Shab-e-Barat

Q. What is the significance of Shab-e-barat in Qur’an and Hadith? People of our town cook Halwas on the night of 15th Shaban. Some say, that the fates are written and scaled on this night. It is also said that Allah (SWT) forgives all the sins of those who hear Milad Shareef in this night. Please explain the true significance.

Faraz Ali Khan; Rampur
Ans. There is nothing in Qur’an about the night of 15th Shaban. There is a narration in Tirmidhi, which is considered as Za’eef (weak) according to Imam Tirmidhi. All the narrations regarding glorification of the night are weak. The authentic Hadiths inform us that Prophet Muhammad r with the exception of Ramadan, never kept so many fasts as in Sha’ban. But we also find that the Prophet (Pbuh) forbade others to keep any fast after the mid Sha’ban. Other than this, no reference of the 15th night is authentic.
Shias believe that 15th Sha’ban is the birth date of their last and 12th Imam who is invisible and will come back as Imam Medhi. This may be the reason behind Halwas, crackers and other celebration-like things prevalent among those who lack knowledge.
About Milads etc., every moment of the day or night when Prophet Muhammad r is remembered, is pious but again, there is nothing in Qur’an and Sunnah which links the Prophet to the said night in particular.
The weak narrations, stating that fate is written in this night are to be ignored because they contradict the Qur’an. The Qur’an in clear words ascribe this pre-eminence of Shab-e-Qad’r or Lailat-al-Qad’r. It says; “Verily we have sent it (The Qur’an) down in the night of Al-Qad’r (The Decree)... The night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and Ruh (the spirit) by Allah’s permission with all decrees.” (97:1-4)
In another Surah, the same thing has been specified; “We sent it (The Qur’an) down on a blessed night. Verily we are ever warning. Therein is decreed every matter of ordainment.” (44:3-4)
It is clear from the above verses that the night in which the Lord sets the decree about individuals, races and countries, is Shab-e-Qad’r and not Shab-e-Bara’at. Shab-e-Qad’r lies in one of the odd nights of the last one third of Ramadan.