The Fifteenth Night of Sha`ban

The Fifteenth Night of Sha`ban, known in Arabic as Laylat al-Nisf min Sha`ban, literally “the eve of the middle day of Sha`ban,” is one of the greatest nights of the year. (In Islam the night precedes the day so really it is the night before the fifteenth day of Sha`ban.) `Ata’ bin Yasar said that after Laylat al-Qadr there is no night better than the Fifteenth Night of Sha`ban. Its greatness is due to the divine gifts that are bestowed during it.

One night Sayyidah `A’ishah noticed that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had left her house. She went out to see where he was and found him in the Baqi` Graveyard raising his arms to the heavens in supplication. He said to her that on that night, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Allah forgives more people than there are hairs on the sheep of the tribe Kalb, an Arab tribe renowned for the great flocks of sheep that its members possessed.1 He also said ﷺ : “Allah gazes at His creation on the fifteenth night of Sha`ban and then forgives all His slaves except for two types of people: those who attribute partners to Allah and those who have rancour for their fellow Muslims.”2 The Prophet ﷺ said that when this night comes we should spend it in prayer and fast the following day, because truly Allah calls out to His slaves from sunset until dawn: “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking provision from Me so I may provide for him? Is there anyone suffering so I may relieve his suffering?”3

Imam `Ali went out on the fifteenth night of Sha`ban and gazed at the heavens. He said that the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) went out at a similar time on this same night and said that if anyone calls upon Allah at this time, Allah answers him and if anyone seeks His forgiveness, He forgives him. For this reason he would spend the night in worship. It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There are five nights on which du`a’ is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al- Adha).”4

`Ikrimah and other commentators of the Qur’an were of the opinion that the “Blessed Night” referred to in Surah al-Dukhan is the fifteenth night of Sha`ban.5 Allah says of it: In it every decreed affair becomes distinct.6 According to this opinion it is the night in which everything that Allah has decreed for His slaves for the ensuing year becomes manifest. Their provision is allotted and those who are destined to die are named. `Ata’ bin Yasar said that on this night the Angel of Death receives a scroll on which are the names of all those who are destined to die in the coming year. He said: “A man may plant crops, get married and build buildings while his name has already been recorded amongst the dead. The Angel of Death is only waiting for the order to take his soul.” Thus many of the pious would ask Allah on this night to be recorded amongst the felicitous, just as they would ask for plentiful provision.

Sayyiduna `Umar bin `Abd al-`Aziz said: “Do not neglect four nights in the year, because on those nights Allah pours His mercy upon His slaves: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Adha.” It was thus the habit of some of the early Muslims to “bring life” to the fifteenth night of Sha`ban. They encouraged people to come together in the mosque on that night to pray, supplicate and seek forgiveness.

A number of the hadith that talk about the immense gifts which Allah bestows on this night mention several categories of people that are excluded from receiving these gifts. Among those mentioned are those who attribute partners to Allah and those who have rancour in their hearts for their fellow Muslims. Some of the scholars mentioned specifically those who insult the Companions or the early generations of the Muslims or declare their fellow Muslims to be disbelievers or innovators. Other categories mentioned are those who fornicate, cut the ties of kinship or disrespect their parents.

These categories of people are also denied forgiveness and acceptance on other great nights such as the first night of Ramadan and Laylat al-Qadr. We should thus do our utmost to avoid these attributes. One of the early scholars said: “The best attributes are to have a sound heart, a generous soul and sincerely want good for the Ummah. Through these qualities the great ones reached the stations that they reached, not through a great amount of prayer and fasting.”

May Allah not deprive us of any of the gifts that are bestowed on this great night. May He give us the ability to seek His pleasure by praying to Him and seeking His forgiveness in this night. We ask that He decrees for us all that is good and deflects from us all that is harmful. May He bestow never-ending peace and blessings upon our guide and master Muhammad, through whom we came to know the superiority of one time over another and in whose guidance is all good in this life and the next.

See also:

  •   Prayer on the Fifteenth night of Sha`ban

1 Narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

2 Narrated by Ahmad

3 Narrated by Ibn Majah

4 Narrated by al-Suyuti

5 The majority of commentators, however, say that the night referred to is Laylat al-Qadr

6 Al-Dukhan, 44:4

 

 

 

Salat for the Visit of Nabi Allah Hud

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This is a prayer composed by Habib Muhammad al-Haddar to be read by those visiting the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him). 

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ و سَلِّمْ في كُلِّ لَحْظَةٍ أَبَداً عَدَدَ ذَرَّاتِ الوُجُود

عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ و على نَبِيِّ اللهِ هُود و على آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ و على آلِ نَبِيِّ اللهِ هُود

‘O Allah, bestow prayers and peace in every instant for eternity upon our Master Muhammad and upon the Prophet of Allah, Hud, upon the family and followers of our Master Muhammad and upon the family and followers of the Prophet of Allah, Hud.’

