In the Name of Allah, Most
Gracious, Most Merciful
Shabaan: Misconceptions and
bint Shameem [Houston, Texas], Taken from the New Trend
Growing up in Pakistan,
the month of
Shabaan would bring in a lot of excitement and celebration. And that
was because celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan was a big
thing and considered a very virtuous act, indeed. Men would gather in
the masjid while the women prepared 'Halwaas' and Sweets, preparations
were made for all night vigils or "Shabeenas" as they were called,
buses were made available to take the men to visit the graveyards and
flyers were distributed to everyone containing a long list of 'special
prayers' so that they could stay up all night praying.
But, Alhamdulillaah, how
Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala protects His Deen. When Allaah enabled me to study
this beautiful religion of ours, all that changed. I realized that all
those 'special prayers', all those night vigils, all those Halwaas and
all those graveyard visits were really not the way of the Prophet (Sal
Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). In fact all that was far ... far away from
his Sunnah and the Sharee'ah that he brought.
And so I thought I would
attention some of the misconceptions and wrong ideas attached to this
month as this ignorance and innovation has become so rampant, that it
has become a sort of an epidemic, not only in Pakistan but in
practically every Muslim community that exists.
# 1: The night of the 15th of Shabaan should be singled out for
worship, prayer, etc.
Our best example and role model is the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa
Sallam) and he never, ever singled out this night for worship or qiyaam
nor did his Sahaba.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:
"There is no
saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan. All
the Ahadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo’
(fabricated) and da’eef (weak), and have no basis. There is
nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Qur’aan or
prayer, whether alone or in congregation, is specified for this night.
What some of the scholars have said about it being special is a weak
opinion. It is not permissible to single it out for any special
actions. This is the correct view. And Allaah is the Source of
strength." (Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/511)
# 2: There are specific prayers to be offered on this night.
The truth of the matter is that there are NO special prayers to be
offered on this night specifically. And all those 'Ahadeeth' giving you
long lists of special 'formulas' that are "supposed to guarantee you
Allaah's forgiveness and Jannah" are all fabricated, false and
innovations in our Deen. If there were such prayers, the Prophet (Sal
Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) would have told us about them and we would
have had evidence of him and the Sahaba doing it.
# 3: Allaah descends to the first heavens on this night to forgive us.
Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on
the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan. Rather it happens every single
night of the year. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
"Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the
Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is
there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is
there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there
anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?" (Bukhaari).
Thus, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the
descent of Allaah on the night of the fifteenth of Shabaan, he said to
the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?!
He descends every night!”
# 4: This is the night when our fate, lifespan, and provisions are
Some people think that the "blessed night" (laylatim-mubarakah)
mentioned in Surah ad-Dukhaan (44): 3, refers to the night of 15th
Shabaan, when Allah decrees our lifespan, provisions and fate. In fact,
they even pray 6 rakahs, 2 for each of these things. However, all that
is fabricated and far, far away from the Sunnah. And, in reality, the
"blessed night" mentioned in Surah ad-Dukhaan, actually is referring to
Laylatul Qadr that comes in Ramadhaan. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir of Surah
# 5: One should fast on the day of the fifteenth.
Here again, there is no saheeh reports that tell us that the Prophet
(Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) or his Sahaabah ever picked this day
specifically to fast. The Sunnah of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa
Sallam) was to fast most of this month and not just the 15th. However,
if the fifteenth of Shabaan coincides with a Monday or Thursday, or
with the three white days or if a person is generally fasting, without
associating seeking extra rewards to fasting this specific day, then it
is allowed. (Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid)
# 6: This is the night when the souls of departed ones return to their
Here again, some people misunderstand the ayaat in Surah al-Qadr and
think that the 'sending down of the Ruh' as mentioned in this Surah
refers to the souls of dead people returning to see their families,
even though it refers to Jibreel (Tafseer Ibn Kathir). And that is why
we see women preparing the sweets, the Halwas and other 'goodies' for
the souls of their loved ones. Not only is that in itself an erroneous,
deviant belief and bid'ah, but to believe that the souls of the dead
can return back to the world and meet with their relatives is also
totally incorrect and false. The teachings of the Quraan and the Sunnah
clearly state that the souls of the dead do not return back to the
world. Besides, they don't even eat the Halwaas. It is actually you who
# 7: Visiting graveyards especially this night is something good.
Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) encouraged visiting
graves, he forbade singling out any day or night for any kinds of good
deeds if it is not prescribed in the Sharee'ah. And he did not
specifically visit the graveyard on the night of the 15th of Sha'aan.
The hadeeth of Aisha that mentions that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi
wa Sallam) visited the graveyard this night is not authentic and thus
does not have any proof for visiting graves specifically on this night
# 8: Even if the Ahadeeth about worship on this night are weak, one can
still do it.
The correct scholarly view is that weak Ahadeeth should not be followed
at all, even if they speak of righteous deeds or of targheeb and
tarheeb (promises and warnings). The saheeh reports are sufficient and
the Muslim has no need to follow the da’eef reports.
Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir
said: "There is
no difference between rulings or righteous deeds; we do not take any of
them from da’eef reports, rather no one has the right to use any
report as evidence unless it is proven to be soundly narrated from the
Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) in a saheeh or hasan
# 9: Look at all those people doing it. How can they all be wrong?
The Muslim is supposed to refer to Allaah and His Messenger (Sal
Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam)'s Sunnah, if there is any confusion or
dispute about matters and NOT what the rest of the world is doing.
“O you who believe! Obey
and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority. (And) if
you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His
Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better
and more suitable for final determination [al-Nisaa’ 4:59]
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen said:
reports (about worship and fasting an the 15th of Sha'baan) became very
well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; One
should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do
REAL Sunnah regarding Sha'baan:
If you truly and
sincerely want to
please Allaah and do deeds that will be acceptable to Him, then follow
the REAL Sunnah of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). Here is
what is proven in the authentic sunnah:
Fast most of this month as much as you can.
Aa’ishah RA said: “I
never saw the Messenger of Allaah fasting for an entire month except in
Ramadaan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Shabaan.”
However, if you
are weak or do not fast habitually and feel that this nafil fasting may
be a hindrance to your obligatory fasting in the month of Ramadhaan,
then the person may stop the nafil fasting in the last few days of this
month. And for that person, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam)
“When Shabaan is half
over, do not fast.” (saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi).
If you have
fasts left over from last Ramadhaan to make up, then hurry up and do so
in this month of Sha'baan before the next Ramadhaan comes. It is not
permissible to delay missed fasts until after the following Ramadhaan,
except in cases of necessity (such as a valid excuse that continues
between the two Ramadaans). Aa'ishah RA said:
“It used to be that I
to make up for Ramadhaan and I would not be able to do so except in
Al-Quraan, the Miracle of Miracles and free from contradictions and