Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Laylatul Baraah (Shab-e-Barat) | The Blessed Night of Deliverance

"God Almighty looks upon all those created by Him in the middle Night of Sha'ban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart". - Prophet Muhammad

Of the nights in a year there are six which may be marked out from the average run for their grandeur and majesty, serenity and sacredness. These are Shab-e-Qadr (Night of Power), Shab-e-Miraj (Night of Ascension), the two nights of Eids (Festival), the Night of Arafat (Great Gathering) and Shab-e-Barat (Night of Deliverance). On these auspicious Nights are a person' s prayers, his outpouring of the heart's sentiments, the reverential expression of the soul's sincerest desires before its Maker, never fail to evoke the most coveted response from Benign Providence. The glorious night of the 15th of Sha'ban, the eight month of the Islamic year, known as Laylatul Baraah (Laylatul Baraat, Shab-e-Barat, also written as Shab-e-Berat).

Shab-E-Barat means the night of forgiveness or of atonement or deliverance. In Persian language, ‘Shab’ means night and ‘Barat’ means ‘the night of commission or assignment’. In Arabic language it is known as Lailatul Bara'at, meaning the night of emancipation.

The night of special virtuous deeds falls on the 15th Shaban, i.e. the night after the 14th day of Shaban (lunar dates start at moon rise). In Mecca 15th Shaban is on 28th (tuesday) this year (2007). In other parts of the world it will be followed on 29th or 30th Night, according to local islamic lunar calendar. check you local lunar phase from here.

The month preceding the holy month of Ramzan (Ramadan) and the eighth month of the Hijri year is Sha'ban. It is full of virtue and mercy of Allah. According to a historical Prophetic tradition (Bukhari, Muslim), narrated by Hazrat Ayesha (ra), The Messenger of God, Muhammad, performed maximum fasting (except the month of Ramzan) in the month of Sha'ban.

The Prophet himself performed and have recommended prayers during this night and fasting during the following day. It reported that the Prophet used to visit the cemetery on this evening and he used to pray for the ones who left the earthly realm (Al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, Imam al-Mundhiri, vol. 2).

From the report by Ummul-Mu'mineen (Mothers of the faithfuls) 'Aishah, we know that on this night Prophet Muhammad performed the Salah of the night (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah (Prostration), so long that his wife Aishah feared that the Prophet's soul may have left his body. In that long prostration the Prophet prayed: 'I seek refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge of Your pleasure from Your displeasure, and I seek Your refuge from Yourself. I cannot praise You as fully as You deserve. You are exactly as You have defined Yourself.' Thereafter, when he raised his head from Sajdah, he informed about the blessed night of the half of Sha'ban.

Imam Ali bin Husayn Al Zanul Aabideen (A.S.) told his companions: “The Holy Prophet, upon him be peace, used to observe fast during the whole month of Shaa’-baan. Therefore whosoever, in love of the Holy Prophet, wishes to seek nearness to Allah and receive bounties, favours and rewards in this world and in the Hereafter, must connect Shaa’-baan with Ramazaan (or Ramadan) (in the matter of fasting and special prayers).

May this night become the night of Remembrance for whole of humanity regardless of their association of faith or spiritual understanding and may the gates of mercy be open for all in this blessed night. Accept O All Hearing, O All Witnessing, O the Accepter of Prayer. Amen.

There are some debates, points and counter points about observance of this night and how it should be or should not be observed. Everybody seems to have their own point or angle from where they are coming from. But without going into that it is enough and should be beneficial if this night be observed as a special night of remembrance. Its worth mentioning from Quran, ... verily remembrance of Allah is the most important. And Allah knoweth what ye do. (The Quran 29:54)

Also someone pointed out a very important point by saying, "Doing ibadah on the night of Nifsu sya'aban is not about changing the decree through our ibadah. It is to submit to the decree that has been set by Allah as a servant who have no will nor power except for what He has given. Our ibadah is only a sign of servanthood and submission to return to the state of praise and shukur no matter what happens. Wal hamdulillahi Rabbil alamin. All praise be to the Lord of the multiverse!":

~ Related other related posts on this blessed occasion ~

:: References:
. The Night of Deliverance
. The specific virtues of Nisf-Sha’baan; the midde of Sha’baan
. A short treatise on the position of 15th Sha'ban
. Sha'ban: Merits, Do's, and Dont's By Mufti Taqi Usmani
. The month of Sha'baan

:: Recommended Prayers
. Special Night to turn Inward
. Voluntary Prayers of 15th of Sha'ban
. Salaat ul Tasbeeh | Prayer of Glorification
. Prayer of mid-Shaban
. the excellence and acts of worship for the month of shabaan
. prayers (dua) of the month of Shaban
. www.duas.org | site of sacred prayers and supplications
. Aamal (Action) of Mid Shaban

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