The End of Times: Isolating Oneself, Sticking to the Majority, and Protection from the Dajjal

Question: What is the meaning of the following hadiths:

“There will come a time when the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he will take to the tops of mountains and the places of rainfall so as to flee with his religion from the afflictions”

Hudhayfah – radiallâhu ’anhu – said:

The people used to ask the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam about the good, but I used to ask him about the evil from fear that it would overtake me, so I said: O Messenger of Allâh! We used to be in jâhiliyyah (ignorance) and evil, then Allâh brought this good to us, so is there any evil after this good? He said: “Yes.” I said: And is there any good after that evil? He said: “Yes, but it will be tainted.” I asked: What will taint it? He said: “A people guiding others with other than my Sunnah, you will approve of some (of their actions) and disapprove of others.” I asked: Then is there any evil after that good? He said: “Yes! Callers to the Gates of Hell-Fire, whoever responds to them in that will be thrown into it.” I said: O Messenger of Allâh! Describe them to us. He said: “They will be from our own people and speak our language.” I said: What do you order me to do if that should happen in my own lifetime? He said: “Stick to the Jamâ’ah (united body) of the Muslims and their Imâm.” I said: What if they do not have a united-body nor an Imâm? He said: “Then keep away from all those sects even if you have to bite upon the root of a tree, until death overtakes you and you are in that state.”

Do these hadiths refer to the end of times during the trial of Dajjal? Does this mean that during the trials of Dajjal the believers MUST withdraw from society and move to rural areas? What is expected of the believers during those upcoming trials .

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

Both hadiths you mention are found in Sahih Bukhari.

Isolation versus Community

Regarding the first hadith, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (rah) mentions that it would seem to refer to the end of time, and that it indicates the merit of isolation in times of tribulation.

However, he also states that, in general, the preference of isolation versus remaining within the community is situation specific: there are some scenarios when isolation is preferred, such as in difficult times so as to protect one’s religious practice; and there are other situations when remaining within the community is better, so as to fulfill communal obligations and rights. [Fath al-Bari]

However, we do not know if this tribulation is specifically at the time of Dajjal’s emergence or beforehand.

end-time-prophecy-hero2

Adhering to the Way of the Majority

Regarding the second hadith, Ibn Hajar (rah) mentions the general ruling that if there are many factions among the Muslims, then as per this hadith, one should avoid the disputation and stick to the majority, as well as adhere to the Noble Sunnah. Some defined the “majority” as the Sahaba, and others defined them as the religious scholars in every age, since neither of these two groups will agree on misguidance. [Fath al-Bari]

Badr al-Din al-Ayni also mentions that the “majority” could either be the Sahaba or the community of scholars in any time period. He adds that the basis of interpreting the majority as the community of scholars is that they are the ones whom Allah has made a proof (hujja) against the evil among creation, and to them do the general laity turn when there is tribulation in their religious practice, such as heretical sects, reprehensible innovations, and the like.

With respect to the first “time of evil” mentioned in the hadith, some commentators said it refers to the time of fitna when our Master Uthman (Allah be well pleased with him) was killed. The subsequent “time of good” then would be the caliphate of our Master Ali (Allah ennoble his face), and the “tainted” aspect of that time would refer to the Khawarij and similar groups that caused tribulation. [Umdat al-Qari]

What is the Way of the Mainstream?

Another key hadith, also found in Sahih Bukhari, helps us understand the way of the mainstream.

Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “There will remain a group from my nation manifest [on truth and upholding the Sacred Law], until the matter of Allah comes [the Day of Judgment], while they are manifest.”

And in the next narration in Bukhari, there is the additional phrase “Anyone who betrays or opposes them will not harm them.”

Traditionally, this manifest group was understood to be the righteous scholars of The People of the Sunnah and Majority (Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a), the methodology of which is to adhere to one of the four schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali), as well as one of the two schools of theology (Ash’ari and Maturidi).

Yet along with such legal and theological diversity comes an appreciation and respect of valid difference of opinion, which is key in avoiding internal discord. Sunni orthodoxy is predicated upon unity and respect, not necessarily uniformity; this is essential to the strength of its methodology.

For detailed explanations of Sunni Orthodoxy, please see the following articles by Shaykh Nuh Keller, Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad:

What is a Madhhab? Why is it necessary to follow one?

Understanding the Four Madhhabs

Social Implications of Remaining with the Majority

Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) highlighted the importance of remaining with the group in several hadiths:

He (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Stick to the group, and beware of being separate. For indeed, Satan is with the one who is alone, yet further from two together. Whoever wishes to live in the best part of Paradise, at its center, then let him stick to the group.” [Tirmidhi]

He (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is also reported to have said, “The group is a mercy, while separation is torment.” [Musnad Shihab]

Allah Most High has placed a very special mercy in the hearts of believers united for Allah. He Most High states, “The believers are but brethren,” (49:10) and our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) explained the brotherhood of believers when he said, “The example of believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is like a single body: if one limb complains of pain, the rest of the body’s limbs call one another [to react], with fever and insomnia.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

What to do if Dajjal Comes?

Linguistically, “dajjal” means “imposter” (kadhdhab), or literally “one who covers over,” since he covers the truth with falsehood, to the extent that he claims divinity. He is also called that because he covers the earth with so many of his followers.

He is also called “maseeh,” which has the meaning of “anointed,” since half his face is “anointed,” such that he has no eye on that side. The Dajjal is the one who brings the greatest tribulation of this life. [Misbah Munir; Tahdhib al-Asma’; Lisan al-Arab]

There are many descriptions of him in the hadith literature, such as, “Verily, your Lord is not one-eyed. Verily, the Masih Dajjal is one-eyed: his right eye is like a floating grape,” and “Between his two eyes is written: Kafir.” [Sahih Bukhari]

The sunna is to seek refuge from the tribulation of Dajjal. The dua of the Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace)—which he recited at the end of the prayer and which he taught the Companions the way he would teach them a surah of the Qur’an—was:

“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Jahannam; I seek refuge with You from the torment of the grave; I seek refuge with You from the False Messiah (dajjal); and I seek refuge with You from the tribulations of life and death.” [Sahih Muslim]

اللّهُمَّ إِنَّي أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّم وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْر وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيْحِ الدَّجَّال وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَات

The sunna is also to recite Surah Kahf, specifically the first ten verses. Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whoever memorizes ten verses from the beginning of Surah Kahf will be safe from Dajjal,” and in another narration, “So whoever among you encounters him [Dajjal], let him recite the opening verses of Surah Kahf.” [Sahih Muslim]

Lastly, if the Dajjal does come during one’s life, then one should do what one should always do: turn wholeheartedly to Allah, and continue to serve Allah’s religion. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that if a person is planting a seed and the Day of Judgment suddenly begins, he should continue planting the seed. [Musnad Ahmed]

Whether it is the end of the world or not, there is much work to be done, so as to serve this ummah and gain the pleasure of Allah Most High.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Also Read:

Who are the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah (1)?

Who are the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah (2)?

Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings

Fatwa

PDF Download Link: Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings

This  fatwa on terrorism & suicide bombings issued by the renowned authority of Islamic world, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, deals a devastating blow to al-Qaeda, ISIS and its affiliates by removing decisively any remnant of theological justifications for terrorism. The detailed fatwa demolishes the theological arguments advanced by terrorists in prisons, on websites, videos and their literature. No longer can any extremist organisations employ Muslim scripture with impunity to advance the onslaught of civilians, be they non-Muslim or Muslim. It was pronounced/issued during a press conference in central London on 02 March 2010 and later published as a hardback book titled Fatwa on Terrorism & Suicide Bombings.

SHABAAN 15TH NIGHT ( Laylatul Bara’ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha’ban) – VIRTUES AND ADVISE

Many Muslims in various countries pray on the 15th night of Shabaan, and ask for forgiveness of their sins and on the following day proceed to fast. To do this is in no way against the Qur’an nor the Sunnah. There are many narrations that support its validity.

There is one night in the year when Allah ﷻ gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food people will have in the year, etc.

Below is an article taken from “Suffah Foundation” (In a slightly modified form)

This article is split into the following categories:

1) PDF containing all the supporting evidences on the specific virtues of 15th Sha’baan;

2) Narrations by leading Salafi authorities ibn Taymiyah and al-Albani with book and page scans;

3) Where did the narrations for Night of Mid-Shabaan Come from?

4)  Answers to Objections raised.

1. Detailed Article Containing all Narrations on 15th Shabaan.

The specific virtues of 15th Shabaan which makes that day and night special and distinguished, according to the Quran, Authentic Sunnah, and the Statements of the Imams of the Ummah.. Read detailed article listing all the narrations by clicking *PDF here*


2. Opinions of leading Salafi Authorities on 15th Shabaan.

The below are some of the narrations by leading Salafi authorities.

