Blunt facts that we refuse to accept



We must know that the great purpose for which we exist in this world is to worship our Lord, our Creator, who created all things in the best of forms. Allah says: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Qur’an, 51:56)

Our deeds can be divided into two categories: Worldly deeds and religious deeds.

For our religious deeds or acts of worship to be acceptable by Allah, there are two conditions:

1. Sincerity: Doing it for the sake of Allah alone, with the intention to please Him and not anyone else.

2. Following the Sunnah: Doing it in accordance with the legal ways of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), i.e., the Shariah.

Both conditions are mandatory and one cannot exist without the other. No person can claim to worship Allah with the intention to please Him by following a way other than that of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Hypothetically speaking, can we claim to please or worship Allah by standing in the scorching sun on our rooftop, reciting ‘Subhan Allah’ 3,000 times, or by praying the Maghrib Salah with four Rak’ah instead of three? Will it be right? No.

On the other hand, if we perform our prayers perfectly, following the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), but to show off in front of people and earn their praise, will it be acceptable? No. So, both – sincerity and following the Sunnah – are mandatory conditions for our worship to be sound and correct.

We cannot invent our own methods of worship. Innovation is only allowed in worldly things, not in the religion. Islam is Allah’s religion and it is complete. We follow what Allah revealed to His Prophet.

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an, 5:3)

Any act of worship that has no basis in the Shariah and that is an innovation will be rejected. Some claim that good innovations are OK. Not only does it go against the clear statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he used to say in every Khutbah, “Every innovation is misguidance,” but it also implies that either these people know more about Islam than Allah and His Messenger or it means Islam is not complete and is in need of such innovations. Both implications are false and dangerous.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “I have left you upon the clear path, its night is like its day and no one deviates from it after me except that he is destroyed.” (Ahmad, 4/126)

Islam is a complete way of life. All acts of worship that we need to get closer to Allah have already been revealed and explained to us by the Messenger (peace be upon him).

It is also strange that the innovators urge people to practice Bid’ah, but are completely negligent about adhering to the obligatory deeds (Fardh), which are more beneficial and sound.

Some examples of innovations done today would be specifying words of Dhikr that are not prescribed in the Sunnah, or to say that a particular Dhikr should be recited a specific number of times without any proof from the Hadith, or to specify a day or night for religious celebration that the Prophet (peace be upon him) never did. In the current month, the popular innovation exists among many Muslims is: Celebrating the 15th of Sha’ban.

Earlier, even I used to celebrate it and single out the 15th night for worship. But after learning about Islam and reading the Qur’an and Hadith, I’ve come to know that there is not a single authentic report that says the Prophet or his companions celebrated it or singled out its night for worship. The narrations that speak about the virtue are weak and not authentic.

If we truly want to follow the Prophet’s Sunnah (peace be upon him) in Sha’ban, then we must fast as much as possible, as is mentioned in authentic reports.

Usamah Bin Zaid asked, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not see you fasting in any other month like you fast in Sha’ban.” He (peace be upon him) said, “That is a month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.” (Al-Nasa’i; Sahih Al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, p. 425)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not specify one night in Sha’ban for prayer. He used to pray Tahajjud in the third part of the night all throughout the year. That was his constant way of worship.

Undoubtedly, the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been preserved in authentic Ahadith. The Sunnah is easily accessible to the one who seeks it. All we have to do is study.

What I fear for myself and my Muslim brothers and sisters is the propagation of false Ahadith and practices.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) severely warned against it. It is one of the worst means of corrupting the religion. The People of the Book before us were only doomed when they fabricated lies against Allah and His Messengers. They attributed things to the religion that the earlier Prophets did not bring. Thus they incurred the wrath of Allah.

May Allah protect us from becoming like them.


-Mariam Anwer

Written in August 2009

3 thoughts on “Blunt facts that we refuse to accept

  1. There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan.
    It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbours hatred against the Muslims.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1390.

    The “one who harbours hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother.
    In al-Zawaa’id it says: Its isnaad is da’eef, because ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Lahee’ah is da’eef (weak) and al-Waleed ibn Muslim is mudallis.
    There is also some idtiraab (weakness) in the hadeeth, as stated by al-Daaraqutni in al-‘Ilal, 6/50, 51. He said: This hadeeth is not proven.

    It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, ‘Aa’ishah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani and others, but the isnaads are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak.
    Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

    Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed them as da’eef, and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh.
    Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261.

    Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allaah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in this general meaning.

    Hence, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allaah on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, he said to the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!”

    -Narrated by Abu ‘Uthmaan al-Saabooni in I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah, no. 92.

    Al-‘Aqeeli (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
    With regard to Allaah’s descending on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are ahaadeeth which are weak, but the reports that He descends EVERY night are proven and saheeh, so the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in that, in sha Allaah. -Al-Du’afa’, 3/29.

