Sunday, July 31, 2011

Muslim Women are Extraordinary!

Muslim Women are Extraordinary!
 
 

A British atheist came to Sheikh and asked: Why is it not permissible in Islam for women to shake hands with a man?

The Sheikh said: Can you shake hands with Queen Elizabeth?

 The British atheist said: Of course not, there are only certain people who can shake hands with Queen Elizabeth.

Sheikh replied: our women are queens and queens do not shake hands with strange men. 

Then the British atheist asked the Sheikh: Why do your girls cover up their body and hair?

The Sheikh smiled and got two sweets; he opened the first one and kept the other one closed. He threw them both on the dusty floor and asked the British: If I asked you to take one of the sweets which one will you choose?

 The British replied: The covered one.

 The Sheikh said: that's how we treat and see our women

The honour of a Queen ends with death while the honour of a True Muslimah is eternal… Allah has elevated every Muslimah to a level higher than a "worldly queen" and ordered her to adorn herself with the Noble Crown [Hijab] right in this world!

 

RAMADHAN KAREEM



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ramdhaan, a month of enormous blessings…

Ramdhaan, a month of enormous blessings…

 

With the most blessed month of the year on our doorstep, we wish to share with you some beautiful advise as passed on to us by The Noble and Final Messenger of Allah – Muhammad (Peace be upon him).This message was delivered on the Last Day of Shabaan

Salmaan (Radhiallaho Anhu) reports On the last day of Shabaan, Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) addressed us and said: Oh people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months.

It is a month in which Allah has made fasting compulsory by day and has made sunnah the Taraaweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a Fard[compulsory act] in any other time and whoever performs a Fard, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy faraaidh[compulsory acts] in any other time.

This is indeed the month of patience and the reward for true patience is Jannah (paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one's fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer's rizq[provisions] is increased.

Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast (at sunset), for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell) and for such feeder shall be the some reward as the one who fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least.

Thereupon we said, 'O messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast' Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) replied Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date or a drink of water or a sip of milk.

This is a month, the first of which brings Allah's mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahannam.

Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bondsmen) in this month; Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam.

And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayibbah Laa Ilaaha illallah) and make much Istighfaar (beg Allah's forgiveness with Astaghfirullah) and as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah entrance into paradise and ask refuge in Him from Jahannam.

And whoever gives a person water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such such a drink whereafter that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah. 

[HADITH-BAIHAQI]

We at E ISLAM wish you and your family Ramadhan Mubarak and sincerely pray Allah Ta'ala makes this month a source of great benefit…Ameen

USEFUL RAMADHAAN INFO

USEFUL RAMADHAAN INFO
 

(please click on category to open)

·  Virtues of Ramadhaan and Advices ( 28 Articles )

·  Fasting ( 15 Articles )

·  Qur'an and Ramadhan ( 4 Articles )

·  Medical Aspects ( 11 Articles )

·  Suhoor and Iftaar ( 4 Articles )

·  Charity and Sadaqatul Fitr ( 3 Articles )

·  Ramadhaan information for Non-Muslims ( 3 Articles )

·  Taraweeh ( 6 Articles )

·  Ramadaan in History ( 2 Articles )

·  I'tikaaf ( 3 Articles )

·  Laylatul Qadr ( 4 Articles )

·  Fasting Of Living Species ( 4 Articles )

·  Ramadhaan around the World ( 11 Articles )

·  Miscelleanous ( 8 Articles )

·  Eid ul Fitr & Shawaal ( 4 Articles )

Motivational Story: Salmaan wants to fast!

Salmaan wants to fast!

 

A motivational story to make kids understand why we fast...

 

 

 

"But, Mum, I do not want to eat. I am a big boy and I can fast," Salmaan told his mother.

"But you are fasting, Salmaan, 7-year-old children eat in the morning and a little in the afternoon and then they don't eat anything else till evening."

"But you do not fast like that, Mum," the little boy insisted.

"I am older, Salmaan. Grownups fast that way."

The young boy sat deep in thought and then asked, "Mum, why do we fast?"

"That's a good question, Salmaan." She got up and went to the kitchen cupboard. She removed something from it.

"Do you know what this is, Salmaan?"

"It's a blender."

"Do you know what it is supposed to do?"

