He) has selected four out of each kind of thing, then He has chosen one of the four:


From among the Angels, He selected Gabriel [Jibriil], Michael [Miikaa’iil], Israafiil and Azraa’iil, then He chose Gabriel from these four.

 

From all the Ambiyaa (Salawaat Allahu alayhim ajma’een), the four He selected were Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (Allaah bless them all, and give them peace), then of these He chose Muhammad (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim).

 

The four He selected from among the Companions (Radhi Allahu anhum) were Abuu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Alii, and His preferred choice was Abuu Bakr (Radhi Allahu anhu).

 

The four mosques: The Sanctuary Mosque [by the Ka’ba in Mecca], al-Aqsaa Mosque [in Jerusalem], the Mosque of Medina the Ennobled City, and the Mosque of Mount Sinai. Of these He chose the Sanctuary Mosque [al-Masjid al-Haraam].

 

The four days: The Day of Breaking Fast [Yawm al-Fitr], the Day of Sacrifice [Yawm al-Adhaa], the Day of ‘Arafa, and the Day of ‘Ashuuraa.’ Of these He then chose the Day of ‘Arafa.

 

The four nights: The Night of Absolution [Lailat al-Baraa’a], the Night of Power [Lailat al-Qadr], the Night of Friday Congregation [Lailat al-Jum’a], and the Night of the Festival [Lailat al-‘Id]. Of these He chose the Night of Power.

 

The four sites: Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and the Mosques of the Tribes [Masaajid al-‘Ashaa’ir]. Of these He chose Mecca.

 

The four mountains: Uhud, Sinai, Likaam, and Lebanon [Lubnaan]. Of these He chose Mount Sinai.

 

The four rivers: Jaihuun, Saihuun, the Euphrates [al-Furaat] and the Nile [an-Niil]. Of these He chose the Euphrates.

 

The four months: Rajab, Sha’baan, Ramadaan, and al-Muharram. Of these He chose the month of Sha’baan, and made it the Prophet’s own month (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). So, just as the Nabi (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is the most excellent of Ambiya, his month is the most excellent of months.

 

According to Abuu Huraira (Radhi Allahu anhu), the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) once said:

“Sha’baan is my month, Rajab is Allaah’s month, and Ramadaan is the month of my Community. Sha’baan is the expiator, while Ramadaan is the purifier.”

He also said (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim):

Sha’baan is a month between Rajab and Ramadaan. People tend to neglect it, but that is when the deeds of His servants ascend to the Lord of All the Worlds, so I would rather mine rose up while I was fasting.

According to Anas ibn Maalik (Radhi Allahu anhu), the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) once said:

“The excellence of Rajab over other months is like the excellence of the Qur’aan over all other speech, while the excellence of Sha’baan over other months is like my excellence over the rest of the Prophets, and the excellence of Ramadaan over other months is like the excellence of Allaah (Exalted is He) over all His creatures.”

Anas ibn Maalik (Radhi Allahu anhu) is also reported as having said:

“When the Companions of the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) beheld the new moon of Sha’baan, they would immerse themselves in reading their copies of the Qur’aan. The Muslims would pay the alms-due [zakaat] assessed on their wealth, thereby providing the means for the weak and the poor to fortify themselves in preparation for the fasting of the month of Ramadaan. The governors would summon the prison inmates, to carry out the sentence on those convicted of major offences under Islamic law, and to set the rest free. Businessmen would set about paying their debts and collecting their dues. Then, when they beheld the new moon of Ramadaan, they would bathe themselves and devote themselves to worship.”

On the meanings of the five Arabic letters of the word Sha’baan.

 

The word Sha’baan [in the Arabic script] is spelled with five letters:
shiin, ‘ain, baa’, alif and nuun. The shiin stands for sharaf [nobility], the ‘ain for ‘uluww [sublimity], the baa’ for birr [piety], the alif for ulfa [harmonious intimacy], and the nuun for nuur [radiant light].

 

These are the gifts from Allaah (Exalted is He) to His servant in this month. It is a month in which treasures are laid open, in which blessings are sent down, in which faults are forsworn, in which sins are expiated, and in which benedictions are multiplied upon Muhammad (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), the best of human creatures.

