Showing posts with label Rituals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rituals. Show all posts

Sunday 1 December 2019

How to Perform Umrah?

Hajj and Umrah are two Muslim rituals that are directly related to the House of Allah at Makkah. While Hajj is performed once in am Islamic calendar year in the month of Dhul Hajj, Umrah can be performed throughout the year. 

Today we are sharing the "how" to perform the umrah right from the wearing of Ihraam (the two pieced unscratched cloth) for men at the Meeqat (five places designated around Makkah where the intending umrah Muslim takes off one's stitched cloth and wears Ihraam). 

The details of umrah journey is well captured and details of each action given in the video below. However, certain prerequisites of performing umrah are given herein under:

The Pillars of `Umrah:
  • Ihraam: which is assumed at the Meeqat.
  • Tawaf: circumambulation around the Ka'abah (the cubical building at the center of Masjid Al Haram.
  •  Sa'y: Taking seven circuits between hillocks of As-Safa and Al-Marwah.
  • Qasar / Halaq: Shaving of the entire head or part by men and potion of hair cut for women
Thereafter Tahal-lul: which means coming out of the state of Ihraam; becoming lawful what was previously prohibited during Ihraam.

Note: During ‘Umrah, pilgrims do not go to Mina, ‘Arafat and Muzdalifah or throw pebbles on the Jamrahs (stone pillars representing devils) or offer animal sacrifice. These rites are only performed during Hajj.

Things to do before entering the state of Ihraam:
  • Cut nails. 
  • Remove unwanted body hair (removing unwanted hair from underneath the armpit and below the navel). 
  • Trim mustache. 
  • Comb hair.
  • Shape beard.
  • Applying Perfume.
  • Purify either by taking a bath or performing ablution (wudu).
Things Forbidden after entering the state of Ihraam:
  • Cutting Nails
  • Hair cutting or removing extra hair from any part of the body.
  • Use of any scents on the body or on the robes.
  • Stitched Clothing.
  • Sandals and flip flops must not be stitched either and should allow the ankle and back of foot to be exposed.
  • Covering Face or Head.
  • Hunting of animals even of lice.
  • Sexual activity
1.  Getting into state of Ihraam: Those interceding to perform Umrah, must get into state of Ihraam as under:
  • Ihraam is the intention to perform Umrah. Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “The actions will be rewarded according to the intentions behind them and every person will have what he/she had intended.” (Sahih Bukhari: 54). Remember Ihraam is the state of purity and holiness.
  • To get into state of Ihraam one must wear the two unscratched sheets of while cloth before or at the five specified Meeqat locations around Makkah.

Location of Meeqat around Makkah [Photo]
  • At Meeqat or the place before it where one tends to get into state of Ihraam, one must perform ghusl / complete bath.
  • Then wear the ihraam (the procedure both for men and women is given Here)
  • Offer two Rakat of Nafl by covering your head.
  • With your head uncover declare your intention / Niyyah :
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنِّيْ اُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَ تَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ

“O ALLAH! I intend to perform Umrah, please make it easy for me and accept it from me”
  • After leaving home start reciting below mentioned Dua’a and Talbiya continuously. It is compulsory to recite Talbiya loudly once.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ، لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ

(In the name of ALLAH, I place my trust in ALLAH, and there is no might nor power except with ALLAH)
  • Enter Masjid Al Haram: Recite Darud e Sharif and Supplicate to ALLAH and proceed towards Kabah.
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وسلم, اللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ

(In the name of ALLAH! O ALLAH! Exalt the mention of your Messenger. O ALLAH! Forgive my sins, and open the gates of Your mercy for me).
  • Keep your eyes fixed at Baitullah and Say:
اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ أكبر, لا إلَهَ الا اللّه, اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ اكبر, و لِلّه الحمدَ

(ALLAH is the Greatest, ALLAH is the Greatest, there is no God, but ALLAH, ALLAH is the Greatest, ALLAH is the Greatest, to Him belongs all Praise.)

After this recite Talbiya and move forward to perform Tawaf. 