"It blends fruit for juice." His mother laughed. "Yes, it does blend. Our body does the same thing. It grinds the food we eat; it takes what it needs and removes the rest. It does this everyday, day in day out."

"Doesn't the body get tired, Mum?"

"It does. Just like the blender. When we have blended juice for too long, it refuses to work. Then it needs fixing. So we have to give our body a rest so it can work better for us. That's why we fast in Ramadan and some other days in the year."

"Does everybody fast, Mummy?"

"Not everybody. If you are ill or expecting a baby or if you are old and weak like your grandpa or if you are 7 years old like yourself then you don't fast.

The little boy thought some more. He ate the food his mother had set before him without much fuss. "What if you don't want to fast?"

"What is your sister Laika's favorite colour?" "Pink".

"And what is the colour of her uniform for Madrassa (School)?" "Blue".

But she says she'd like to wear her pink hijab when she goes."

"And why doesn't she?"

"She is afraid Muallim (Teacher) will punish her."

"You see, she was afraid the teacher would punish her. The teacher will punish her because she has broken the rule of the madrassaby wearing pink.

You see, Salmaan, Allah knows what is good for us and so we have to do as He commands, because He sees and knows everything. We love Him and fear Him and we don't want Him to be displeased with us."

"But Salmaan the real reason fast is to please Allah.Only Allah can give us the reward and fasting creates taqwa in our hearts."  

"What is taqwa"  Salmaan  asked?

"Umar bin al-Khattab asked Ibn Ka'ab for the meaning of Taqwa. Ibn Ka'ab asked Umar how he would travel on a road full of thorns. 'Umar said he would carefully walk, gathering his clothes so they would not get stuck on the thorns which could cause him injury. Ibn K'aab said "This is the meaning of taqwa, to protect oneself from sin during our life's dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey untouched by sin."

"So Salmaan if a person is  fasting and drinks water secretly when making wudhu will anybody know?"

"Nobody will no know Mum"

"But Allah will surely know as Allah sees everything and knows about all that we do! So when we fast we do it only for Allah and this will create the fear of Allah in our hearts. We will then be able to obey Allah at all times!"

"But don't you get hungry, Mum?"

"Of course we do. But we keep ourselves busy on other important things to take our mind away from the food and  also do things which our dear Rasulullah told us to do.We read the Qur'an, or we visit the sick people or we go to the mosque to read of Salaah and make Zikr and also take part in taalim and dawah. You see there's plenty to do and before you know it, it's time to eat!"

"Is there another reason why Muslims fast?"

"Yes. You are fortunate, Salmaan, because you have food everyday. Not everyone has food to eat, like the poor people in the squatter camps?"

" If we go hungry like them, we will be able to understand that they need help."

The little boy Salmaan seemed satisfied with the answers, his mother had given him.

 

"Mum, can I go with you and Daddy to help the poor?" "By the Grace of Allah, you can."

 

" Mum, one  more request"

"Yes Salmaan?"

 

"Can I fast tomorrow?" Salmaan asked

 

Salmaan's Mum smiled and replied " Allah has allowed 7 year old's not to fast until they grow bigger"

 

"But my sister Laika fasted yesterday " Salmaan pleaded to his Mum.

 

"Ok Salmaan I will wake you up for Sehri and then you can try. But if you do get very hungry you may eat ok!"

 

"Ok Mum!"

 

Happy with reply of his Mother Salmaan read his Salaah and went to bed praying to Allah to let him also fast tomorrow!

 

We need to explain to our children the essence and importance of Islamic practises so as they grow up they learn to appreciate and understand the wisdom of this beautiful Deen that Allah has gifted us with!

 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ramadhan

Ramadhaan...

 
 
Allah , The Most Wise says:

"Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwaa" [Quran-2:183]

 

The Messenger of Allah Rasulullah (Sallallaahu √Ālayhi Wasallam) said one day when Ramadhaan had drawn near;

 

"The month of Ramadhan, the month of blessings has come to you, wherein Allah turns towards you and sends down to you His special Mercy, forgives your faults, accepts prayers, appreciates your competition for the greatest, good and boasts to the angels about you. So, show to Allah your righteousness; for verily, the most pitiable and unfortunate one is he who is deprived of Allah's Mercy in this month." [Hadith-Narrated by Tabarani]

 

Monday, July 18, 2011

UNITY OF THE UMMAH

All you need to do is…….Nothing !
 
