Shaban & the 15th of Shaban In the Light of Authentic Hadiths By Shaykh al Hadith Mufti Raza al Haq Ashrafi Misbahi * Introduction & Translation By Basharath Ali Siddiqui Ashrafi

12/12/2012 20:42





15th of Sha’ban

In the Light of Authentic Hadiths



Shaykh ul Hadith Mufti

Raza ul Haq Ashrafi Misbahi


Introduction & Translation


Basharath Ali Siddiqui

Quadri Ashrafi







Sha’ban-the month of abundant blessings has an importance of its own in the light of Authentic Hadiths. It also brings along with its numerous blessings, one of the most important nights of the Islamic calendar known as ‘Laylatin Nisf Shaban’ in Arabic and known as ‘Shab e Baraat’ in Urdu. That is, the 15th of Sha’ban!


Who Denies the Merits of 15th Sha’ban?


The modern sects like the Wahhabiyya- Ahle Hadith/ Salafiya deny its immense merits vehemently and so do their sub-sects and imitators - the Deobandiya and Jamat e Islami. Whereas, on the other hand, their own scholars of whom they do ‘Taqlid’ even in matters in which they have erred have said that there are ‘Sahih’ and ‘Hasan’ Hadiths on the Merits of 15th Sha’ban!!!


How Do They Deny Its Merits?


Their scholars out-rightly hide the ‘Sahih’, ‘Hasan’ Hadiths on the topic of 15th Sha’ban in their speeches and books, and based upon some ‘Mawzu’ Hadiths try to mislead the general Muslims that there are no ‘Sahih’ & ‘Hasan’ Hadiths on the topic! They declare that the Hadiths on 15th Sha’ban are all ‘Zaeef Jiddan’ {Extremely Weak}, ‘Munkar’ {Rejected} and ‘Mawzu’ {Fabricated} and give an impression that there is not even a Single ‘Sahih’, ‘Hasan’ or even a slightly ‘Zaeef’ Hadith on the topic!


How do Muslims Get Influenced?


Unfortunately Thousands of Muslims are under this False Impression and under the influence of their False and Devilish Propaganda on this topic as they have an upper hand in terms of propagating their views through different electronic media! May Allah Almighty  Save Us from their Heresies! Amin!


What is the Actual Problem?


The people well versed in the Islamic and Hadith Sciences know very well that there are ‘Sahih’ & ‘Hasan’ Hadiths {Authentic & Fair} as well as ‘Mawzu’ Hadiths {Fabricated} on numerous topics of Islam and when we study Hadith literature; it is not hard to find them. The Books dedicated to ‘Mawzu’at’ {Fabricated Hadiths} are full of such topics.


Dear Muslims, but does this mean that we have the authority or permission to reject a ‘Sahih’ {Authentic} or ‘Hasan’ Hadith {Fair} on a topic if there is a ‘Mawzu’ Hadith {Fabricated} on the same topic? Is this method correct? Is this the way of Truth? Is this an Honest approach to understand Islam? Certainly No!


Similarly, the Hadiths on the Merit of 15th Sha’ban are ‘Sahih’, ‘Hasan’, ‘Zaeef’ and even ‘Mawzu’.


Now, should we reject even ‘Sahih’ and ‘Hasan’ Hadiths on the merits of 15th Sha’ban if there are some ‘Mawzu’ Hadiths on the topic? Certainly, we will not!


What Should We Do?


We should bring into practice the ‘Sahih’, ‘Hasan’ and ‘Zaeef’ Hadiths and reject the ‘Mawzu’ Hadiths! This ‘Manhaj’ of ‘Ahl us Sunnah wal Jamah’ and that of the Fuqaha, Mufassirin and Muhaddithin!


How Can We Tackle the Salafiya?


Every Muslim must ask them: “Why do they not present the ‘Sahih’ and ‘Hasan’ Hadiths on the matter? And why do they Hide them?”

This is a question which every able minded Muslim should ask and ponder upon!


What Does their Actions Mean?


Their actions portray their extremism in Matters of religion, astray-ness and outright rejection of the Hadiths on the immense merits of ‘15th Sha’ban! Isn’t it?


Why this Book?


This Book is an attempt to refute their claim of ‘Biddah’; and to support and defend the ‘Sunnah’ of the Beloved Rasul-Allah , the Sahaba and the subsequent consensus of generations of Muslims from the past 1400 years!


What Does this Book Contain?


10 Hadiths on the General Merits of the Month of Sha’ban, 3 ‘Sahih’ Hadiths on the Immense Merits of 15th Sha’ban, Answers to the False Allegations and feeble Objections of Deobandi scholars like Mufti Taqi Usmani, Shaykh Habib ur Rahman A’zami and other modern Salafi/ Ahle Hadith on some of the slightly ‘Zaeef’ Hadiths on 15th Sha’ban, the Sayings of Past Great Scholars of Islam as well as the Sayings of the Salafi scholars on the Merits of 15th Sha’ban.


What Should You Do to Help this Book?


It is of vital importance in present age of rampant ‘Khawarijian’ heresies that books as this be promoted and published through-out the Islamic world in order to suppress the doctrinal astray-ness and deviant ideologies of the ‘Wahhabiya/Salafiya’.


Basharath Ali Siddiqui




What Does Sha’ban Mean?


The word Sha’ban is derived from the Arabic word ‘Sha’bun’ which means ‘Congregation’. This month is known as Sha’ban because like the month of Ramazan, it too comprises of abundant blessings and merits.