2. Tawaf
circumambulation around the Ka'abah (the cubical building at the center of Masjid Al Haram, seven times.The pilgrims must walk keeping Kabah on their left. Upon arriving at the Kaabah, stop reciting the Talbiyyah. You must be in Wudu (ablution). Men to leave their right shoulder bare ONLY during the entire Tawaf, this is called Idtiba’a, after the tawaf men need to cover both shoulders.

Start at the Black Stone, either Kiss it if you can, if not. Touch it with your right hand, if not
Face the Black Stone and point at it with your right hand Say
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, اللّهُ أكبر
(just before kissing it/or just before or whilst touching/pointing) For men, to Raml (hasten/briskly walk) during the first 3 rounds of Tawaf and walk normally during the other 4 rounds. Once you reach the Yamani corner, either Touch it with your right hand (do not kiss it), and say بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, اللّهُ أكبر or if unable, then continue without gesturing or saying anything from the Yamani corner to the Black Stone, recite :
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَة ً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَة ً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّار
(Our Lord, grant us good in this life and good in the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hellfire.[Quran; 2:201])

When they will reach at Rukhn Al Yamani (the fourth corner of Kabah) they should only touch Hijra e Aswa.

After Completing Tawaf, proceed to Maqaam‐e Ibraaheem ‐ (Prophet Abraham's station)

At the End of Seven circles they will do Istilam (touch or kiss the Black Stone) and say
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, اللّهُ أكبر
Recite this verse (which means):
وَاتَّخِذُوْا مِنْ مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of Prayer. [Quran; 2:125])

Tthe pilgrims will offer 2 rakat of Nafal close to Maqam-e-Ibrahim without covering their heads. The pilgrims will go to zamzam, which is situated in the basement of Haram to drink the water (Zamzam) while standing and saying “بِسْمِ اللَّهِ and (supplicate to Allah)
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمَاً نَافِعَاًً وَرِزْقَاً وَاسِعَاًَ وَشِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ
O Allah! I implore for the beneficial knowledge, vast provisions and cure from every disease.”

3. Sa’yee
The meaning of Sa’ey is to run/ walk back and forth seven times between the hills of Safah & Marwa which are situated to the North and South of Kabah. As you leave the boundary of the Masjid, you can say (as prescribed for all Masaajid):
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, وَ الصلاة والسلام عَلَى رسول الله, اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ,
(In the name of Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah. O Allaah, I ask You from Your favor. O Allaah, guard from the accursed devil.)

Upon approaching Mount Safah, the following Ayaat (verse) is recited
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْراً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيْم
(Verily, As‐Safaa and Al‐Marwah are from the symbols of Allaah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or 'Umrah of the house (ka 'bah) to perform the going (tawaaf) between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allaah is the All‐Recognizer, All‐Knower. [Quran; 2:158])
نَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللَّهُ بِه
(I begin with what Allaah began with.)

Then ascend upon Mount Safah, face the Qiblah, raise your hands and recite 3 times:
اللّهُ أكبر, اللّهُ أكبر, اللّهُ أكبر
(Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest.)
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَ يُمِيْتُ وَ هُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْر؛ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، أَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَ نَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَ هَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَ حْدَه
(There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, Alone. He has no partner, To Him belongs the kingdom, & all praise belongs to Him, & He has power above all things, There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, He fulfilled His promise, Granted victory to His servant, And alone He defeated the allied army.)

The seventh trip will end at Marwa. After this the pilgrim will offer two (2) rakat nafal. 

4. Qasar / Halaq
After Sa’yee male pilgrims will get their heads completely shaved, females will clip their hair equal to a length of a fingertip.

The procedure to perform Tawaf is illustrated herein under, while the video below show the complete ritual in easy to understand steps:

Performance of Umrah [Illustrated]:
Performance of Umrah [Illustration courtesy: Islamic Finder

You may now watch a detailed video covering the complete procedure as to How to perform Umrah:
For more Q &A about understanding Islam, please refer to our reference page: Understanding Islam: Frequently Asked Q & A.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.

May Allah show us the right path so that we do not go astray due to what man has interpreted verses of religious scriptures to suit their own religions and faith. Aameen.