 

 

Unity of Muslim Ummah is so important and it cannot be emphasised enough. Likewise disunity amongst the Ummah can be disastrous.

 

Allah, the Most Wise, says:

"And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves..." (Quran-3:103)

While we are living and enjoying the comforts and luxuries of this world, our brothers and sisters are suffering and being oppressed all around us. Has it become such that we have become immune and insensitive to such afflictions and find so hard to assist the Ummah let alone shed even one tear.

Have we forgotten the Hadith of Rasullullah(salallaho alaihe wassallam):

"The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain"

The enemies of Islam are attempting to destroy this Ummah, piece by piece and for this to happen all we got to do is….NOTHING!

Once upon a time three bulls lived in the forest. One white, one brown and one black. They were brothers and lived together in harmony. In that forest also lived a lion that had his eye on the bulls. But every time he attacked one of them the others came to his aid and together they drove the lion away.

The lion decided that he needed to change his strategy. So one day when the Black Bull was away, he went to the other two and said, "You know, the Black Bull is black and dirty and evil. Why do you keep him with you? His is a disgrace to you. You are beautiful and noble. If the Black Bull is no longer there, you will have all the grazing to yourself. He takes away your food and adds no value to you." The two bulls listened to the lion's spiel and said, "Well, you know, he is our brother. What can we do?"

"You need to do
nothing at all," said the lion. "I am your friend. I will do what needs to be done. Just don't come to the aid of the Black Bull when he calls you." The others agreed.

The next day, they heard the voice of the Black Bull calling for help in anguish and fear. They listened to him and went back to their grazing. Gradually the calls stopped. The two brothers could not look each other in the eye but then, nice green grass wipes away memories and after a little while it was as if the Black Bull never existed.

Then one day the lion came to the White Bull when he was alone and said, "So are you happy with the advice I gave you? Didn't I advise you well? Now here is another advice. You are the real king of the forest. You are White and clean and pure and holy and beautiful. You are wise and good. You deserve to live in solitary splendour like a king. Not with some dirty brown trash who you have to share your food with. Why do you need him? He is a liability and an embarrassment to you."

"Well, what should I do?"

"You know the score.
Nothing at all. I am there to take care of everything for you. Just relax."

Next day, the White Bull heard the dying screams of the Brown Bull and closed his ears and went back to his grazing.

The White Bull lived for a few days all by himself, grazing where he wanted and drinking from the clean streams of the forest. Then one morning the lion came again. From the look in his eyes, the White Bull knew that this visit was different. All his life flashed before his eyes. He recalled the time when the three brothers stood together, shoulder to shoulder. Then he recalled all the incidents since then. As the lion sat before him, not in any hurry, knowing that the result was pre-determined, the White Bull said to him, "I have one last wish. Will you grant it to me?"

"Anything at all my friend", said the lion.

The White Bull then climbed a hill and when he got to the top of it, he called out to the people of the forest, "O! People, I do not die today. I died the day the Black Bull died."

So dear brothers and sisters in Islam pay heed to the above story for in it lies a deep and important lesson for the Ummah. In Unity there is strength!

 

Let us be firm of the Quran and Sunnah and be not divided amongst ourselves. When a fellow Muslim person or country is being attacked by the enemies of Islam,  be sure to be of some help and not to just sit back and do….NOTHING!

 

Allaah Ta'ala says:
"O believers, if you help Allaah's cause, He will help you and make your feet firm (against your enemies) and those who disbelieved woe unto them and their actions are in vain." [Quran-47:7,8]

ISLAM - A beautiful love story

True Love and Romance…
 

 

It is the love story between Zainab bint Muhammad and Abo El'Ass ibn Rabee'; Zainab is the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and her cousin Abu El'Ass, is Khadeeja's nephew. He was one of the nobles of Quraish, and the Prophet loved him.


One day Abu El'Ass went to the Prophet before he had received his mission of Prophet Hood and said: "I want to marry your eldest daughter". So
the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied: "I must ask her first". He went to Zainab and asked her: "Your cousin came to me and he wishes to marry you, do you accept him as your husband?" Her face turned red with bashfulness and she smiled.

