Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
Saturday, July 16, 2011 is the 15th of Sha’ban this year, the 15th day of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The preceding night is known as Laylatul Bara’ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha’ban in the Arab world, and as Shab-e-barat in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and Afghanistan. These names are translated to the night of records, the night of assignment and the night of deliverance, and the observance involves a festive nightlong vigil with prayers, feasting and illumination.
Muslims observe Mid-Sha’ban as a night of worship and salvation; it is a night noted for its great blessings and virtues, when Allah determines the destiny of all people, including whether a person lives or dies in the coming year. For this reason it is sometimes called the “Night of Emancipation.” The date also may commemorate the saving of Noah’s followers from the deluge by Allah.
The Glorious Qur’an describes it as the blessed night, and fortunate indeed are those who attain the full blessings and benefits of this night by spending it in performing good and refraining from evil.
‘Ali (pbuh) narrates that the Prophet (saws) said, “When it is the fifteenth of Sha’ban, then stand (in worship) at night and fast during the day. Because Allah subhanahu wata’aala descends in this night at sunset to the first heaven and says: ‘Is there any seeker of forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there any seeker of sustenance, that I may sustain him? Is there anyone in affliction, that I may remove his affliction? And so on. This continues until Fajr, the dawn prayer.” – (Ibn Mãjah)