  •  Two followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Al Najdi, are Hafidhh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions.
    [Fatawa Ahl-e-Hadith by Hafidhh Rawpari and Fatawa Thanaa’iya by Thana’ullahAmritsari, chapter on fasting]
  • Ibn Tayymiya writes:

The excellency regarding the 15th of Shabaan is an area of dispute between the Scholars, some of them say that there is no significance of this night, but Imam Ahmed recognises the excellency of this night, our other Hanbli Scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed. There are Ahadith on this night being significant, some of them are from Sunnan (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah) and the other Ahadeeth books as well.
[Iqtidah Siratul Mustaqeem page 203 by Ibn Taymiyah]

Ibn-Taimiyyah was also asked about praying in the 15th night of Sha’ban. He replied:

وأما ليلة النصف فقد روى في فضلها أحاديث وآثار ونقل عن طائفة من السلف أنهم كانوا يصلون فيها، فصلاة الرجل فيها وحده قد تقدمه فيه سلف وله فيه حجة فلا ينكر مثل هذا

Translation: As for the 15th night of Shabaan, there are many narrations and Athar (quotes from the Sahabah) regarding its virtue. It has been reported of the salaf that they prayed in this night. Therefore, praying alone on this night, having precedence in the salaf, is sufficient evidence and something of this kind surely cannot be denied.[Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmua al Fatawa, Volume No. 23, Page No. 132]

See Scan 01 at the bottom of this page

  • Ibn-Taimiyyah in another place was asked the same question and he replied:

وسنل عن صلاة نصف شعبان فاجاب ازا صلئ الانسان ليلة النصف وحده اوفئ جماعته خاصته كما كان يفل جماعته خاصته كما كان يفعل طوانف من السلف فهواحسن

Translation: If one prays on this night alone or in a select company of people as many groups amongst the salaf did, “then it is good”. [Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmua al Fatawa, Volume 23, Page 131]

 See Scan 01 at the bottom of this page

  • The Salafi Scholar Al-Mubarakpuri, the author of famous Sharah of Tirimdhi i.e. Tuhfa tul Ahwadi says

اعلم أنه قد ورد في فضيلة ليلة النصف من شعبان عدة أحاديث مجموعها يدل على أن لها أصلا

Translation: You should know that a sufficient number of hadith has been narrated confirming “the virtues of the 15th night of Sha`ban”. All these ahaadith prove that it has a basis.[Tuhfa tl Ahwadhi (3/380)]

After relating many Ahadith about the importance of this night he says:

فهذه الأحاديث بمجموعها حجة على من زعم أنه لم يثبت في فضيلة ليلة النصف من شعبان شيء والله تعالى أعلم

Translation: The sum of all these ahadith is strong evidence against the one “who thinks there is no proof” of the virtue of the 15th night of Sha`ban” and Allah knows best. [Tuhfatul Ahwadhi Volume 003: Page. 365-367]

  • Now here is “Decisive” Proof from “Nasir ud din Albani” the Chief Muhadith of Salafis

” يطلع الله تبارك و تعالى إلى خلقه ليلة النصف من شعبان , فيغفر لجميع خلقه
إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن ” .

قال الألباني في ” السلسلة الصحيحة ” 3 / 135 :

حديث صحيح , روي عن جماعة من الصحابة من طرق مختلفة يشد بعضها بعضا و هم # معاذ ابن جبل و أبو ثعلبة الخشني و عبد الله بن عمرو و أبي موسى الأشعري و أبي هريرة و أبي بكر الصديق و عوف ابن مالك و عائشة # .

1 – أما حديث معاذ فيرويه مكحول عن مالك بن يخامر عنه مرفوعا به . أخرجه ابن
أبي عاصم في ” السنة ” رقم ( 512 – بتحقيقي )

Translation: Allah turns towards his creation in the Night of “MID-SHABAN” and He forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people

Albani says in his “Silsilat as Sahiha”:(This is a) “SAHIH HADITH” narrated by group of Sahaba with different routes (Isnaad) such as from Muadh bin Jabal (ra), Abu Thalbah (ra) Abdullah bin Amr (ra), Abu Musa al Ashari (ra), Abu Hurraira (ra), Abu Bakr as Saddiq (ra), Awf bin Malik (ra) and Aisha (ra).The Hadith of Muadh bin Jabal (ra) comes through Makhul from Malik bin Yakhamir and It is “MARFU” narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in his As-Sunnah Hadith #512 [Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat as Sahiha, Volume No. 3, Page No. 135 #1144]

See Scan 02 at the bottom of this page

Albani further declares 2 more ahadith to be “Hassan” and 1 to be “Mursil Jayyid”


Where did the narrations for Night of Mid-Shabaan Come from?

“AS FOR THE NIGHT OF MID-SHA’BAN, THE TABI’EEN IN SHĀM, LIKE KHALID IBN MA’DAN, MAKHUL, LUQMAN IBN ‘AMIR, AND OTHERS, USED TO HONOR THIS NIGHT AND STRIVE HARD IN THEIR WORSHIP IN IT. IT IS FROM THEM THAT THE PEOPLE LEARNED THE VIRTUE OF THIS NIGHT AND LEARNED TO HONOR IT.”
– IBN RAJAB AL-HANBALI, LATA’IF AL-MA’ARIF (1)

“AS FOR THE NIGHT OF MID-SHA’BAN, HADITHS AND EARLY REPORTS HAVE BEEN TRANSMITTED ABOUT ITS VIRTUE, AND IT HAS BEEN TRANSMITTED THAT A GROUP OF THE SALAF (RIGHTEOUS PREDECESSORS) USED TO DO EXTRA PRAYERS IN IT.”
– IBN TAYMIYYA, MAJMU’ AL-FATAWA (2)

The passages above show us that in the first century of Islam, it was the people of Shām who were known to celebrate the the Night of Mid-Sha’ban. Those who taught them that the Night of Mid-Sha’ban was a special night, and taught them to do extra prayers in this night, were scholars from the generation of the Tabi’een, those who studied under the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

Now the question is, why was it in particular the Tabi’een of Shām that taught this?

Because they took it from the great Companion Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) who used to teach in Damascus. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) spread to different parts of the world, and took with them the teachings that they heard from the Messenger of Allah. Because of this, in the first century of Islam, different regions within the Muslim world had different practices and fiqh, based on the different Companions that they learned from.

When the caliph Harun al-Rashid asked Imam Malik if he may force all the people of Islam to follow Malik’s book the Muwatta, Imam Malik refused this strongly, telling him that the different Companions of the Messenger of Allah had dispersed to different lands, each carrying different hadiths and different teachings; the people of each region followed the way of the Companions who went to them, and they were all correct. After some while, the hadiths of all the different regions would be brought together and shared with the entire Muslim community.

Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him)

The most prominent Companion to teach in Damascus was Mu’adh ibn Jabal. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “The most knowledgeable person in my Ummah of what is Halal and what is Haram is Mu’adh ibn Jabal.” He (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also said, “Muadh will be at the forefront of all the scholars on the Day of Judgment.” Many hadiths describe Muadh as the leader of the scholars of Islam on the Day of Judgement.

When he came to Shām, the other Companions there used to have such respect for him that they would always turn to him to solve any problem. Even though he was the youngest of the Companions there, they would all look at him with awe. He always sat quietly and silently, but stood out with his radiant face. When a disagreement arose they would go ask him, and hover around him. People said that a love for him would fall on their hearts upon seeing him and they said that when he spoke it was as if light and pearls were coming out of his mouth. The other Companions likened him to the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him).
It was Muadh, this most outstanding of scholars from among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who taught to the people of Shām the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) about the virtues of the Night of Mid-Sha’ban.

There, in Shām, Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

God looks at His creation during the Night of Mid-Sha‘ban and forgives all of them, except an idolator and one who harbours rancour.

This above hadith was narrated on the authority of Mu’adh by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih. It was also narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in al-Sunna and al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Awsat. (3)

If we look at the chain of this hadith, we see that the Syrian Malik b. Yukhamir (from the city of Homs) took this hadith from Mu’adh ibn Jabal, and through him it reached Makhul. As we saw above, Ibn Rajab stated that Makhul was one of those who taught people the virtue of this blessed night and used to strive to do extra worship on this night.

According to Imam Zuhri and other great scholars of that age, Makhul was the greatest scholar of Shām in his age, and one of the four greatest scholars amongst that entire blessed generation of young Tabi’een. Makhul taught this hadith to the Damascene Thawban, who taught it to two people mentioned in this chain: his son Ibn Thawban, and the Imam of Shām, al-Awza’i. Al-Awza’i was the imam of Shām of his time in terms of Jurisprudence, like Malik in Medina, Abu Hanifa in Kufa, or Ibn Hanbal in Baghdad. The Awza’i school of jurisprudence became the main school of jurisprudence in Shām and spread from there to the Andalus, where it was the most widespread school of jurisprudence there for a time.

As you can see, the people in this chain are all from Shām. That is why the hadith master al-Tabarani, himself from Palestine in Shām, narrated this hadith in his book Musnad al-Shāmiyyeen, a collection of hadiths narrated by Tabi’een who lived in Shām and their students. Al-Tabarani took the hadith from Muhammad ibn Abi Zur’a of Damascus, with his chain back to Imam Awza’i and Ibn Thawban. (4)

Makhul also received this same hadith from Kathir ibn Murra al-Hadrami, a Tabi’i who lived in Homs. Kathir reported the hadith as a mursal report directly from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), meaning that he did not specify which Companion he took it from. Al-Bayhaqi narrated the hadith through this chain in Shu’ab al-Iman and stated that it was a mursal jayyid (strong hadith, despite being mursal). (5) Kathir was known for often leaving out the name of the Companion from whom he took prophetic traditions, but we do know that one of his main teachers was Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him).