So Zainab married Abu El'Ass, the beginning of a great love story. They had two children; "'Ali" and "Omama".

Then a big problem occurred when
the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) became a Prophet; he became a Prophet while Abu El'Ass was away from Makkah. Abu El'Ass returned to find his wife a Muslim. When he first came back, his wife said "I have great news for you". He stood up and left her. Zainab was surprised and followed him as she said, "My father became a Prophet and I have become a Muslim". He replied, "Why didn't you tell me first?" Hence a big problem began between the two; a problem of religion and belief.

She told him, "I wasn't going to disbelieve in my father and his message, he is not a liar, and he is "The Honest and Trustworthy". I'm not the only believer; my mother and my sisters became Muslims, my cousin Ali ibn Abi Taleb became a Muslim, your cousin Othman ibn Affan became a Muslim, and your friend Abu Bakr became a Muslim".

He replied, "Well as for me, I don't want people to say 'he let down his people and his forefathers to please his wife'. And I am not accusing your father of anything". Then he said, "So will you excuse me and understand?" She replied, "Who will excuse and understand you if I don't? But I will stay beside you and help you until you reach the truth" and she kept her word for 20 years.

Abu El'Ass remained an unbeliever, and then came the migration. Zainab went to
the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and asked him for the permission to stay with her husband,  the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied, "Stay with your husband and children".

Compare this to the wives that refuse to travel with their husbands to their place of work and prefer to stay with their mothers.

So Zainab stayed in Makkah, until the battle of Badr occurred. Abu El'Ass was to fight in the army of Quraish against the Muslims. For Zainab, it meant that her husband will be fighting her father, a time Zainab had always feared. She kept crying out: "O Allah, I fear one day the sun may rise and my children become orphans or I lose my father".

So the battle started, and ended in victory for the Muslims. Abu El'Ass was captured by the Muslims, and news of this reached Makkah. Zainab asked, "What did my father do?" They told her, "The Muslims won". So she prayed to Allah, thanking him. Then she asked: "What did my husband do?" they said: "He was captured" so she said" I'll send a payment to release him". She didn't own anything of much value, so she took off her mother's necklace, and sent it with Abu El'Ass's brother to the Prophet.

While the Prophet was sitting, taking payments and releasing captives, he saw Khadeeja's necklace. He held it up and asked: "Whose payment is this?" They said: "Abu El'Ass ibn Rabee". He cried and said "This is Khadeeja's necklace". Then he stood up and said "People, this man is my in-law, should I release him? And do you accept the return of this necklace to my daughter?" They answered in unison "Yes, messenger of Allah".

The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave the necklace to Abu El'Ass and said to him: "Tell Zainab not to give away Khadeeja's necklace". Then he said "Abu El'Ass Can we speak privately?" He took him aside and said "Allah has ordered me to separate between a Muslim and a disbeliever, so could you return my daughter to me?" Abu El'Ass agreed.

Zainab stood on the gates of Makkah waiting for the arrival of Abu El'Ass. When he finally came he said, "I am going away". She asked, "Where to?" so he said, "It is not me who is going, it is you. You are going to your father; we must separate because you are a Muslim". She implored him, "Will you become a Muslim and come with me?" But he refused.

So Zainab took her son and daughter and traveled to Madinah, and for 6 years she refused to remarry, hoping that one day Abu El'Ass would come.

After 6 years, Abu El'Ass was traveling in a caravan from Makkah to Syria. During the journey, he was intercepted by some of the Prophet's companions. He escaped and asked for Zainab's home. He knocked on her door shortly before the dawn prayer. She opened the door and asked him "Did you become a Muslim?" He whispered "No, I come as a fugitive". She implored him once more "Can you become a Muslim?" Again his answer was a negative. "Do not worry." She said, "Welcome my cousin, welcome, the father of Ali and Omama".

After
the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) prayed the dawn prayer in congregation with the people, they heard a voice from the back of the mosque "I have freed Abu El'Ass ibn Rabee".