Insights into Purification: Supplications after Wudu

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

The Prophet ﷺ said that if someone says the following after performing wudu, the eight doors of Paradise will be open for him and he may enter through whichever one he wishes:

أَشْهَدُ أن لا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ ورَسُولُه

‘I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah alone. He has no partners. I bear witness that our Master Muhammad is His slave and messenger.’

Generally speaking, before mentioning the Prophet ﷺ it is recommended to say ‘our Master’ (Sayyiduna). Shaykh Ahmad al-Siddiq al-Ghumari compiled a work which mentions forty proofs from the Sunnah to show that this is recommended. There is no doubt that the Prophet is the master of the children of Adam and the master of creation.

One should also say:

الَّلهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ التَّوَّابينَ واجْعَلْنِي مِنْ المُتَطَهِّرينَ و اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ عِبادِكَ الصَّالِحين

سُبْحَانَكَ الَّلهُمَّ وبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وأَتُوبُ إِليْكَ.

‘O Allah, make me amongst those who constantly repent to You and seek to purify themselves and amongst Your pious slaves. ‘

‘Transcendent are You, O Allah, and praise be to You as You praise Yourself. I bear witness that there is no deity save You. I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You.’

This supplication has also been narrated in a sound hadith:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي ووَسِّعْ لِي في دَارِي وبَارِكْ لِي في رِزْقِي

‘O Allah, forgive me my sins, make expansive my abode, and bless and increase my provision.’

It is recommended to end the supplication with prayers upon the Prophet, since through that the supplication will be accepted. In fact, some scholars say that prayers upon the Prophet should come at the beginning and the end of any supplication, and even the middle. This is because Allah honours His Prophet by accepting the prayers of the believers upon him, and Allah is too generous not to accept the supplication which accompany them.

One should make the supplication facing the qiblah, raising one’s arms and one’s eyes to the heavens, for just as the Ka`bah is the qiblah of the prayer, the heavens are the qiblah of supplication. Many of the early Muslims would raise their gaze to the heavens when supplicating. This does not mean of course that Allah is in a place, whether it be the Ka`bah or the heavens.

Reciting Surat al-Qadr three times after performing wudu and Ayat al-Kursi have also been narrated.

The full supplications with all the narrations combined are as follows:

أَشْهَدُ أنْ َلاّ إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ ورَسُولُهُ

الَّلهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ التَّوَّابينَ واجْعَلْنِي مِنْ المُتَطَهِّرينَ و اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ عِبادِكَ الصَّالِحين

سُبْحَانَكَ الَّلهُمَّ وبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وأَتُوبُ إِليْكَ

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي ووَسِّعْ لِي في دَارِي وبَارِكْ لِي في رِزْقِي

وصَلَّى اللهُ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وعلى آلِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وسَلَّم

The Passing of Habib Ja`far bin Ahmad al-Habashi

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To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.

On 6th Sha`ban 1436/ 24th May 2015 Hadramawt lost one of its spiritual leaders, Habib Ja`far bin Ahmad al-Habashi. He passed away in his native city of Sayun after a lifetime spent in service of the Ummah. He embodied the principles of the Ba `Alawi path: knowledge (`Ilm), action (`Amal), fear of Allah (Khawf), sincerity (Ikhlas) and Scrupulousness (Wara`). He was the son of the great Habib Ahmad bin Musa al-Habashi and a direct descendant of Habib Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habashi, perhaps the greatest of Imam al-Haddad’s students.

Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf would never miss his weekly lesson in Sayun and Habib Umar bin Hafiz would visit him whenever he came to Sayun. He visited him shortly before his death.

May Allah raise him to the highest of stations and benefit us by his legacy.

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Playing with your Children

Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

Parents should supervise their children playing and play with them at times. One of the pious would always play with his children to make sure they were not affected by bad influences and to make sure they were learning as they played.

The Messenger of Allah was often the ‘camel’ for Sayyiduna al-Hasan and Sayyiduna al-Husayn to ride upon.

Once Hasan and Husayn were wrestling with each other. The Messenger of Allah was watching and cheering on Hasan. Sayyidatuna Fatimah saw this and asked him why he was supporting Hasan and not Husayn.

He replied:

“I am only supporting Hasan because Jibril is supporting Husayn.”

This is the care that Hasan and Husayn received. They were playing under the watchful eye of the Messenger of Allah and Sayyiduna Jibril.

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Benefiting from the Pious

Advice from Imam al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him).

You must keep the company of pious people, display the same etiquettes that they display and seek to benefit from their deeds and words. You do this by visiting both the living and dead amongst them in a state of great reverence for them, truthfully having the best opinion of them. This is how visitors benefit from those that they are visiting and receive spiritual assistance from them.

