Islam (Submission) has severely been corrupted with man-made doctrines, innovations and tradition deserting the Quran, even God has made it to be the only valid and divine source of religious laws and guidance for the people of the world (2:185). The extent to which it has been corrupted is not only limited to the practices of the obligatory rites but can also be found in the observance of the three nights assigning them to the Islamic Calendar. The Muslims around the world consider these three nights sacred and celebrate them to seek God’s forgiveness and blessings calling them Shab e Barat, Shab e Miraj and Shab e Qadr while Shab’ is a Persian word for night, and its Arabic counterpart is layl.
According to tradition Shab e Barat is celebrated in mid Shaban which is the 8th month of Islamic calendar. Thus, the blessed night Shab e Barat starts at sunset on the 14th and ends at dawn on the 15th of Shaban. Muslims all over the world celebrate Shab e Barat with religious zest and make special preparations for this night in the form of standing up in prayers all night and keeping fast the next day. Muslims believe that on the night of Shab-e-Barat, God writes the destinies of all men and women for the coming year by taking into account the deeds they committed in the past. It is of high value to Sunni Muslims, regarded as one of the holiest nights on the Islamic Calendar. However, the significance of Shab e Barat in the light of so called hadiths of Prophet Muhammad is best described in the following hadiths, which are a few cited as examples:
The hadith is narrated by Hazrat Ali (RA) in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said about 15th of Shaban in these words: “When it is the fifteenth of Shaban, then stand (in worship) at night and fast during the day. Because Allah descends in this night at sunset to the first heaven and says: ‘Is there any seeker of forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there any seeker of sustenance, that I may sustain him? Is there anyone in affliction, that I may remove his affliction? Is there anyone like this, like that (and so on)’. This continues until Fajr.” (Ibn Majah)
In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “In the fifteenth night of Shaban, Allah manifests and forgives all His creation except for the Mushrik (idolater) and the spiteful.” (Ibn Majah)
The Mother of believers Hazrat Aisha (RA) reported: “The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: ‘On the middle night of Shaban (that is, Shab-e-Barat), Allah most high descends to the lowest heaven and remits more sins than the hair of the goats of Banu Kalb.’” (Tirmidhi)
Hazrat Aisha (RA) also narrated that, “I missed Allah’s Messenger during the night and found Him in al-Baqui’. He (PBUH) said: Were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would deal unjustly with you? I said: Allah’s Messenger, I thought that you had gone to some of your other wives. He (SAW) said: Verily Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, comes down to the heaven of the world in “the middle night of Shaban” and forgives sins even more abundant than the hair of the goats of Kalb.” (Tirmidhi)
The full month of Shaban is very important. The importance of this month is evident from the tradition narrated by Hazrat Aisha (RA): “The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not fast in any month more than Shaban.” (Bukhari)
Even it has been reported from Prophet’s sayings by Abu Huraira that Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven:
“Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left, and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him?” – Sahih Al Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1656.
“Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says: I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him? He continues like this till the day breaks. “ – Sahih Al Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1657.
Thus, the Shab e Barat is the blessed night in which a Muslim can repent on the previous mistakes and sins with a true heart and receive forgiveness from Allah Almighty. Muslim can turn towards Allah Almighty and find His doors of forgiveness open for him or her in this blessed night. Therefore, every Muslim must make use of this night and repent in front of Allah Almighty so that He forgives the sins that a person committed throughout the year.
Some traditional scholars believe that its origin is the Quran and as per the Quran, on the night of Shab–e–Barat Allah will forgive everyone and will provide food to the one who asks for it while people pray the entire night and it is believed that on this day the destinies of the people are written by Allah taking into account their past deeds.
Some scholars also support Shab-e Barat from the Qur’an to prove the significance of the middle of Sha’ban misinterpreting the verses of Surah 44 (Al-Dukhan), 44:3–4: “Indeed, we have revealed it in a night of blessing, indeed, we have been the warners (44:3). In it, every wise matter is made clear (44:4)” for talking about a blessed night (laylatin mubaarakatin) when the Quran has been revealed while some also extract it from Surah 97 (Al-Qadr) mixing it with a night of the Power (laylat al-qadr).
However, according to some scholars’ view to celebrate Shab e Barat on 15th of Shaban is a bid’ah (fabrication) as it has not been supported by the authentic hadiths as well as by the Quran except misinterpretation.
