The significance of Shab-e-barā’at
The Significance Of The Night Of Forgiveness (Shab-i Barā’at)
Shab-i Barā’at is the Night of Absolution and is a vessel for Mercy, Blessing, Benefit, Pardon and Forgiveness that descends upon the people of the earth. On this great night, Allāh Ta’ālā reveals a special Divine Revelation to the first heaven and proclaims, “Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who seeks sustenance so that I may grant him sustenance? Is there anyone who seeks freedom from his problems so that I may remove his problems?” This announcement continues until the break of dawn.
The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) has said, “On the night of the middle of Sha’bān, Allāh Ta’ālā reveals a special Divine Revelation to the sky of this lower world and forgives every Muslim, except a Mushrik (one who associates partners with Allāh Ta’ālā), the bearer of malice, the breaker of family ties, the adulterer, the miser, the one who is disobedient to his parents and the one who consumes alcohol. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) has also stated that during this night Allāh Ta’ālā opens 300 doors of Mercy unto his servants and that the slaves of Allāh Ta’ālā are emancipated from the fire of hell, as many as the hairs on the flocks of the tribe of Bani Kalb.
Allāh Ta’ālā states in the Holy Qur’ān, “Therein all matters of wisdom are sorted out for Decree.” [Surah 44, Verse 4]. This ayah refers to Shab-i Barā’at and it is stated that on this great night, the entire years programme of sustenance, death, life, honour and disgrace; in short every affair of man is listed from the Divine Tablet and handed over to the angels of each area on the earth in the form of a book. For example the Angel of Death is given a list of the names of those who will taste death in the coming year. [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan]
Hazrat Ā’ishah Siddiqah (Allāh is pleased with her) reports that once on Shab-i barā’at, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) went into prostration for a long time and she watched the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) until she thought that Allāh Ta’ālā had taken His Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) from this world. After a long time had elapsed, she (Allāh is pleased with her) got close enough to touch the soles of his blessed feet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) and she (Allāh is pleased with her) heard him (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) say in his (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) prostration, “I take refuge with Your pardon from Your punishment. I take refuge with Your approval from Your displeasure. I take refuge in You from You. Glory be to You. I cannot fully praise You, as You have praised Yourself.” After this incident Hazrat Ā’ishah Siddiqah (Allāh is pleased with her) asked the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon Him), “O Messenger of Allāh (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) tonight I have heard you utter something during your prostration that I never heard you mention before.” The Messenger of Allāh (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) then asked, “Have you learnt it?” When she (Allāh is pleased with her) said yes, he (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) replied, “Study those words and teach them, for Hazrat Jibrā’īl (‘alayhi al-salām) asked me to repeat them during the prostration.” [Ghunya li-Tālibi Tarīqal Haq]
This Dua is transliterated below and we must try to recite it as much as possible
In shā’ Allāh, according to the Sunnah of the Beloved Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) Transliteration: Allāhumma a’uźu bi ‘afwika Min iqābika Wa a’uźu Biridāka Min Sakhatika Wa a’uźu bika minka Jalla Wajhuka, Lā uhśiy Thanā’an ‘alayka anta kamā athnayta ‘alā Nafsik.
Hereunder are some other litanies that may be performed during this blessed night:
• After ‘Asr Salāh the following should be recited 70 times:AstaghfiruLlāha Rabbiy Min kulli żambi-w wa atūbu ilayh
• Just before sunset the following should be recited 40 times:Laa Hawla Walā Quwwata illā bi-Llāhil ‘aliyyil ‘aźiym
• After Maghrib salāh 6 raka’āts of Nafl salāh should be read as three sets of two raka’āts. Before the first 2 raka’āts, make Du’ā to receive a long life through the barakah of those 2 raka’āts. For the second set make Du’ā to be saved from all types of problems and for the third set make Du’ā for Allāh Ta’ālā not to make you needy of anyone besides Him. After each set of raka’āts, recite Surah Yāsīn once, Surah al-Ikhlāś 21 times and thereafter Du’ā of Nisf Sha’bān.
• One should also try to fast on the 15th of Sha’bān as this is the Sunnah of the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon Him). It is also better to fast both on the 14th and 15th (if possible) so that one would enter the blessed night of Shab-i Barā’at in a state of fasting.
• One should also try to visit the graveyard to make Du’ā of Maghfirat (Forgiveness) for the deceased, as this is the Sunnah of our Beloved Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) .
This is an opportunity that everyone needs to take advantage of. We do not know if our names will be written on the list given to the Angel of Death this year, and whether we will have the opportunity of experiencing this blessed night again. We must make Tawbah (repent) for our sins and ask for forgiveness from Allāh Ta’ālā. We are such wretched sinners but the Mercy of Allāh Ta’ālā is boundless. No matter how sinful we are, it is never too late to fall down in prostration before Allāh Ta’ālā’ and to cry in shame for our insolent behaviour in disobeying His commands.
The Mercy of Allāh Ta’ālā overcomes His divine anger therefore we should not lose hope in His Mercy, no matter how wretched we might be. Allāh Ta’ālā will forgive us, but it is we who are too lazy to humble ourselves before Him to ask for His Mercy.
On this night when Allāh Ta’ālā calls out, “Who is there who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive Him?” the whole night, let us respond to that call by crying in the Court of Allāh Ta’ālā and saying, “Yā Allāh, this wretched sinner seeks Your forgiveness. I am present in Your Court and I humble myself in shame before You. Through the Sadaqah and Wasīlah of Your Beloved Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) please forgive me.” Nothing is stopping us besides our nafs and shaytān. Remember that Allāh Ta’ālā loves those who cry in His Court out of shame and repent for their sins, so do not let this blessed night go by in vain.
May Allāh Ta’ālā grant us the tawfīq to take full advantage of the blessings of Shab-i Barā’at, to repent from our sins and to make as much Ibādah as possible on this blessed night.