  2. The Opinion of Scholars concerning the 15th of Sha’baan
    By Faizan Shaikh in Quran and Sunnah

    Imaam Ibn Abi Mulaykah (who is one of the major Taabi’een and Fuqaha of Madeenah) (D. 117) was told that: Ziyaad al-Numayree says, Certainly the reward of the mid night of Sha’baan is like the reward of the night of Qadr, so Imaam Ibn Abi Mulaykah replied:
    “Had I listened to him say that and I had a stick in my hand, then I would have struck him”
    [Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq (7928) & Maa Jaa Fee Bida’ by Ibn Waddaah (120), Chain Saheeh]

    Imaam Abu Ja’far al-Ukaylee (D. 322) said:
    “The ahadeeth regarding the Nuzool of Allaah on the 15th night of Sha’baan are all weak. The
    Nuzool of Allaah is proven in every night, which also includes the 15th night of Sha’baan, In-Sha-Allaah.”
    [ad-Du’afa al-Kabeer by Ukaylee: 3/29]

    Imaam Abu al-Hasan ad-Daaraqutni (D. 385) said while talking about one of the hadeeth on Virtues of Sha’baan that:
    “This Hadeeth is not proven”
    [Al-Ilal by ad-Daaraqutni (6/51)]

    Abdur Rahmaan bin Zayd bin Aslam (D. 182) said:
    “We did not find our teachers and Fuqaha paying any attention to the 15th of Sha’baan. They would neither pay any attention to the narration of Makhool nor would they give this night any importance over other nights.”
    [Al-Bida’ wal Naha by Ibn Wadaah: Pg 46]

    Abu al-Khattaab Ibn Dihya (D. 633) writes in his book “Maa Jaa Fee Shahr Sha’baan (i.e. On what is narrated about the month of Sha’baan)” that:
    “The people of Jarh wat Ta’deel say that no report regarding 15th Sha’baan is Saheeh”
    [al-Baa’ith by Abi Shaaq: Pg 127]

    Imaam Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi (D. 543) writes:
    “There is no reliable hadeeth regarding the virtues of 15th Sha’baan, and there is no reliable report saying that in this night the decisions of deaths are taken. Therefore, these ahadeeth should not be paid any attention to”
    [Ahkaam ul-Qur’aan by Ibn al-Arabi: 2/214]

    One of the Maajor Taabi’een, Imaam Ataa bin Yasaar (D. 94) said:
    “I believe that every night has this virtue (i.e. this night is not any special)”
    [Sharh Usool ul-I’tiqaad: 3/451]

    Haafidh Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (D. 751) said:
    “No hadeeth regarding [the virtues of Ibaadaat] in it are authentic”
    [Al-Manaar al-Maneef by Ibn al-Qayyim, P. 99]

    Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (D. 795) said:
    “The Takhsees of doing Ibaadah in the 15th night of Sha’baan is rejected by numerous Scholars of Hijaaz such as: Ibn Abi Mulaykah, Ataa bin Yasaar, and it is also narrated from the Fuqaha of Madeenah by Abdur Rahmaan bin Zayd bin Aslam. And this is the opinion of Imaam Maalik’s companions and others. They said: Everything of it is Bid’ah”
    [Lataaif al-Ma’aarif (263)]

    Haafidh Ibn Rajab further said:
    “Nothing is proven from the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor from his Sahaabah on staying up in the night of 15th Sha’baan”
    [Lataaif al-Ma’aarif (263)]

    Allaamah ash-Shaatibee (D. 790) said while discussing the reasons of Bid’ah:
    And among them is the commitment of specific Ibadaat in specific times for which there is no specification proven from Sahree’ah, such as fasting the day of mid-Sha’baan, and staying up the night of mid-Sha’baan
    [Al-I’tisaam (1/46)]

    Ibn Nujaym al-Hanafi (D. 970) said:
    “It is disliked to gather and stay up in these nights in Masaajid”
    [Al-Baher al-Raa’iq (2/56)]

    Al-Hattaab al-Maaliki (D. 954) said:
    “There is no dispute in the Madhab on the dislikeness of gathering up in the night of 15th Sha’baan, and the Night of Aashoora. The A’immah must forbid from it”
    [Mawaahib al-Jaleel (2/74)]

    The Student of Shaykh Albaani, Shaikh Abdul Qaadir bin Habeebullah al-Sindi said:
    “The chain of this hadeeth is Munkar & Mawdoo’ as said by Imaam Abu Haatim and as narrated by him from his son Abdur Rahmaan in al-Illal. This narration can neither be presented as a Mutaabi’ah nor as a Shaahid, so as to make it Hujjah”
    [Al-Tasawwuf fi Meezaan al-Baheth wal Tahqeeq by Sindi: 1/555]

