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Is there any proof to celebrate the middle of Sha'baan?

All praises be to Allaah, Lord and Sustainer of the worlds, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and upon his family and companions.

Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa says:

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."

[al-Maa'idah 5:3]

And He says:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination."

[al-Nisaa' 4:59]

Two important rules are derived from the above aayahs:

  1. 1. As Allaah perfected the religion no act of worship such as fasting and praying in it can be changed or added

  2. 2. The obedience is belongs to solely Allaah and His Messenger, and obedience to all others is conditioned to the obedience of Allaah and His Messenger.

Therefore, performing an act of worship not approved by Allaah and His Messenger is strictly forbidden as Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa says:

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not ordained?"

[al-Shooraa 42:21]

It is reported from ‘Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected.”

(Agreed upon)

Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his Friday khutbahs:

“The best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation (bid'ah) is a going-astray.”

(Reported by Muslim)

Among the innovations that have been introduced by some people is praying on the night of the middle of Sha'baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha'baan), and singling out that day for fasting. Nothing is known based on any authentic evidence to suggest that the night in the middle of Sha'baan (Lailatul-Baraa or Shabi-Baraat) or the day that follows has a special status, neither from the Prophet of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), nor from his companions.

All the reports that have been narrated concerning this issue are either fabricated or weak, and it is not permissible to base an act or worship on such reports.

For example, the hadeeth reported by Ibn-Maajah that says: “When it is halfway through Sha'baan, spend that night in prayer and fast on that day...” Is considered fabricated by most scholars.

There are also some Maqtoo reports (reports whose isnaad do not go back further than taaba'een) which have been narrated, which are used by many ignorant people to support the idea of this night being of special status and singling it out for praying, and fasting on the following day.

Al-Hafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book Lataa'if al-Ma'aarif concerning this matter...“Laylat al-Nusf min Sha'baan (the middle of Sha'ban) was venerated by the Tabi'een among the people of al-Sham, such as Khalid ibn Mi'dan, Makhool, Luqman ibn ‘Amir and others, who used to strive in worship on this night. The people took the idea of the virtue of this night and of venerating it from them. It was said that they heard of Isra'eli reports (reports from Jewish sources) concerning that. Most of the scholars of the Hijaz denounced that, including ‘Ata' and Ibn Abi Malekah. ‘Abdel-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam narrated that view from the fuqaha' of Madenah, and this was the view of the companions of Malik and others. They said: this is all bid'ah…”

Weak or fabricated reports or statements of individual such as those mentioned in connection of middle of Sha'baan can never form the basis of worship and an act of worship performed on such basis will not only be rejected but can become a source of misguidance from which we seek refuge in Allaah.

May Allaah help and guide us to do all that He is pleased with and his Peace and blessings be upon His last Prophet Muhammad.