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Shab-e-Baraat and month of Sha’ban

Amir Altaf

Some months are considered sacred in the light of Quran and Sunnah but the month of the Sha’ban has been glorified beyond the prescribed boundaries of Sharia at times given more reverence than the blessed month of Ramadan. Sha’ban is the 8th month of the Islamic calendar and is a derivative of the word “Shaub” which literally means a valley or pass. Basically, we have to cross this month to reach the blessed and holy month of Ramadan.
It is narrated by Hazrat Anas (R.A) that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked “ After Ramadan which month holds most virtue for fasting “ He (PBUH)  replied “ Sha’ban” so as to honour Ramadan (Tirmidhi). So Sha’ban is the month for making preparations for the holy month of Ramadan.Then Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was again asked that which month doing Sadaqah is better Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Replied in “Ramadan”.

There is no Quranic verse which speaks the month of Sha’ban as being holy and special. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) instructed us (His Ummah) to fast as much as possible till the 15th of Sha’ban and after that refrain from fasting so that we can recoup and regain our energies for the Month of Ramadan.
The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid (RA) reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Oh “ Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha’ban so frequently that I have never seen you in any month” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) replied “Sha’ban is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people and it is a month which account of the deeds presented before The Allah (SWT).

So I (PBUH)wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting “
There are a lot of weak and fabricated Hadith associated with Sha’ban like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prostate for a long time in Sha’ban, 100 Nawafil and 12 Rakat with continue recitation of Qul Hu Allah ul Ahad, fasting on 15th is equivalent to 120 years are all weak Hadith. we find in Sahi Bukhari that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “ The one who knowingly fabricated (Lie against me) will find abode to be the hellfire”. The truth is that there are no special prayers or worship to be offered on the night specifically and all those long lists of a special formula that is supposed to guarantee you Allah’s forgiveness and Jannah are all fabricated and invention in our seen.

Authentic Hadith only speaks about the virtues of fasting in this month till the 15th and our deeds being presented in front of Allah (SWT).
The 15th eve is also given the name of Shab-e-baraat, there is no mention of Shab-e-baraat in the Quran and Sunnah. Shab-e-baraat is in fact not even an Arabic word, it is actually a Persian word “Shab” means night and” Baraat” means salvation. on this eve special meal of halwa puri is prepared,  fireworks are lit up, and plenty of people believes that on this night souls of departed ones return to their families.
The logic given for cooking halwa puri is that “ when the blessed tooth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) got martyred He(PBUH) ate this meal. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lost his tooth in the Battle of UHAD Which took place in the month of Sha’wal, not in Sha’ban.
Some people assume that the souls of the departed ones return to this world on Shab-e-Barat, not only is that itself an erroneous and deviant belief and Bidaht but to believe that souls of the dead can return back to the world and meet and see the relatives is totally incorrect and false. The teaching of Sunnah and Quran clearly says “ The souls of the dead don’t return back to the world. The life of the barzakh has nothing to do with this world at all. We find in surah Mominoon Ayat 100 that
“ And behind them is a barrier until the day they are resurrected”

Allah (SWT) clearly tells in the Ayat once person leaves this world all his connection with this world are broken. Our religion teaches us balance, it doesn’t propagate unnecessary expenditure on fireworks or candles. A true believer is only spent on his needs. S/he doesn’t blindly follow whims or desires.
Bottom line:  During this Pandemic, it’s time to remember you, Allah, raise Your Hands to Him and seek Forgiveness. without His mercy, we will not survive a single second. .May Allah (SWT) forgive our sins (Aameen)

The author is a student at Aligarh Muslim University and can be reached at [email protected]

Views Expressed in this opinion are writer’s own .