Is there any evidence for the existence of "Shab-e-barat" (Night of Barat)" ? Or is it only a misconception?
Submitted by on Sun, 10/08/2008 - 15:08
Dear Brother / Sister,
The month of Sha'ban is the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The fifteenth night of this month is known as Laylatul Bara'ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha'ban in the Arab world. In the India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, etc., it is known as Shab-e-barat.
Some Islamic scholars believe that in Surah al-Dukhan (44:3-4) there is a reference to this night as Allah says, "We sent it (the Qur'an) down during a blessed night. We are truly warners. In that night is made distinct every affair of wisdom "
Some scholars also say that in the 2nd year of Hijrah, the direction of Qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to Ka'bah (Makkah) on the 15th day of Sha'ban.
According to some of the other scholars of Tafsir, the Qur'an has not mentioned anything about this night. There are some Ahadith that speak about the Middle of Sha'ban and its night.
Imam al-Mundhiri (died in 656 A. H.) in his famous book Al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib (vol. 2, pp. 116-120) has reported fourteen Ahadith on the subject of this night. The following points can be summarized from those Ahadith:
1. The month of Sha'ban is a great month.
2. In this month Allah takes the account of His creation.
3. Because this month occurs between two other important months, viz. Rajab and Ramadan, many people do not pay enough attention to it.
4. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) loved to fast during this month. He used to fast most of the month of Sha'ban.
5. After sunset during this night (Laylatul Bara'ah), Allah in His great mercy and kindness turns towards His creation and asks, "Is there anyone who would seek My forgiveness and I forgive him/her? Is there anyone who is in need to ask Me and I provide for his/her needs. Is there anyone who in pain and seek My help and I help him/her. Is there Is there until the time of Fajr."
6. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is said to have recommended prayers during this night and fasting during the following day.
7. It reported that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used to visit the Muslim cemetery on this evening and he used to pray for the deceased Muslims.
These are the things that learn from some Ahadith about the significance of this night. However, there are many practices and customs common in some Muslim countries, such as making a sweet dish (Halwa), doing fireworks (atish baazi) , etc., have no meaning and no reference in Ahadith. There are also some superstitious beliefs about this night. For example, some people believe that the spirits (arwah) of the deceased visit their relatives during this night. There is a special Tree in the heaven upon whose leaves are the names of all human beings, and whatever leaves drop during this night, those people are destined to die in this year. All these beliefs and superstitions do not belong to the authentic teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah.
We must try to follow the Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah of the blessed Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). It is our duty as Muslims to take advantage of all good occasions to revive our faith, to purify our souls and to increase our love and devotion to Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala, but we must follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). We must not do anything in our celebrations that is against his teachings.
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