The commentator of ‘Sahih Bukhari’, Imam Badruddin Mahmud Ayni Hanafi (d.855 A.H) states: “The word Sha’ban is derived from the word ‘Sha’bun’ which means ‘Congregation’. It is known as Sha’ban because just like the month of Ramazan, it too comprises of abundant blessings and merits.” {Umdat ul Qari Sharh Sahih Bukhari; 8:184}


General Authentic Hadiths on the Merits of Sha’ban


1. Sayyidah Ayesha % said: “Rasul-Allah  used to fast continuously to the point that we would say that he would never break it, and used to stop fasting to the point that we would say that he would never fast. I never saw Rasul-Allah  fast for an entire month except for Ramazan and I did not see him fast in any month more than Sha'ban.” {Sahih Bukhari, Kitab us Sawm, Bab Sawm Shaban; H# 1969}


2. Sayyiduna Abu Salma  narrates from Sayyidah Ayesha % that she said: “Rasul-Allah  did not fast in any month more than Sha'ban and used to say, “You must only do what is within your capacity. By Allah, Allah does not grow weary but you grow weary.” The prayer the Prophet  loved the most was the one in which there was constancy, even though if it was only a little. When he used to offer a particular prayer, he used to maintain consistency in it.” {Sahih Bukhari, Kitab us Sawm, Bab Sawm Shaban; H# 1970}


3. Imam Muslim also records this statement of Sayyidah Ayesha % that: “Rasul-Allah  used to fast during Sha’ban more than any other month in a year.” {Sahih Muslim, Kitab us Sawm, Bab Siyam un Nabi fi Ghayri Ramazan; H# 2723 & Sunan Nisai; H# 2352, 2353, 2356, 2357, 2358}


4. Imam Abu Dawud records these words of Sayyidah Ayesha % that: “Rasul-Allah  used to love to keep fast in Sha’ban than any other month, then used to fast in Ramazan.” {Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab us Sawm, Bab fi Sawm Shaban; H# 2431}


5. Imam Ibn Majah narrates from Sayyidah Ayesha % as follows: “I have never seen Rasul-Allah  fasting so much in other months except during Sha’ban.” {Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab us Sawm, Bab Maja’ fi Siyam un Nabi; H# 1710}


6. Umm ul Mu’minin Sayyidah Umm Salma % narrates regarding the Beloved Rasul-Allah  that: “Rasul-Allah  never used to fast continuously except for the two months of Sha’ban and Ramazan.” {Sunan Nisai, Kitab us Sawm, Bab Sawm un Nabi; H# 2354, 2355}


7. Sayyiduna Usama bin Zayd  once asked the Beloved Rasul-Allah : “O Rasul-Allah! Why is it that you fast more during Sha’ban than any other month?” The Beloved Rasul-Allah  replied: “Sha’ban is such a month between Rajab and Ramazan that people are careless as regards to worshipping during this month. In this month, Deeds are presented before the Lord of the Worlds and I prefer that my Deeds be presented in a state of fasting.” {Sunan Nisai, Kitab us Sawm; H#2359}


Imam Ibn Hajr Asqlani Shafai’ states about the above Hadith that: “This Hadith has been narrated by Imam Nisai and Imam Abu Dawud, and Imam Ibn Khuzaymah has authenticated the narration through Sayyiduna Usama bin Zayd .” {Fath ul Bari Sharh Sahih al Bukhari; 4:253}


8. Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik  narrates that Rasul-Allah  was asked: “Which is the most meritorious fast?” The Beloved Rasul-Allah  replied: “The fasts of Shaban in respect of Ramazan!” {Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab us Siyam, Bab: 115; H# 2 & Jami’ Tirmizi, H# 663}


9. Sayyiduna Ata’ bin Yasar  narrates: “Rasul-Allah  used to fast more during Sha’ban than any other month because the names of all those who will die next year are written down .” {Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab us Siyam, Bab: 115; H#3}


10. Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqa % narrates that: “Rasul-Allah  used to fast the whole month of Shaban.” Sayyidah Ayesha asked: “O Rasul-Allah! Why do you like to fast during Sha’ban more than any other month?” The Beloved Rasul-Allah  replied: “Verily, in this month, Allah Almighty decides/writes the death of every living being which will die that year! Therefore, I prefer that my life be decided in a state such that I am fasting.” Imam Munzari said: “The Chain of Narrators {‘Sanad’} of this Hadith is ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair}.” {Musnad Abu Ya’la; 8: 4911 & Majmu az Zawaid; 2: 192}




 The Beloved Rasul-Allah  used to Fast more during Sha’ban than any other month & next only to Ramazan.


1. The month of Shaban was most beloved to Rasul-Allah  for Voluntary {‘Nafil’} fasts.


2. The Deeds of Muslims are specially presented before Allah Almighty  in the month of Sha’ban.


3. Allah Almighty  orders Angels to write the names of all those who shall meet death in the following year in the month of Sha’ban.


4. Sha’ban lies between the months of Rajab and Ramazan. People usually wait for the month of Ramazan after Rajab and are usually careless regarding worship and fasting in this month. The Beloved Rasul-Allah  commanded and practiced fasting in this month in order to set an example, to get prepared for the coming Ramazan and to respect the coming of Ramazan.


The Following Sahaba have narrated Hadiths on the general Merits of the month of Shaban:

1. Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik .

2. Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah .

3. Umm ul Mu’minin Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqa %.

4. Umm ul Mu’minin Sayyidah Umm Salma %.

5. Sayyiduna Usama bin Zayd .


The following Hadith compilations contain Hadiths on the general merits of Sha’ban:

1. Sahih Bukhari.

2. Sahih Muslim.

3. Sunan Abu Dawud.

4. Jami’ Tirmizi.

5. Sunan Nisai.

6. Sunan Ibn Majah.

7. Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.