This is the month of blessings upon the Chosen Prophet. Allaah (Exalted is He) has said,

Inna ‘llaaha wa malaa’ikata-hu yusalluuna ‘ala ‘n-Nabiyy: yaa ayyuha ‘lladhiina aamanuu salluu ‘alai-hi wa sallimuu tasliimaa. (Allaah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe invoke blessings upon him and salute him with a worthy salutation.) (Holy Qur’aan 33:56)

The blessing from Allaah is mercy; from the angels, intercession and petition for forgiveness; and from the believers, supplication and appreciation.

According to Mujaahid (Radhi Allahu anhu):

“The blessing from Allaah is prosperity and virtue; from the angels, help and support; and from the believers, compliance and respect.”

It was Ibn ‘Ataa’ who said:

“The blessing on the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) from Allaah (Exalted is He) is conjunction, from the angels it is tender care, and from the believers it is following with affection.”

As someone else put it:

“The blessing of the Lord (Blessed and Exalted is He) upon His Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is the enhancement of respect. The blessing of the angels upon him (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is the display of gracious favor. The blessing of his Community upon him (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is the request for intercession.”

As he himself (The Holy Last Messenger, Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) has told us:

When someone pronounces a single blessing on me, Allaah blesses him ten times.

Far from being negligent during this month, therefore, every conscientious believer is obliged to exert himself in preparation for the coming month of Ramadaan, using the days that remain to get clear of sins and repent those committed in the past. One should beseech Allaah (Exalted is He) in the month of Sha’baan. One should appeal to Allaah (Exalted is He) through the owner of the month, Muhammad (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), until the corruption of one’s heart is corrected, and the sickness of one’s inner being is cured.

 

This must be done without delay and not put off until tomorrow, for the days are three: yesterday, which is a date in history [ajal]; today, which is a time for action [‘amal]; and tomorrow, which is a hopeful expectation [amal], for whether you will get there or not is beyond your ken. Thus yesterday is a caution, today is an opportunity, and tomorrow is a risk.

 

The months are likewise three: Rajab, now past and gone beyond return; Ramadaan, awaiting in a future you may not live to see; and in between we have Sha’baan, so let us seize this opportunity for worshipful devotion.

The Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) once said to a man (some say it was ‘Abdu’llaah ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, Radhi Allahu anhu) by way of stern advice:

Make the most of five before five: youth before old age; health before sickness; wealth before poverty; ease before business, and life before death.

Concerning the Night of Absolution [Lailat al-Baraa’a], its special mercy, grace and merits. Allaah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said:

Haa-Miim. Haa-Miim: wa ‘l-Kitaabi ‘l-mubiini innaa anzalnaa-hu fii lailatin mubaarakatin.

By the Book that makes plain; We sent it down on a blessed night. (Holy Qur’an 44:1-3)

According to the greatest Faqih in al-Islam, Sayyidinaa Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhi Allahu anhu, and with his father),

” ‘Haa-Miim’ means that Allaah has predetermined everything in existence till the Day of Resurrection. ‘The Book that makes plain’ is the Qur’aan, which is also the object referred to in ‘We sent it down.’ The ‘blessed night’ is the night of mid-Sha’baan, which is the Night of Absolution.”

In the Qur’aan, Allaah (Exalted is He) calls many things ‘blessed,’ including the Qur’aan itself, of which He has said:

Wa haadhaa dhikrun mubaarakun anzalnaa-h.

This is a blessed Reminder that We have revealed (Holy Qur’an 21:50).

Part of its blessedness is that one who reads it and believes in it enjoys right guidance and salvation from the Fire, and these benefits are also passed by extension to his ascendants and descendants. As the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) has said:

When someone reads the Qur’aan from the written text, Allaah (Almighty and Glorious is He) alleviates the torment of his parents, even if they were unbelievers.

One of the things Allaah (Almighty and Glorious is He) calls ‘blessed’ is water, for He has said:

Wa nazzalnaa mina ‘s-samaa’i maa’an mubaarakan.

And down from the sky We have sent blessed water. (Holy Qur’an 50:9)

Part of its blessedness lies in the fact that all life depends on it. In the words of Allaah (Almighty and Glorious is He):

wa ja’alnaa mina ‘l-maa’i kulla shai’in hayy: a-fa-laa yu’minuun.