Others Who Brought Hadiths About this Night to Shām

The people of Shām did not only learn this hadith from Muadh ibn Jabal, but from another Companion: Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him). Who narrated this hadith from him? Al-Dahhak ibn Abd al-Rahman, from Shām. This chain continues being narrated by scholars from Shām until Rashid b. Sa’id al-Ramli of Palestine, Shām, who taught this hadith to Ibn Majah, who narrated it in his Sunan. (6)

Ibn Majah also narrated the following hadith on the authority of Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him):

“If it is the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān then stand in prayer during its night and fast its day. For God descends to the heavens of the earth when the sun sets and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who seeks provision so that I may grant him provision? Is there anyone afflicted so that I may remove his affliction? Is there not such and such,’ until the dawn breaks.”

Who narrated this hadith from Ali? His nephew Abdullah ibn Ja’far, who used to travel every year to Damascus. He passed on the hadith to his son Mu’awiya, who was born in Damascus. (7)

As you can see, the people of Shām gave great importance to this night and paid special attention to narrating the hadiths about it, and it all would have started with the Prophet’s great Companion Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him). There were other hadiths of course about this night that were spread by people of different lands. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, for example, narrated a hadith similar to that of Mu’adh ibn Jabal about the virtue of that night (with some difference in wording) through a chain made up of Egyptians, on the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As (may Allah be pleased with him), the Companion whose father opened Egypt to Islam. (8)

The Early Scholars of Shām

Now if we return to the hadith of Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) and the scholars of Shām who narrated it, we see those very same narrators are the ones from whom we have received explanations of this hadith. Thus these scholars used to not only narrate this hadith but comment upon it and explain it.

Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
I heard al-Awza’i explain the mushāhin (one who harbours rancour) as: every person of innovation, who has left the jamā’a (majority) and the Ummah. (9)

Umar ibn Hani’ said: I asked Ibn Thawban about the meaning of mushāhin (one who harbours rancour). He said,
“He is the one who has left the Sunna of his Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who speaks ill of his Ummah, and spills their blood.” (10)

As we have seen above, those two figures, Imam Awza’i and Ibn Thawban, are the ones who narrated the hadith of Muadh from Thawban, and passed it on to other scholars of Shām.

Conclusion

We learn from the above the importance that the people of the blessed land of Shām gave to the Night of Mid-Sha’ban and its day, and we learn that its origin is with the great Companion, the leader of all the scholars of Islam, Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him). The people of Shām took this hadith from him and taught it to others and explained it. We also know that they learned from this hadith (and others) that one should strive to do extra worship on this night. This was the guidance of the Tabi’een which they took from the Companions who came to Shām and instilled in them the love and veneration of this blessed night.

To repeat the words of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali:

“The Tabi’een in Shām, like Khalid ibn Ma’dan, Makhul, Luqman ibn ‘Amir, and others, used to honor this night and strive hard in their worship in it. It is from them that the people learned the virtue of this night and learned to honor it.”

According to Ibn Rajab, Khalid ibn Ma’dan, Luqman ibn ‘Amir and other notable Tabi’een from Shām recommended for people to congregate in the mosques in this night to perform extra worship together. They would wear their best clothes, put kohl on their eyes, perfume themselves using incense and then spend that night in the mosque. He further stated that the great Imam in Khorasan, Ishaq ibn Rahwayh was asked about this practice of the people of Shām. Ibn Rahwayh was known as the “Imam of the East” and the “Master of Hadith Memorizers.” He was a colleague of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal who called Ibn Rahwayh one of the imams of the Muslims. He was a teacher of Imam Bukhari and was one of the leading figures of the Ahl al-Hadith movement. Imam Ibn Rahwayh supported the practice and responded that praying extra prayers in the mosque in congregation on that night is not an innovation. Imam al-Awza’i on the other hand, while also advocating spending that night in extra worship, was of the opinion that it was preferable not to do it in the mosque. (11)

May Allah bless and reward all the Companions and their Followers, and all those hadith narrators and scholars who have preserved for us the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), so that it could reach us centuries later, in all corners of the world, in order for us to be able to implement it and act upon it.

References
(1) Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 137.
(2) He continues to say: “If a person performs extra prayers on the night of the middle of Sha’ban on his own or in a private congregation, as groups of the salaf used to do, that is best.” However, he disapproved of a congregation of an entire town in the main mosque praying an innovated prayer with a set number, for example, one hundred cycles with one thousand Sura Ikhlas, calling that an innovation. (See Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu’ al-Fatawa, vol. 23, p. 132). An almost identical statement is repeated in his workIqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim where he added that despite the fact that some scholars from Hijaz denied the virtue of this night, the majority of the people of knowledge from among the Hanbali scholars and others believe in its special virtues, and the texts of Ahmad ibn Hanbal are evidence for that, as well as the many prophetic traditions and practices of the salaf (See Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim, Beirut: Dar ‘Alam al-Kitab, 1999, vol. 2, pp. 136-7). It should be noted in this regard that Shām was always one of the main centers of the Hanbali school.
(3) Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 12, p. 481. Its men are all trustworthy.
After evaluating eight different chains for this hadith, al-Albani concludes: ‘The hadith, with its collective chains of transmission, is authentic (sahih) without doubt.’ Al-Albani, Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah,Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma‘arif, 1979, vol. 3, p. 138.
(4) Al-Tabarani, Musnad al-Shāmiyyeen, Beirut: Mu’assassat al-Risala, 1984, vol. 1, p. 128.
(5) Al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman, Riyadh: Maktabat al-Rushd, 2003, vol. 5, p. 349.
(6) Sunan Ibn Majah, Cairo: Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-Arabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 445.
(7) Sunan Ibn Majah, Cairo: Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-Arabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 444. However it should be noted that the chain of this particular narration contains one person who is considered weak. Though Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali considered this tradition to be weak, he narrated it in Lata’if al-Ma’arif in support of fasting the day of the 15th of Sha’ban. He further stated that in either case, it is one of the three middle days of every month known as the ‘Days of the White Nights’ in which fasting is recommended. These are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month (see Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 136).
(8) Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Beirut: Mu’assassat al-Risala, 2001, vol. 11, pp. 216-7.
(9), (10) Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari (ed.), Risalat al-Kashf wal Bayaan ‘an Fadaail Laylat an-Nisf min Sha’banby al-hafiz Shaykh Salim al-Sanhouri, who was summarizing the teachings of his teacher, the Seal of the Hadith Masters of his age, Shaykh Najm al-Din al-Ghayti. Cairo: Dar Jawami’ al-Kalim, pp. 14-5.
Ishaq ibn Rahwayh likewise said in his Musnad: Al-Awza’i explained the word mushāhin (in this hadith) as the innovator who parts ways with the rest of the ummah.
(11) Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 137.


Answers to the Objections

Q1) Sha’ban is a blessed month and the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would observe fast throughout this month

No disputes with this statement for the beloved Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) indeed used to fast most of the year round abundantly.

Though there is caution for those who are not regular keepers of fasting to abstain from fasting in the second half of the month to avoid becoming weak for Ramadan:

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “When Sha’baan is half over, do not fast.” [Sunan Abu Dawood and al-Tirmidhi and others]

Q2) There is no Qur’anic evidence for the excellence of the 15th of Sha’ban. 

There is one night in the year when Allah Almighty gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food people will have in the year, etc.

Ha, Meem. By the clear Book, Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Surely, We are the Warner. In that night is made distinct every precise matter. By Our command; surely, it is We Who send. [Surah Dukhan 44, Verses 1-5]

The Majority of the scholars of Islam say:

That night is Laila-tul-Qadar in the month of Ramadan but the other scholars like Ikramah who is student of Abdullah bin Abbas (Radi allahu anho) says that night is 15th of Shabaan. There is a Hadith which Imam Tabari (Radi allahu anho) writes: Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘From Shabaan to Shabaan there is a decision made of who is going to die, be married and some people get married but their names are written in the death program. [Tafsir Tabari, under Surah Dukhan, verse 1 by Imam Tabari]

This narration is Ikrama’s, the other scholar’s statements are proven that 15th night of Shabaan is a holy night but there is no doubt that Allah Almighty gives the full knowledge to the Angels in the night of Laila-tul-Qadar, which is in the month of Ramadan.

If we read all the narration’s regarding Laila-tul-Qadar and the 15th night of Shabaan we can reach the conclusion that the yearly program started on the 15th night of Shabaan and completed on Laila-tul-Qadar. There might be a suspicion as to ‘why does a year program take so long from Shabaan to Ramadan? The answer is Allah knows the best. No one can understand for sure the philosophy of Allah’s work. He made the worlds in six days. Who knows why He took six days to make the worlds. The main point is, to simply say there is no Quranic evidence for the excellence of 15th Shabaan is an injustice and gross accusation. Earlier in the article we have shown that 15th Shabaan was considered a virtuous and meritorious night by some of the Sahaba and Tabieen. To examine all of the above statements consult these books:

“Tafsir Tabari, Fathul Qadeer by Qadi Shawkani, Tafsir Qurtabi, Tafsir Bagawi, Tafsir Mazhari, Tafsir Ma’ah riyful Qur’an, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Zia-ul-Qur’an under the verse of Surah Al- Dukhan verse 1 to 5”

Q3) The opinion that sustenance, death etc is determined on the night of the 15th of Sha’ban is false. 