Shab e Miraj
According to so called Islamic scholars Isra and Miraj took place approximately 10-12 years after Prophet (S.A.W.) received revelation from Allah. This was a time of great sorrow and grief for the Prophet (S.A.W.) because of the recent deaths of his beloved wife Khadijah (R.A.) and his uncle Abu Talib. However, in this difficult times, Prophet (S.A.W.) was honored with direct contact with Allah through this blessed journey. This miraculous journey of Miraj took place in two parts. First, Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) went from Makkah (Kaaba) to Jerusalem (Masjid Al-Aqsa) and then he (S.A.W.) was ascension to the heavens by Allah.
The first part started off with leader of all Angels Jibrael (A.S.) appearing before the Prophet (S.A.W.). Subsequently, he took Mohammad (S.A.W.) from the Masjid Al-Haram (Kaaba) to the Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. This part of Prophet’s (S.A.W.) journey is mentioned in Quran (17:1). The mode of transportation used for this commute in the middle of the night was an animal, similar to horse, called Al-Burraq which was sent by Allah from Jannah (Paradise). After riding this heavenly ride, he (S.A.W.) reached Masjid Al-Aqsa from Masjid al-Haram in just a second. On reaching Masjid Al-Aqsa, Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) realized that all the other Prophets, who came before him, were already present there. These Prophets includes Ibrahim (A.S.), Isa (A.S.), Musa (A.S.) and all other Prophets. Over here Mohammad (S.A.W.) led all of the Prophets in two Rakat prayer. After that, two cups were brought to the Prophet (S.A.W.). One cup was filled with wine and other with milk. He (S.A.W.) looked at them and chose the milk. Jibrael (A.S.) said to him (S.A.W.):
In the second part of Isra and Miraj, Jibrael (A.S.) took Prophet (S.A.W.) to the heavens. Through his ascension, Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) stopped by the all seven layers of the heaven/sky. Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) met the following great Prophets on each heaven:
- On first heaven, Prophet Adam (A.S.)
- On second heaven, Prophet Isa (A.S.) and Prophet Yahya (A.S.)
- On third heaven, Prophet Yusuf (A.S.)
- On fourth heaven, Prophet Idris (A.S.)
- On fifth heaven, Prophet Haroon (A.S.)
- On sixth heaven, Prophet Musa (A.S.)
- On seventh heaven, Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.)
According to tradition Shab-e-Qadr also known as laytal qadr, in this night (27th of Ramadan), the Holy Quran was sent down from LOH-E-MEHFOOZ (the Preserved Tablet) to the earth. Thus, It has been believed that the angels and Gabriel descend to earth yearly on this night believed to be on the night of 27th Ramadan to carry out certain commands and answer our prayers:
Hazrat Aisha Radiallah Anha stated that Rasool Allah peace be upon him said, “Look for Lailat-Ul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan.” (Bukhari)
Hazrat Aisha Radiallah Anha stated that as much Rasool Allah peace be upon him tried (Ibadat) in the last Ashra (ten days) of Ramadhan, did not try in any of the Ashra.” (Muslim)
Hazrat Aisha Radiallah Anha stated that I asked Rasool Allah peace be upon him, “If I find Lailatul Qadar then what should I do? HE peace be upon him said, recite this Dua.“ALLAH HUMMA INNAKA A’FUVUN TOHIB BUL A’FVA FA’AFU ‘ANNI” (Tirmidhi) while the special Du’aa for this night: “ALLAH HUMMA INNAKA A’FUVUN TOHIB BUL AFVA FA’AFU ANNI” (Tirmidhi) “O Allah! You are the Forgiver and You like forgiving so forgive me”
In addition, messenger of ALLAH (Blessings of Allah and peace be on him) told us to search for Shab-e-Qadr in the odd numbered nights, in the last ten days of Ramzan. So, the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night of Ramadan could be Shab-e-Qadr:
21st Night of Ramadhan-Ul-Mubarak – 1st night of Laitlat-Ul-Qadr
1) Pray 4 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’t) (2 cycles of 2 raka’ each). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA recite Surah QADR once and Surah IKHLAS once. After completion recite SALAAT-O-SALAAM (Durood Sharif) seventy (70) times..
Benefit: Insha Allah, Angels will pray for forgiveness for that person.
2) Offer 2 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’t). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR once and Surah IKHLAS three times. After completion of this salah, recite any Astaghfar seventy times: “Allah Hummagh Fir Li Wa Tub A’laiyya Inna Ka Innta Tawwabur Raheem” Or “Astaghfirullah Rabbi Min Kulli Zambiyon Wa Atoobu ilaiyh”
Benefit: Effective for forgiveness of sins.
3) In this night recite Surah QADR 21 times.
23rd Night of Ramadhan-Ul-Mubarak – 2nd night of Laitlat-Ul-Qadr
1) Offer 4 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’t) (2 sets of 2 raka’ each). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR once and Surah IKHLAS three times.