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Wednesday 31 July 2019

How to Perform Hajj - The Hajj Rituals

The most blessed event of a believer's life has arrived: The Hajj !! Muslims all over the world set aside a portion of their earnings to be able to bear the expenses to go to Makkah, Saudi Arabia and perform the ritual of Hajj, the fifth and last pillar of Islam. There have been instances wherein older people even touching the hundredth year of their lives, or even beyond, to make to Makkah and perform Hajj.

This year, over two million blessed Muslims are presently in Makkah to perform Hajj 2019 / 1440 AH, which is just about ten days from hence. Hajj rituals are spanned over five days from 8th-12th of the Islamic calendar's month of Dhul-Hijjah. Here in under are the preparations and details of rituals performed during the five days of the Hajj:
Hajj Rituals described diagrammatically [Photo: AsceticRose / Wikimedia Commons]

Getting into the state of IhramBefore pilgrims wish to enter the Al Masjid Al Haram (the sacred boundary of Mecca) and move across to perform Hajj, they should wear Ihram in order to make haram and traverse the five different areas of Miqat in the Haram boundary:

(1)  Miqat is an imaginary boundary around Makkah. Before crossing these imaginary lines, one must change over from one's normal clothing to a two piece coarse while cloth called Ihram. Below are the destination options and relevant Miqats for pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj:
  • Dhu’l Hulaifah (Abbyar Ali) is for pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia from or through Madina first to perform Hajj al-Tamatt’u
  • Al-Juhfah (near Rabigh) is for pilgrims coming from or through Syria, Morocco, or Egypt.
  • Qarn-al manazil (As-Sail Al-Kabeer) is for pilgrims coming from or through Najd or Taif.
  • Yalamlam (Sa’adiyah) is for pilgrims coming from or through India, Pakistan or Yemen.
  • Dhat `Irq is for pilgrims coming from or through Iraq.
(2)  Before setting off from their place of stay and making their way to the sacred boundary of Mecca, pilgrims are bound to assume a state of Ihram, which is the combined sacred act of Niyyah and Talbiyah necessary to perform Hajj. 
  • Niyyah is the innate intention to perform an act of worship, 
  • Talbiyah is a special prayer said in supplication to attain Ihram, given herein under:
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ

To be pronounced as:
"Labbayka Allāhumma Labbayk. Labbayk Lā Sharīka Laka Labbayk. Inna l-Ḥamda, Wa n-Niʻmata, Laka wal Mulk, Lā Sharīka Lak."

"Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners."

(3)  To become a Muhrim (a pilgrim that has attained the state of Ihram), a pilgrim must prepare himself for Ihram by following the below steps as instructed by the Prophet (PBUH):
  • (a) Performing ablutions – cleansing the body to attain physical purity
  • (b)  Changing into the sacred attire of two-pieced white Ihram sheets (Izar and Rida) for men and ordinary Islamic clothes for women. Both, men and women, should wear the flip-flops or sandals that expose the middle bones of the mid foot.
  • (c)  Performing the two Rakats of Salah al-Ihram while covering the head.
  • (d)  Pronouncing the Niyyah as the Miqat approaches
  • (e) Reciting Talbiyah repeatedly while traversing the Miqat stations in the sacred boundary of the Grand Holy Mosque until the commencement of Tawaf before travelling to Mecca for the next step of Umrah.
Performance of Umra Rituals: Most of the pilgrims undertake undertake Hajj al-Tamatt’u that combines Umrah rituals with that of Hajj. After performing the Umra (that is taking seven rounds around the Kabah and Sa'i - seven rounds between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa, adjacent to the the Kabah) re-assume Ihram and the intention to perform Hajj. After completing Umrah rituals, pilgrims must assume the state of Ihram and declare their intentions to do Hajj.
Tent City at Mina [Photo: Seeley International / Wikimedia Common]

Travel to Mina: On 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, soon after the observing the morning prayers, all pilgrims must head to Mina (a town in Makkah), where they stay an entire day carrying out ritual prayers – Duhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha, Fajr and Qasr – as stated in the Quran.
Pilgrims atop Jabal al-Rahmah [Photo]

