Sufism: Its Essence & the Traits of its People: Book by Habib Umar

What is Sufism? This new treatise by Habib Umar ibn Hafiz and translated into English by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, covers the principles of Sufism and the characteristics of those who follow it.

What is Sufism?

This book seeks to clarify the meaning behind this often-misunderstood term. Sufism, or tasawwuf as it is known in the original Arabic, is the science of purifying the heart for the purpose of reaching Allah. This is done by acting with ihsan, or excellence, in every situation, and following the sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace.

A true Sufi is someone who has reached the station of ayn al-yaqin, or the witnessing of certainty, which usually comes after many years of hard work. The people who try their best, but have not yet reached, are really quasi-Sufis, or mutasawif. As for the people who love them, but are not actively trying to progress spiritually, are attempting to resemble Sufis.

The Traits of Sufis

There are many people all over the world, who claim to be Sufis. Habib Umar outlines the ten traits that must be followed by anyone who claims to be a Sufi. These traits are universal to the various spiritual paths.

  1. Knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunna: This forms the very foundation of the Sufism, and any actions that contradict the basics of Islam, are not from Sufism. This also means that the Sufis strive to follow the  sunna with utmost excellence. In fact, the isnad (chains of transmission) of all the major works of Qur’an, hadith, tafsir (Qur’anic exegesis), fiqh (jurisprudence) were passed down through the people of Sufism. Therefore, everyone today who is qualified to teach any of these sciences, has Sufis in their chain of transmission.
  2. Concern with perfecting the heart for the sake of Allah: Since Allah looks towards our heart, not our outward forms, Sufis prioritise working on their hearts to attain ihsan. Sufism is not about singing, clapping, or wearing specific clothing. Rather, it’s about removing everything besides Allah from the heart.
  3. Sincerity. Sufis should be extremely meticulous in analysing their actions, making sure that they are solely for the sake of Allah, and shy away from praise and recognition.
  4. Trueness: This entails doing everything possible to do a deed for the sake of Allah alone, with no pride or ostentation. This also means being humble enough to accept advice from everyone, and not to mind if others turn away.
  5. Humility of the heart: There are countless verses, hadith and stories which emphasise the centrality of humility. A Sufi does not raise themselves above others, or believe that they are better than anyone else, preferring instead to carry themselves with humility.
  6. Recognising the people of honor, and eliminating envy: By showing honor to people who posses it, they strive to give everyone their rights, and not have envy towards anyone.
  7. Remembering Allah abundantly: Sufis strive to make dhikr and remember Allah, with presence of heart, as much as possible.
  8. Conveying with excellence and eliminating discourteous argumentation: They strive for excellence by avoiding arguments unless absolutely necessary. If an issue arises, they clarify it in the best manner.
  9. Responding to evil with goodness, and having concern: A Sufi has utmost concern for others, and does their best to strive for their wellbeing. They forgive those who wrong them and respond to any evil they face with goodness.
  10. Love of Allah, preferring Him over all else: In their daily life, they consider Allah more important than everything, and strive to attain his love.

Sufism: Its Essence & the Traits of its People, is published by Dar al-Turath Islami. If you would like to learn more, consider enrolling in our On-Demand course The Path of Spiritual Excellence.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani Announces Launch of SeekersGuidance Arabiyya

Alhamdulillah, through your support and the diligent work of our entire SeekersGuidance Global team, we are launching our online portal in the Arabic language.

SeekersHub Arabiyya

While we refer to it internally as “SeekersHub Arabiyya,” its formal name is Al Ma‘had Nur al Huda al ‘Alami li’l Ulum al Shar‘iyya.

SeekersHub Arabiyya: Online Courses, On-Demand Courses, Podcasts, Guidance Blog, and more!

SeekersGuidance Arabiyya

The full services of SeekersHub will also be offered in the Arabic language, including:

    1. (a) full online courses (launching with 13, in a range of subjects—Arabic grammar, Islamic beliefs, logic, Islamic law, and more);


    1. (b) on-demand courses (launching with ten);


    1. (c) podcasts with a range of scholars;


    (d) daily blog of knowledge and guidance from some of the top living Islamic scholars.

Featuring Some of the Top Living Islamic Scholars

Arabiyya05 scholars

Alhamdulillah, some of the top Islamic scholars from around the Muslim world are participating in SeekersHub Arabiyya, including:

    1. (1) Habib Umar bin Hafiz (Tarim, Yemen)


    1. (2) Shaykh Abd al Karim Tattan (Syria/UAE)


    1. (3) Shaykh Akram Abd al Wahhab (Mosul, Iraq)


    1. (4) Shaykh Hassan al Hindi (Damascus, Syria)


    1. (5) Shaykh Ali Hani (Amman, Jordan)


    1. (6) Dr Essam Eido (Syria; USA)


    1. (7) Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib (Shibam, Yemen; Toronto, Canada)


    1. (8) Habib Hussein al Saqqaf (UAE)


    1. (9) Shaykh Muhammad Awwama (Syria; Turkey)


    (10) Habib Muhammad al Saqqaf (Saudi)

… and many more, Insha Allah.

