Merits of Sha’baan and Nisful Sha’baan Shaabi Baraa’at
Posted by al Adaab on July 24, 2009
Bismillair Rahmanir Rahim
Wa Sall Allahu ta ‘ala alaa Sayidinaa wa Mawlaana Muhammadiw
wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa sallam
Merits of Sha’baan and Nisful Sha’baan Shaabi Baraa’at
Of Sayyidinaa El Sheikh Muhyuddin Abdul Qadir El Jilani
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.
Hazrat 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.
Hazrat ‘A’isha (Radhiyallahu 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.”
Hazrat Umm Salama (Radhiyallahu 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.
Hazrat Anas [ibn Maalik] (Radhiyallahu 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.”
Hazrat ‘Ubaidu’llaah ibn Qais once heard ‘A’isha (Radhiyallahu 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 Hazrat ‘Abdullaah (Radhiyallahu 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 (Radhiyallahu 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 (Sallallahu 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 (Radhiyallahu anhum) were Abuu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Alii, and His preferred choice was Abuu Bakr (Radhiyallahu 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 (Radhiyallahu 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 (Radhiyallahu 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 (Radhiyallahu 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 (Radhiyallahu 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, Radhiyallahu 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, Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhiyallahu 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.
Hazrat 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, Hazrat 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 Hazrat ‘A’isha (Radhiyallahu 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 Hazrat ‘A’isha (Radhiyallahu 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 (Radhiyallahu 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.'”
According to another report, of which Abuu Nasr informed me, Hazrat ‘A’isha (Radhiyallahu 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.'”
‘Ikrima (may Allaah bestow his mercy upon him), the client of Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu and with his father), is reported as having said, about the words of Allaah (Exalted is He):
Fii-haa yufraqu kullu amrin hakiim.
[A night] in which every firm decree is made distinct. (Holy Qur’an, 44:4)
“That is the night of mid-Sha’baan, when Allaah (Exalted is He) arranges the affairs of the year. He transfers [some of] the living to the list of the dead, and records those who will make pilgrimage to the House of Allaah, neither adding one too many nor leaving a single one of them out.”
Hakiim ibn Kaysaan said:
“Allaah (Exalted is He) surveys His creatures on the night of mid-Sha’baan, and when He purifies someone then, He keeps that person clean until the next such night comes around.”
According to ‘Ataa’ ibn Yasaar:
“The activity of the year is mapped out on the night of mid-Sha’baan, so a man may embark on a journey, or get married, when he has already been transferred from the list of the living to that of the dead.”
Abuu Nasr informed me that Hazrat ‘A’isha (Radhiyallahu anhaa) once said: “I heard the Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) say:
Allaah showers down benefits on four nights: the Night of Sacrifice; the Night of Breakfast; the Night of mid-Sha’baan, when Allaah records times of death and allots provisions, and lists the pilgrims; and the Night of ‘Arafa till the call to prayer.
According to Sa’iid, it was Ibraahiim ibn Abii Najiih who said: “[The number of those nights is] five, including the Night of Friday Congregation.”
Hazrat Abuu Huraira (Radhiyallahu anhu) reported the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) as saying:
Gabriel (Alayhis-Salaam) came to me on the night of mid-Sha’baan and said to me: “O Muhammad, raise your head heavenwards!” I asked him: “What night is this?” and he replied: “This is the night when Allaah (Glorified is He) opens three hundred of the gates of mercy, forgiving all who do not make anything His partner. The only exceptions are those who practice sorcery or divination, are addicted to wine, or persist in usury and illicit sex; these He does not forgive until they repent.” At a quarter of the night, Gabriel (peace be upon him) came down and said: “O Muhammad, raise your head!” So I looked up, to behold the gates of Paradise wide open. At the first gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who bow in worship this night!” At the second gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who prostrate themselves in worship this night!” At the third gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who offer supplication this night!” At the fourth gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who make remembrance this night!” At the fifth gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who weep this night from fear of Allaah!” At the sixth gate an angel was calling: “Good news for those who submit this night!” At the seventh gate an angel was calling: “Will anyone ask, that his request may be granted?” At the eighth gate an angel was calling: “Will anyone seek forgiveness, that he may be forgiven?” I said: “O Gabriel, how long will these gates remain open?” He replied: “From the beginning of the night until the break of dawn.” Then he said: “O Muhammad, tonight Allaah has as many slaves emancipated from the Fire as the number of woolly hairs on the flocks and herds of Kalb.”
On why the Night of Absolution [Lailat al-Baraa’a] is so called. Some say it is called the Night of Absolution [Lailat al-Baraa’a] because it contains two absolutions: an absolution for wretched sinners from the All-Merciful, and an absolution from disappointment for the Friends [of Allaah].
Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) is reported as having said:
When the night of mid-Sha’baan arrives, Allaah makes careful scrutiny of His creatures, then He forgives the true believers, gives respite to the unbelievers, and leaves the resentful to their resentment until they call for Him.