Travel to Plain of Arafat to perform Waquf: On the second day of Hajj, 9th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah, after the dawn prayer, pilgrims travel the 14.4 km journey from Mina to Arafat from Mina reciting Istaghfar and making supplications. They must do so before noon. Upon reaching plain of Arafat, pilgrims observe Duhr and Asr combined with Qasr prayers near the Jabal al-Rahmah from noon to sunset. This act is known as Waquf (standing before Allah). At Masjid al-Namirah, pilgrims offer noon and afternoon prayers together at noon time and listen to the Hajj Khutaba. A pilgrim's Hajj is considered invalid if they do not spend the afternoon on Arafat.

Pilgrims moving to Mount Arafat for key rite

The Day of Arafat is considered one of the most important days, not just of Hajj, but of the Islamic calendar. "Jabal al-Rahmah" Mount Mercy at Arafat was the scene of the Prophet Muhammad's final sermon. Elsewhere in the world, many Muslims choose to fast on this day.
Night stay at Muzdalifah on 10th of Dhu al Hijjah -  (Photo: Shutterstock/Alarabiya)

Night stay at Muzadalifah: After sunset, the pilgrims move to Muzadalifah (a town between Mina and Mt. Arafat) - 9 kilometres trip, where the first offer combined Maghrib and Isha prayers. And thereafter they spend the night praying and sleeping on the ground with open sky until Fajr prayers in preparation for the next day’s ritual of stoning the devil. Pilgrims collect up 49 pebbles of similar size for Rami (the act of throwing stones at three sites where the Satan had tried to dissuade Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him).

On the 10th day Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims leave for Makkah before sunset to do Tawaf al-Ifadah and Sa’iy and get back to Mina to perform Rami, Nahr and Halq. The 10th of Dhul-Hijjah is Eid al-Adha, a day celebrated by Muslims around the world as the greater of the two Muslim holidays.

Perform Rami in Mina

On the 11th and 12th days of Hajj, pilgrims must complete the stoning of the Devil or Rami. Before Sunrise, pilgrims head back to Mina and participate in a ritual known as ‘Stoning the devil’. Seven pebbles (of similar sizes) are thrown at a stone structure known as Jamrat al-Aqabah. This is an act carried out at noon on each day. All pilgrims are required to leave for Makkah before sunset on the 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. 

Rami is a symbolic stoning of the devil, based on historical tradition. When Allah told Abraham to sacrifice his son, the devil appeared at three different places in Mina and tried to dissuade Abraham from heeding the command. Abraham responded by throwing stones to ward him off.

Animal Sacrifice – Nahr: The culmination of the stoning ceremony calls for an animal sacrifice to commemorate the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismael [Read why Muslims sacrifice animals on Hajj / Eid al Adha]. For this pilgrims can purchase sacrifice voucher or a coupon, which states that a sacrifice has been made in their name. the sacrificial animal is either a lamb or a camel. The animal is butchered and its meat is packed and shipped to other Middle Eastern countries or is fed to the poor. However, those intending to sacrifice the animal themselves, can do so for which elaborate arrangements are made.

Halq (shaving the head) or Taqsir (clipping or shortening of the hair for men and women): Once the animal has been sacrificed, men should get their head completely shaved, or get their hair clipped. While women are forbidden to shave their heads and only allowed to have a lock or strand of their hair clipped. The act of cutting the hair symbolizes one’s detachment from physical appearances and complete subjection to Allah. Thereafter, pilgrims perform Tawaf and Sa’iy.
Stoning of the Devil [Photo: Amellie from Brisbane, Australia / Wikimedia Commons]

Repeat Stoning at Mina: After Sunset On the 11th and 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the stoning ritual is repeated by throwing pebbles at two other monuments other than Jamrat al Aqabah, that is Jamrat Oolah (the first Jamrat) and Jamrat Wustah (middle Jamrat). Pilgrims face the Jamarah (main pillar), with the Mecca on their left and Mina on their right, stone it with seven small pebbles while reciting takbeer. 

