Shabaan - Laylatul Baraa'ah
The month of Shabaan is a blessed month wherein our good deeds are taken up to Jannah and presented before Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala. Regarding the holiness of this month we are reminded about its great benefits in the following words: "O servants of Allah! This is the month of Shabaan, which has been distinguished for the honour of our Iman. This is the month for the remembrance of Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala. This is the month for sending Salawaat to our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. This is the month wherein our prayers, Duas and good deeds are accepted and presented before Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala."
It has been reported by Anas bin Malik Radiallahu Ta'ala Anhu that when the month of Shabaan approached, the Muslims devoted themselves whole-heartedly to regular recitation of the Holy and Noble Quran and they gave their Zakaah from their wealth to assist the needy and the destitute during the Auspicious and Holy month of Ramadan. It has been reported by Abu Hurayrah Radiallahu Ta'ala Anhu: "I heard the Beloved of Almighty Allah saying: Purify your bodies with fasting and Ibadah during the month of Shabaan for the coming month of Ramadan; any servant of Allah who fasts three days for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah during the month of Shabaan will be forgiven."
We are told that it will be asked of a person whose scale of good deeds will be light on the Day of Qiyaamah: "Where were you on the first night of Rajab, and on the 15th night of Shabaan? "Why did you not render it heavy by worshipping your Glorious Creator and Sustainer during the sacred nights? It is also said that a true Muhmin's prayer is accepted and Duas are granted during five sacred nights of the year i.e. the first night of Rajab, the 15th night of Shabaan the night before Eid-ul-Fitr, the night before Eid-ul-Adha and the blessed night of Lailatul Qadr.
It is also said that on the 15th night of Shabaan Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala sets the destiny of every human being for the coming year and addresses all true believers by proclaiming: "Is there anyone who will beg for forgiveness for I will surely grant My forgiveness? Is there anyone who will repent for I will accept his or her repentance - and is there anyone who will ask Me for his or her needs I will grant whatever he or she asks."
It is also mentioned in a tradition that Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala will forgive the Ummah of His Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alaihi Wasallam except for seven types of people who will find no reward on the 15th night of Shabaan. The people referred to in this tradition are: a magician, a drunkard, a confirmed adulterer, one who violates relationships, one who is disobedient towards parents, a Fitnah monger, a miser and malicious person who does not speak to a fellow Muslim for more than three days.
During this wonderful and blessed month of Shabaan, let us show our gratitude and love for our Glorious Creator and His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alaihi Wasallam by distributing our Zakaah and remembering our less fortunate brothers and sisters who are suffering under oppression and repression in Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, the Philippines, Kosovo and Caucasus. It is reported that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said: "The worst things in a man are frightened miserliness and unrestrained cowardice." The two go side by side, the miser and the coward.
This is a month for all of us to develop a consciousness, and to develop awareness that when Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata'ala blesses us with wealth, there is a share in it for those who are less fortunate. Why? Because that is a necessary ingredient in social struggle: to desire for our brother and sister what we desire for ourselves. We must understand and assimilate that behaviour.
Abu Hurayrah Radiallahu Ta'ala Anho reported that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alaihi Wasallam said: "A generous person is near to Almighty Allah, near to Jannah, near to his or her fellow men and far from Jahannam, but the miser is far from Almighty Allah, far from Jannah far from his or her fellow men and near to Jahannam. Indeed, an ignorant person who is generous is dearer to Almighty Allah than a worshipper who is a miser."
So, to understand the reasons for the celebration of the middle of Shabaan (nisfu ash-Shabaan or the night of Barat) we must acknowledge:
It is not a festival for indulgence of the appetites; It is not a purely a religious occasion which requires fasting and prayer. It is most important and imperative that we remember the essential reasons and their significance; that the Muslims were made a distinct Ummah, which our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and his Ummah were made an independent entity to lead mankind out of darkness and into the light which leads onto the path of Seerathul Mustaqeem.