And We made every living thing from water Will they not then believe? (Holy Qur’an 21:30).

Water is said to contain ten subtle properties: delicateness, suppleness, energy, fluency, limpidity, mobility, moistness, coolness, humility and vitality. Allaah (Exalted is He) has imbued the conscientious believer [mu’min labiib] with these same properties, namely, refinement of the heart, flexibility of temperament, energy in obedient service, politeness of the personality, purity of behavior, movement in good works, moistness in the eye, coolness toward sinful transgressions, humility toward fellow creatures, and vitality in heeding the truth.

The olive tree is another thing called ‘blessed’ by Allaah (Exalted and Glorious is He):

Min shajaratin mubaarakatin zaituunatin.

From a blessed tree, an olive (Holy Qur’an 24:35)

This was the first tree from which Adam (peace be upon him) ate when he was cast down to earth. It contains nourishment and enlightenment. In the words of Allaah (Exalted is He):

Wa sibghin li’l-aakiliin.

“And relish for the eaters.” (Holy Qur’an 23:20)

Some say the ‘blessed tree’ is Sayyidinaa Ibraahiim (Alayhis-Salaam), some say it is the Holy Qur’aan, and others say it is true faith. Still others say it is the tranquil soul of the believer, insistent on good conduct, obedient to commandment, restrained by prohibition ,submitted to destiny, conforming to the Lord in what He has decreed and ruled.


Sayyidinaa Jesus (Alayhis-Salaam) is also among those Allaah (Almighty and Glorious is He) calls ‘blessed’:

Wa ja’ala-nii mubaarakan aina-maa kuntu.

[Jesus said]: “And He has made me blessed wherever I may be.” (Holy Qur’an 19:31)

His blessedness (peace be upon him) includes the sprouting of the fruit from the date palm for his faithful mother, Sayyidinaa Maryam (The Blessed Mother Mary, peace be upon both mother and son), and the gushing forth of water beneath him.

In the words of the Almighty and Glorious One:

Fa-naadaa-haa min tahti-haa allaa tahzanii qad ja’ala Rabbu-ki tahta-ki sariyyaa: wa huzzii ilai-ki bi-jidh’i ‘n-nakhlati tusaaqit ‘alai-ki rutaban janiyyaa: fa-kulii wa ‘shrabii wa qarrii ‘ainaa.”

Then [a voice] cried to her from below her, saying: “Grieve not, for your Lord has placed a rivulet beneath you. And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward you: It will cause ripe dates to fall upon you. So eat and drink and be consoled. (Holy Qur’an 19:24-26) .

Among other good deeds and miracles, he healed the blind and cured the leper, and brought the dead to life by his supplication.
The Ka’ba is one of the things called ‘blessed’ by Allaah (Almighty and Glorious is He):

Inna awwala Baitin wudi’a li’n-naasi la-‘lladhii bi-Bakkata mubaarakan.


The first House appointed for mankind was that at Bakka, a blessed place. (Holy Qur’an 3:96)


Part of its blessedness is that one who enters it, bearing a heavy load of sins, will come out having been forgiven. Allaah (Exalted is He) has said:

Wa man dakhala-hu kaana aaminaa.

And anyone who enters it is safe. (Holy Qur’an 3:97)

So if someone enters the House as a believer, aware of his sins and repentant, Allaah waives his punishment, accepts his repentance and forgives him. It is also said that anyone who enters it is immune to wrongdoing, as long as he remains within the Sacred Precinct. It is therefore unlawful to kill the game there, or to fell the trees.

 

The sanctity of the Ka’ba is due to the sanctity of Allaah, the sanctity of the Mosque to the sanctity of the Ka’ba, the sanctity of the Mecca to the sanctity of the Mosque, and the sanctity of the Sacred Precinct to the sanctity of Mecca. As it is said: “The Ka’ba is a Qibla [direction of prayer] for the people of the Mosque, the Mosque is a Qibla for the people of Mecca, Mecca is a Qibla for the people of the Sacred Precinct, and the Sacred Precinct is a Qibla for the people of the earth.

 

The Night of Absolution has also been called ‘blessed’, because it is a vessel for the mercy, blessing, benefit, pardon and forgiveness descending for the people on earth.