As stated in Answer 2 above, some Tafsir Masters have written that the first few verses of Surah Dukhan is referring to the night of 15th Shabaan:

“Ha, Meem. By the clear Book, Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Surely, We are the Warner. In that night is made distinct every precise matter. By Our command; surely, it is We Who send.” [Surah Dukhan 44, Verses 1-5]

It is based on this surah that some scholars have written that on the night of 15th Shabaan Allah Almighty gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food and sustenance people will have in the year, etc. Furthermore, the Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘From Shabaan to Shabaan there is a decision made of who is going to die, be married and some people get married but their names are written in the death program. [Tafsir Tabari, under Surah Dukhan, verse 1 by Imam Tabari].

Q4) Most hadith on the merit of the 15th of Sha’ban are either very weak or fabricated. However, there is a narration which has been argued by some scholars (then supported collectively) reaches the level of acceptability. The hadith states that Allah descends to the lowest heaven and forgives the sins of everyone except one who associates partners with Allah and one who harbors enmity on that night. 

The article we have provided shows the authenticity of all the various narrations on 15th Shabaan. One can read them all here. It is a deception to state that most are weak. We suggest all brothers and sisters to read the narrations themselves here.

Q5) All hadith which describe specific prayers to be done on this night are fabrications and innovations. 

Ibn Majah (rah) narrated the following hadith on the authority of Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him):

“If it is the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān then stand in prayer during its night and fast its day. For God descends to the heavens of the earth when the sun sets and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who seeks provision so that I may grant him provision? Is there anyone afflicted so that I may remove his affliction? Is there not such and such,’ until the dawn breaks.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Cairo: Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-Arabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 444]

Who narrated this hadith from Ali? His nephew Abdullah ibn Ja’far, who used to travel every year to Damascus. He passed on the hadith to his son Mu’awiya, who was born in Damascus. We have already shown in the article above the connection between night of mid-Shabaan and the Salaf-as-saliheen of Damascus.

However it should be noted that the chain of this particular narration contains one person who is considered weak. Though Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali considered this tradition to be weak, he narrated it in Lata’if al-Ma’arif in support of fasting the day of the 15th of Sha’ban. He further stated that in either case, it is one of the three middle days of every month known as the ‘Days of the White Nights’ in which fasting is recommended. These are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month (see Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 136).

The night of the 15th Sha’ban, is a very blessed night, this is proven from the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith. In this night Allah ﷻ turns specially attentive towards His servants and forgives a great deal of them. Allah ﷻ fulfils their supplications for sustenance and a pleasant life in this World and the next. Allah ﷻ fulfils the requests of the callers in this night. Due to the virtues and blessings of this night, we should supplicate for the forgiveness of the Ummah, our beloved ones and ourselves. There are narrations from approximately 17 Companions of the Prophet ﷺ with respect to the blessings of this night.

Q6) Remembering the deceased and praying for their forgiveness on 15th Shaman is Bid’ah.

This is a typical reaction of the shirk brigade and biddah bandwagon. When they are refuted from all directions and completely debunked, they are quick to change the topic and begin their rant. We will simply present one hadith about remembering the deceased and praying for their forgiveness to show it was the sunnah of the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

It is narrated that Ummul-Mu’mineen `A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) awoke one night to find the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his Household) missing, and so she went out to look for him. She found him in the Baqee` cemetery, with his head raised to the Heavens [it is recommended in general to visit cemeteries for the purpose of reminding ourselves of death, and to ask Allah to forgive the deceased Muslims]. After helping to further reassure her, it is reported that he said, “Surely Allah, the Possessor of Blessings, the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven [with a meaning appropriate to Allah’s majesty; not to be likened to the descending of finite, spatial, created things] on the night of mid-Sha`ban, and forgives more [people] than the the hairs on the sheep of [the tribe of] Kalb.”

[Narrated by Tirmidhi, who points out that its chain of narration is discontiguous, altough we may note that such discontiguity is not detrimental to authenticity according to some scholars. Also narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and others. Ibn Rajab describes this narration as one of the best on the subject.] So once again we find a narration which mentions the virtues of mid-Shabaan.


It is recorded from the Friends of Allah [Auliya-Allah] to pray 6 cycles of ritual prayer [raka’] after the Maghrib prayer. In the first two raka’ add with the intention that with its blessing extend life with harmony. Next two for the protection from misfortunes and evil, and next two so that may Allah make us dependant on Him and no one else. After every two cycles [raka’] recite 21 times Surah Ikhlas OR once Sura Yasin (chapter 36). Rather read both and gain mounts of rewards and then recite the Supplication of Shabaan (dua’ of Shabaan) Click here for Dua in Audio and Arabic.

Spend the night, as much as possible, in worship and on the 15th of Shabaan fast. It is written in Anees-ul-Waezeen that whoever fasts on the fifteenth of Shabaan the fire of hell will not touch him.

Since the book of deeds is changed on the 15 night, if it is possible, also fast on the 14th so that the last day of the yearly deed book is spent fasting and the first day is spent fasting.


 

Attachments:

1. Scan 01 (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Volume 23)

Fatawa Ibn Taymiyah - Vol 23Fatawa Ibn Taymiyah - 15th Shabaan Scan 01Fatawa Ibn Taymiyah - 15th Shabaan Scan 02

 

2. Scan 02 (Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat as Sahiha, Volume 3, Page No. 135, Hadith Number 1144)

Albani - 15th Shabaan

The Mawlid: A Time to Celebrate

Every year, when the month of Rabi al-Awwal comes around once again, bringing in its train the night of the twelfth, it seems to us as if the whole world is perfumed by the memory of the birth of the Final Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. Countless millions of Muslims in every corner of the earth fix their thoughts on his birth, by re-reading his biography and learning from his unique values and qualities. For he was the Unlettered Prophet, in whose human essence were combined and perfected every noble and generous trait of character: the best of all role-models, of whom Allah Himself has said: “Truly, yours is a tremendous character.”

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The love of the holy Prophet (SalAllahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wassallam), and the joy which his birth and career have brought to us, bring every imaginable kind of good thing to a true Muslim. Even an unbeliever can benefit from his birth. The idolator Abu Lahab, one of the greatest enemies of Islam, was pleased when one Monday he heard the news that Muhammad (SalAllahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wassallam) had been born: and he freed his slave-girl Thuwaiba who had brought him the news. We are told that because of this deed his punishment in the grave is reduced every Monday. This hadith, which is narrated by Imam Bukhari (rah), inspired Imam Shams al-Din al-Dimashqi (rah) to write:

If an unbeliever, condemned by the Quran to eternal pain,
Can be relieved every Monday through his joy at Ahmad,
Then what must a true servant of God hope to gain,
When with the truth of Tawhid he felt joy at Ahmad?

Without the slightest doubt, the best way of commemorating this most noble of all birthdays is in reciting the story of his life, to adults and to children, in order to accustom them to the love of Allah’s great Messenger (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) and to recite as much salawat (durood) as possible on this blessed day .

My own mother, may Allah show her soul mercy, used to put us in the habit of sitting down and reading the sira books. Even though she herself could neither read nor write, she knew much of the sira by heart, and would constantly encourage her family and neighbours to become intimately familiar with the beautiful life-story of the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him).

No-one could deny that gathering to listen to the career of the Master of the Messengers is one of the most desirable of all activities. It can yield a whole range of blessings and benefits, as long as it takes place in a proper Islamic atmosphere without any reprehensible innovations or distortions. Needless to say, the life of the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, can and should be commemorated at any time of the year. Nonetheless, when he is remembered in Rabi al-Awwal, people’s attachment to him grows even stronger, for the simple reason that it was in this month that he was born. At this special time, when the impulse to gather for this purpose is at its strongest, one feels an overwhelming sense of connection between our time and his, as the present reminds us of the past, and helps us to bring to mind and relate to events which took place many centuries ago.

The Prophet himself, may Allah bless him, used to commemorate his birthday, thanking his Lord for His great kindness to him. He would express this commemoration by fasting, as we are told in a hadith narrated by Imam Muslim. The methods by which his birthday may be celebrated vary widely, but the objective is the same: whether in fasting, giving food to the poor, gathering for the remembrance (dhikr) of Allah or calling down blessings upon His Messenger, and listening to the story of his virtues and mighty achievements.

Allah has commanded us Muslims to rejoice at the things by which His grace and mercy comes to us. In the Holy Quran we read: ‘Say, by Allah’s grace and mercy; and let them be made joyful by this!’ (Yunus, 58.) And we have never received any mercy greater than the Prophet himself: ‘We sent you only as a mercy to the worlds.’ (Anbiya, 107.)

