The Night of Bara'ah (Laylatul Bara'ah) is tonight in the UK (Sunday 23rd of June)
This is not a debate or discussion thread but is meant as a reminder and is therefore closed and will remain so to avoid pointless arguing. Let us be tolerant of valid differences of opinion and not let them divide us, as differences of opinion are a blessing and must never be a cause of division.
The Hadith regarding the night of Bara'ah:
There are many Ahaadith that have been narrated on the virtue of the 15th of Sha’baan. One of them is the narration of Sayyiduna Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said,
‘Allah Ta’ala turns to his entire creation on the fifteenth night of Sha’baan and forgives all of them except one who ascribes partners to Him and one who harbours enmity in his heart.’
(This Hadith has been recorded by Imaam Tabrani in his Mu’jamul Awsat Hadith6776 and Mu’jamul Kabeer vol.20 pg.108-109)
Sahaba, Tabi'een, Tabi tabi'een & great scholars of the past & present on the Night of Bara'ah:
1. Ibn Taymiyya was asked about the prayer of mid-Sha`ban [i.e. the night of]. He answered:
If a person prays that night alone, or in a select congregation, as many groups (tawaif) of the Early Muslims used to do, it is very good.
As for gathering in the mosque for a particular fixed prayer, such as gather for 100 rakats in which 1,000 QulhuwaAllahuAhad are read every time, this is a reprehensible innovation, which none of the imams have allowed. [Ibn Taymiyya, al-Fatawa al-Kubra, 2; 222-138]
He also said regarding this night:
The excellency regarding the 15th of Shabaan is an area of dispute between the Scholars, some of them say that there is no significance of this night, but Imam Ahmed recognises the excellency of this night, our other Hanbli Scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed. There are Ahadith on this night being significant, some of them are from Sunnan (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah) and the other Ahdeeth books as well [Iqtidah Siratul Mustaqeem page 203 by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyah]
Ibn Taymiyyah also said:
‘As for the middle night of Sha’baan, there are various narrations that have been narrated regarding its significance and it has been reported from a group of the Salaf (predecessors) that they performed Salaat in it individually, hence, such a deed cannot be disputed.’ (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa ibn Taymiyah vol.23 pg.132)
He also said: "So many Ahaadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Shabaan that one is compelled to accept that this night possesses some virtue". Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night for Salaat. [Faydhul-Qadeer. vol 2., pg 317].
2. Imam Ibn Majah states:
It is narrated by Ali (Ra) that the Prophet Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) stated; “When it is the 15th night of Shabaan, do Qiyaam in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls: ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs (rizq) food that I may give it to him.’ And this continues till the morning.” [Ibn Majah chapter Salaah]
3. Hafidh Rawpari & Thana'ullah Amritsari on the Night of Bara'ah:
Two great followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Al Najdi, are Hafidh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions. [Fatawa Ahl-e-Hadith by Hafidhh Rawpari and Fatawa Thanaa’iya by Thana’ullah Amritsari, chapter on fasting]
4. Sheikh Al-Albani also confirmed the significance of this night. Below is the hadith which he declares it Sahih:
Hadith: Allah turns towards his creation in the Night of "MID-SHABAN" and He forgives all of them except for a Mushrik and one who hates other people (Albani calls it); "A SAHIH HADITH" narrated by group of Sahaba with different routes (Turuq) such as from Muadh bin Jabal (Ra), Abu Thalbah (Ra) Abdullah bin Umar (Ra), Abu Musa al Ashari (Ra), Abu Hurraira (Ra), Abu Bakr as Saddiq (ra), Awf bin Malik (ra) and Aisha (ra).The Hadith of Muadh bin Jabal (ra) comes through Makhul from Malik bin Yakhamir and It is "MARFU" narrated by Ibn Abi Asim in his As-Sunnah Hadith #512 [Nasir ud din Albani in Silsilat ul-Ahadith-as Sahiha, Volume No. 3, Page No. 135 #1144]
Sheikh Al Albani also said:
As for what is authentic regarding the night of the 15th of Sha'baan, [The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam, said,]
"Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted, comes to His Creation on Laylatun-Nisf (the 15th night) of Sha'baan, and He forgives all of His Creation, except for the polytheist and the mushaahin ."
