Fatwas of the Permanent Committee>Group 1>Volume 3: `Aqidah (3)>Bid`ahs related to certain days and nights>Excellence of the mid-Sha‘ban night:
The second question of Fatwa no. 884:
Some scholars say that many Hadiths were narrated about the merit of spending the eve of mid-Sha‘ban in Salah (Prayer) and its day in Sawm (Fast). Are these Sahih (authentic) Hadiths or not? If there are Sahih Hadiths, please explain them to us in detail. If not, please advise. May Allah reward you.
Many Sahih Hadiths were narrated about the merit of Sawm in Sha‘ban, but without specifying a certain day. For example, there is a Hadith in the Two Sahih Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) which states that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: I did not see the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) completing a whole month of Sawm except during Ramadan. I did not see him fasting in any other month more than in Sha‘ban. He (peace be upon him) used to fast the whole month of Sha‘ban except for a few days. In the Hadith narrated by Usamah ibn Zayd, he said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): 'I have not seen you fast in a month as much as you fast in Sha‘ban.' He (peace be upon him) said, 'This is a month between Rajab and Ramadan that people overlook. It is a month in which deeds are raised to the Lord of the worlds, and I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting.' (Related by Imam Ahmad and Al-Nasa'y).
There is no Sahih Hadith stating that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe Sawm on a certain day or days in Sha‘ban. There are only some Da‘if (weak) Hadiths about spending the eve of mid-Sha‘ban in Salah and the day in Sawm, including the one reported by Ibn Majah in his Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When it is the eve of mid-Sha‘ban, you should spend its night in Salah and its day in Sawm, for Allah (Exalted be He) descends on it at sunset to the nearest heaven and says,'Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there anyone who asks for sustenance that I may provide for them? Is there any afflicted person that I may relieve them?' and so on until the break of dawn.
Ibn Hibban ranked some Hadiths reported about the merit of spending the eve of mid-Sha‘ban in Salah as Sahih, including the one reported in his Sahih on the authority of `Aishah who said: I did not find the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) during one night, so I went out to search for him. I found him in Al-Baqi‘. He (peace be upon him) said (to her), ‘Did you fear being wronged by Allah and His Messenger?’ She said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I thought that you had gone to one of your wives.’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘Verily, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) descends on the eve of mid-Sha‘ban to the nearest heaven, and He forgives a number of people that exceeds the number of the sheep owned by Kalb (a tribe known for their sheep).’ Yet Al-Bukhari and other scholars ranked this Hadith as Da‘if. Most scholars say that the Hadiths narrated about the merit of the eve of mid-Sha‘ban and of Sawm on this day are Da‘if. Ibn Hibban is known among the Hadith scholars for not being strict in ranking Hadiths as Sahih.
To sum up, according to the expert scholars who verify Hadith, there is no Sahih Hadith among those narrated about the merit of spending the eve of mid-Sha‘ban in Salah and the day in Sawm. Thus, they negated the merit of spending the night in Salah and the day in Sawm and considered this a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). But a group of worshippers glorified this night, relying on the Da‘if Hadiths narrated about it, and people followed them as they thought highly of them. Some of them, out of excessive glorification paid to the eve of mid-Sha‘ban, even said that it is the blessed night on which the Qur’an was sent down and every matter of ordainment is decreed.
They thus considered it the Tafsir (exegesis of the meanings) of Allah’s Statement: We sent it (this Qur’ân) down on a blessed night [(i.e. night of Al-Qadr, Sûrah No. 97) in the month of Ramadân - the 9th month of the Islâmic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. This is blatant error and a distortion of the meaning of the Qur’an. What is meant by the blessed night in the Ayah is Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree), as Allah (Exalted be He) states: Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). This blessed night is in Ramadan based on the Hadiths reported in this regard, and because Allah (Exalted be He) says: The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta':
Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al Al-Shaykh
Should he fast on the fifteenth of Sha’baan even if the hadeeth is da\'eef? Is it permissible, even after finding out that a hadeeth is da’eef (weak), to follow it, by way of doing righteous deeds? The hadeeth says: “When it is halfway through Sha’baan, spend that night in prayer and fast on that day.” The fast is observed as a voluntary act of devotion to Allaah, as is spending that night in prayer (qiyaam al-layl).