Zainab had granted Abu El'Ass freedom.
the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked "Have you heard what I heard?" They all said, "Yes, messenger of Allah". Zainab said, "He is my cousin and the father of my children and I have freed him" so the Prophet stood up and said, "O people, I declare that this man was a very good son-in-law, he never broke his promise, and neither did he tell lies. So if you accept I will return his money back and let him go and if you refuse it's your decision and I will not blame you for it." The companions agreed, "We will give him his money" so the Prophet said to Zainab" We have freed the one you have freed O Zainab" then he went to her and told her "be generous to him, he is your cousin and the father of your children, but don't let him get near you, he is prohibited for you." She replied, "Sure, Messenger of Allah, I'll do as you say".

She went in and told Abu El'Ass "O Abu El'Ass didn't you miss us at all? Will you be a Muslim and stay with us?" But he refused.

Abu El'Ass then took the money and returned to Makkah. Once he returned he stood up and announced, "O people here is your money, is there anything left?" they replied, "No Abu El'Ass there is nothing left, thanks a lot" so Abu El'Ass said, "I testify that there is no god but Allah, and Mohamed is His Messenger." Then he went back to Madinah and ran to the Prophet as he said, "Dear Prophet, you freed me yesterday, and today I say that I testify there is no god but Allah and you are His messenger." He asked the Prophet, "Will you give me the permission to go back to Zainab?" The Prophet smiled and said, "Come with me"; he took him to Zainab's house and knocked on her door. The Prophet said, "O Zainab, your cousin came to me and asked if he can return to you". Just like 20 years before, her face turned red with bashfulness and she smiled.

The strange thing is, a year after this incident, Zainab died. Abu El'Ass would cry so profusely that the people saw the Prophet himself weeping and calming him down. Abu El'Ass would say, "By Allah, I can't stand life anymore without Zainab". He died one year after Zainab's death

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sha'ban

Sha'ban:

Merits, Do's, and Dont's

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

- The Night of Bara'ah
    - What Should be Done in this Night?
    - What Should Not be Done in This Night
- Fast of the 15th Sha'ban

Sha'ban is one of the meritorious months for which we find some particular instructions in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is reported in the authentic ahadith that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast most of the month in Sha'ban. These fasts were not obligatory on him but Sha'ban is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan. Therefore, some preparatory measures are suggested by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Some of these are given below:
1. The blessed companion Anas, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was asked, "Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan?" He replied, "Fasts of Shaban in honor of Ramadan."
2. The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that he asked Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam: "Messenger of Allah, I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha'ban so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month." Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, replied: "That (Sha'ban) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe, so, I wish that my deeds be presented at a time when I am in a state of fasting."
3. Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, says, "Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast the whole of Sha'ban. I said to him, 'Messenger of Allah, is Sha'ban your most favorite month for fasting?' He said, 'In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting."
4. In another Tradition she says, "Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, would sometimes begin to fast continuously until we thought he would not stop fasting, and sometimes he used to stop fasting until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, fasting a complete month, except the month of Ramadan, and I have never seen him fasting in a month more frequently than he did in Sha'ban."
5. In another report she says, "I never saw the Messenger of Allah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, fasting in a month so profusely as he did in the month of Sha'ban. He used to fast in that month leaving only a few days, rather, he used to fast almost the whole of the month."
6. Ummul-Mu'mineen Umm Salamah, Radi-Allahu anha, says: "I have never seen the Messenger of Allah fasting for two months continuously except in the months of Sha'ban and Ramadan."
These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Sha'ban, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, did not like to miss it.
But it should be kept in mind that the fasts of Sha'ban are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency in the obligatory fasts of Ramadan. Therefore, if one fears that after fasting in Sha'ban, he will lose strength or freshness for the fasts of Ramadan and will not be able to fast in it with freshness, he should not fast in Sha'ban, because the fasts of Ramadan, being obligatory, are more important than the optional fasts of Sha'ban. That is why Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself has forbidden the Muslims from fasting one or two days immediately before the commencement of Ramadan. The blessed Companion Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha'ban is gone."
According to another report Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has said: "Do not precede the month of Ramadan with one or two fasts."
The essence of the above-quoted ahadith is that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself used to fast most of the month of Sha'ban, because he had no fear of developing weakness or weariness before the commencement of Ramadan. As for others, he ordered them not to fast after the 15th of Sha'ban for the fear that they would lose their strength and freshness before Ramadan starts, and would not be able to welcome the month of Ramadan with enthusiasm.