8. Sunan al Kubra Bayhaqi.

9. Sunan Darimi.

10. Musnad Abu Dawud Tayalsi.

11. Mu’jam Kabeer Tibrani.

12. Mu’jam Awsat Tibrani.

13. Sh’ub ul Iman Bayhaqi.

14. Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah.

15. Musnad Abu Ya’la.

16. Majmu az Zawaid Haythami.

17. At Targhib wat Tarhib Munziri.



 Specific ‘Sahih’ {Authentic} Hadiths on the Merits of 15th of Shaban


 Hadith #1


Sayyiduna Mu’az ibn Jabal  narrated that the Beloved

Rasul-Allah  said:


“Yattali`u Allahu ila Khalqihi fi Laylati al-Nisfi min Sha`bana fa-Yaghfiru li-Jami`i Khalqihi illa li Mushrikin aw Mushahin.”


“Allah Almighty looks at His creation in the night of Mid-Sha’ban {‘Nisf Sha’ban’, i.e. 15th Sha’ban} and He forgives all His creation except for a ‘Mushrik’ {Polytheist} or a ‘Mushahin’ {One bent upon Malice & Hatred}.”


{Mu'jam al Kabir Tibrani, 20:108-9; Sahih Ibn Hibban, 7:470; Shu'b al Iman Bayhaqi, 2:288; Tarikh Ibn Asakir, 15:302 & Imam Ibn Abi 'Asim’s ‘Al Sunna’, 1:224}


Imam Ibn Hibban Shafai’ considered this Hadith as ‘Sahih’ as mentioned by Imam Ibn Rajab Hanbali in ‘Lataif al Ma'arif (1:224)’.


Imam Ibn Hajr Haytami Shafai’ said: “This Hadith is related by Tibrani in ‘Al Mu'jam al Kabir’ and ‘Al Mu’jam al Awsat’, and the narrators of both are ‘Thiqah’ {Trustworthy}.” {Majma uz Zawaid, 8:65}


The Giant Syrian Hadith scholar of the present time, Shaykh Shuayb Aran'ut who edited and re-published ‘Sahih Ibn Hibban’ with Hadith referencing and documentation considers this Hadith as ‘Sahih’ {Authentic}. {Al Ihsan fi Taqrib Sahih Ibn Hibban, 12:481, H # 5665}


The famous Wahhabi/Ahle Hadith/Salafi self claimed Hadith scholar and manipulator of the Four Sunan - Shaykh Nasiruddin Albani also considers this Hadith as ‘Sahih’ {Authentic}. {Silsilah al Ahadith al Sahihah, 3:135, H #1144}


Hadith # 2


Sayyiduna Abdullah bin 'Amr  narrates that the Beloved Prophet  said: “Allah looks at His creation during the night of Mid-Sha'ban {‘Nisf Sha’ban’, i.e. 15th Sha’ban} and He forgives His servants except two: One intent on Hatred {‘Mushanin’} and a Murderer {‘Qatilu Nafs’}.” {Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, 2:176, H # 6642}


Imam Bazzar also related this Hadith and classified it as ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair}.


Shaykh Ahmad Shakir who documented and edited the ‘Musnad’ has classified this Hadith as ‘Sahih’ {Authentic} while the Wahhabi/ Salafi Shaykh Nasiruddin Albani classified it as ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair}. {Silsilah al Ahadith al Sahihah, 3:136}


Hadith # 3


Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq  narrates an Identical Hadith mentioned by

Imam Hafiz Munziri Shafai’ in his ‘Targhib wat Tarhib (3:459)’ and classified as ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair}, Imam Bazzar also mentions it in his ‘Musnad Bazzar’ and Imam Hafiz Ibn Hajar Shafai’ classified one of its chains as ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair} in ‘Al Amalil Mutlaqah (119-120)’


Some Other Hadiths on 15th of Sha’ban


Answers to the Objections of Wahhabiya/Salafiya/Ahle Hadith, Deobandiya and Jamat e Islami!


Hadith # 1


Sayyiduna Abu Musa Asha’ri  narrated that the Beloved Rasul-Allah  said: “Allah Almighty’s special Mercy descends in the night of 15th Sha’ban and except for the ‘Mushrik’ {Polytheist} and ‘Mushahin’ {One intent upon Malice & Hatred}, He forgives every one .” {Sunan Ibn Majah, Bab Maja’ fi Laylat in Nisf min Shaban; H#1390}


Objection on this Hadith


The ‘Sanad’ {Chain of Narrators} of this Hadith recorded by Imam Ibn Majah contains a narrator – Ibn Lahiya’, who according to Muhaddithin is ‘Zaeef’ {Weak}. Therefore, one cannot bring this Hadith as a proof on the merits of 15th Sha’ban.

Answers to this Objection!


First Answer: In matters of Merits {‘Fazail’} even ‘Zaeef’ Hadiths are accepted by the ‘Muhaddithin’ {Hadith Masters} and ‘Fuqaha’ {Jurists}; and such Hadiths can be practiced upon.


The famous commentator of Sahih Muslim, Imam Abu Zakarya Yahya bin Sharf Nawawi (d.673 A.H) states:


“Scholars from amongst Muhaddithin, Fuqaha, etcetera have said that in matters of ‘Fazail’ {Merits} and ‘Targhib wa Tarhib’ {Stressing and Promoting of Good Deeds and Prohibiting from Evil} practicing upon ‘Zaeef ul Isnad Hadiths’ {Hadiths with Weak Chains of Narrators} is ‘Mustahab’ {Recommended} until and unless it is not ‘Mawzu’ {Fabricated}!” {Al Azkar: 8, Dar ul Fikr – Beirut}


Second Answer: One should also know that when a ‘Zaeef ul Isnad Hadith’ is supported by other ‘Zaeef’ Hadiths, it becomes stronger as regards to authenticity as written by Imam Bayhaqi Shafai’ in ‘Shu’b ul Iman’ under the Hadith # 3795.