It is said that the angels have two Nights of Festival in heaven, just as the Muslims have two Days of Festival on earth. The angels celebrate the Night of Absolution and the Night of Power, while the Muslims celebrate the Day of Breakfast and the Day of Sacrifice. The angels have their festivals at night, because they never sleep, while the believers have theirs by day because they do sleep.
Concerning the wisdom in the decision of Allaah (Exalted is He) to make known [the date of] the Night of Absolution, while concealing [that of] the Night of Power, it has been said to lie in the fact that the Night of Power is the night of mercy and forgiveness and emancipation from the fires of Hell, which Allaah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has kept hidden so that there can be no discussion about it. He has made known the Night of Absolution, however, because it is the night of regulation and decree, the night of displeasure and approval, the night of acceptance and rejection, of attainment and obstruction, the night of bliss and woe, of grace and cleansing.
Thus one is favored while another is put off; one is requited while another is abased; one is treated generously while another is deprived; one is rewarded while another is shunned. Many a shroud is washed, while its owner is still busy in the bazaar. Many a grave is dug, while its owner is deluded with pleasure. Many a mouth is laughing, though it will soon be perishing. Many a house is under construction for an owner close to destruction. Many a servant expects a reward, while punishment awaits him.
Many a servant hopes for good news, while disappointment lies in store. Many a servant looks forward to Paradise, while the fires of Hell are ready for him. Many a servant hopes for union, while separation lies ahead.
Many a servant hopes for a gift, while agony awaits him. Many a servant is expecting wealth, while death is expecting him.
It is said of Hazrat al-Hasan al-Basrii (Radhiyallahu anhu) that he came out of his house on the day of mid-Sha’baan, looking as if he had been buried in the grave and then disinterred. When asked about this, he said: “By Allaah, what is the plight of a shipwrecked sailor, when compared to my own?” “Why is that?” “Because I am certain of my sins, but I tremble over my good deeds, for I know not whether they will be accepted of me or rejected.”
Concerning the Prayer of Benefits [Salaat al-Khair], traditionally performed on the night of mid-Sha’baan.
As for the ritual prayer traditional for the night of mid-Sha’baan, it consists of one hundred Rak’at, including one thousand repetitions of “Qul Huwa’llaahu Ahad [Say: ‘He is Allaah, Ahad!’]” (that is to say, ten recitations in each cycle [rak’a]). This prayer is called Salaat al-Khair [the Prayer of Benefits], and its blessings are many and varied. Our righteous predecessors used to gather to perform it in congregation. It contains much merit and rich reward.
It is reported of al-Hasan [al-Basrii] (may Allaah bestow His mercy upon him) that he once said:
“Thirty of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) related to me that Allaah will look seventy times upon one who performs this prayer on this night, and with each glance He will fulfill seventy of that person’s needs, the least of them being forgiveness.”
It is also commendable to perform this prayer on the fourteen nights on which vigil is recommended, as we mentioned in [the chapter concerning] the merits of Rajab, so that the worshiper may thereby obtain this grace, this merit and reward.
This brings us to the end of the Sixth Discourse. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of All the Worlds! [al-hamdu li’llaahi Rabbi ‘l-‘aalamiin].
Courtesy of Brother Ruslan Moore At “Al Baz Publications” where the complete translation of Ghunyat Lit Taalibi is available
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Allahumma yaa Dhal Manni wa Laa yumannu ‘alaih, Yaa Dhal Jalaali wal Ikraam.
Yaa Dhut Tawli wal in’aam. Laa ilaahi illaa anta Dhahrul laajeena wal jaarul Mustajeereen. Wa amaanul Khaa-e-feen.
Allahumma in kunta katabtanee ‘indaka fee Ummil Kitaabi shaqiyyan aw mahrooman aw matroodan aw muqattaran ‘alayya fir rizqi famh.
Allahumma bifadhlika shaqaawatee wa hirmaanee wa tardee waqtitaara rizqee wathbitnee ‘indaka fee Ummil Kitaabi
sa’eedam marzooqam muwaffaqan lil khayraat. Fa innaka qulta wa qawlukal haqqu fee kitaabikal munazzali ‘alaa lisaani Nabiyyikal Mursal.
Yamhullahu maa yashaaa-u wayuthbitu wa ‘indahoo Ummul Kitaab.
Ilaahi bit Tajallil ‘Atham, fee laylatin Nisfi min Shahri Sha’baanal Mukarram
Allatee yufraqu fihaa kulli Amrin Hakeemiw wa yubram.
Antakshifa ‘annaa minal balaa-e maa na’lamu wa laa na’lam. Wa anta bihee ‘alam. Innaka antal A’azzul Akram .
Wa Sall Allahu ta ‘alaa ‘Alaa Sayyidinaa Muhammadiw Wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Sallim. Wal Hamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen.
(The transliteration should not be thought of as a suitable substitute for the original Arabic.)