The Month of Sha’ban is known as the Month of Muhammad (pbuh), and in the middle of Sha’ban is a special night which is known as ‘Laylat-Al Barah’. After Laylat Al Qadr, in Ramadan, the 15th of Sha’ban (Laylat Al Barah)is the next most significant night of worship.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to spend this the night standing in worship to Allah and the day in fasting. According to Ali (pbuh) the Prophet (pbuh) said, “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.”
According to his wife Aisha (RA) the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said of this night, “On the night of Mid-Sha’ban, God the Exalted descends to the heavens of the earth and forgives a number of people greater than the hairs of the sheep of the Tribe of Talb (known for their many sheep).” Aisha further related that the Prophet (pbuh) asked her, He said: “Do you know what night this is?’ she said: “God and His Messenger know best.” He said: “This is the Night of Mid-Shaʿban. God looks at his servants on the Night of Mid-Shaʿban and he forgives those seeking forgiveness, has mercy on those seeking mercy, and leaves the bearers of grudges as they are.”
In another hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) made the following supplication during his prostration in Mid-Shaʿban.
“I seek refuge in Your good-pleasure from Your anger. And I seek refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment. And I seek refuge in You from You. I am incapable of Your praise. You are as You have praised Yourself.”
In another hadith he (pbuh) made supplication to Allah, “My shadow and body have prostrated to You. And my heart has believed in You. This is my hand. I have not committed any wrong-doing with it except that it is against myself. O Great-One from Whom everything great is sought, forgive the sin that is great.”
Al-Subki wrote in his Tafsir, the Night of Mid-Sha’ban atones for the sins of a year, the night of Friday atones for the sins of the week, and the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr) atones for the sins of a lifetime.” So in other words, observing this night is a cause of the atonement of a year’s sins. For this reason, the 15th of Sha’ban is also known as the “Night of Atonement.”
The night of Mid-Sha’ban is also known as the ‘the night of Determination’ (Taqdir). In another relation it is said, “During the Night of Mid-Shaʿban, the angel of death records all those who will die from Shaʿban to Shaʿban. The servant plants seeds, gets married, and builds buildings all the while his name is recorded amongst the dead. The angel of death but awaits for the order to seize his soul.”
This being the Month of Muhammad (pbuh) and the month of Laylat al Barah, I pray that we observe and remember our Lord and seek Him and ask Him to forgive all of our sins and to guide humanity to the straight path. Ameen.I pray that we all are well prepared for the blessed month of Ramadan which is right around the corner.
Allah humma sale ala Muhammad.