Therefore, ‘Zaeef ul Isnad Hadith’ also reach the status of ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair} when supported by other Zaeef Hadiths and also become acceptable in matters of ‘Ahkam’ {Religious Laws & Commandments}, even if they do not reach the status of ‘Hasan’, then also they are applied in matters of ‘Ahkam’ for precautionary purposes! {Tadrib ur Rawi. 1:299}


The above mentioned Hadith is narrated through Ibn Lahiya’ through two ‘Sanads’ {Chain of Narrators} through Sayyiduna Abu Musa Ashari  in Sunan Ibn Majah; and is narrated by Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Amr  in Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (2:176).


Third Answer: Apart from the above ‘Sanads’, it is also narrated by::


i. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq  in ‘Musnad Bazzar’, ‘Majmu az Zawaid’, ‘Shu’b al Iman’ and ‘Kanz ul Ummal’.

ii. Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqa % in ‘Shu’b al Iman’ and ‘Durr al Manthur’.

iii. Sayyiduna Muaz bin Jabal  in ‘Sahih Ibn Hibban’, ‘Mu’jam al Kabir Tibrani’, ‘Mu’jam al Awsat Tibrani’ and ‘Majmu az Zawaid’.


The Hadiths are as follows:


Hadith # 2


Sayyiduna Abu Bakr  narrated that the Beloved Rasul-Allah  said: “Especial Mercy of Allah Almighty descends in the night of Mid-Sha’ban towards the skies of the world. And Allah Almighty forgives everyone except a ‘Mushrik’ {Polytheist} and a ‘Mushahin’ {One bent on Malice & Hatred}.” {Musnad Bazzar, 2:2045; Majmu az Zawaid, 8:65 & Shu’b al Iman, H# 3827, 3828, 3829}


The Famous Wahhabi/ Salafi/ Ahle Hadith scholar- Shaykh Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri states by referring to Imam Munziri Shafai’ that: “This Hadith has been narrated by Imam Bazzar and Imam Bayhaqi through a ‘Sanad’ upon which there is no Objection!” {Tuhfat ul Ahwazi Sharh Sunan Tirmizi, 3:365}


Hadith # 3


Sayyidah Ayesha % narrated that: “The Beloved Rasul-Allah  woke up at night and began to offer Prayers. The Prophet  elongated the Prostration {‘Sajdah’} so long that I began to feel that his soul must have been extracted. Upon noticing this, I stood up fearing and moved his thumb upon which he moved his body, I calmed down and returned. The Prophet  raised his head from Prostration and after finishing his prayer, said to me: “O Ayesha!” Or said: “O Humayra! Did you think that the Prophet has been Unfair to you?” I replied: “No, O Rasul-Allah! But I did think that your soul must have been extracted due to your elongating the Prostration!” The Prophet  said: “What night is tonight?” I said: “Allah Almighty and His Prophet knows best!” He said: “This is the night of Mid-Shaban! This night special Mercy of Allah Almighty turns towards His servants. He forgives those seeking His forgiveness from their Sins and bestows Mercy upon those asking for His Mercy and He leaves alone those bent upon Hatred (& Malice)!” {Shu’b al Iman, H# 3835 & Durr al Mansur, 7:403}


Hadith # 4


Sayyiduna Mu’az bin Jabal  narrated that the Beloved Rasul-Allah  said: “In the night of Mid-Sha’ban{‘Nisf Sha’ban’, i.e. 15th Sha’ban}, the special Mercy of Allah Almighty turns towards all of His creatures and He forgives all Sinners except a ‘Mushrik’ {Polytheist} and a ‘Mushahin’ {One bent upon Malice & Hatred}.” {Sahih Ibn Hibban, 7:470; Mu’jam Kabir Tibrani, 20:215; Shu’b al Iman, H#3833 & At Targhib wat Tarhib, H#1544}


From the above Hadiths, we come to know that the Hadith narrated in Sunan Ibn Majah through ‘Ibn Lahiya’ is acceptable and practicable. And it has reached the status of ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair} due to other supporting Hadiths!


Hadith # 5


Sayyidah Ayesha % narrates that: “One night I did not find the Prophet  in the house; I began searching for him and found that he was in ‘Jannat ul Baqi’ and his face was raised towards the sky!” On seeing me, he said: “O Ayesha! Did you fear that Allah Almighty and His Prophet would be unfair to you?” I replied: “No, O Rasul-Allah! But, I did think that you may have gone to your other wives!” He said: “Verily! Special Mercy of Allah Almighty descends towards the skies of the world in the night of Mid-Shaban {‘Nisf Sha’ban’, i.e. 15th Sha’ban} such that the number of those forgiven by Allah Almighty from amongst His servants exceed more than the hair on all the sheep of the tribe of Banu Kalb!” {Sunan Ibn Majah, Bab Maja’ fi Laylat in Nisf min Shaban, H# 1389; Shu’b al Iman, H# 3824, 3825, 3826}


Objection on the above Hadith


Among the narrators of this Hadith is ‘Hajjaj bin Artat’ who is regarded as ‘Zaeef’ by the ‘Muhaddithin’. Therefore, to bring prove from this Hadith on the Merits of 15th Shaban is null and void. Imam Tirmizi after narrating the above Hadith states: “We know the Hadith of Ayesha mentioned above only through ‘Hajjaj bin Artat’ and I have heard from Muhammad bin Ismail that he used to consider this Hadith as ‘Zaeef’. He said: “Yahya ibn Kathir didn’t hear from Urwah and Hajjaj bin Artat didn’t hear from Yahya ibn Kathir!” {Jami’ Tirmizi, Bab Maja’ fi Laylat in Nisf Shaban, H# 739}


Answer to the above Objection


First Answer: Let us first discuss the ‘Sanad’ of this Hadith and evaluate its authenticity according to the principles of Hadith grading and whether it is acceptable and practicable or not.