What is narrated concerning the virtue of praying, fasting and worshipping on the fifteenth of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) does not come under the heading of da’eef (weak), rather it comes under the heading of mawdoo’ (fabricated) and baatil (false). So it is not permissible to follow it or to act upon it, whether that is in doing righteous deeds or otherwise.
A number of scholars ruled that the reports concerning that were false, such as Ibn al-Jawzi in his book al-Mawdoo’aat, 2/440-445; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in al-Manaar al-Muneef, no. 174- 177; Abu Shaamah al-Shaafa’i in al-Baa’ith ‘ala Inkaar al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith, 124-137; al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom il-Deen, no. 582. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] narrated that there was consensus on the fact that they are false, in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 28/138.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Hukm al-Ihtifaal bi Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (Ruling on celebrating the fifteenth of Sha’baan):
Celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan) by praying etc, or singling out this day for fasting, is a reprehensible bid’ah (innovation) according to the majority of scholars, and there is no basis for this in sharee’ah.
And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan). All the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are mawdoo’ (fabricated) and da’eef (weak), and have no basis. There is nothing special about this night, and no recitation of Qur’aan or prayer, whether alone or in congregation, is specified for this night. What some of the scholars have said about it being special is a weak opinion. It is not permissible to single it out for any special actions. This is the correct view. And Allaah is the Source of strength.
Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/511.
Even if we assume that the hadeeth is da’eef (weak) and not mawdoo’ (fabricated), the correct scholarly view is that weak ahaadeeth should not be followed at all, even if they speak of righteous deeds or of targheeb and tarheeb (promises and warnings). The saheeh reports are sufficient and the Muslim has no need to follow the da’eef reports. Nothing is known in Islam to suggest that this night or day is special, either from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions.
The scholar Ahmad Shaakir said: There is no difference between rulings or righteous deeds; we do not take any of them from da’eef reports, rather no one hast he right to use any report as evidence unless it is proven to be soundly narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a saheeh or hasan hadeeth.
Al-Baa’ith al-Hatheeth, 1/278.
For more information, see: al-Qawl al-Muneef fi Hukm al-‘Aml bi’l-Hadeeth al-Da’eef.
Baraka Allahu feek.
إن لم تكونوا مثلهم فتشبهوا ** إن التشبه بالكرام فلاحُ
Salaam A3alejkuum, een vraag over ''het voorbereieden van de maaltijd halverwege de sha''baan wat wordt daar precies mee bedoeld?
Shaikh Ibn Taymiya (RA) writes,
وَأَمَّا لَيْلَةُ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَفِيهَا فَضْلٌ
“As for the middle night of Sha’baan, indeed it holds virtue.” (Al-Fataawal Kubra)
Shaikh Albani (RA) when discussing the Ahadith regarding the 15th night of Sha’baan writes,
وجملة القول أن الحديث بمجموع هذه الطرق صحيح بلا ريب والصحة تثبت بأقل منهاعددا ما دامت سالمة من الضعف الشديد كما هو الشأن في هذا الحديث، فما نقله الشيخ القاسمي رحمه الله تعالى في " إصلاح المساجد " (ص 107) عن أهل التعديل والتجريح أنه ليس في فضل ليلة النصف من شعبان حديث صحيح، فليس مما ينبغي الاعتماد عليه، ولئن كان أحد منهم أطلق مثل هذا القول فإنما أوتي من قبل التسرع وعدم وسع الجهد لتتبع الطرق على هذا النحو الذي بين يديك. والله تعالى هو الموفق.
“In essence, the Hadith, considering the different narrations, is Sahih (rigorously authenticated) without any doubt.” He then goes on further to say that those who deny the virtue of this night, then it is due to their haste in passing rulings and the absence of effort in researching the Ahadith. (Silsilatul Ahadithus Sahihah)
أحب الصالحين ولست منهم لعل الله يرزقني صلاحا
Ik houd van de vromen, maar ik behoor niet tot hen, misschien dat Allah mij [vanwege mijn band met hen] vroomheid schenkt.