Q: ‘Why was he born during that month, rather than during Ramadan, the month when the Quran was revealed, or in one of the Sacred Months, which Allah rendered sacred on the day He created the heavens and the earth? Or even in Sha’ban, the month which contains the blessed Night of Mid-Sha’ban?’

Firstly, in a hadith we read that Allah created the tree on Monday. This can be taken to mean that the creation of sustenance, fruits and all the good things of the earth upon which the children of Adam depend for their life, and which give them medicines to heal them, and whose very sight brings them rest and joy: all this was decreed to come into existence on this day.

The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, also came into the world on this day, as a cause of rapture and joy. He is associated with it in other ways also: according to Ibn Abbas (radiAllahu anhu) , ‘Allah’s Messenger was born on a Monday, became a Prophet on a Monday, and raised up the Black Stone on a Monday.’

Secondly, we should recall that the Arabic name of the month of his birth signifies the season of spring: the time of rebirth and renewal. Now, the Birthday of the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him , resembles this closely. His birth in the month of this name gives good tidings of the greatest forms of sustenance and protection for the believers. It proclaims Allah’s mercy, the greatest of which is His granting guidance, through His messenger, to the Straight Path.’

Thirdly, Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf al-Salihi writes: ‘Can you not see that the season of spring is both the most beautiful and moderate of seasons, free of both bitter cold or stifling heat, or exaggerated length in its days or nights? It is the time of year when people feel most refreshed and whole, so that they can enjoy the pleasure of prayer at night, and of fasting during the day. All of this symbolises and resembles the moderation and healthfulness of the Sunna and the Law which the Prophet brought.’

Fourthly, It would seem to be the case that the Wise God sometimes wishes to ennoble times through events, not events through times. A time otherwise left vacant can thereby be filled with a special quality from which people can derive benefit.

Obviously, if the Blessed Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, had been born in Ramadan, or one of the Sacred Months, or in the holy month of Sha’ban, some people might think that it was he himself who was being ennobled by these times because of their great merit. But it was Allah’s wise decree that he be born in Rabi al-Awwal in order to ennoble that month, and to display Allah’s care and good providence for His Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. As an Arab poet has written:

Allah gave good news of you to the heavens, and they were adorned,
The soil of the earth turned to musk when it heard of you.
A day whose dawn is part of history,
And whose evening is made luminous by Muhammad!

To sum up what I have been trying to say: celebrations of the Mawlid are nothing other than a revival of the memory of the Chosen One. When this is done in the context of an Islamically-learned circle of knowledge and remembrance, in which the manners of our Islamic religion are observed, it is something which the great scholars approve of strongly. It provides a superb opportunity to link us to the Sira, to his miracles and beautiful character, and to the magnification of the Prophet whom Allah has commanded us to follow and emulate in all things.

Only by knowing his virtues and good qualities can we have perfect faith in him.
Only by listening to his life-story will we acquire a true and deep love for him.
As Allah Himself has stated: ‘We tell you the stories of the Messengers, in order to make firm your heart.’
O Allah, make firm our hearts in Islam! Make our faith true and deep, and bestow upon us real love for Your Prophet!

May Allah’s blessings and peace be upon our beloved Prophet, his family, his companions and all his followers.

-by Dr. Muhammad Abduh Yamani

 

SHABAAN 15TH NIGHT – VIRTUES AND ADVICE

(Article Source: http://www.suffahfoundation.com)

This article is split into the following categories:

1)  PDF containing all the supporting evidences on the specific virtues of 15th Sha’baan;

2)  Narrations by leading Salafi authorities ibn Taymiyah and al-Albani with book and page scans;

3)  Where did the narrations for Night of Mid-Shabaan Come from?

4)  Answers to Objections.

Detailed Article Containing all Narrations on 15th Shabaan

 The specific virtues of 15th Shabaan which makes that day and night special and distinguished, according to the Quran, Authentic Sunnah, and the Statements of the Imams of the Ummah..  Read detailed article listing all the narrations by clicking *PDF here*


 Opinions of leading Salafi Authorities on 15th Shabaan

 The below are some of the narrations by leading Salafi authorities.

1)  Two followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Al Najdi, are Hafidhh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions.

[Fatawa Ahl-e-Hadith by Hafidhh Rawpari and Fatawa Thanaa’iya by Thana’ullahAmritsari, chapter on fasting]
2) Ibn Tayymiya writes:
The excellency regarding the 15th of Shabaan is an area of dispute between the Scholars, some of them say that there is no significance of this night, but Imam Ahmed recognises the excellency of this night, our other Hanbli Scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed. There are Ahadith on this night being significant, some of them are from Sunnan (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah) and the other Ahadeeth books as well.
[Iqtidah Siratul Mustaqeem page 203 by Ibn Taymiyah]

Ibn-Taimiyyah was also asked about praying in the 15th night of Sha’ban. He replied:

وأما ليلة النصف فقد روى في فضلها أحاديث وآثار ونقل عن طائفة من السلف أنهم كانوا يصلون فيها، فصلاة الرجل فيها وحده قد تقدمه فيه سلف وله فيه حجة فلا ينكر مثل هذا

Translation: As for the 15th night of Shabaan, there are many narrations and Athar (quotes from the Sahabah) regarding its virtue. It has been reported of the salaf that they prayed in this night. Therefore, praying alone on this night, having precedence in the salaf, is sufficient evidence and something of this kind surely cannot be denied.[Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmua al Fatawa, Volume No. 23, Page No. 132] (See Scan 02)

Ibn-Taimiyyah in another place was asked the same question and he replied:

وسنل عن صلاة نصف شعبان فاجاب ازا صلئ الانسان ليلة النصف وحده اوفئ جماعته خاصته كما كان يفل جماعته خاصته كما كان يفعل طوانف من السلف فهواحسن

Translation: If one prays on this night alone or in a select company of people as many groups amongst the salaf did, “then it is good”. [Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmua al Fatawa, Volume 23, Page 131] (See Scan 03)

Scan 01: Front Cover Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Volume 23

Scan 02: Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Volume 23, Page 131

Scan 03: Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, Volume 23, Page 132

Fatawa Ibn Taymiyah - Vol 23Fatawa Ibn Taymiyah - 15th Shabaan Scan 01Fatawa Ibn Taymiyah - 15th Shabaan Scan 02

3)  The Salafi Scholar Al-Mubarakpuri, the author of famous Sharah of Tirimdhi i.e. Tuhfa tul Ahwadi says

اعلم أنه قد ورد في فضيلة ليلة النصف من شعبان عدة أحاديث مجموعها يدل على أن لها أصلا

Translation: You should know that a sufficient number of hadith has been narrated confirming “the virtues of the 15th night of Sha`ban”. All these ahaadith prove that it has a basis.[Tuhfa tl Ahwadhi (3/380)]

After relating many Ahadith about the importance of this night he says:

فهذه الأحاديث بمجموعها حجة على من زعم أنه لم يثبت في فضيلة ليلة النصف من شعبان شيء والله تعالى أعلم

Translation: The sum of all these ahadith is strong evidence against the one “who thinks there is no proof” of the virtue of the 15th night of Sha`ban” and Allah knows best. [Tuhfatul Ahwadhi Volume 003: Page. 365-367]

4)  Now here is “Decisive” Proof from “Nasir ud din Albani” the Chief Muhadith of Salafis

” يطلع الله تبارك و تعالى إلى خلقه ليلة النصف من شعبان , فيغفر لجميع خلقه
إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن ” .

قال الألباني في ” السلسلة الصحيحة ” 3 / 135 :

حديث صحيح , روي عن جماعة من الصحابة من طرق مختلفة يشد بعضها بعضا و هم # معاذ ابن جبل و أبو ثعلبة الخشني و عبد الله بن عمرو و أبي موسى الأشعري و أبي هريرة و أبي بكر الصديق و عوف ابن مالك و عائشة # .

1 – أما حديث معاذ فيرويه مكحول عن مالك بن يخامر عنه مرفوعا به . أخرجه ابن
أبي عاصم في ” السنة ” رقم ( 512 – بتحقيقي )

Translation: Allah turns towards his creation in the Night of “MID-SHABAN” and He forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people

Albani says in his “Silsilat as Sahiha”:(This is a) “SAHIH HADITH” narrated by group of Sahaba with different routes (Isnaad) such as from Muadh bin Jabal (ra), Abu Thalbah (ra) Abdullah bin Amr (ra), Abu Musa al Ashari (ra), Abu Hurraira (ra), Abu Bakr as Saddiq (ra), Awf bin Malik (ra) and Aisha (ra).The Hadith of Muadh bin Jabal (ra) comes through Makhul from Malik bin Yakhamir and It is “MARFU” narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in his As-Sunnah Hadith #512 [Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat as Sahiha, Volume No. 3, Page No. 135 #1144] (See Scan 04)

Albani further declares 2 more ahadith to be “Hassan” and 1 to be “Mursil Jayyid”

Scan 02: Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat as Sahiha, Volume 3, Page No. 135, Hadith Number 1144

Albani - 15th Shabaan


Where did the narrations for Night of Mid-Shabaan Come from?