The criticism of Imam Tirmizi and Imam Bukhari was regarding that ‘Sanad’ which was mentioned by Imam Tirmizi for the above mentioned Hadith. But, Imam Tirmizi also mentioned that: “A Similar Hadith on this matter is also narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr !” And Imam Bayhaqi added that a similar Hadith is also narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Musa Ashari ! {Shu’b al Iman, H# 3825}


Therefore, we come to know that this Hadith is not only mentioned by Sayyidah Ayesha %, but also by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr  and Sayyiduna Abu Musa Ashari . When a ‘Zaeef’ Hadith is supported by another ‘Zaeef ul Isnad Hadith’ then they reach the Status of ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair}.


Moreover, Imam Bayhaqi himself narrates this Hadith through ‘Hajjaj bin Artat’ through three different ‘Sanads’ in ‘Shu’b ul Iman’ and states: “There are numerous ‘Shawahid’ {Supporting Hadiths} regarding this Hadith, and apart from Sayyidah Ayesha %, this Hadith is also narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr  and Sayyiduna Abu Musa Ashari .” {Shu’b al Iman, H# 3825}


Second Answer: Regarding ‘Hajjaj bin Artat’, the reviews of Muhaddithin regarding are contradictory {‘Mukhtalif- Fi’}. We are presenting his status from Imam Dhahabi’s ‘Mizan ul Itidal’:


Imam Shuba’ said: “Hajjaj bin Artat and Ibn Ishaq are ‘Hafizs’” {Mizan ul Itidal, 2:198}


Imam Yahya bin Qattan said: “Hajjaj bin Artat and Ibn Ishaq are equal according to me.”


Imam Hammad bin Zayd said: “Hajjaj bin Artat visited us when he was 31 years of age. I saw much crowd around him and I never saw it even around Hammad bin Sulayman. I saw Matruraq, Dawud bin Abi Hind and Yunus kneeling before him and they used to ask: “What do say regarding so and so Hadith and what do say about that Hadith!”


Imam Sufyan Thawri states: “A man which such Memory and Intellect as his is not to be found today.”


Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said: “Hajjaj bin Artat was from the ‘Huffaz’ {Memorizers} of Hadith.”


Still, according to other numerous Hadith Critics he was ‘Mudallis’ {one who transmits from the one above his own teacher or from whom he had not directly heard the Hadith}.


Imam Ibn Mayin said: “He is not strong in matters of Hadith. He was indeed Truthful {‘Saduq’} but used to practice ‘Tadlis’ {i.e. leaving his own direct Shaykh and narrating from the one above him.}”


Imam Ibn Hibban after mentioning the different criticisms regarding him states his own review as follows: “His greatest fault {‘Ayb’} which has been mentioned is ‘Tadlis’ {narrating other than his own Shaykh or the one above him} and this is to over-portray oneself which is not worthy of the people of Knowledge!”


Now, when this has been proven that ‘Hajjaj bin Artat’ was ‘Mudallas’, then the same rules and principles will be applied upon the Hadith narrated by him as is done with the Hadiths of other ‘Mudallasin’.


Imam Nisai has mentioned the following names among the ‘Mudallasin’: Hajjaj bin Artat, Hasan, Qatadah, Humayd, Yunus bin Ubayd, Sulayman at Tamimi, Yahya ibn Kathir, Abu Ishaq, Hakam, Ismail bin Ibn Khalid, Mughirah, Abul Zubayr, Ibn Abi Najeeh, Ibn Jareeh, Saeed bin Abi Urwah, Hushaym, Ibn Uyaniya..... Imam Zahabi added the names of A’mash, Waleed bin Muslim, and others. {Mizan ul I’tidal of Imam Zahabi}


One of the established principles regarding a ‘Mudallis’ narrator is that when it is known that he does ‘Tadlees’ from a ‘Thiqa’ {Trustworthy} narrator, then his Hadith is acceptable otherwise it is not worthy of deriving evidence {‘Hujjah’}.


Shaykh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlavi states:


“There is a difference of opinion as regards to the acceptance of Hadith of a ‘Mudallis’ narrator. A group of Muhaddithin and Fuqaha say that ‘Tadlis’ is ‘Jarh’ {Discrediting}. Regarding one whom this ‘Jarh’ is known, his Hadith will not be acceptable absolutely {i.e. completely}. And according to the saying of others, it will be accepted.


