The Significance of Nifs Sha’ban
The Fifteenth Night of Sha`ban, known in Arabic as Laylat al-Nisf min Sha`ban, literally “the eve of the middle day of Sha`ban,” is one of the greatest nights of the year. (In Islam the night precedes the day so really it is the night before the fifteenth day of Sha`ban.) `Ata’ bin Yasar said that after Laylat al-Qadr there is no night better than the Fifteenth Night of Sha`ban. Its greatness is due to the Divine gifts that are bestowed during it.
One night Sayyidah `A’ishah noticed that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had left her house. She went out to see where he was and found him in the Baqi` Graveyard raising his arms to the heavens in supplication. He said to her that on that night, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Allah forgives more people than there are hairs on the sheep of the tribe Kalb.1 He also said (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “Allah gazes at His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha`ban and then forgives all His slaves except for two types of people: those who attribute partners to Allah and those who have rancour for their fellow Muslims.”2 The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that when this night comes we should spend it in prayer and fast the following day, because truly Allah calls out to His slaves from sunset until dawn: “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking provision from Me so I may provide for him? Is there anyone suffering so I may relieve his suffering?”3
Imam `Ali went out on the fifteenth night of Sha`ban and gazed at the Heavens. He said that the Prophet Daud (peace be upon him) went out at a similar time on this same night and said that if anyone calls upon Allah at this time, Allah answers him and if anyone seeks His forgiveness He forgives him. For this reason, he would spend the night in worship. It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “There are five nights on which du`a’ is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Thursday night, the night before `Eid al-Fitr and the night before `Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha).”4
`Ikrimah and other commentators of the Qur’an were of the opinion that the “blessed night” referred to in Surah al-Dukhan is the fifteenth night of Sha`ban.5 Allah says of it: in it every decreed affair becomes distinct.6 According to this opinion it is the night in which what Allah has decreed for His slaves for the ensuing year becomes manifest. Their provision is allotted and those who are destined to die are named. `Ata’ bin Yasar said that on this night the Angel of Death receives a scroll on which are the names of all those who are destined to die in the coming year. “A man may plant crops, get married and build buildings while his name has already been recorded amongst the dead. The Angel of Death is only waiting for the order to take his soul.” Thus many of the pious would ask Allah on this night to be recorded amongst the felicitous just as they would ask for plentiful provision.
Sayyiduna `Umar bin `Abd al-`Aziz said: “Do not neglect four nights in the year, because in those nights Allah pours His Mercy on His slaves: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Adha.” It was thus the habit of some of the early Muslims to “bring life” to the fifteenth night of Sha`ban. They encouraged people to come together in the mosque on that night to pray, supplicate and seek forgiveness.[divider]
Read the rest of the post here: http://abdulkarimyahya.com/2012/07/02/note-the-15th-of-shaban/[divider]
1 Narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Banu Kalb was an Arab tribe renowned for the great flocks of sheep that its members possessed.
2 Narrated by Ahmad
3 Narrated by Ibn Majah
4 Narrated by al-Suyuti
5 The majority of commentators, however, say that the night referred to is Laylat al-Qadr
6 Al-Dukhan 44.4