The Night of Bara'ah
Another significant feature of the month of Sha'ban is that it consists of a night which is termed in Shariah as "Laylatul-bara'ah" (The night of freedom from Fire). This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Sha'ban. There are certain traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to prove that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine mercy. Some of these traditions are quoted as follows:
1. Ummul-Mu'mineen 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, is reported to have said, "Once Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, performed the Salah of the night (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah until I feared that he had passed away. When I saw this, I rose (from my bed) and moved his thumb (to ascertain whether he is alive). The thumb moved, and I returned (to my place). Then I heard him saying in Sajdah: 'I seek refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge of Your pleasure from Your annoyance, and I seek Your refuge from Yourself. I cannot praise You as fully as You deserve. You are exactly as You have defined Yourself.' Thereafter, when he raised his head from Sajdah and finished his salah, he said to me: 'Aishah, did you think that the Prophet has betrayed you?' I said, 'No, O Prophet of Allah, but I was afraid that your soul has been taken away because your Sajdah was very long.' He asked me, 'Do you know which night is this?' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'This is the night of the half of Sha'ban. Allah Almighty looks upon His slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but keeps those who have malice (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they relieve themselves from malice).'"
2. In another Tradition Sayyidah' Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has reported that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, "Allah Almighty descends (in a manner He best knows it) in the night occurring in the middle of Sha'ban and forgives a large number of people more than the number of the fibers on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb."
Kalb was a big tribe the members of which had a very large number of sheep. Therefore, the last sentence of the hadith indicates the big number of the people who are forgiven in this night by Allah Almighty.
3. In yet another Tradition, she has reported Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "This is the middle Night of Sha'ban. Allah frees in it a large number of the people from Fire, more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb. But He does not even look at a person who associates partners with Allah, or at a person who nourishes malice in his heart (against someone), or at a person who cuts off the ties of kinship, or at a man who leaves his clothes extending beyond his ankles (as a sign of pride), or at a person who disobeys his parents, or at a person who has a habit of drinking wine."
4. Sayyidna Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: "Allah Almighty looks upon all those created by Him in the middle Night of Sha'ban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart (against a Muslim)".
Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night. In fact, some of these traditions have been held by some scholars of hadith as authentic and the defects in the chain of some others have been treated by them as minor technical defects which, according to the science of hadith, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That is why the elders of the ummah have constantly been observing this night as a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship and prayers.

What Should be Done in this Night?
In order to observe the Night of Bara'ah, one should remain awakened in this night as much as he can. If someone has better opportunities, he should spend the whole night in worship and prayer. However, if one cannot do so for one reason or another, he can select a considerable portion of the night, preferably of the second half of it for this purpose, and should perform the following acts of worship:
(a) Salah. Salah is the most preferable act to be performed in this night. There is no particular number of Rak'at but preferably it should not be less than eight. It is also advisable that each part of the Salah like qiyam, rukoo' and sajdah should be longer than normal. The longest surahs of the Holy Qur'an one remembers by heart should be recited in the Salah of this night. If someone does not remember the long surahs, he can also recite several short surahs in one rak'ah.
(b) Tilawa. The recitation of the Holy Qur'an is another form of worship, very beneficent in this night. After performing Salah, or at any other time, one should recite as much of the Holy Qur'an as he can.
(c) Dhikr. One should also perform dhikr (recitation of the name of Allah) in this night. Particularly the following dhikr is very useful:
One should recite Salah (durood) on Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as many times as he can. The dhikr can also be recited while walking, lying on bed and during other hours of work or leisure.
(d) Dua. The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of this night is prayers and supplications. It is hoped that all the prayers in this night will be accepted by our Lord, insha-Allah. Prayer itself is an 'Ibadah, and Allah Almighty gives reward on each prayer along with the fulfillment of the supplicator's need. Even if the purpose prayed for is not achieved, one cannot be deprived of the reward of the prayer which is sometimes more precious than the mundane benefits one strives for. The prayers and supplications also strengthen one's relation with Allah Almighty, which is the main purpose of all kinds and forms of worship.
One can pray for whatever purpose he wishes. But the best supplications are the ones made by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. These are so comprehensive and all-encompassing prayers that all the human needs, of this world and the Hereafter, are fully covered in the eloquent expressions used in them. Actually, most of the prophetic prayers are so profound that human imagination can hardly match their greatness.
Several books in various languages are available which provide these prophetic prayers, and one should pray to Allah Almighty in accordance with them, whether by reciting their original Arabic text or by rendering their sense in one's own language.
(e) There are some people who cannot perform any additional Salah or recitations for any reason, like illness or weakness or being engaged in some other necessary activities. Such people also should not deprive themselves completely of the blessings of this night. They should observe the following acts:
(i) To perform the Salah of Maghrib, 'Isha' and Fajr with Jama'ah in the mosque, or in their homes in case of their being sick.
(ii) They should keep reciting the dhikr, particularly the one mentioned in para (c) above, in whatever condition they are until they sleep.
(iii) They should pray to Allah for their forgiveness and for their other objectives. One can do so even when he is in his bed.
(f) The women during their periods cannot perform salah, nor can they recite the Qur'an, but they can recite any dhikr, tasbeeh, durood sharif and can pray to Allah for whatever purpose they like in whatever language they wish. They can also recite the Arabic prayers mentioned in the Qur'an or in the hadith with the intention of supplication (and not with the intention of recitation).
(g) According to a hadith, which is relatively less authentic, Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went in this night to the graveyard of Baqi' where he prayed for the Muslims buried there. On this basis, some of the fuqaha hold it as mustahabb (advisable) in this night to go to the graveyard of the Muslims and recite Fatihah or any other part of the Qur'an, and pray for the dead. But this act is neither obligatory nor should it be performed as regularly as an obligatory act.