It is an authentic narration narrated by a number of Companions with a number or different chains that strengthen each other, by way of Mu'aath ibn Jabal, Aboo Tha'labah Al-Khushanee, 'Abdullaah ibn 'Amr, Aboo Moosaa Al-Ash'aree, Aboo Hurayrah, Aboo Bakr As-Siddeeq, 'Awf ibn Maalik, and 'Aa'ishah…
Sheikh Al Albani concludes: …So in summary, the narration is authentic without a doubt, as authenticity could be established for it even if there were not so many routes, so long as they are free of any severe weaknesses, as is the case with this narration.
5. Imam Nawawi (Ra) mentioned in his Majmu`, where he also quoted Imam al-Shafi`i from the latters al-Umm that it has reached him that there are 5 nights when dua is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.
6. Imaam ibn Hibbaan (RA) has classified this narration as Sahih (authentic) and has included it in his book – al-Saheeh. (see Sahih ibn Hibbaan vol.12 pg.482; Hadith5665).
7. Hafiz al-Haythami (RA) has mentioned that all the narrators of this Hadith are reliable. (Majma-uz-zawaaid vol.8 pg.65)
8. It is also classified as sound by Haafiz al-Mundhiri(RA) in his (Al-Targheeb (vol.3 pg.459)).
9. This narration is of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and is recorded by Imaam Bazzaar (RA) in his Musnad.
10. In fact, Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA) has also classified one of its chains as Hasan (sound). (al-Amaalil mutlaqah pgs.119-120)
Besides the above, there are many other Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) that narrated Ahaadith regarding the merit of this night, such as:
11. Abu Hurayra (Musnad al-Bazzaar),
12. Abu Tha’labah (Shu’ubul Imaan),
13. Awf ibn Maalik (Musnad al-Bazzaar),
14. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas (Musnad Ahmad Hadith6642),
15. Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (ibn Majah Hadith1390; Shu’ubul Imaan Hadith3833) and others.
The collective strength of these narrations cannot be refuted.
The general virtue of this night has been accepted by many great Ulama of the past. From among many great scholars which have agreed to the virtue of this night are:
16. Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz,
17. Imaam al-Shaafi’ee,
18. Imaam al-Awdhaa’ie,
19. Attaa ibn Yassaar,
20. Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali
21. Hafidh Zaynu-deen al-Iraaqiy (Rahmatullaahi alayhim) – refer Lataiful Ma’aarif of Hafiz ibn Rajab pgs.263-264 and Faydhul Qadeer vol.2 pg.317
Moulana Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes in his commentary of Tirmidhi, "The sheer number of Ahaadith regarding this night serve as proof against those people who refute the excellence of this night". [Tuhfatul-Ahwazi. vol 2. pg 53].
So if the above Sahaba, Salaf, Tabi'een, Tabi Tabi'een and great scholars of the past and present accept and declare this night as having some significance then who are we as lay people to say otherwise without any proof or evidence but just parroting what certain scholars have said instead of respecting it as a valid difference of opinion.
Therefore to declare such night as a bida'a is declaring the above scholars as those who promote bida'a and also being ignorant to valid differences of opinion.
So if one wants to worship this night then let him and if one does not then that is also fine, but the least one can do is to accept valid differences of opinion.
Sheikh Mufti Taqi Uthmani concludes regarding the night of Bara'ah:
Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions regarding this night suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night. In fact, some of these traditions have been held by some scholars of hadith as authentic and the defects in the chain of some others have been treated by them as minor technical defects which, according to the science of hadith, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That is why the elders of the Ummah have constantly been observing this night as a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship and prayers.
And Allah knows best in all matters