15 Nisfu Sha'ban Lailat ul Bara'at – Saturday night in North America

15-shaban-lailat-ul-barat-full-moon

Full moon of Sha’ban

Lailat-ul-Bara’at or Shab e Barat (as it is known in the Indian Sub-continent) is the night of the full moon of the Islamic month of Sha’ban. Some scholars equate this night with Lailat Mubaraka (night of blessing) which is mentioned in the Qur’an. This is considered a very auspicious night for prayer and asking of forgiveness from Allah (swt). In English it can also be translated as night of emancipation, night of forgiveness or night of freedom or night of deliverance. It is also a preparation for the fasting and prayers during the holy month of Ramadhan. It is the special night of seeking forgiveness and repenting to God (tauba), remembering past sins and sincerely settling the mind that one will never commit sins in the future.

[Note: the Islamic day begins at sundown. So there may be some confusion on this date. To add to the confusion, the internet brings together people from all parts of the world so the date and time you are reading this may not be the same date and time as someone else. For North America the night of the 15th of Sha’ban in the Hijri calendar will begin at sundown on Saturday the 21st of May according to the common calendar. For other parts of the world please speak with someone locally to determine which night it is in your area.]

During this night tradition also says that that Allah (swt) determines the destiny of all people, including whether a person lives or dies, in the coming year. The date also commemorates the saving of Noah’s followers from the deluge by Allah (swt). Also on this night the Doors of Mercy and Forgiveness are opened wide, and those who sincerely grieve over and repent for their past sins and seek forgiveness from Allah are pardoned and forgiven by Allah.

It is reported from Sayyiduna Ali (ra) that the prophet Muhammad said:

“Let all of you spend the night of mid-Sha`ban in partly worship and its day in fasting. Allah descends to the nearest heaven during this night, beginning with sunset, and says: Is there no one asking forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant them sustenance? Is there no one under trial that I may relieve them? Is there not such-and-such, is there not such-and-such, and so forth until dawn rises.”

On this night we recite nawafil prayers, zikr, du’a, tasbih. Each Tasbih or Du’a should begin and terminate with the recital of Salawat and one who wishes for the acceptance of his Du’as should use the Wasila of Muhammad (saw)

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (ra) has mentioned in his famous book ”Ghunyat li Talibee Tariqil Haqq” (i.e., The Gift for the student who seeks the path of truth) that the month of Sha’ban according to some narrations is related to Muhammad (saw). So, it is our duty, to love and respect this month more than any other month (besides Ramadhan). One should also offer darood abundantly .

There are many traditions for the religious practices during this night, the following are some examples:

  • Perform 2 rakaat Nafl prayer, then recite Darood Ibrahim 100x
  • Perform 6 rakaat Nafl prayer (2+2+2), after Magrib. After every two rakaats read Surah Yaseen once.
  • Perform 12 rakaat nafl prayer, in each rakaat read:
    • Surah Fatiha once,
    • Surah Iklas: 10 times.
    • Afterwards recite Darood Sharif 100 times
  • Perform 8 rakaat nafl prayer with one salaam. In each rakaat read
    • Surah Fatiha (Alhamdo) : once,
    • Surah Iklas: 11 times.
  • Recite this dua : “Allahumma inni al-aloka afwa wal afiyata wal muafatad-daimata fid dunya wal akhirah”.
  • Perform 100 rakaat nafl prayer reciting in each rakaat reciting :
    • Surah Fatiha once,
    • Surah Iklas: 10 times.

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