The 15th night of Shabaan is a very blessed night. According to the Hadith Shareef, the name of this Mubarak night is "Nisf Shabaan" which means 15th night of Shabaan. The reason for this special night to attain its name of Laylatul Baraa'ah, meaning the Night of Salvation, Seeking Freedom from Azaab and Calamity, is that in this night the Barkaat and acceptance of repentance may be accomplished. Laylatul Baraa'ah in Persian, as well as in Urdu, is called Shabbe Baraat.
It is the night of seeking pardon and repenting to Almighty Allah, remembering our past sins and sincerely settling the mind that one will never commits sins in the future. All the deeds that are against Shari'ah must be totally avoided so that our Du'a and Istighfaar, hopefully, will be accepted.
Advise from Imam of Ahlus Sunnah:
Muslims should check themselves and A'la Hazrat, Imam Ahmed Raza Bareilvi (radi Allahu anhu) has given a beautiful advise in this regard. This great Imam said:
"Verily the auspicious night of Shabbe Baraa'a is drawing near when the deeds of the slave will be presented to the Almighty Allah. I humbly supplicate in the Darbar-e-Aqdas of the Almighty Allah that through the Wasila-e-Uzma of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) He forgives the sins and transgressions of all Muslims. Aameen.
"On this occasion, it should be the duty of all Sunni Muslims to forgive one another and to make sure that whatever debts owed to one another is settled. The importance of Huqooq-ul-Ibaad cannot be over-emphasised as this is among the pre-requisites for proper Ibaadat. I pray that all Muslims humbly remember this night and try as much as possible to perform Ibaadat and other pious deeds so that their Record of Deeds be presented in all dignity.
"Finally, I pray that the Almighty Allah assists you and I and the Muslim Ummah wherever you may be. Muslims should be aware of sincerity and honesty in all their deeds. May Almighty Allah forgive all of us. Aameen." Faqeer Ahmed Raza Qaaderi (may Allah forgive him)
HOW TO WELCOME THIS NIGHT
On this auspicious night, you should perform fresh Ghusal and Wudhu and perform the two Rakaat of Tahhiyatul Wudhu. In every Rakaat, after the Suratul Fatiha, you should read Ayatul Kursi once and Surah Ahad three times. Also perform eight Rakaats of Salaah with four Salaams. In each Rakaat after the Surah Fatiha, you should read the Ayatul Kursi (once) and Surah Ahad fifty times.
WHAT TO RECITE IMMEDIATELY AFTER SUNSET
After sunset, you should recite "La Hawla walaa Quwwata illa Billahil-aliyil Azeem" forty times with three times Durood Shareef before and after. It is mentioned that by reciting this, Almighty Allah will forgive forty years of your sins and forty Hoors will await to serve you in Jannatul Firdous.
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated: "Verily! Almighty Allah directs His Special Grace on the world on this Night. He forgives my Ummah more than the number of wool that is found on the sheep of the Bani Kalb". We should remember that in those days the Bani Kalb possessed the most number of sheep that any other tribe.
How great is the Mercy of Almighty Allah on this night that He forgives millions of Muslims. We also realise from this that these numbers can only pertain to the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah collectively, for the righteous followers of the Hanafi, Shaafi'i, Maaliki and Hambali indeed number millions of Muslims.
THE VISITORS OF THIS NIGHT
It is narrated that the departed souls (Arwaah) of the Muslims visit the houses of their friends and relatives on this night and proclaim: "O people of the house! You stay in our houses and enjoy the wealth that we have left behind. You use our children and take work from them, please perform our Esaale Sawaab. Verily our deeds have become complete, while your record of deeds is still spread".
If the people of the house perform the Esaale Sawaab and Khatam Shareef on this night, then the Arwaah depart will the Sawaab extremely happy and overjoyed all the time making Du'a for the people.
VISIT TO THE CEMETERY
Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (radi Allahu anha) reports: "One night, which was the 15th of Shabaan, I did not find the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in the house so I went in search of him. After a long search, I found him in Baqiah (the cemetery of Madinah) offering Du'a for the deceased and praying for their forgiveness". (Baihaqi)
A special point must be made to visit the cemetery during this night and pray for the deceased buried therein, as the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is been reported as having visited the cemetery on this night and spending a long time therein, lamenting, reading and praying for the deceased.
TO KEEP FAST
According to the Hadith Shareef which is narrated by Ibne Habaan (radi Allahu anhu) that Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "When the night of 15th Shabaan arrives spend the night awake and keep fast the next day".
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) reports that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said often in his Khutba (sermon): "O people! Lighten and cleanse your bodies by way of fasting during Shabaan, so that it shall be easy and helpful to you for the fast during Ramadaan. Whoso fasts for three days during Shabaan, all his past sins are wiped off". (Baihaqi) Fasting is also recommended on the 13th, 14th and 15th of Shabaan.