Benefit: Effective for forgiveness of sins.
2) Offer 8 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’) (4 sets of 2 raka’ each). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR and Surah IKHLAS once. After completion of this salah (namaaz) recite the third kalima (Kalima Tamjeed) 70 times. After that, plead to Allah Almighty for forgiveness of sins.
Kalima Tamjeed: “Subhan Allahi Wal Hamdu Lillahi Wa La ilaaha illal laho Walla Hu Akbar.Wala Haowla Wala Quwwata illa Billa Hil Aliyil Azeem.”
Benefit: Allah Willing (Insha’Allah), Allah will forgive whoever performs this prayer
3) In the 23rd night recite Surah YAASEEN once and Surah RAHMAAN once.
25th Night of Ramadhan-Ul-Mubarak – 3rd night of Laitlat-Ul-Qadr
1) In this night offer 4 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’t) (2 sets of 2 raka’ each). After Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR one time and Surah IKHLAS five times in each raka’. After completion of this salat recite the first Kalima Tayyab 100 times, Kalima Tayyab: “Laa ilaaha illal Laho Mohammadur Rasoolullah.”
Benefit: Insha Allah, Allah Tala will give him/her unlimited Sawab (good Deeds)
2) Offer 4 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’) (2 sets of 2 raka’ each). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR three times and Surah IKHLAS three times. After completion of this salah, recite any Astaghfar 70 times: “Allah Hummagh Fir Li Wa Tub A’laiyya Inna Ka Innta Tawwabur Raheem” OR “Astaghfirullah Rabbi Min Kulli Zambiyon Wa Atoobu ilaiyh“
Benefit: This salat is good for the pardoning of sins.
3) Offer two cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR once and Surah IKHLAS fifteen times. After Salat, recite the second Kalima (Kalima-e-Shahaadat) 70 times: “Ashadu An laa ilaaha illal Lahu Wa Ash Hadu Anna Mohammadan Abduhu Wa Rasoolohu“.
Benefit: The reward of this namaaz is freedom from the punishment of the grave.
4) Recite Surah Dukhan. Allah Willing (Insha’Allah) they will be granted freedom from the punishment of grave.
5) Recite Surah Fath seven times. Beneficial for the fulfillment of desires and wishes.
27th Night of Ramadhan-Ul-Mubarak – 4th night of Laitlat-Ul-Qadr
1) In the 27th night, pray 12 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’) (3 set of 4 raka’ each). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR once and Surah IIKHLAS fifteen times. After salah recite any Astaghfar 70 times. Astaghfar: “Allah Hummagh Fir Li Wa Tub A’laiyya Inna Ka Innta Tawwabur Raheem“ OR “Astaghfirullah Rabbi Min Kulli Zambiyon Wa Atoobu ilaiyh”
Benefit: Insha Allah, Allah tala will give sawab equal to Ibadah of Ambiya Karam’s (Messengers of Allah) Ibadah.
2) Pray two cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA recite Surah QADR 3 times and Surah IKHLAS 27 times, and plead to Allah for the forgiveness of sins.
Benefit: Allah Willing (Insha’Allah), the Allah Almighty will forgive all their previous sins.
3) Pray four cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). (2 sets of 2 raka’ each). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah TAKAASUR once and Surah IKHLAS three times.
Benefit: Whoever offers this salah, they will be saved from hardship at the time of death, and Allah Willing (Insha’Allah), they will be freed from the punishment of the grave.
4) Pray two cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah IKHLAS seven times and after salah recite this seventy times: “ASTAGHFIRUL LAA HAL AZEEMAL LAZEE LAA ILAAHA ILLA HUWAL HAIY YUL QAYYOOMU WA ATOOBU ILAIH“
Benefit: Before the person gets up from the praying area, Allah Almighty will pardon them and their parents, and Allah Almighty will Command the angels to adorn the Paradise for them and it is said that they will not die until they see the blessings (ne’mat) of Paradise with their own eyes.
5) Pray two cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah ALAM’NASHRAH once, Surah IKHLAS three times and after salah, recite Surah QADR 27 times.
Benefit: Effective for unlimited Sawab of Ibadah.
6) Pray four cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). (1 set of 4 raka’). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA’ recite Surah QADR three times and Surah IKHLAS fifty times and after completion of this salah (namaaz), recite this once in prostration (sajdah): “SUBHAAN ALLAAHI WAL HAMDU LILLAAHI WALAA ILAAHA ILLAL LAAHU WALLAA HU AKBAR“
Benefit: After that whatever wish one may have, either worldly or religious, may be pleased. Allah Willing (Insha’Allah), their supplication will be fulfilled.
