Why Celebrating Shab E Barat Is Bidah | Innovations
Shab E Barat is Bid’ah?
It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:
“I missed the Prophet (ﷺ) one night, so I went out looking for him. I found him at Al-Baqi’, raising his head towards the sky. He said: ‘O ‘Aishah, were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would wrong you?’” She said: “I said: ‘No, it is not that, but I thought that you had gone to one of your other wives.’ He said: ‘Allah descends on the night of the middle of Sha’ban to the lowest heaven, and He forgives more than the numbers of hairs on the sheep of Banu Kalb.’” – Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 1389. Grade: Da’if (weak).
Misunderstood Qur’anic Verse
Many Scholars also shows the verse mentioned below from the Qur’an to prove the significance of the middle of Sha’ban i.e. Shab E Barat. They even sometimes call this night ‘Lailatul Mubaraka’ because in arabic ‘mubaraka’ is used in the verse which states that Allah says, “Indeed, We sent this Qur’an down during a Mubaraka Night”. We know from other verses from the Qur’an and through many Authentic Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that the Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan not Shab’an. This clearly proves that this verse in Surah Ad-Dhukan is talking about the blessed night of Shab E Qadr which is in the month of Ramadan.
“By the clear Book, Indeed, We sent it (Qur’an) down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. On that night is made distinct every precise matter – [Every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a messenger] as mercy from your Lord. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” – Surat Ad-Dukhan, Chapter 44, Verse 2-6.
This proves that there is no mention of such night as Shab E Barat in the Qur’an and the Authentic Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
No Special Night Prayer & Fasting on 15th Shab’an
If someone prays in the night of 15th Shab’an considering that it has special significance, he will be doing Bid’ah (innovation in religion) and Bid’ah in Islam is completely prohibited and is considered a great sin. But, if a person is used to offering the Night Prayer (Tahajjud) in other nights of the year, he may offer his Night Prayer (Tahajjud) in the night of 15th Shab’an as well, just like any other nights. And if a person is used to fasting on 13th, 14th, 15th of every month of the year, he may as well fast on the day of 15th Shab’an just like any other months.
Allah descends to the Lowest Heaven on Every Night
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
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.
Act of Bid’ah (innovation in Islam) is Rejected
Aishah narrated that:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” – Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 14. Grade: Sahih.
May Allah guide us and make us among the ones who seek and follow the right path. And may Allah also protect us from any form of Bid’ah (innovation in religion), which is indeed a great sin.