HOW TO SPEND THE NIGHT
On this night, perform Nawaafil, recite the Quran Shareef, recite abundant Durood Shareef, Istighfaar and Kalima Tayyibah. It is also mentioned that if one reads Surah Dukhaan seven times on this night, Almighty Allah will reward you with 70 worldly needs and 70 deeds for the Hereafter.
DO NOT BE AMONGST THOSE DEPRIVED OF MERCY
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Almighty Allah forgives all Muslims on this night, besides the fortune tellers, the magicians, the alcoholics, those who disrespect their parents and those who take part and encourage adultery".
In another narration, the following people have also been mentioned:
1. One who deals in usury (Riba),
2. One who wears his trousers below his ankle with pride and arrogance (In Arabia, people displayed their wealth and boasted in this manner),
3. One who creates disunity among two Muslims,
4. The person who unjustly takes away the right and property of another Muslim and has not yet rectified himself.
All these persons are not shown Mercy on this auspicious Night.
A HUMBLE APPEAL TO SEEK PARDON AND ASK ALLAH'S FORGIVENESS
Dear Muslim brothers, the Bountiful Allah in His Infinite Mercy has provided us with such an auspicious night so that we may take advantage of it and repent for our sins, and thus obtain His Grace and Favour. It is for us to take full advantage of it. During this night, offer special prayers and repent sincerely for our past sins and ask for His Forgiveness.
Also on this night the Doors of Mercy and Forgiveness are opened wide, and those who sincerely grieve over and repent for their past sins and seek forgiveness from Allah are pardoned and forgiven by the Grace of Allah the Merciful.
Each Tasbih or Du'a should begin and terminate with the recital of Durood Shareef and one who wishes for the acceptance of his Du'as should use the Wasila of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
Hazrat Ghousul Azam, Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (radi Allahu anhu) has mentioned in his famous "Gunyat-ut Taalibeen" that the month of Shabaan according to some narrations is related to Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). So, it is our duty, as the Ummat of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) to love and respect this month more than any other month (besides Ramadaan). We should also offer abundantly salutations (Salaat-o-Salaam) upon the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
While we are praying and asking for ourselves and family, we should also remember in our Du'as the Muslim Ummah facing calamities in many parts of the world, that may Allah Ta'ala grant them the strength and Istiqaamat (steadfastness) in Deen. Those weak Muslims who are under pressure from the West and modernisation, may Allah Ta'ala guide them and show them the right path so that they be in touch with their glorious past. Aameen. May Almighty Allah guide us on the path of the Ambiya and the Awliya. Aameen.
NAFIL SALAAH TO BE READ ON SHABBE BARAAT
BASHARAT OF JANNAT: Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said that Allah Ta'ala instructs and assigns 100 angels to the person who performs 100 Nafil Salaahs on this auspicious night - 30 of which will bring the good news of Jannat, 30 angels to protect one from the Azaab (Punishment) of Dozakh (Hell), 30 to remove all misfortunes and miseries of this world and 10 angels to protect one from Shaitaan.
THE GUARDING OF IMAAN: After performing Maghrib Salaah, read 2 rakaahs of Nafil. In the first rakaah, after Surah Fatiha, recite Surah Ikhlaas 3 times and Surah Falaq once. In the second rakaah, after Surah Fatiha, recite Surah Ikhlaas 3 times and Surah Naas once. After Salaam, make Du'a and ask Allah to protect your Imaan.
BARAKAH IN RIZQ: After Maghrib Salaah, read 2 rakaahs of Nafil. Thereafter, read Surah Yasin once, Surah Ikhlaas 21 times and Du'a Nisf Shabaan once. Then, make Du'a for Barakah in Rozi and ask Allah not to make you dependent on anyone.
LONG LIFE FILLED WITH PIETY: After Maghrib Salaah, read 2 rakaahs of Nafil. Read Surah Yasin once. Then read Du'a Nisf Shabaan once. Thereafter, make Du'a for long life filled with piety and righteousness.
REWARD FOR TEN THOUSAND GOOD DEEDS: Anyone who performs 20 rakaahs of Nafil after Maghrib in such a way that after Surah Fatiha, recites Surah Ikhlaas 10 times in every rakaah, will be rewarded abundantly by Allah Ta'ala, and ten thousand good deeds will be recorded in his Amal Namaa (Book of Deeds).
DEATH WITH COMPLETE FAITH/IMAAN: Anyone who performs 2 rakaahs of Nafil on the last Friday of Shabaan between Maghrib and Esha will die with full faith and Imaan. After Surah Fatiha, one should read Ayatul Kursi once, Surah Ikhlaas 10 times and Surah Falaq and Surah Naas once in both rakaahs. If the person who reads Nafil in such a way dies until the next Shabaan, will die with Imaan, Insha-Allah.
The performing of Salaatul Tasbeeh on this night is also very virtuous.