The School of the Majority {‘Jamhur’} is that, the narrator regarding whom is well known {‘Ma’ruf’} that he does ‘Tadlis’ only from ‘Thiqa’ {Trustworthy} narrator like Ibn Unayna, then his Narration will be accepted and the one who does ‘Tadlis’ from a Weak {‘Zaeef’} narrator or others, his narration will only be taken into account when he will make it clear that he has heard Hadith from them. For example: If he says: “I heard so and so narrated Hadith to us/me” or “So and so” or “So and so” reported to us/me.” {Muqaddama, Lam’at Sharf Mishqat ul Masabih; 15}


The Conclusion is, only that Hadith of Hajjaj bin Artat will be acceptable which mentions his ‘Sama’ {Hearing}, just as Imam Abu Hatim has stated regarding him as follows: “When he says in his narration that: “So and so reported Hadith to me, then there is no doubt in his being ‘Sadiq’ {Truthful} and ‘Hafiz ul Hadith’.” {Mizan ul I’tidal; 2: 198}


In the Hadith of Sunan Ibn Majah narrated above, Hajjaj bin Artat does not specify his Hearing from Yahya Ibn Kathir, even then this Hadith reaches the standard of ‘Hasan’ {Fair} from ‘Zaeef’ {Weak} due to the presence of numerous supporting Hadiths and is therefore acceptable.


Imam Bayhaqi after narrating the Hadith of Hajjaj bin Artat through three different ‘Sanads’ {Chain of Transmissions} states:


“There are numerous supporting proofs {Hadiths} of this Hadith. Apart from Sayyidah Ayesha %, this Hadith is also narrated from Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq  and Sayyiduna Aba Musa Ashari .”


Through Imam Bukhari and Imam Tirmizi have ruled this Hadith as ‘Zaeef’ {Weak} but they have not discussed regarding its acceptability nor did they have stated that there are no supporting Hadiths of this Hadith. In-fact, Imam Tirmizi pointed out that there are supporting Hadiths to this Hadith by mentioning/narrating the other Hadith of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq .


Therefore, we come to know that the Hadith of Sunan Ibn Majah is acceptable and practicable according to the Muhaddithin. Rejecting this Hadith of Sunan Ibn Majah just by alleging that it is ‘Zaeef’, is an indication of weakness in the knowledge of Hadith and its Principles {‘Usul’}.


If they Reject this Hadith of Sunan Ibn Majah due to Hajjaj bin Artat being ‘Mudallis’, then what do they say regarding that Hadith which Imam Tirmizi narrates in ‘Jami’ Tirmizi’, ‘Bab Maja fi Karahatil Istinja bil Yameen’ ; H # 15 which he has narrated through Yahya Ibn Kathir, even through Yahya Ibn Kathir is ‘Mudallis’ and he has not specified in his Hadith that he heard it. Then also, Imam Tirmizi after mentioning this Hadith states: “There is the Practice {‘Amal’} of the People of Knowledge on this .”


Hadith # 6


Sayyiduna Abu Salaba al Khushri  narrated that the Beloved RasulAllah  said: “When the 15th Night of Sha’ban comes, the special ‘Rahmah’ {Mercy} of Allah Almighty turns towards His Creation {‘Makhluq’}. Then Allah Almighty Forgives the ‘Muminin’ {Believers} and gives respite to the ‘Kafirin’ {Disbelievers’} and leaves those with Malice & Hatred {‘Keena’} on their states until they abandon it.” {Shu’b ul Iman; H # 3832 and Mu’jam al Kabir Tibrani; 22: 593}


This Hadith is also mentioned by Sayyiduna Kathir bin Murrah Hazrami from the Prophet  with a slight variation in the words of the Hadith.


Though, both Hadiths are ‘Mursal’ , but are Acceptable {‘Maqbul’} and Excellent {‘Umdah’}. Therefore, Imam Bayhaqi states regarding these two Hadiths as follows:


“This Hadith is ‘Mursal’. And it is narrated from another ‘Sanad’ from Makhul through Abu Salaba al Khushri  from the Prophet . That Hadith is also ‘Mursal Umdah’.” {Shu’b al Iman; Bab fil Siyam; H # 3831}


Hadith # 7


Sayyiduna Usman bin Abul Aas  narrated from the Prophet  that: “When the 15th Night of Sha`ban approaches, a Caller {‘Munadi’} from Allah Almighty Announces on behalf of Allah Almighty: “Is there anyone who seeks Forgiveness? So that I may Forgive him! Is there anyone who seeks something and that I may bestow upon him?” Every Seeker will be bestowed with except a ‘Fornicator’ {‘Zani’} and Polytheist {‘Mushrik’}.” {Shu’b al Iman; H # 3836}


Imam Bayhaqi also narrates a lengthy Hadith from Sayyiduna Abu Saeed Khudri  and Sayyidah Ayesha % as follows:


Hadith # 8


Sayyiduna Abu Saeed Khudri  visited Umm ul Muminin Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqa % upon which she said: “O Abu Saeed! Narrate me the Hadith which you have heard from the Prophet  and I shall in return narrate to you the state of the Prophet  which I have seen.”

Sayyiduna Abu Saeed  narrated: “When the Prophet  used to leave for the Morning Prayer {‘Fajr’}, he would say:


“O Allah! Make my Ears and Nose Nur! Make my Front, Behind, Left, Right, Above and Below, every direction Nur! And provide me with a Great ‘Nur’ from Your ‘Rahmah’ {Mercy}.”

Sayyidah Ayesha % said: “The Prophet  came inside the ‘Hujrah’ {Room}, changed his dress and went outside. I thought that he might have gone to one of the ‘Azwat ul Mutahharat’ {Pious Wives}. After sometime, I went out in search of him. I saw him in ‘Jannat al Baqi’ seeking Forgiveness for ‘Muminin’ {Male Believers}, ‘Muminat’{Female Believers} and ‘Shuhada’{Martyrs}. I returned back, I was restless . The Prophet  then came to me and said: “O Ayesha! Why are you Restless?” I said: “O RasulAllah! You came inside the Room, changed your dress and went outside. My conscience hurt me, I thought that you might have gone to another wife I saw you in ‘Jannat al Baqi’ seeking Forgiveness for the ‘Ummah’ {Muslim Nation}.”