Pilgrims may leave Mina for Mecca before sunset on the 12th. If unable to leave on the 12th before sunset or opt to stay at free will, they must perform the stoning ritual again on the 13th before returning to Makkah.

Perform the Farewell Tawaf "Tawaf al-Wadaa": On 13th of Dhu al Hijjah, the final step is the farewell Tawaf / Tawaf al-Wadaa. 'Wadaa' means 'to bid farewell', circumambulating the Kaaba anti-clockwise seven times and touching or kissing the Kaaba if possible. Pilgrims reflect on their experience and thank Allah for everything, while circumambulating the Kaaba. On completing the Tawaf, pilgrims can proceed to collect their belongings, leave Kaaba by setting their left foot out first and making supplications while doing so. This final step marks the end of Hajj rituals.

Journey to Medina: Most of the pilgrims after performing the Hajj, head towards Medina to pay homage to the most revered of the prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and spend few to forty days. Though not a part of Hajj, pilgrims still choose to travel to the city of Medina and the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet), which contains tomb of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) The Quba Mosque and Masjid al-Qiblatayn are also usually visited.

We pray that all pilgrims present in Makkah at this time of the year may their presence be accepted and come back duly blessed with countless blessings of Allah. Aameen.

Please refer to our page: Dhu al-Hijja (ذُو ٱلْحِجَّة): The month of Pilgrimage - The Hajj to know more about Dhu al-Hijja and Hajj.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6 |
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Saturday 3 November 2018

Innovations - Shab e Baraat

Islam is a religion which if understood makes one's life very easy and rewarding. But if try to turn our lives from simplicity and of s straight path to innovations and rituals of the post Islamic era, the life will not only become difficult but also take us away from the life that is intended for us as Muslims. And when one is not clear about what he should believe in, innovations start to creep in, which though seemingly appear to be in line with the teachings of Islam, are in fact make one's light difficult and take away a believer from the essence of Islamic way of life. 

One of such innovations, which is widely observed by the Muslims in areas which now constitute Pakistan and India, is Shab e Baraat. It is widely believed that on this night, the 15th of Shaban, the future or the fate of a person is decided. Thus on this night, special arrangements for prayers are made, special dishes are prepared and food is distributed among relatives and the needy. People visit the graveyards and offer special prayers for those relatives and fiends who are buried there. 

But the truth is that this is absolutely man-made festival. Neither Our'an nor Hadith and the era of companions of Prophet Muhammad indicate the existence of this festival, then. Even there is no such tradition is attributed to the very early post Islamic scholars have called such a feast non Islamic. In fact such night was never exited in those day. It is thus an innovation that has slowly crept into our way of life and almost become a ritual which is celebrated with 'religious zeal and fervor.'

It may be understood that Islam is not a religion of customs, festivities and traditions. It in fact is  a simple and straightforward religion  which strongly restrains man from the shackles of rituals or futile and time consuming festivals. It is thus highly uncharacteristic of Islam to mark one day in a year for fire-cracking and distributing foods and allow people to keep on wasting valuable time and hard-earned money every year.  Thus, there is absolutely no evidence in the authentic Sunnah whereby the Prophet  or his noble companions or family ever celebrated or commemorated the night of Shab e-Baraat, nor did Prophet  ever offered any special prayers on this night, nor ever command the believers to do anything special on this night!

It is the absolute unanimous opinion of all the good jurists and scholars in Islam that there is to be no special commemoration or celebration of the so-called Shab e-Baraat night; and if anyone offers or ordains any special prayer or rite of worship especially for the commemoration of this night, it would be against the guidance and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ; and thus a bid'ah or innovation in the perfect Deen of Islam.

At the most, Islamic literature reveals only an event : once, on the night of Shaban the 15th, Hazrat Ayesha did not find Prophet Mohammad ﷺ on his bed, so she left in his search and found him in Jannat~ul Baquee. On querying, he replied: "On this night, Allah turns His attention from the sky to this world and forgives as many sins of people as the total number of hair of all the sheep put-together of the clan, called Ka'b." But a prominent writer of Hadiths, Imam Tirmizi has declared this tradition a fragile and has claimed, through his research, that it can not be believed with certainty that Hazrat Ayesha was its source. !

