15th of Shaban
We are now nearing the middle of the blessed month of Shaban I will summarize briefly what is important to know about this month and about the night of the 15th of Shaban, which will be the night of Monday the 27th of August, 2007 (while the day of the 15th is on Tuesday the 28th of August). The following information is taken from the book Al-Ghunya of Imam Abdul Qadir al-Jilani:
* The importance of Shaban:
- In a sahih hadith sayyida Aisha (r.a.) reported that beside Ramadan, the Prophet fasted voluntarily in Shaban more than he did in any other month. Umm Salama (r.a.) reported the same thing in another hadith.
- In another hadith, she says that the Prophet preffered fasting in Shaban more than in any other month, and when she asked him why, he said because in this month, the Angel of Death has the names of all who will die during the remainder of the year written down for him, and he (pbuh) would like that if his name is written down, that he is fasting when that happens.
- The companions of the Prophet, when they saw that Shaban began, would immerse themselves in the Quran, take out the Zakat so that the weak and the poor will have the strength to fast Ramadan, and the rulers would have all the prisoners called unto them so that if one is deserving a Hadd punishment it is given to him, or else he is freed. And the merchants went and paid off all debts and took what is theirs. Until they see that Ramadan has begun after which they purify themselves with a major ablution and devote all their time to worship.
* The Month of the Prophet
- Allah (swt) chose from everything four, and from the four one... And from the months he chose Rajab, Shaban, Ramadan and Muharram, and chose from among them Shaban, and made it the month of the Prophet (pbuh), and as the Prophet (pbuh) is the best of Prophets, so is his month the best of months.
- It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet said, "Shaban is my month, Rajab is the month of God, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah. Shaban is the eraser [of sins], and Ramadan is the purifier."
- It is a month in which good things are opened, blessings descend, wrongful acts are abandoned, sins are erased, and the salawat on the Prophet are increased.
- It is the month of tasliya on the Prophet pbuh (doing lots of salawaat on the Prophet).
-Everyone must prepare himself in this month for Ramadan bu purifying himself from sins, repenting from what was done in the past, turn to God, and make tawassul to God with the Prophet (pbuh) whose month this is.
Start this today and do not postpone it for it is said that the days are three: Yesterday, which is gone, Today, which is work, and Tomorrow which is hope: you don't know if you will reach it or not. So from yesterday there are lessons, from today there are spoils to take (good deeds), and in Tomorrow is risk. And so are the months three: Rajab (the previous month) is gone, Ramadan awaits and we don't know if we will live to reach it, and Shaban is a connection between the two, so get as much good deeds as possible in this month.
THE NIGHT OF THE 15TH
Haa Meem. By the Book that makes things clear. We sent it down during a Blessed Night (Quran 44:1-3)
Ibn Abbas (r.a.) said, Haa Meem means that Allah has decreed all that will be until the Day of Resurrection. By the Book that makes things clear that is the Quran We sent it down the Quran during a blessed night it is the night of the middle of Shaban, and it is the "Laylatul Baraa'a". And so said most Quranic commentators, except Ikrimah who said it refers to the Laylatul Qadr.
The Quran called this a blessed night because in it is the descent of Mercy, Blessings, Goodness, and Forgiveness to the people of Earth.
According to hadiths about this night:
- God forgives on this night every Muslim, except the mushrik, the one who is bent on hatred for others, the one who has severed familial relations, and the woman who is prostituting [on that night].
- On this night, sayyida Aisha felt the Prophet leaving her bed, she got up to look for him and found him prostrated on the ground, and he kept praying until the morning. Then he said, "Do you know what is in this night? In it is written down all who will be born this year, and all who will die, and in it their sustenance is brought down, and their works and doings raised up."
- On another such night, the Prophet said, "Do you know which night this is? It is the night of the middle of Shaban- in it are the works of the servants raised up, and in it God frees from the fire as many people as the number of hairs on the cattle of the tribe of Kalb". Then the Prophet (pbuh) asked Aisha if he may spend the whole night in prayer, and he stood up and started the first rak'a with the Fatiha and a short sura then prostrated in sujood for half the night, then got up for the second rak'a, read as much as he did in the first, and prostrated again in sujood until Fajr.
- God forgives sins on that night for as many people as the number of hairs on the cattle of the Kalb tribe.
- This is one of the four nights in which God pours down goodness on people a great pouring. In this night people's sustenance and fates are written down, and those who will go to Hajj are written down.
Regarding the verse,
Therein every wise affair is made distinct (44:4 - coming after the three verses mentioned above), Ikrima the servant of Ibn Abbas said: It is the night of mid-Shaban-[in it] Allah decides the affairs of the year, moves the names of those who will die this year from from the records of the living to the records of the dead, and writes down those who will go to Hajj, and no one will be added or removed."
* The Meaning of Baraa'a
The word can be translated into any of the following in English: absolvement, exoneration, aquittal, release, releaf, discharge.
It was said, "it was called the night of Baraa'a because it has two baraa'as, the wretched will be given baraa'a from the all-Merciful, and the awliya will be given baraa'a from being abandoned or let down."
Abu Huraira (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Gabriel, peace be upon him, came to me on the night of mid-Shaban and said to me: ”Ya RasulAllah, raise your head heavenwards!” I asked him: “What night is this?” and he replied: “This is night when Allah, 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 illict sex; these He does not forgive untill they repent.”
At a quarter of the night, Gabriel, peace be upon him, came down and said: Ya RasulAllah, 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 the fear of Allah!” 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 eight gate an angel was calling: ”Will anyone seek forgiveness, that he may be forgiven?”
The Prophet (pbuh) 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: “Ya RasulAllah, tonight Allah has as many slaves emancipated from the fire of hell as the number of hairs on the flocks and herds of the Kalb tribe.”
The Prophet recommended we fast the 13th, 14th, 15th of every Islamic month, the reward of each being multiplied by ten, giving us the reward of fasting the entire month and thus the entire year. If you missed the 13th of this month (Sunday the 26th of August), try to fast the day of the 14th, so you are fasting before the night of the 15th begins, and then fast on the day of the 15th itself (in the Islamic calendar, the night comes before the day, so that the night of the 15th precedes the day of the 15th).
Try to stay up that night (Monday night) in prayer and Quran recitation. And remember, this is the month of the Prophet, so keep constant in your tasliya, try to read as much as possible from the Prophetic biography, and make Tawassul by asking Allah to forgive you, and to cover you in Light, by His love for His Prophet to whom he singled out this blessed month.