AS FOR THE NIGHT OF MID-SHA’BAN, THE TABI’EEN IN SHĀM, LIKE KHALID IBN MA’DAN, MAKHUL, LUQMAN IBN ‘AMIR, AND OTHERS, USED TO HONOR THIS NIGHT AND STRIVE HARD IN THEIR WORSHIP IN IT. IT IS FROM THEM THAT THE PEOPLE LEARNED THE VIRTUE OF THIS NIGHT AND LEARNED TO HONOR IT.

– IBN RAJAB AL-HANBALI, LATA’IF AL-MA’ARIF (1)

AS FOR THE NIGHT OF MID-SHA’BAN, HADITHS AND EARLY REPORTS HAVE BEEN TRANSMITTED ABOUT ITS VIRTUE, AND IT HAS BEEN TRANSMITTED THAT A GROUP OF THE SALAF (RIGHTEOUS PREDECESSORS) USED TO DO EXTRA PRAYERS IN IT.

– IBN TAYMIYYA, MAJMU’ AL-FATAWA (2)

 

The passages above show us that in the first century of Islam, it was the people of Shām who were known to celebrate the the Night of Mid-Sha’ban. Those who taught them that the Night of Mid-Sha’ban was a special night, and taught them to do extra prayers in this night, were scholars from the generation of the Tabi’een, those who studied under the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

Now the question is, why was it in particular the Tabi’een of Shām that taught this?

Because they took it from the great Companion Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) who used to teach in Damascus. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) spread to different parts of the world, and took with them the teachings that they heard from the Messenger of Allah. Because of this, in the first century of Islam, different regions within the Muslim world had different practices and fiqh, based on the different Companions that they learned from.

When the caliph Harun al-Rashid asked Imam Malik if he may force all the people of Islam to follow Malik’s book the Muwatta, Imam Malik refused this strongly, telling him that the different Companions of the Messenger of Allah had dispersed to different lands, each carrying different hadiths and different teachings; the people of each region followed the way of the Companions who went to them, and they were all correct. After some while, the hadiths of all the different regions would be brought together and shared with the entire Muslim community.

Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him)

The most prominent Companion to teach in Damascus was Mu’adh ibn Jabal. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “The most knowledgeable person in my Ummah of what is Halal and what is Haram is Mu’adh ibn Jabal.” He (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also said, “Muadh will be at the forefront of all the scholars on the Day of Judgment.” Many hadiths describe Muadh as the leader of the scholars of Islam on the Day of Judgement.

When he came to Shām, the other Companions there used to have such respect for him that they would always turn to him to solve any problem. Even though he was the youngest of the Companions there, they would all look at him with awe. He always sat quietly and silently, but stood out with his radiant face. When a disagreement arose they would go ask him, and hover around him. People said that a love for him would fall on their hearts upon seeing him and they said that when he spoke it was as if light and pearls were coming out of his mouth. The other Companions likened him to the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him).

It was Muadh, this most outstanding of scholars from among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who taught to the people of Shām the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) about the virtues of the Night of Mid-Sha’ban.

There, in Shām, Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

God looks at His creation during the Night of Mid-Sha‘ban and forgives all of them, except an idolator and one who harbours rancour.

This above hadith was narrated on the authority of Mu’adh by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih. It was also narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in al-Sunna and al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Awsat. (3)

If we look at the chain of this hadith, we see that the Syrian Malik b. Yukhamir (from the city of Homs) took this hadith from Mu’adh ibn Jabal, and through him it reached Makhul. As we saw above, Ibn Rajab stated that Makhul was one of those who taught people the virtue of this blessed night and used to strive to do extra worship on this night.

According to Imam Zuhri and other great scholars of that age, Makhul was the greatest scholar of Shām in his age, and one of the four greatest scholars amongst that entire blessed generation of young Tabi’een. Makhul taught this hadith to the Damascene Thawban, who taught it to two people mentioned in this chain: his son Ibn Thawban, and the Imam of Shām, al-Awza’i. Al-Awza’i was the imam of Shām of his time in terms of Jurisprudence, like Malik in Medina, Abu Hanifa in Kufa, or Ibn Hanbal in Baghdad. The Awza’i school of jurisprudence became the main school of jurisprudence in Shām and spread from there to the Andalus, where it was the most widespread school of jurisprudence there for a time.

As you can see, the people in this chain are all from Shām. That is why the hadith master al-Tabarani, himself from Palestine in Shām, narrated this hadith in his book Musnad al-Shāmiyyeen, a collection of hadiths narrated by Tabi’een who lived in Shām and their students. Al-Tabarani took the hadith from Muhammad ibn Abi Zur’a of Damascus, with his chain back to Imam Awza’i and Ibn Thawban. (4)

Makhul also received this same hadith from Kathir ibn Murra al-Hadrami, a Tabi’i who lived in Homs. Kathir reported the hadith as a mursal report directly from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), meaning that he did not specify which Companion he took it from. Al-Bayhaqi narrated the hadith through this chain in Shu’ab al-Iman and stated that it was a mursal jayyid (strong hadith, despite being mursal). (5) Kathir was known for often leaving out the name of the Companion from whom he took prophetic traditions, but we do know that one of his main teachers was Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him).

Others Who Brought Hadiths About this Night to Shām

The people of Shām did not only learn this hadith from Muadh ibn Jabal, but from another Companion: Abu Musa al-Ash’ari. Who narrated this hadith from him? Al-Dahhak ibn Abd al-Rahman, from Shām. This chain continues being narrated by scholars from Shām until Rashid b. Sa’id al-Ramli of Palestine, Shām, who taught this hadith to Ibn Majah, who narrated it in his Sunan. (6)

Ibn Majah also narrated the following hadith on the authority of Ali ibn Abu Talib:

If it is the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān then stand in prayer during its night and fast its day. For God descends to the heavens of the earth when the sun sets and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who seeks provision so that I may grant him provision? Is there anyone afflicted so that I may remove his affliction? Is there not such and such,’ until the dawn breaks.

Who narrated this hadith from Ali? His nephew Abdullah ibn Ja’far, who used to travel every year to Damascus. He passed on the hadith to his son Mu’awiya, who was born in Damascus. (7)

As you can see, the people of Shām gave great importance to this night and paid special attention to narrating the hadiths about it, and it all would have started with the Prophet’s great Companion Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him). There were other hadiths of course about this night that were spread by people of different lands. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, for example, narrated a hadith similar to that of Mu’adh ibn Jabal about the virtue of that night (with some difference in wording) through a chain made up of Egyptians, on the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As (may Allah be pleased with him), the Companion whose father opened Egypt to Islam. (8)

The Early Scholars of Shām

Now if we return to the hadith of Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) and the scholars of Shām who narrated it, we see those very same narrators are the ones from whom we have received explanations of this hadith. Thus these scholars used to not only narrate this hadith but comment upon it and explain it.

Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak said:
“I heard al-Awza’i explain the mushāhin (one who harbours rancour) as: every person of innovation, who has left the jamā’a (majority) and the Ummah.” (9)
Umar ibn Hani’ said: I asked Ibn Thawban about the meaning of mushāhin (one who harbours rancour).  He said,
“He is the one who has left the Sunna of his Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who speaks ill of his Ummah, and spills their blood.” (10)
As we have seen above, those two figures, Imam Awza’i and Ibn Thawban, are the ones who narrated the hadith of Muadh from Thawban, and passed it on to other scholars of Shām.
 

Conclusion

We learn from the above the importance that the people of the blessed land of Shām gave to the Night of Mid-Sha’ban and its day, and we learn that its origin is with the great Companion, the leader of all the scholars of Islam, Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him). The people of Shām took this hadith from him and taught it to others and explained it. We also know that they learned from this hadith (and others) that one should strive to do extra worship on this night. This was the guidance of the Tabi’een which they took from the Companions who came to Shām and instilled in them the love and veneration of this blessed night.

To repeat the words of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali:

“The Tabi’een in Shām, like Khalid ibn Ma’dan, Makhul, Luqman ibn ‘Amir, and others, used to honor this night and strive hard in their worship in it. It is from them that the people learned the virtue of this night and learned to honor it.”

According to Ibn Rajab, Khalid ibn Ma’dan, Luqman ibn ‘Amir and other notable Tabi’een from Shām recommended for people to congregate in the mosques in this night to perform extra worship together. They would wear their best clothes, put kohl on their eyes, perfume themselves using incense and then spend that night in the mosque. He further stated that the great Imam in Khorasan, Ishaq ibn Rahwayh was asked about this practice of the people of Shām. Ibn Rahwayh was known as the “Imam of the East” and the “Master of Hadith Memorizers.” He was a colleague of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal who called Ibn Rahwayh one of the imams of the Muslims. He was a teacher of Imam Bukhari and was one of the leading figures of the Ahl al-Hadith movement. Imam Ibn Rahwayh supported the practice and responded that praying extra prayers in the mosque in congregation on that night is not an innovation. Imam al-Awza’i on the other hand, while also advocating spending that night in extra worship, was of the opinion that it was preferable not to do it in the mosque. (11)

May Allah bless and reward all the Companions and their Followers, and all those hadith narrators and scholars who have preserved for us the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), so that it could reach us centuries later, in all corners of the world, in order for us to be able to implement it and act upon it.

