The significance of


In light of Ahadith and sayings of the noble scholars


The Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban, commonly referred to as Shabe Bara’at by the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent, is a night that the Ulama have differed concerning its significance. Some scholars, among them al-Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn Al-Arabi (d. 543AH), held the view that the fifteenth night of Sha’ban has no significance or particular virtue 1.

However, most scholars of Hadith (Muhadditheen) and jurists (Fuqaha) considered it a special night and one of great virtue.

This article will summarise the basis of their view, in light of some (and not all) Ahadith and quotes attributed to the great Imams of the past.

The Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban in light of Ahadith

[1] The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

يطلع الله إلى خلقه في ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لجميع خلقه إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن

“Verily Allah Ta’ala turns to His entire creation on the 15th Night of Sha’ban, and He forgives His entire creation except a polytheist and one who has enmity.”

This Hadith has been narrated through various chains from numerous companions including Abu Bakr, A’isha, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhum).

Imam ibn Hibban (d. 354AH) narrated in it in his Sahih2, as did Imam Al-Tabarani (d. 360AH) in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir3 and Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat4 and Imam Al-Bayhaqi (d. 458AH) in Fada’il al-Awqat5.

Shaykh Nasiruddin Al-Albani (d. 1420AH) narrated it in his Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al-Saheehah and made the following comments:

حديث صحيح، رُوي عن جماعة من الصحابة من طرق مختلفة يشد بعضها بعضاً، وهم معاذ بن جبل، وأبو ثعلبة الخشني، وعبد الله بن عمرو، وأبي موسى الأشعري، وأبي هريرة، وأبي بكر الصديق، وعوف بن مالك، وعائشة

“A sahih hadith; it has been narrated from a number of Sahabah through various chains which strengthen one another. They include Mu’adh Ibn Jabal, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani, Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr, Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, Abu Hurairah, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, ‘Awf Ibn Malik and A’isha.”6

He further stated:

وَجُمْلَةُ الْقَوْلِ اَنَّ الْحَدِيْثَ بِمَجْمُوْعِ هَذِهِ الطُّرُقُ صَحِيْحٌ بِلَا رَيْبٍ

“The conclusion is that this hadith, collectively with all its various routes, is saheeh.”7

[2] The Prophet is reported to have said:

إن الله ليطلع إلى خلقه ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لعباده إلا اثنين مشاحن أو قاتل نفس

“Allah descends on the 15th night of Sha’ban and forgives all His servants except two; one who has enmity and one who commits murder.”

This Hadith has been narrated by Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 241AH) in his Musnad8 on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-‘As (radiallah anhuma).

The editor of the Musnad, Shaykh Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, commented:

حديث صحيح بشواهده

“A Sahih hadith due to its supporting narrations…”9

[3] It is narrated that the Prophet said:

إذا كان ليلة النصف من شعبان اطلع الله إلى خلقه، فيغفر للمؤمنين، ويملي للكافرين، ويدع أهل الحقد بحقدهم حتى يدعوه

“When it is the 15th night of Sha’ban, Allah Ta’ala turns to His creation. He forgives the believers and grants respite to the disbelievers, but He leaves the people of malice as they are until they abandon their malice.”

This Hadith has been narrated by Imam Al-Tabarani on the authority of Abu Tha’labah Al-Khushani (radiallahu anahu) in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir10. Imam Al-Bayhaqi also narrated it in Shu’ab Al-Iman11.

Shaykh al-Albani declared this Hadith to be Sahih in his rendition of Al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb.12


The Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban from the sayings of Sahabah, Tabi’een and noble scholars

[1] The illustrious Sahabi, Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (radiallahu anhuma) stated: 

خمس ليال لا ترد فيهن الدعاء: ليلة الجمعة، وأول ليلة من رجب، وليلة النصف من شعبان، وليلتي العيدين

“Prayers are not rejected on 5 nights; the night of Jumu’ah, the first night of Rajab, The 15th of Sha’ban and the two nights of Eid.”13

[2] The Tabi’ee, Ata bin Yasaar (rahimahullah) is reported to have said:

ما من ليلة بعد ليلة القدر أفضل من ليلة النصف من شعبان

“There is no night – after Laylatul Qadr – more virtuous than the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban.”14

[3] It has been narrated regarding the Tabi’een of Sham:

وليلة النصف من شعبان كان التابعون من أهل الشام كخالد بن معدان، ومكحول، ولقمان بن عامر وغيرهم، يعظمونها ويجتهدون فيها في العبادة

“The Tabi’een of Shaam, including Khalid Ibn Ma’dan, Makhul and Luqman ibn Amir and others, used to hold the fifteenth night of Sha’ban in high esteem and engage in worship during the night”.15

[4] It has been narrated from ‘Umar Ibn Abd al-‘Aziz (rahimahullah):

عليك بأربع ليال في السنة ، فإن الله يفرغ فيهن الرحمة : أول ليلة من رجب ، وليلة النصف من شعبان ، وليلة الفطر ، وليلة النحر

“Take hold of four nights of the year, for Allah showers His mercy in those nights; the first night of Rajab, the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban and the nights of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Ad’ha”.16

[5] Imam al-Shafi’i (rahimahullah) stated: 

بلغنا أنه كان يقال: إن الدعاء يستجاب في خمس ليال: في ليلة الجمعة، وليلة الأضحى، وليلة الفطر، وأول ليلة من رجب، وليلة النصف من شعبان

