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Observing the 15th of the month of Sha`bân

Published: 27/08/2011 06:28:00 PM GMT
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What is the reality of the night of the 15'th of Sha`bân?

Answered by

Sheikh `Abd al-`Azîz al-Humaydî, professor at Umm al-Qurâ University

Allah says: “Thy Lord does create and choose as He pleases” [Sûrah al-Qasus: 68]. Allah is the One Who gives preference to days, months or anything else. He gave preference to Fridays over other days and the month of Ramadan over all other months and the night of Qadr over all other nights. This preference and virtue does not exist according to our wishes and predilections.

There is no authentic hadîth supporting the virtue middle of the month of Sha`bân. There are some hadîth talking about that night, but nothing of these is authentic. Al-Bayhaqî has collected all the hadîth related to that night in his book Fadâ’l al-Awqât. None of the collected hadîth were authentic and varied in strength from weak to downright false.

The best-graded hadîth among them was the one related by Mu`âdh b. Jabal. It reads: “Allah will look over His creatures in the night of middle Sha`bân then He forgives all His creatures except idolaters or people in dispute among themselves.” [Ibn Hibbân (7/470) and others].

This hadîth is not authentic in its line of transmission. It is related from `Abd al-Rahmân b. Thâbit b. Thawbân through his father. `Abd al-Rahmân is not reliable. Imam Ahmad said about this hadîth: “It is rejected”. Ibn Ma`în described this narrator alternatively as weak, feeble, and good on three separate occasions. However, when he described him as good, he was speaking about his personality and not about his strength as a narrator of hadîth. He still maintained that his narrations were weak.

Ibn Ma`în said about this `Abd al-Rahmân : “He is weak.”

Mu`âwiyah said: “Can we write down his hadîth?”

Ibn Ma`în said: “Yes, despite his weakness, he was a pious man.”

Sâlih b. Muhammad said about him: “He is a truthful man from Syria.” Nevertheless, Sâlih b. Muhammad still rejected many hadîth that `Abd al-Rahmân b. Thâbit narrated from his father from Makhûl. This hadîth, about the middle of Sha`bân, is also narrated from his father from Makhûl. Therefore, this hadîth is weak.

As we said before, all the other hadîth regarding this issue are weaker than this one and some of them fabricated. Hence, there is no special distinction for this night over other nights.

Having acknowledged that, it is prohibited to hold any special forms of worship during this night. Everything intended specially for this night, as well as the habit of calling it “the night of Katb al-A`mâr” is an innovation. There is no special prayer for this night, no special fast, and no special `umrah.

Our Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against all kinds of innovations. He said: “Whoever innovates in our religion something that is not part of it, then it will be rejected.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

However, is someone prays, fasts, or engages in some other form of worship on that day and night without the intention of doing so for the sake of the middle of Sha`bân, then there is nothing wrong with that. It is simply voluntary worship.

Source: Islam Today

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