    Sheikh ibn Bāz writes on the 15th Shaban:
    “Among the innovations that have been invented by some people is the celebrating of the middle of Sha’bān, and singling out that day for fasting. There is no reliable evidence for that. Some weak aḥādīth have been narrated concerning its virtues, but we cannot regard them as reliable. The reports which have been narrated concerning the virtues of prayer on this occasion are all fabricated, as has been pointed out by many of the scholars.
    (Hukm Iḥtifāl bil-Laylat an-Nisf min Sha’bān’, pg. 8)

    Sheikh Fawzan responds to a question asking him about the significance of the 15th Shaban:
    “Nothing firm and reliable has been established on the authority of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu `alayhi wa-sallam) that he stood in prayer in the night and fasted during the day of the 15th of Sha’bān. So the night of the 15th of Sha’bān is like any other night, and if someone is a regular worshipper during other nights, then he may stand the night in prayer without assuming anything special. This is because specifying a time for any act of worship requires an authentic proof, and if there is no authentic proof then the act is regarded as an innovation and all innovations are misguidance….”
    [‘Nūrun `alā ad-Darb’, (1/87)]

    Sheikh Ibn al-‘Uthaymīn commented on the 15th Shaban:
    “That which is correct, is that, fasting the 15th of Sha’bān or specifying it with reciting (the Qur’ān) or making (particular) supplications has no basis.The day of the 15th of Sha’bān is like any other 15th day of other months.”
    (Fatāwā Ibn al-‘Uthaymīn’ 393)

    Imam al-Fatni:
    Among the innovations that have been introduced on “Laylat an-Nusf” (mid-Sha‘baan) is al-Salaat al-Alfiyyah, which is one hundred rak‘ahs in which Soorat al-Ikhlaas is recited ten times in each rak‘ah, offered in congregation; they pay more attention to this than to Jumu‘ah and Eid prayers, although there is no report concerning it, except da‘eef (weak) and mawdoo‘ (fabricated) reports, and we should not be deceived by the fact that these reports were quoted by the authors of al-Qoot and al-Ihya’ and others, nor should we be deceived by what was mentioned in Tafseer al-Tha‘labi, that it is Laylat al-Qadr.
    (Tadhkirat al-Mawdoo‘aat)

    Ibn al-Jawzi:
    The hadeeth, “When the night of ‘nisf Sha‘baan’ (mid-Sha‘baan) comes, spend the night in prayer and fast on that day” was narrated by Ibn Maajah from ‘Ali. Muhashiyyah said: (It was also narrated) in al-Zawaa’id. Its isnaad is da‘eef (weak) because of the weakness of Ibn Abi Basrah, of whom Ahmad and Ibn Ma‘een said: He fabricates hadeeth.

    Praying six rak‘ahs on Laylat al-Nisf with the intention of warding off calamity, having a long life and being independent of people, and reciting Ya-Seen and offering du‘aa’ in between that — there is no doubt that this is something that has been introduced into the religion and is contrary to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The commentator on al-Ihya’ said: This prayer is well known in the books of later Sufi masters, but I have not seen any saheeh report in the Sunnah to support it and the connected du‘aa’. Rather this is the action of some shaykhs. Our companions said: It is makrooh to gather on any of the nights mentioned in the mosques or elsewhere. Al-Najm al-Ghayti said, describing spending the night of al-Nisf min Sh‘baan (mid-Sha‘baan) praying in congregation: That was denounced by most of the scholars of the Hijaz, including ‘Ata’ and Ibn Abi Mulaykah, the fuqaha’ of Madinah and the companions of Maalik. They said: All of that is an innovation (bid‘ah) and there is no report to suggest that the Prophet spent that night in praying in congregation or that his Companions did that either.

    Al-Nawawi :
    The prayers of Rajab and Sha‘baan are two reprehensible innovations.
    (al-Sunan wa’l-Mubtada‘aat, p. 144 )

    Al-Fatni (may Allah have mercy on him) said, after the comments quoted above:
    The common folk are so infatuated with this prayer that they stored up a lot of fuel for it and many evils resulted from it, and many transgressions are committed which we do no need to describe. (It is so bad that) the close friends of Allah feared His punishment and fled into the wilderness. The first time this prayer occurred was in Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) in 448 AH. Zayd ibn Aslam said: We never saw any of our shaykhs or fuqaha’ saying that Laylat al-Baraa’ah (15 Sha‘baan) had any superiority over other nights. Ibn Dihyah said: The hadeeths about the prayer on Laylat al-Baraa’ah are fabricated and one has an interruption in the isnaad. Anyone who acts upon a report which is known to be false is a servant of the Shaytaan.
    (Tadhkirat al-Mawdoo‘aat by al-Fatni, p. 45 )

    – Collected and compiled by Raza Hasan

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