The Night of Mid-Sha’ban
Dear muslima, we are close to the middle of Sha’ban. As usual, we will fast Ayyamulbidh 13,14 and 15 every month (voluntary fasting which Rasulullah Shalallahu ‘alayhi wasallam performed). Further, this time of the Hijrah month correspond to 22nd, 23rd. 24th of June (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) 2013.
May Allah give us the opportunity and health to carry out this fasting deed. In shaa Allah. Physically, we must also prepare ourselves in this month by increasing worships to Allah especially fasting. That’s one of the lessons Rasulullah Shalallahu ‘alayhi wasallam recommended, to increase fasting in the Month of Sha’ban to welcome Ramadan.
Moreover, in the Month of Sha’ban, there is also nishfu Sha’ban night or the night of mid-Sha’ban. Nishfu in Arabic language means middle, then nishfu Sha’ban means a night of middle month of Sha’ban. If refer to the Islamic calendar, the night of nishfu Sha’ban falls on the 14th night, because the turn of the calendar date corresponding to Hilaliyah moon (Arab months) is at sunset or nightfall.
In addition to the base of whether or not to worship on the night of mid Sha’ban, we can remind ourselves that we must perform worships to also better prepare for the holly month of Ramadan where it is also a month full of forgiveness. Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih Al Uthaymeen rahimahullah said, “Night of nishfu Sha’ban actually is alike to other nights. Do not make the night devoted to a particular prayer. Do not be too specific on the niat of fasting but we must fast like other months where we voluntarily do the fasting similar to the Ayyamulbidh and night prayer (tahajud) every night.”
Actually, when we refer to hadith of experts, ritual worship practices performed by some of our brothers in night of 15 Sha’ban (nishfu Sha’ban), is not supported by an authentic hadith where it is said by the Prophet Muhammad pbuh.
One of the hadits, that we can refer to in this matter:
عن أبي موسى الأشعري عبدالله بن قيس:
((إنَّ اللهَ لَيَطَّلِعُ في ليلةِ النِّصفِ من شعبانَ، فيَغفِر لجميعِ خلقِه إلا لمشركٍ أو مُشاحنٍ)).
“Allah looks at His servants on the night of Nisfu Sha’ban, then He forgive all His servants except the polytheists (those who shirk) and hostile (people who hate each other) [Ibn Hibban, al-Bazzar and others . Al-Albani validated this hadith in al-Ahadith al Lineage-Sahihah. vol 3, M.S. 135, prints: Maktabah al-Ma’arf, Riyadh].
This hadith does not guide us on the form of deeds to be performed relating to evening worship. So we perform our ritual worship as exemplified by Rasulullah Shalallahu ‘alayhi wasallam did to pray every evening and to do fasting where Rasulullah Shalallahu ‘alayhi wasallam usually also perform voluntary fasting.
Messenger of Allah (Rasulullah Shalallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
ينزل ربنا تبارك وتعالى كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا حين يبقى ثلث الأخير يقول
من يسألني فأعطيه من يستغفرني فأغفر له من يدعوني فأستجيب له
“Allah gets down to the lowest heaven every night on the last third of the night, then said:” Whoever ask Me I will grant you, whoever asks me, I will give you, who begs forgiveness I will forgive you”(HR. Bukhari: 1145 and Muslim: 758.).
This hadith clearly and plainly shows the meaning of the word nuzul (get down) of Allah to the sky.
We need to keep in mind that Allah does not reach down to earth only on the night of nishfu Sha’ban. As mentioned in Bukhari-Muslim that Allah reaches down to earth on every last third part of the night, not just on the night of nishfu Sha’ban. Therefore, the primacy of the night of nishfu Sha’ban is similar to any other night.
All the good deeds follow the Salaf (followers Rasulullah Shalallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and all the bad deeds are heretics, and everything that was not performed and practiced by the Prophet is heresy (bid’ah), and every heresy is not commended and every perverted in hell “.[[Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Mu’asarah Fatawa vol 1, ms 382-383, prints: Uli Dar al-Nuha, Beirut].
May Allah makes us among those who could take advantage of this precious time. And Allah knows best. So, lets perform worship to Allah with humility, beg forgiveness, and beg Him for goodness in this world and in the hereafter. May Allah keep us in His straight path. Allahumma Aamiin.
Wa shallallahu ‘ala Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa ‘ala alihi wa shahibihi wa sallam. Walhamdulillahi Rabbil ‘alamin