The people of this time benefit little from pious people because they have so little veneration for them and because they do not have a good opinion of them. As a result of this, they are deprived of the pious people’s blessings and are unable to witness their miracles. They thus wrongly assume that none of Allah’s chosen slaves are existent in this time, when in fact there are many, praise be to Allah, some manifest and some hidden.

No one knows them except someone whose heart Allah has illuminated with the light of veneration and holding a good opinion of them.

For this reason it has been said:

“Your portion of spiritual assistance is received according to your perception.”

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Muhammad ﷺ: the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden

Among Allah’s beautiful names are the First (al-Awwal), the Last (al-Akhir), the Manifest (al-Zahir) and the Hidden (al-Batin). Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) explains why the Prophet ﷺ  is also the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden.

“Your Lord is the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden. The Prophet  ﷺ is also First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden. On the night of the Isra’ and Mi`raj, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ  was greeted by one of the Prophets as follows: “Peace be upon you, the First One; peace be upon you, the Last One; peace be upon you the Manifest One; peace be upon you, the Hidden One.”

Allah is the First in the absolute sense, but Muhammad is the first in creation. Allah is the Last in the absolute sense, but Muhammad is the last in creation. Allah is the Manifest in the absolute sense, but Muhammad is the most manifest in creation. He is the one who said: “Adam and everyone who came after him will be under by banner on the Day of Resurrection.” Is there anyone who is more manifest than him? Allah is the Hidden in the absolute sense, which is why Abu Bakr al-Siddiq said: “No one knows Allah except Allah.” There is no one more hidden than Muhammad in creation. Only his Lord truly knows him, so he is the Hidden One ﷺ .

He attained all stations of perfection and he has no partner in them. So far is he beyond anyone resembling him.

Weekly Salat: Ya Wali (the Ruler)

In this salat, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) calls upon Allah by His name, the Ruler and asks him to bestow prayers upon His Prophet. Through this he asks Allah to give the Muslims the best rulers.

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا والي صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ الَّذي جَعَلْتَهُ أَوْلى بِالمُؤْمِنينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و تولَّنا بِهِ في جَمِيعِ أُمُورِنا و وَلِّ على المُسْلِمينَ خِيارَهُمْ و اصْرِفْ عَنْهُمْ شِرارَهُمْ سِرَّاً و عَلَناً

 

O Allah, the Ruler, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muhammad, the Prophet who You made nearer to the believers than their own selves and upon his Family and Companions, and by him take care of all our affairs and put the pious in governance over the Muslims and protect them from evil people inwardly and outwardly.

The Annual visit of the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him)

Nabi Allah Hud

 

Thousands will soon be gathering to attend the annual visit of the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him), probably the most significant event in the calendar of Hadramawt.

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) will be leading his students to the visit. In doing so, he follows in the footsteps of his forefathers. It is said that the Ba `Alawi scholars went to great lengths to extol the virtues of two things: the books of Imam al-Ghazali, particularly Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din, and the visit of the Prophet Hud.

He will be visiting on behalf of every member of the Ummah. He will be remembering all those that are connected to him in that blessed place and asking Allah to remove the sufferings of the Ummah.

Habib Umar said in one of his poems:

 

زَوَّار هُود النَّبِي بُشْرَاكُمْ بِالمِنَح

امداد مَوْلاي في ذا الشِّعْب كَمْ قَدْ مَنَح

O visitors to the Prophet Hud, good tidings of great gifts:

My Lord has bestowed so many blessings in that valley;

و كَمْ لأبْوَاب فَضْله و المَوَاهِب فَتَح

و كَمْ تَكَرَّم و عَافى و عَفَى و سَمَح

So many times He has opened the doors of His bounty;

So many times He has given, healed, forgiven and pardoned

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He said in another poem:

هيا إلى الشعب قد سالت علينا شعوب

و من حمى المصطفى هبت علينا هبوب

Let’s enter the Valley – upon us the floods pour

And upon us breezes from the Chosen One blow

هذه الزيارة بها غفر الزلل و الذنوب

يا ربنا اكشف بها عاجل جميع الكروب

Through this visit sins and wrongdoings are forgiven

O Lord, by it swiftly remove all tribulations!

فيا إلهي علينا رب تب لنتوب

عامل بمحض الكرم ذلل جميع الصعوب

My Lord turn to us that we may repent

Treat us with pure kindness and make easy all difficulties

بجاه أحمد ختام الرسل طب القلوب

و هود لي زورته تجلي جميع الكروب

Through the status of Ahmad, the Seal of the Messengers, Healer of the Hearts

And Hud, through the visit of whom all tribulations are removed

 

You can read more about the visit here.

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