The Prophet  said: “O Ayesha! Did you fear that Allah Almighty and His Prophet would be unfair to you?” .

Listen! For Jibrail  came to me and he said: “This is the 15th Night of Sha’ban. It is in this night that Allah Almighty forgives his servants equal to the fur on the sheep of Bani Kalb tribe and does not glance with His Mercy on:

A Polytheist {‘Mushrik’}; A person with Malice & Hatred The One who breaks ties of Kinship; The One who leaves his clothes below Ankles out of Pride; The One who disobeys one’s Parents; A Regular Drunkard.”


Then the Prophet  changed his dress and said to me: “O Ayesha! Do you give me permit to Worship all night today?” I said: “Yes! O RasulAllah! May My Father and Mother be sacrificed for you?”


The Prophet  stood for Prayers, and then went into the Prostration {‘Sajdah’}, and he elongated the Prostration. I feared that his Soul might have been taken. I began to move him. I placed my hand at the base of his feet and he moved his body a little. Seeing this, I became happy. I heard him say this ‘Dua’ while in his Prostration {‘Sajdah’}:


‘‘اعوذ بعفوک من عقابک و اعوذ برضاک من سخطک و اغوذ بک منک جل وجهک لا احصی ثنا۶ علیک انت کما اثنیت علی نفسک’’


When in the morning, I repeated these words before the Prophet , he said: “O Ayesha! Did you memorize them?” I replied: “Yes!”


The Prophet  said: “Then Recite it yourself and teach it to others, because Jibrail informed me of these words and said to me that I should repeatedly recite in my Prostration {‘Sajdah’}.” {Shu’b al Iman; H # 3837}


Imam Bayhaqi graded this Hadith as ‘Zaeef’ {Weak}, but it is Acceptable and Practicable as it deals with the ‘Merits of Deeds’ {‘Fazail ul Amaal’} and also because it is narrated through numerous ‘Sanads’, therefore it becomes strong.


Imam Bayhaqi himself narrates this Hadith through Four ‘Sanads’. Out of which some are ‘Mursal’ {Disconnected at the level of ‘Sahabi’} and some are ‘Mawsul’ {Continuous} and he graded Hadith # 3832 and Hadith # 3835 as ‘Jayyid’ {Excellent}. Therefore, there is no doubt that the above Hadith has reached the status of ‘Hasan Li Ghayrihi’.


The Hadith # 3835 of Shu’b al Iman narrated from Sayyiduna Abu Sa’laba al Khushri  has already been mentioned in the previous pages. Now, in the following lines, the Hadith # 3831 narrated through Sayyiduna Kathir bin Murrah is being presented, the ‘Sanad’ of which Imam Bayhaqi has graded as ‘Mursal Jayyid’.


Hadith # 9


Sayyiduna Kathir bin Murrah narrated that the Prophet  said: “Allah Almighty Forgives the People of the Earth on the Night of 15th Sha’ban, except a Polytheist {‘Mushrik’} and the one with Malice & Hatred {‘Keena’}.” {Shu’b al Iman; H # 3831}


In Conclusion


The following Sahaba have narrated Hadith on the Merits of the 15th Night of Sha’ban.


1. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq :


His Hadith is in Shu’b al Iman, Hadith # 3827. This Hadith is also in ‘Musnad al Bazzar’, ‘Majmu az Zawaid’ and ‘Kanz ul Ummal’. All narrators of this Hadith are ‘Thiqa’ {Trustworthy}.


2. Sayyiduna Ali bin Abu Talib :


His Hadith is in Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith # 1388. One of its narrators is Abu Bakr bin Sabrah, who according to Muhaddithin is ‘Zaeef’ {Weak}. Imam Ibn Asqalani states in ‘Taqrib’ that some Muhaddithin placed the allegation of ‘Kizb’ {Lying} on him, But, there is a similar Hadith in meaning narrated in Shu’b al Iman from Sayyiduna Amr bin al Aas  which is ‘Hasan’ {Fair}.See Shu’b al Iman, Hadith # 3836.


3. Sayyiduna Mu’az bin Jabal :


His Hadith is in the ‘Sahih Ibn Hibban (9: 470)’, ‘Mujam al Kasir Tibrani (20: 215)’, ‘Mujam al Awsat Tibrani (H # 2772)’, ‘Hilyat ul Awliya (5: 191)’,

the Narrators of Tibrani`s ‘Awsat’ and ‘Kabir’ are all Thiqa’ {Trustworthy}. See ‘Majmu az Zawaid’ of Imam Haythami (8: 65).


4. Sayyiduna Abu Sa’laba al Khushri :


His Hadith has been graded as ‘Mursal Jayyid’ by Imam bayhaqi in Shu`b al Iman, Hadith # 3832. This Hadith is also present in ‘Mu’jam al Kabir’ of Tibrani (22: 593).


5. Sayyiduna Abu Musa Asha’ri :


His Hadith is mentioned in Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith # 1390. There is one narrator in this Hadith – Ibn Lahiya who is considered as ‘Zaeef’ {Weak}. Therefore, this Hadith is considered ‘Zaeef Hadith due to its ‘Sanad’, But, there are numerous supporting Hadiths to this Weak Hadith. Therefore, this Hadith becomes ‘Hasan’ {Fair}. Imam Bayhaqi states regarding this Hadith as follows: “We have narrated this through numerous routes of transmission. See Shu’b al Iman, Hadith # 3833.