Many misinterpreters of the Holy Qur'an refer the night as Lailatul Mubaraka which is mentioned in Surah al-Dukhan (44: 2-4) “The Book (Holy Quran) that makes things clear, We sent it down during a blessed night, In fact ! We want to Warn (Mankind)" Whereon every affair of wisdom is made clear ". Now it is very clear from the referred verses of the Holy Qur'an that Lailatul Mubaraka is the night when Allah sent down the Holy Qur'an and it is the same night as Lailatul Qadr mentioned in Surah Qadr [97]: " Verily, We have revealed this (Qur'ân) in the night of Al-Qadr "!

Even if their authenticity is recognized, then also, the only inference could be that praying and asking for His forgiveness for the sins, during this night, is an appreciable act. If this is done individually, then they will be rewarded. Other than this, the perusal of these narrations does nor prove that either 14th or 1 5th night of Shaban is proclaimed to be Eid or some collective prayers are pronounced for this occasion. 

The more reliable books on Hadiths acknowledge that Prophet Mohammad   used to be in a peculiar state, in the month of Shaban, prior to the commencement of Ramadan. It is in the month of Ramadan that the stupendous honour of Prophet hood was bestowed upon him and the revelation of immortal Book, the Our'an, commenced. Due to these reasons, he not only used to keep unusually regular fasts and perform longer prayers during Ramadan, but even in advance, Prophet Mohammad   would inch closer to Allah. Hazrat Ayesha and Umme Salma state that besides Ramadan, Shaban was the only month during which Prophet Mohammad   fasted most, rather the entire month was spent in fasting. But this practice of his was specifically for his own sake. However, the common Muslims were instructed by him to stay away from fasting during the second fortnight of Shaban, for it may weaken them to fast during the following month of Ramadan. 

Islam has taken necessary care of the fact that its followers do not adopt rituals and rites which Allah has not asked them to. Thus none of the self-created customs, artificial ceremonies or any collective practices should take the shape of Farz (Obligation). By exceeding the limits prescribed by Him, if people establish certain customs and rituals of their own, and practice them like Faraiz (Obligations), then they will make the life unnecessarily burdened and would in fact had committed the same blunder of pioneering rituals and customs and made them essential and part of their religion.  

Qur'an has declared customs as synonymous to "shackles" and the chief objective of the life of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ  is said to be setting free the mankind from such chains and shackles. And the Prophet Mohammad  therefore proposed a lean and mean stream of faraiz and eliminated all other customs and traditions. There is no third festival in Islam other than Eid-ui-Fitr  and and Eid-ui-Azha. There is no pilgrimage other than Hajj and besides Zakah there is no charity or donation which is declared as Farz. Thereafter, a simple rule is laid forever that man is not authorized to cut down on any of the faraiz. Similarly, he is not mandated to make any additions either. 

Now one last argument in disfavour of Shab e Baraat: The absolutely biggest evidence of the non-importance or existence of the Shab-e-Baraat in Islam is the term itself! The very term "shab" is not an Arabic word but rather a farsi (Persian language) term which means night; and baraat in Arabic means to boycott or destiny. The fact that the term itself is half-Farsi half-Arabic signifies that this term was not used by the Messenger of Allah  or his early companions, but rather was invented and innovated long after their deaths in the Indo-Pak region where Farsi was the court or official language of the rulers for a long period of time!

Our'an and Hadiths were never scrutinized with the objective of learning the principles and guidelines, rather the ignorance resulted into finding excuses for continuing their old customs and inventing new conventions. When they managed to find a minor clue, they converted it into a mammoth and perpetual custom. People felt proud on filling the gap by inventing festivities, which were originally not there, without realizing that they have worn the same shackles which were destroyed by Allah, through His Prophet Mohammad , and they have again fallen into the trap from which no nation has ever managed to come out. 

References: | 1 ( pp 7-12) | 2 | 3 |
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