References

(1) Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 137.

(2) He continues to say: “If a person performs extra prayers on the night of the middle of Sha’ban on his own or in a private congregation, as groups of the salaf used to do, that is best.” However, he disapproved of a congregation of an entire town in the main mosque praying an innovated prayer with a set number, for example, one hundred cycles with one thousand Sura Ikhlas, calling that an innovation. (See Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu’ al-Fatawa, vol. 23, p. 132). An almost identical statement is repeated in his workIqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim where he added that despite the fact that some scholars from Hijaz denied the virtue of this night, the majority of the people of knowledge from among the Hanbali scholars and others believe in its special virtues, and the texts of Ahmad ibn Hanbal are evidence for that, as well as the many prophetic traditions and practices of the salaf (See Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim, Beirut: Dar ‘Alam al-Kitab, 1999, vol. 2, pp. 136-7). It should be noted in this regard that Shām was always one of the main centers of the Hanbali school.

(3) Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 12, p. 481. Its men are all trustworthy.

After evaluating eight different chains for this hadith, al-Albani concludes: ‘The hadith, with its collective chains of transmission, is authentic (sahih) without doubt.’ Al-Albani, Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah,Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma‘arif, 1979, vol. 3, p. 138.

(4) Al-Tabarani, Musnad al-Shāmiyyeen, Beirut: Mu’assassat al-Risala, 1984, vol. 1, p. 128.

(5) Al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman, Riyadh: Maktabat al-Rushd, 2003, vol. 5, p. 349.

(6) Sunan Ibn Majah, Cairo: Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-Arabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 445.

(7) Sunan Ibn Majah, Cairo: Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-Arabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 444. However it should be noted that the chain of this particular narration contains one person who is considered weak. Though Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali considered this tradition to be weak, he narrated it in Lata’if al-Ma’arif in support of fasting the day of the 15th of Sha’ban. He further stated that in either case, it is one of the three middle days of every month known as the ‘Days of the White Nights’ in which fasting is recommended. These are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month (see Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 136).

(8) Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Beirut: Mu’assassat al-Risala, 2001, vol. 11, pp. 216-7.

(9), (10) Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari (ed.), Risalat al-Kashf wal Bayaan ‘an Fadaail Laylat an-Nisf min Sha’banby al-hafiz Shaykh Salim al-Sanhouri, who was summarizing the teachings of his teacher, the Seal of the Hadith Masters of his age, Shaykh Najm al-Din al-Ghayti. Cairo: Dar Jawami’ al-Kalim, pp. 14-5.

Ishaq ibn Rahwayh likewise said in his Musnad: Al-Awza’i explained the word mushāhin (in this hadith) as the innovator who parts ways with the rest of the ummah.

(11) Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 137.

By Brother Samer Dajani


Answers to the Objections

After presenting so many evidences and discussion on this topic including narrations of leading Salafi authorities it really should have been enough and there should not have been a need for an Objections section. However to help our Sunni brothers who are often bombarded with absurd questions and accusations we shall In Sha’Allah provide answers to objections often raised.

Q1. There is no Quranic Evidence for the Excellence of 15th Shaban?

Answer: There is one night in the year when Allah Almighty gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food people will have in the year, etc.

“Ha, Meem.  By the clear Book,  Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Surely, We are the Warner.  In that night is made distinct every precise matter.  By Our command; surely, it is We Who send.” [Surah Dukhan 44, Verses 1-5]

The Majority of the scholars of Islam say:

That night is Laila-tul-Qadar in the month of Ramadan but the other scholars like Ikramah who is student of Abdullah bin Abbas (Radi allahu anho) says that night is 15th of Shabaan. There is a Hadith which Imam Tabari (Radi allahu anho) writes: Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘From Shabaan to Shabaan there is a decision made of who is going to die, be married and some people get married but their names are written in the death program. [Tafsir Tabari, under Surah Dukhan, verse 1 by Imam Tabari]

This narration is Ikrama’s, the other scholar’s statements are proven that 15th night of Shabaan is a holy night but there is no doubt that Allah Almighty gives the full knowledge to the Angels in the night of Laila-tul-Qadar, which is in the month of Ramadan.

If we read all the narration’s regarding Laila-tul-Qadar and the 15th night of Shabaan we can reach the conclusion that the yearly program started on the 15th night of Shabaan and completed on Laila-tul-Qadar. There might be a suspicion as to ‘why does a year program take so long from Shabaan to Ramadan? The answer is Allah knows the best. No one can understand for sure the philosophy of Allah’s work. He made the worlds in six days. Who knows why He took six days to make the worlds. The main point is, to simply say there is no Quranic evidence for the excellence of 15th Shabaan is an injustice and gross accusation.  Earlier in the article we have shown that 15th Shabaan was considered a virtuous and meritorious night by some of the Sahaba and Tabieen.  To examine all of the above statements consult these books:

“Tafsir Tabari, Fathul Qadeer by Qadi Shawkani, Tafsir Qurtabi, Tafsir Bagawi, Tafsir Mazhari, Tafsir Ma’ah riyful Qur’an, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Zia-ul-Qur’an under the verse of Surah Al- Dukhan verse 1 to 5”

 

Q2. The Opinion that sustenance, death e.t.c is determined on the night of 15th of Shaban is False?

Answer: As stated in the Answer above, some Tafsir Masters have written that the first few verses of Surah Dukhan is referring to the night of 15th Shabaan:

Ha, Meem.  By the clear Book,  Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Surely, We are the Warner.  In that night is made distinct every precise matter.  By Our command; surely, it is We Who send.” [Surah Dukhan 44, Verses 1-5]

It is based on this surah that some scholars have written that on the night of 15th Shabaan Allah Almighty gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food and sustenance people will have in the year, etc.  Furthermore, the Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘From Shabaan to Shabaan there is a decision made of who is going to die, be married and some people get married but their names are written in the death program. [Tafsir Tabari, under Surah Dukhan, verse 1 by Imam Tabari]

 

Q3: Authenticity of hadith of 15th Shaban?

Answer: It is a deception to state that most are weak.  We suggest all brothers and sisters to read the narrations themselves here.

 

Q4: All Ahadith which describe specific prayers to be performed on this night are fabricated and biddah?

Answer: Ibn Majah (rah) narrated the following hadith on the authority of Ali ibn Abu Talib (RadiAllahu anhu):

If it is the Night of Mid-Shaʿbān then stand in prayer during its night and fast its day. For God descends to the heavens of the earth when the sun sets and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who seeks provision so that I may grant him provision? Is there anyone afflicted so that I may remove his affliction? Is there not such and such,’ until the dawn breaks. [Sunan Ibn Majah, Cairo: Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-Arabiyya, Vol. 1, p. 444]

Who narrated this hadith from Ali (RadiAllahu anhu)? His nephew Abdullah ibn Ja’far (RadiAllahu anhu), who used to travel every year to Damascus. He passed on the hadith to his son Mu’awiya, who was born in Damascus.  We have already shown in the article above the connection between night of mid-Shabaan and the Salaf-as-saliheen of Damascus.

However it should be noted that the chain of this particular narration contains one person who is considered weak. Though Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali considered this tradition to be weak, he narrated it in Lata’if al-Ma’arif in support of fasting the day of the 15th of Sha’ban. He further stated that in either case, it is one of the three middle days of every month known as the ‘Days of the White Nights’ in which fasting is recommended. These are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month (see Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 2004, p. 136). 

Significant evidence has been provided of the virtuous merits of this night to debunk any suggestion of the prayers recommended to be performed on this night are not fabrications or innovations.  The night of the 15th Sha’ban, is a very blessed night, this is proven from the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith. In this night Allah ﷻ turns specially attentive towards His servants and forgives a great deal of them. Allah ﷻ fulfils their supplications for sustenance and a pleasant life in this World and the next. Allah ﷻ fulfils the requests of the callers in this night. Due to the virtues and blessings of this night, we should supplicate for the forgiveness of the Ummah, our beloved ones and ourselves. There are narrations from approximately 17 Companions of the Prophet ﷺ with respect to the blessings of this night.

The special prayers and supplications to Almighty Allah are approved by the great Auliyah of the past who received significant spiritual enlightment and blessings from Allah Almighty.  Besides we would like to remind you of the statements of two leading salafi authorities:  “Hafidhh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions.”

 

Q5: Prophet Muhammad (SalAllahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wassallam) didn’t say anything specific about the excellence of 15th of Shaban?

Answer: This is once again a gross accusation by the deviant salafis against the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).  Here is a reminder of at least one authentic narration of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):  Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

God looks at His creation during the Night of Mid-Sha‘ban and forgives all of them, except an idolator and one who harbours rancour.

This above hadith was narrated on the authority of Mu’adh by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 12, p. 481. Its men are all trustworthy). It was also narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in al-Sunna and al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Awsat. Also there are countless narrations recorded in our article that can be found here.

 

Q6: Remembering the deceased and praying for their forgiveness?