6. Sayyiduna Abu Saeed al Khudri :


He heard the Hadith from Sayyiduh Ayesha Siddiqa. This is present in Shu’b al Iman, Hadith # 3837 and in ‘Tafsir Durr al Manthur (7:403)’. Under this same narration, Imam Bayhaqi states: “The ‘Sanad’ of this Hadith is ‘Zaeef’, and is narrated through other routes of transmission.” Therefore, this Hadith is acceptable and there is no harm in its being ‘Zaeef’ {Weak}.


7. Sayyiduna Usman bin Abdul A’as :


His Hadith is present in Shu’b al Iman, Hadith # 3836. This Hadith is narrated through Hasan Basari and Hasan Basri used to do ‘Tadlis’ and ‘Isal’. Therefore, some scholars have graded it as ‘Zaeef’ {Weak}. Imam Bayhaqi did not grade it and remained silent on this Hadith.


Sayyiduna Hasan Basari had the Privilege of meeting 120 Sahaba. According to majority of Biographers, his meeting of with Sayyiduna Usman bin Adbul A’as  is established.


Imam Ibn Hibban states: “Hasan narrated from him ” and stayed silent upon this and has not stated that they did not meet.” {Al Thiqat; 1: 381}


However, due to the presence of numerous Supporting Hadiths, this Hadiths becomes strong and is acceptable.


8. Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Umar :


His Hadith is present in ‘Musnad Ahmad (2: 176),’ ‘Mujmu az Zawaid (8: 65),’ and in ‘At Targib wat Tarhib (H # 1545)’.


The wording of this Hadith is almost similar to the Hadith of Sayyiduna Mu’az bin Jabal .


The Hadith of Sayyiduna Mu’az bin Jabal  has already been mentioned, the narrators of which are all ‘Thiqa’ {Trustworthy}. Therefore, the Hadith of Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Umar  may be ‘Zaeef’ {Weak} due to the presence of Ibn Lahiya among its narrators, but due to the presence of numerous other supporting Hadiths, this Hadith is also established and acceptable.


9. Sayyiduna Ayesha Siddiqa %:


Her Hadith is mentioned in Shu’b al Iman through diffferent ‘Sanads’. See Shu’b al Iman; Hadith # 3835, 3837, 3838.


This Hadith is also present in ‘Tafsir Durr al Manthur (7: 403, 404, 407)’ and in ‘At Targhib wat Tarhib (H # 1545 and 1546)’.”


*** Translated partially till page 22 of the Original book in Urdu ***


The great Scholars of Islam on the Merits of 15th Sha’ban


1. The general virtue of this night has been accepted by many great Ulama of the past. They are: “Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, Imam Shafai’, Imam Awza’i, Ata bin Yasar, Imam al-Majd ibn Taymiyah , and Hafiz Zaynuddin Hanafi Iraqi.” {Lataif ul Ma’arif of Imam Hafiz Ibn Rajab Hanbali, pgs:263-264 and Fayzul Qadeer, 2:317}


2. Imam Nawawi Shafai mentioned in his Majmu’, where he also quoted from Imam al Shafi` from the latter’s ‘Kitab ul 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.”


3. Imam Haskafi Hanafi said in his ‘Durr al-Mukhtar’, one of the primary references in the Hanafi School: "Among the recommended are on. . . . the nights of the two Eids, the middle of Sha`ban, the last ten of Ramadan, and the first (Ten) of Dhul-Hijjah.”


4. Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti says: “As for the night of mid-Sha`ban, it has great merit and it is desirable {‘Mustahab’} to spend part of it in voluntary {‘Nafil’} worship.” {Haqiqat al Sunnah wal Biddah aw al Amr bi al Ittiba` wal Nahi `anal Ibtida` (1405/1985 ed.), p: 58.} He also adds: "However, this must be done alone, not in congregation."


The Wahhabi/Salafi/ Ahle Hadith Scholars on the Merits of 15th Sha’ban


1. The Imam and Shaykh ul Islam of Wahhabiya/ Salafiya/ Ahle Hadith – Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah Hanbali Harrani states: “ said: There is no difference between this night (mid-Sha`ban) and other nights of the year. However, the opinion of many of the people of learning, and that of the majority of our companions (i.e. the Hanbali school) and other than them is that it is a night of Superior Merit, and this is what is indicated by the words of Ahmad (ibn Hanbal), in view of the many Ahadith which are transmitted concerning it, and in view of what confirms this from the words and deeds transmitted from the early generations {‘Al Athar al Salafiyya’}. Some of its merits have been narrated in the books of Hadith of the Musnad and Sunan types. This holds true even if other things have been forged concerning it!” {Iqtida' al Sirat al Mustaqim, (1369/1950 ed.) p: 302}


Shaykh Ibn Taymiya also said: “As for the middle night of Sha’ban, 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 ‘Salat’ in it individually, hence, such a deed cannot be disputed!” {Majmu’ al Fatawa Ibn Taymiya, 23:132}


2. The Wahhabi Salafi Shaykh Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri states after mentioning the Hadiths on the Merits of 15th Sha’ban that: “The collection of these Hadiths is a proof against that person who claims that there is no established Hadith on the Merits of 15th Sha’ban!” {Tuhfat ul Ahwazi, 3:367}


3. The famous Wahhabi/Ahle Hadith/Salafi self claimed Hadith scholar and manipulator of the Four Sunan - Shaykh Nasiruddin Albani also considers some of the Hadiths on the Merits of 15th Sha’ban as ‘Sahih’ {Authentic} and ‘Hasan’ {Good/Fair}. {Silsilah al Ahadith al Sahihah, 3:135 &136, H #1144......}


Translated & Compiled by

Basharath Ali Siddiqui Ashrafi

Ahl us Sunnah Foundation

Hyderabad, India.