FASTING ON FIFTEEN SHA’BAAN – A VERY BELOVED FAST
Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:
“When it is the night of 15th Sha’baan, then stand in Ibaadah at night and fast during the day (of 15th Sha’baan).”
Without the slightest trepidation or fear, we state that Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam ordered us to fast on the 15th of Sha’baan. A study of the Ahaadeeth reveals this fact. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam loved to be in a state of fasting whilst his actions are being raised to Allah Ta’ala. This appears in authentic Ahaadeeth (Ahmed – Tirmizi – Ibn Majah – Nasaai – Jaamiul Usool – Kanzul Ummaal – Mishkaat – Musnad Ahmed – Tahaawi).
The Fuqaha accept that A’maal are raised to Allah Ta’ala on the night of 15th Sha’baan. This is also mentioned in the Hadith kutub. Thus, it is understood that the 15th of Sha’baan is one of those days which Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam loved to fast.
Why would Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam not love to fast on 15th Sha’baan when Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam himself says that he loves to be fasting when his A’maal are presented to Allah Ta’ala?
In Mirqaat, Mulla Ali Qaari Rahimullah states:
“And what is apparent to me now is that on the night of 15th Sha’baan the A’maal of the previous year are presented just as how everything which would take place the next upcoming year are written on this night. And that is why (Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Stand in Ibaadah at night and fast during the day (of 15th Sha’baan).”
(May Allah grant us the Tawfeeq to make Amal on this Mubaarak Sunnah. Aameen)
THE AHAADEETH ON FIFTEEN SHA’BAAN
The fact that the 15th of Sha’baan is an auspicious day including the night which precedes it, is undoubtedly unquestionable. The auspiciousness of these occasions has been taught to the Ummah since the past fourteen centuries by the illustrious Ulama and authorities of the Shariah. Thus, it is undoubtedly inappropriate to even make an attempt to dismiss the validity of practices which enjoy the Ta-aamul of our Akaabireen.
The following are the Sunnah/Masnoon practices/A’maal of Shabe Baraat:
- To remain awake during the night as much as possible and engage in individual ibaadat – not congregational Ibaadat.
- To fast during the day
- To visit the graveyard at night.
Whilst some Ahaadeeth may have been declared to be weak by some ‘Muhadditheen’, they are in fact very authentic with specific reference to the three A’maal mentioned above. The Ahaadeeth are backed up with the amal of the Ulama. Maaliki Fuqaha attach much emphasis on fasting the 15th of Sha’baan. It is Mustahab and the most virtuous fast of the month according to them. Some Shaafi’ Fuqaha have written that fasting on the 15th is matloob and ma-moor (desired and instructed). In the Fataawa of Shaikh Ramli, the fast of the 15th is declared to be Sunnat and the Hadeeth in this regard is judged to be qaabil-e-hujjat (worthy of proof). One view of the Hanaabilah is that the fast on the 15th is the most emphasized of Sha’baan. This is a clear proof for the Ta’aamul of the Fuqaha on the issue of fasting on the 15th Sha’baan.
Allamah Ibn Humaam explicitly states in Fathul Qadeer:
“And from amongst the factors which render a Hadeeth ‘Saheeh’ (authentic), is the amal (action) of the Ulama in conformity to the Hadeeth.”
AUTHENTIC – NOT FORGED
The Hadith which exhorts one to fast on 15th Sha’baan mentioned in Ibn Majah is authentic. It satisfies the principle of Talaqqi Bil Qubool as explained above. Talaqqi Bil Qubool means that the Fuqaha have accorded acceptance to this Hadith.
In order to understand these issues of Talaqqi Bil qubool and the utility of the Muhadditheen in detail, one needs to read the book Tresses of Jannah. Each Muhaddith had his own criteria for accepting or rejecting Ahaadeeth. Likewise, the experts of Ahkaam, i.e. The Fuqaha also had criteria for accepting or rejecting Ahaadeeth. How is it possible for them to be experts in Ahkaam without understanding the science of Hadeeth fully?
We do not also blindly follow what the Muhadditheen say. We do not make their Taqleed – neither in Hadeeth, nor in Fiqh. The narrator in Ibn Majah, Hazrat Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Saburah was privileged with the seat of Iftaa in Madeenah Munawwarah. Imaam Abu Dawood Rahimahullah said: “He was the Mufti of Ahle-Madinah (The people of Madinah).”
He lived in Khairul Quroon and was the judge (Qaadhi) before Imaam Abu Yusuf Rahimahullah. In the presence of Imaam Maalik and other great Fuqahaa-e-Mujtahideen of the time, it would never have been possible for him to be a Qaadhi and the accepted Mufti of Madinah if he was a fabricator (Nauthu Billah).
Similarly, it would not have been possible for Imaam Maalik to mention and propose Hazrat Ibn Abi Saburah’s name as one of three pious and recognized persons of the sacred city at the time. This was in response to the query from Mansoor, the Khalifah of the time at Madeenah Munawwarah. Imaam Maalik was asked: “In Madinah, which Mashaaikh are left?”
Imaam Maalik responded: “Ibn Abi Zi’b, Ibn Abi Saburah, and Ibn Abi Salmah Al-Maajishoon.”
The above suffices to explain how great Hazrat Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Saburah Rahmatullahi Alayh was. His truthfulness and integrity are proven by the fact that he was the Mufti of Madinah Munawwarah in the presence of Imaam Maalik. What more should we even say in order to reject what some Muhadditheen have to say about him. The criticism of the Muhadditheen has to be dismissed as baseless. It should not be difficult to understand that it is Sunnah to fast on 15th Sha’baan. The principle of Talaqqi Bil Qubool is enough for us Muqallideen who should not try to act bigger than our boots when even the Muhadditheen were unable to reach the toes of the Fuqaha!
IT IS BID’AH TO:
(1) Congregate for lectures in the Musaajid on this night or on any of the other auspicious nights.
(2) Believe that there are special types of Salaat for observance on this night.
(3) Install special or decorative lights in the Musjid on this occasion.
(4) Serve milk or any sweetmeats on this night.
(5) Have Yaseen Khatams and Forty Durood Functions even in the Musjid.
(6) Giving ‘Siennie’ (sweets, fruits, chocolates, ice creams, etc.) at home or after the Bid’ah lecture program at the Musjid.
(7) Giving gifts to one’s family and friends specifically on this day.
(8) Bid’ah Loud Thikr sessions.
(9) Haraam Bid’ah Mowlood/ Meelaad on this auspicious night.
(10) Bid’ah Nazm or Thikr Jalsahs and Seerah conferences.
VERY EVIL ACTS ON THIS NIGHT:
(1) Watching Television (Dajjaal’s Eye) especially ITV!
(2) Listening to Music.
(3) Chatting to ghair-mahrams on Facebook, Whatsapp, etc.
(4) Sending and Indulging in Photography.
(5) Sending messages such as Lailatul Baraat Mubaarak, etc.
(6) Indulging in fireworks, celebrations, parties, etc.