“It has reached us that it used to be said: supplications are answered on five nights; the nights of Jumu’ah (Friday), the two nights of Eid, the first night of Rajab and the fifteenth of Sha’ban.”17

[6] Imam Ibn Muflih Al-Hanbali (rahimahullah) said:

وليلة النصف لها فضيلة في المنقول عن أحمد ، وقد روى أحمد وجماعة من أصحابنا وغيرهم في فضلها أشياء مشهورة في كتب الحديث

The Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban is virtuous as transmitted from Imam Ahamd, who along with other Hanbali scholars, have narrated many virtues which are well known in the books of hadith.”18

[7] Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) described it as a virtuous night:

ومن هذا الباب ليلة النصف من شعبان فقد روي في فضلها من الأحاديث المرفوعة والآثار ما يقتضي أنها ليلة مفضلة وأن من السلف من كان يخصها بالصلاة فيها

Ahadith and reports concerning the Fifteenth of Sha’ban are such that they establish this (night) to be verily a blessed night. The Pious Predecessors would single out this night for worship.”19


[8] Imam Abdur-Rahman Al-Mubarakfuri (rahimahullah) states after narrating the various ahadeeth concerning the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban:

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

These ahadeeth collectively are a proof against those who claim that no virtue of the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban is established. And Allah knows best.”20

[9] Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Salih al-Uthaymeen writes:

ومن هذا الباب ليلة النصف من شعبان روي في فضلها أحاديث ومن السلف من يخصها بالقيام ومن العلماء من السلف وغيرهم من أنكر فضلها وطعن في الأحاديث الواردة فيها، لكن الذي عليه كثير من أهل العلم أو أكثرهم على تفضيله

And (from this chapter) is the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban. Ahadeeth have been narrated regarding its virtue as well as narrations from the salaf who specified the night for worship. Some scholars completely rejected that it is virtuous and declared such ahadeeth to be inauthentic. However the vast majority of the people of knowledge consider it to be a virtuous night.”21


Ibadah on the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban and Conclusion

In light of the concise discussion above, it can be concluded that a large number of scholars held the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban in high esteem, and did so on the basis of certain ahadeeth which have been classified as sahih, and sayings attributed to great scholars of the past. It should also become clear that the one holds this view should not be disparaged, as it was the view of many great scholars.

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795AH) advises Muslims to make the most of this night:

فينبغي للمؤمن أن يتفرغ في تلك الليلة لذكر الله تعالى ودعائه بغفران الذنوب وستر العيوب وتفريج الكروب وأن يقدم على ذلك التوبة فإن الله تعالى يتوب فيها على من يتوب

It is therefore appropriate for a believer to dedicate time during this night to remember Allah Ta’ala and ask Him for forgiveness of sins, concealing of faults, relief from difficulty and to repent to Him, for verily Allah accepts the repentance of those who repent.”22

Likewise, he points out that fasting on the following day is not prohibited as it coincides with a day in which fasting is strongly advised:

 وأما صيام يوم النصف منه فغير منهي عنه فإنه من جملة أيام البيض الغر المندوب إلى صيامها من كل شهر

“As for fasting on the middle day of Sha’ban (i.e. the fifteenth), it is not prohibited. Rather, it falls under the ‘White Clear Days’23, the fasting of which is encouraged in every month.”24

Therefore, this night should not be the subject of arguing and disputes which cause one to harbour malice towards a fellow Muslim, which is one of the qualities of the people who are deprived from Allah’s mercy on the Fifteenth Night of Sha’ban. Rather, a Muslim should acknowledge and tolerate the differing views of scholars and avoid any form of ta’assub (fanaticism).

May Allah Ta’ala shower His mercy upon us all.

1 Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur’an, vol. 4 pg. 117
2 Ibn Hibban, Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 12 pg. 481, Hadith 5665
3 Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir, vo. 20 pg. 108, Hadith 215
4 Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat, vol. 7 pg. 36
5 Al-Bayhaqi, Fada’il Al-Awqat, pg. 118, Hadith 22
6 Al-Albani, Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al-Saheehah, vol. 3 pg. 135, Hadith 1144
7 Ibid., pg. 138
8 Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Al-Musnad, vol. 11 pg. 216, Hadith 6642
9 Ibid., pg. 217
10 Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir, vol. 22 pg. 223, Hadith 590
11 Al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab Al-Iman, vol. 5 pg. 359, Hadith 3551
12 Al-Albani, Sahih Al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, vol. 3 pg. 54, Hadith 2771
13 Abd Al-Razzaq, Al-Musannaf, vol. 4 pg. 125, Hadith 8070
14 Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif, pg. 264
15 Ibid., pg. 264
16 Ibid., pg. 263
17 Al-Shafi’i, al-Umm, vol. 1 pg. 254
18 Ibn Muflih, al-Furu’, vol. 3 pg. 118
19 Ibn Taymiyyah, Iqtida al-Sirat al-Mustaqeem, vol. 2 pg. 631
20 Al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfah Al-Ahwadhi, vol. 3 pg. 366
21 Al-Uthaymeen, Majmu’ Fatawa wa Rasa’il al-Uthaymeen, vol. 7 pg. 205
22 Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, Lata’if Al-Ma’arif, pg. 265
23 The 13th, 14th and 15th of every lunar month.
24 Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, Lata’if Al-Ma’arif, pg. 265


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