Answer: This is a typical reaction of the shirk brigade and biddah bandwagon.  When they are refuted from all directions and completely debunked, they are quick to change the topic and begin their rant.  We will simply present one hadith about remembering the deceased and praying for their forgiveness to show it was the sunnah of the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

It is narrated that Ummul-Mu’mineen `A’ishah (RadiAllahu Anha) awoke one night to find the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his Household) missing, and so she went out to look for him. She found him in the Baqee` cemetery, with his head raised to the Heavens [it is recommended in general to visit cemeteries for the purpose of reminding ourselves of death, and to ask Allah to forgive the deceased Muslims]. After helping to further reassure her, it is reported that he said, “Surely Allah, the Possessor of Blessings, the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven [with a meaning appropriate to Allah’s majesty; not to be likened to the descending of finite, spatial, created things] on the night of mid-Sha`ban, and forgives more [people] than the the hairs on the sheep of [the tribe of] Kalb.

Narrated by Tirmidhi, who points out that its chain of narration is discontiguous, altough we may note that such discontiguity is not detrimental to authenticity according to some scholars. Also narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and others. Ibn Rajab describes this narration as one of the best on the subject.   So once again we find a narration which mentions the virtues of mid-Shabaan.

We pray to Allah to grant us the knowledge and enlighten our hearts.

 

The Light of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and His Special Distinction – PART 1

There has arisen today a group of Muslims who are “angry” that the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah praises the Prophet Muhammad  (صلى الله عليه وسلم) “too much”, and claim that he is no more than an ordinary man like us.

They have no reservations against praising or elevating themselves and their own people, with praises which they would be reluctant to apply to the Blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Rather, they seek to denigrate his status to their own, and cast aspersions of misguidance and heretical innovation on anyone who declares that he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has unique qualities separating him from the rest of creation, or that he is a light from Allah (Most High).

This is due only to their arrogance, which has blinded them, for they see no one higher than them but Allah Himself, and so if someone (like the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) or his righteous inheritors) is praised above them, they imagine that he is being given the same status as Allah Himself!

It would do them well to become humble and learn what their religion says about this unique blessed being, and not fall under the warning and curse of Allah which He saves for those who belittle His most Beloved (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

So in this chapter, we mention some of what has come concerning his special distinctions, especially his being the first (created) light from Allah.

FROM THE QUR’AN

1) Allah (Most High) Himself has called the Prophet Muhammadﷺ a “light from Allah” and “a light-giving lamp”. He said:

“There has come to you from Allah a Light and a Manifest Book” (Q5:15).

madinahnight1

The vast majority of the Mufassirin (excluding the Mu’tazila like Zamakhshari) interpreted the “light” in this verse to refer to Prophet Muhammadﷺ, in that in his original reality he is a light from Allah.

They include:

  • Imam Suyuti (Tafsir al- Jalalayn),
  • Imam Fakhruddin ar-Razi (Mafatih al-Ghayb),
  • Baydawi (Tafsir Anwar at-Tanzil),
  • Ibn Jawzi (Zad al-Masir),
  • Baghawi (Ma’alim at-Tanzil), Shawkani (Fath al-Qadir),
  • Sayyid Mahmud al-Alusi (Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani),
  • Ibn Jarir at-Tabari (Jami’ al-Bayan),
  • al-Khazin in his Tafsir,
  • an-Nasafi (Tafsir al-Madarik),
  • Qurtubi (Ahkam al-Qur’an),
  • Abu’s Su’ud, and others.

2) Allah also said: “O Prophet! We have truly sent you as a witness, a bearer of good news, and a warner, and one who invites to Allah by His Permission, and a light-giving lamp (sirajan munira)”(Q33:45-46).

About this verse, Mulla ‘Ali Qari al-Hanafi writes in his Sharh al-Shifa’ (1:505) the following:

“Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is a tremendous light and the source of all lights…sirajan munira means a luminous sun, as in Q25:61.

There is in that verse an indication that the sun is the highest of the physical lights, and that other lights are outpourings from it. Similarly, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the highest of the spiritual lights and other lights are derived from him by virtue of his mediating connection and pivotal rank in the sphere of creation. This is also inferred from the hadith ‘The first thing Allah created is my light, O Jabir!’”

3) As for the verse (Q18:110): “Say, I am a human like you who is Divinely inspired…”, then this is no contradiction to saying that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is created from the Light of Allah. The poet said: “Muhammad is a human being, but not like humankind; he is a precious ruby, while people are stones.”

The ruby is also a stone, but it has special distinctions and qualities that set it apart from other stones. Nor do we mean by “light” the physical light that we see when we turn on the switch in our rooms (even though his light did have a material aspect and on occasion manifested physically).

Rather, there are other lights besides the purely material, which can be seen in such sayings of his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as: “You should keep to the dhikr of Allah, for it is a light for you,” (*) and “Wudu’ is bright light” (Sahih Muslim, #246).

Indeed, he is both the “light from Allah” and a “human being,” and the inability to grasp both aspects of his blessed being is the shortcoming of the individual. Furthermore, this verse only means that he is a human creature, in other words, created and not creator, and that is the only way in which he is like us other humans. Otherwise, which one of us can say that he has received direct revelation from Allah, or that he has went beyond the universe and spoken with, heard, and saw Allah Most High (all at the same time)?

It is a grave error to think that this verse means he is like us in all aspects, for he himself (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said, “I am not like you…,” as we will see below. This image of him and attitude towards him is the exact and fundamental reason why the previous nations went astray and were punished.

Compare the words of these Muslims today who have no reverence for their Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to the words of the disbelievers before them:

– “… They (Fir’awn and his people) became arrogant, and they were indeed a haughty group.

They said, ‘shall we believe in two humans like us, when their tribes are subservient to us?’ So they rejected them, and came to be among those who were utterly destroyed” (Q23:46-48).

– “So they (the disbelievers) tasted the severity of their doing, and for them is a grievous punishment. That is because their Messengers came to them with the clear proofs, and they said, ‘shall (another) human guide us?’” (Q64:5-6).

– “So the disbelievers among his people said, ‘we do not see you except as a human like us…’” (Q11:27).

… and other similar verses. This view of him (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as being no different than any other human is a fatal sickness and a stain of disbelief (kufr) upon the hearts, which must be removed to receive the light and guidance of Allah.

Another manifestation of that sickness and skewed understanding of Tawhid can be seen in the response of Iblis to the Order of Allah to prostrate to Adam (Alaihi salaam). He claimed that he was defending Tawhid because he refused to bow down before anyone except Allah, and not give “undeserved reverence” to any other creature.

It is this same misunderstanding which is seen in those who imagine that by bringing down the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to our level as simply another human, we are safeguarding the Divine Oneness, when in truth we should be recognizing the awesome status and sublime heights which Allah (Most High) honored His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) with, and giving him his due reverence (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Ubayy ibn Ka’b , when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) struck his hand upon his chest to correct him, said: “I began to sweat profusely and it was as if I was looking at Allah Most High Himself” (Muslim #1356, Ahmad 5:127, 129).

So, for example, in explaining the meaning of the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) words: “Do not over-extol me in the same way that Christians extol their Prophet…” (Bukhari #3189) – meaning, do not attribute Divinity to me – al-Busairi stated in his poem Burdat al-Madih:

“Leave what the Christians claim concerning their Prophet, then decide and say what you wish in praise of him (صلى الله عليه وسلم). And attribute to his being what you can of excellence, and attribute to his dignified status as much greatness as you wish.”

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(*) Recorded by Imam Ahmad (3:82, 266) and Abu Ya’la (2:284 #1000) in their Musnads on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, and by Bayhaqi (Shu’ab al-Iman, #4942), Tabarani in his Mu’jam as-Saghir(2:66-67); also recorded by Imam Qushayri with his chain in hisRisala (Beirut ed. 1998, p. 141).

 

(Original Content  Source: http://salafiaqeedah.blogspot.in)

“Man kunto maula, fa Ali-un Maula”

It is narrated by Barā’ bin ‘Āzib (RadiAllahu Anhu): We were on a journey with Allāh’s Messenger (ﷺ). (On the way) we stayed at Ghadīr Khum. There it was announced that the prayer was about to be offered. The space under two trees was cleaned for Allāh’s Messenger (ﷺ). Then he offered the zuhr (noon) prayer, and, holding ‘Alī’s hand, he said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the lives of the believers? They said: Why not! He said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the life of every believer? They said: Why not! The narrator says that he said while holding ‘Alī’s hand: One who has me as his master has ‘Alī as his master. O Allāh! Befriend the one who befriends him (‘Alī) and be the enemy of one who is his enemy. The narrator says that after this ‘Umar (bin al-Khattāb (RadiAllahu Anhu)) met ‘Alī (RadiAllahu Anhu) and said to him: O Ibn Abī Tālib! Congratulations, you have become the master of every male and female believer, morning and evening (for ever).”

hazrat Ali(AS)
References

►Ahmad bin Hambal related it from Barā’ bin ‘Āzib through two different chains of transmission in al-Musnad (4:281)
►Ibn Abī Shaybah, al-Musannaf (12:78 # 12167)
►Ibn Kathīr in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (4:169; 5:464)
►Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Dimashq al-kabīr (5:167, 168)
► Ibn Athīr, Asad-ul-ghābah (4:103)
► Dhahabī has said in Siyar a‘lām-in-nubalā’ (2:623, 624)