7) In this night, recite Surah Mulk 7 times. It is good for freeing from punishment.
29th Night of Ramadhan-Ul-Mubarak – 5th night of Laitlat-Ul-Qadr
- Pray 4 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). (2 sets of 2 raka’ each). In every raka’, after Surah FATIHA recite Surah QADR once and Surah IKHLAS 3 times. After salah, recite Surah ALAM’NASHRAH 70 times.
Benefit: Effective for the completion of Imaan.
2) Offer 4 cycles of ritual prayer (raka’). (2 sets of 2 raka’ each). In each raka’, after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR once and Surah IKHLAS five times. After salah, recite SALAAT-O-SALAAM (Darood Sharif) 100 times.
Benefit: Effective for forgiveness of sins.
3) Recite Surah WAAQIAH seven times. Beneficial for increase in Rizq.
About a night of RAMAZAN-UL-MUBARAK is , after tarawih to recite Surah QADR 7 times. Insha’Allah, the one who does so, will be saved from all troubles and afflictions. On this great night it’s of great benefit to perform Salat-Ul-Tasbih and to offer nawafil (prayers), to recite QUR’AAN, to do repent and to pray for pardon, to recite many Salawat (Darood Sharif & Salaam) and to make benediction (Dua’as) to take advantage of this night from sunrise to sunset.
Religion given by God is simple with details in the Quran, has been made difficult corrupting with man-made doctrines, innovations, and traditions, even misinterpretation of the Quranic verses. If we carefully review the rituals as introduced for the observance of those nights – Shab e Barat, Shab e Miraj and Shab e Qadr, we may detect that the God given religion has been corrupted to make it a personality cult while He has sent His messenger with the guidance and a religion of the truth.
The description and observance of Shab e Barat are hadith-based and there is no reference from the Quran except the misinterpretation. Thus, if we believe and follow what has been introduced by the so called Islamic scholars, we will be idolaters while the idolatry is an unforgiveable sin. God is Possessor of unlimited knowledge and infinite power, and He does not need to come down every year on 15th of Shaban or any night to determine our provision or to forgive our past sins while we know from the Quran that He came down two times from the highest height – to the earth to directly speak to Musa (4:164) and to another descent near sid’rati al-muntahaa (53:13-15) to inspire the entire Quran into prophet’s soul (53:10) in a Night of the Power (97:1). Thus, there is no such night in the Islamic Calendar that Muslims should believe and observe what has been introduced to make them idolaters.
Shab e Miraj about prophet’s journey riding on Al-Burraq and leading a prayer in the presence of other prophets at the Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem or his meeting with other prophets at different layers of the universe during his ascension with Jibrael to the high heaven do not make any sense to those who have common senses. The reason of his journey as stated by the tradition because of his difficult time due to the recent deaths of his beloved wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib makes the religion of Islam a personality cult while the Quran has confirmed that every soul will taste death is a determined decree (3:145) to pay in full on a Day of the Resurrection (3:185). So, there should not be any doubt that the journey of prophet in the said night along with the events associated with it is in fact, a made up story. Thus, there is no such night in the Islamic Calendar either, which Muslims should believe to make them idolaters while the reference that has been mentioned from the Quran is a misinterpretation as the verse, 17:1 covers the journey connected to the event of the inspiration of the entire Quran into prophet’s soul in the high Heaven.
Shab e Qadr is a special night, God has mentioned it in the Quran calling it a Night of the Power (laylat al-qadr) in the month of Ramadan in which the whole Quran was placed into prophet Muhammad’s soul in 13 B.H (609 A.D.) when he, the soul not the body was taken to the highest Heaven (17:1). God Himself inspired the whole Quran into prophet’s soul while the entire process was completed involving the angels and the Gabriel continuing until the dawn. He has made a ritual associated with the night is the fasting of the entire month of Ramadan every year to appreciate Him for giving us the Quran as our guidance, clear proof of the guidance and the statute book. Thus, He has made it obligatory for us to study, understand and follow the given guidance to do His given religious rites in a right way and has made Ramadan a reminder that we can do it to see our success in the Hereafter but if we follow any rites around the night introduced by the tradition or the so called scholars will make us idolaters.
Thus, Shab e Barat and Shab e Miraj are not in the Islamic Calendar except innovations while Shab e Qadr does exist, which is a special night for the event of inspiring the entire Quran into prophet’s soul in a night of Ramadan being a historical event but not an annual recurrent event; and only ritual God has decreed around it is Ramadan fasting, is also a reminder for all of us to study, understand and follow the Quran.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.