What Should Not be Done in This Night
1. As mentioned earlier, the Night of Bara'ah is a night in which special blessings are directed towards the Muslims. Therefore, this night should be spent in total submission to Allah Almighty, and one should refrain from all those activities, which may displease Allah. Although it is always incumbent upon every Muslim to abstain from sins, yet this abstinence becomes all the more necessary in such nights, because committing sins in this night will amount to responding to divine blessings with disobedience and felony. Such an arrogant attitude can invite nothing but the wrath of Allah. Therefore, one should strictly abstain from all the sins, particularly from those mentioned in the Hadith No. 3 quoted earlier in this article, because these sins make one devoid of the blessings of this night.
2. In this night some people indulge in some activities which they regard as necessary for the celebration of the Night of Bara'ah, like cooking some special type of meal, or illuminating houses or mosques, or improvised structures. All such activities are not only baseless and innovated in the later days by ignorant people, but in some cases they are pure imitation of some rituals performed by non-Muslim communities. Such imitation in itself is a sin; performing it in a blessed night like the Night of Bara'ah makes it worse. Muslims should strictly abstain from all such activities.
3. Some people spend this night in holding religious meetings and delivering long speeches. Such activities are also not advisable, because these acts can easily be performed in other nights. This night requires one to devote himself for the pure acts of worship only.
4. The acts of worship like Salah, recitation of the Qur'an and dhikr should be performed in this night individually, not collectively. The Nafl Salah should not be performed in Jama'ah, nor should the Muslims arrange gatherings in the mosques in order to celebrate the night in a collective manner.
On the contrary, this night is meant for worshipping Allah in solitude. It is the time to enjoy the direct contact with the Lord of the Universe, and to devote one's attention to Him and Him alone. These are the precious hours of the night in which nobody should intervene between one and his Lord, and one should turn to Allah with total concentration, not disturbed or intermitted by any one else.
That is why Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, observed the acts of worship in this night in total seclusion, not accompanied by anyone, not even by his favorite life companion Sayyidah 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, and that is why all forms of the optional worship (Nafl Ibadah), are advised by him to be done in individual, not in collective manner.

Fast of the 15th Sha'ban
On the day immediately following the Night of Bara'ah, i.e. the 15th of Sha'ban, it is mustahabb (advisable) to keep fast. Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is reported to have recommended this fast emphatically. Although the scholars of hadith have some doubts in the authenticity of this report, yet it is mentioned earlier that the fasts of the first half of Sha'ban have special merits and Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast most of the days in Sha'ban. Moreover, a large number of the elders (salaf) of the Ummah have been observing the fast of the 15th of Sha'ban. This constant practice indicates that they have accepted the relevant hadith as authentic.
Therefore, it is advisable to fast the 15th of Sha'ban as an optional (nafl) fast. One can also keep a fast of qada on this day and it is hoped that he can also benefit from the merits of this fast.