According to Abuu Nasr, the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported as having said:

On the night of the middle of Sha’baan, Allaah (Exalted is He) descends to the heaven of this lower world and forgives every Muslim, excepting only the idolater, the bearer of malice, the breaker of family ties, or the woman who is sexually promiscuous.

Again from Abuu Nasr, we learn that Sayyida ‘Aisha(Radhi Allahu anhaa) once said:

“When it was the night of mid-Sha’baan, the Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) had removed a garment of mine.” Then she added, “By Allaah! That garment of mine was not of silk, nor of raw silk, nor of linen, nor of silk and wool, nor of wool.” [The reporter said:] “‘Glory be to Allaah!’ I said to her, ‘So what was it made of?'” She replied: “Its warp was of hair and its weft was of silk. I reckoned that he (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) might have gone to one of his [other] wives, so I got up and searched for him in the [darkness of the] apartment. My hand made contact with his feet, as he was prostrate in worship. Of his prayer (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), I remember these words:
Prostrate before You are my form and my spirit, and my heart is in Your safekeeping. I acknowledge Your favors, and to You I confess my sin. I have wronged myself, so forgive me; surely none forgives sins but You. I seek refuge with Your pardon from Your punishment, with Your mercy from Your vengeance, with Your approval from Your displeasure. I seek refuge with You from You. I do not tell Your praises, for You are as You have extolled Yourself. She continued: “So he did not cease from worship, now standing and now sitting [on his heels], until morning came. Then his feet were put up, and as I massaged them I said: ‘My father be your ransom and my mother too! Surely Allaah has forgiven your former and your latter sins? Surely Allaah has dealt with you? Is it not so? Is it not so?’ “He replied (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim): ‘O ‘A’isha, shall I not therefore be a grateful servant? Do you know what happens during this night?’ ‘What happens?’ I asked, and he said: ‘This is when all births are recorded for this year, and every death is registered. This is when provisions are allotted to mankind, and their deeds and actions are gathered up.’ “‘O Messenger of Allaah,’ said I, ‘Will no one enter Paradise except by Allaah’s mercy?’ ‘No one will enter Paradise except by Allaah’s mercy,’ he told me (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) . ‘Not even you?’ I asked. ‘Not even I,’ said he (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), ‘unless Allaah envelops me with His mercy.’ Then he rubbed his hand over his head and his face.”

The following account, which I also received from Abuu Nasr, tells how Sayyida ‘Aisha(Radhi Allahu anhaa) related that Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) once said to her:

“O ‘A’isha, what night is this?” She replied, “Allaah and His Messenger know best.” Then he said: “The night of the middle of Sha’baan, during which worldly actions and the deeds of mankind are carried aloft. As numerous as the wool on the flocks of the tribe of Kalb, are Allaah’s slaves emancipated this night from the Fire of Hell. So will you excuse me tonight?”
She said: “I said yes, so he performed his prayer like this: He held the upright position only briefly, and recited al-Hamd and a short Suura; then he stayed in prostration till the middle of the night; then he stood up to begin the second cycle with a recitation similar to the first, and then his prostration lasted until dawn.”
‘A’isha (Radhi Allahu anhaa) went on to say: “I watched him till I thought that Allaah (Exalted is He) had taken His Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), then, after a long time had elapsed, I got close enough to touch the soles of his feet. He stirred, and I 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 with You from You. Glorious be Your praise! I do not spell out praises upon You, for You are as You have extolled Yourself.’
“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, tonight I have heard you utter something, during your prostration, that I never heard you mention before?’ ‘And have you learned it?’ he asked (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). When I said yes, he (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) told me: ‘Study those words and teach them, for Gabriel (peace be upon him) instructed me to repeat them during the prostration.'”

sajda_dua

According to another report, of which Abuu Nasr informed me, Sayyida ‘Aisha(Radhi Allahu anhaa) once said:

“I could not find Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) one night, so I went outside and there he was in the grove, his head turned up toward the sky. Then he said to me: ‘Were you afraid that Allaah and His Messenger would treat you unfairly?’ I replied: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I thought you had gone to one of your [other] wives.’ He said (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim): ‘On the night of mid-Sha’baan, Allaah (Exalted is He) descends to the lowest heaven and forgives more than the number of woolly hairs on the flocks and herds of [the tribe of] Kalb.'”

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