Arabiyya04 Scholars

Making This Knowledge and Guidance Available in English

It is our plan to offer much of this incredible content in English, as well, as part of growing SeekersHub Global into a truly “Global Islamic Seminary.”

Please pray for the success of the SeekersHub Arabiyya project, launching very soon Insha Allah.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.


Faraz Rabbani

PS: Check out the SeekersHub Global Impact Report.

Some of the Proper Manners of Service (khidma) Ones Teachers—and in All Religious Activism – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Some of the Proper Manners of Service (khidma) Ones Teachers—and in All Religious Activism

Muwasala—an excellent resource for reliable Islamic guidance—share the following response from Habib Umar bin Hafiz:

What are some of the etiquettes of service (khidma)? [Muwasala]

[The Intention in Serving]

Any type of service, whether it be service of a shaykh or anyone else, should be conducted with the intention of purifying the soul by means of the benefit that comes about through it

[All Benefit Is Service]

Being a cause of any kind of benefit is in fact a type of service.

[The Reality of Service]

Assisting the shaykh in implementing his objectives or assisting anyone in implementing any objective which is valid in the Shariah is a type of service.

[What Service is Most Spiritually Beneficial?]

Any action which requires humility is more beneficial for the soul, such as cleaning, washing and cooking. An important etiquette is to keep the private affairs of the shaykh or anyone else being served secret.

[Sincerely Seeking The Pleasure of Allah in Serving is the Key]

The person serving should have sincerity at all times and should believe that he benefits himself through his service and not that he is doing a favour to those he is serving.

Muwasala is an online repository for the scholarly teachings of the blessed tradition of Ḥaḍramawt. The word muwasala simultaneously means “connection” and “continuity.” These two words explain the underlying purpose of this website: to open the doors for seekers to benefit from one of the great scholarly traditions of the Ummah, firstly by establishing a connection to its teachings, and secondly by embarking upon a continual path of study.

More from SeekersGuidance

Playing with your Children

Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz’s advice on duas to read during pregnancy and labour

The Radiant Intentions of the Pious

Duas for Protection for Muslim Women In Danger of Harassment – Habib Umar

Habib Umar bin Hafiz, may Allah protect him and benefit us by him, was recently asked “Some sisters fear being harassed if they wear the hijab in public in the current climate. What should they do?”

He answered by saying that they should recite the following whenever they leave the house:

1. The Prophetic prayer:

بِاسمِ اللهِ آمَنْتُ بِاللهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللهِ ولا حَوْلَ ولا قُوَّةَ إِلا بِاللهِ العَلِيِّ العَظِيم
Transliteration: Bismillah, amantu billah, tawakkaltu al’Allah, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahi’l-`aliyyi’l-`azim Translation: In the name of Allah, I place my trust and reliance in Allah. There is no strength or power save by Allah

2. Ayat al-Kursi

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۖ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
Transliteration:  Allahu la ilaha illahuwa alhayyu alqayyoomu la ta/khuthuhusinatun wala nawmun lahu ma fee assamawati wama fee al-ardi man tha allathee yashfaAAu AAindahu illa bi-ithnihi yaAAlamu mabayna aydeehim wama khalfahum wala yuheetoonabishay-in min AAilmihi illa bima shaawasiAAa kursiyyuhu assamawati wal-ardawala yaooduhu hifthuhumawahuwa alAAaliyyu alAAatheem
Translation (Pickthal): Allah! There is no deity save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.

3. Wird al-Sakran

الحِزْبُ الحَبِيب عَلِي بِن أبِي بَكرِ السّكرَان
بِسْمِ الله الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيْمِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّى احْتَطْنَا بِدَرْبِ الله
طُوْلُهُ: مَاشَاءَ الله
قُفْلُهُ: لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ الله
بَابُهُ: مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوْلُ الله صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ
سَقْفهُ: لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِالله الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيْمِ
أَحَاطَ بِنَا مِنْ: بِسْمِ الله الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيْمِ, الْحَمْدُ لله رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ
الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِيْنُ
إِهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيْمَ
صِرَاطَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوْبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّيْنَ
سُوْر سُوْر سُوْر
الله لآإِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّوْمُ لاَتَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَنَوْمٌ, لَهُ مَافِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَافِي الأَرْضِ, مَنْ ذَاالَّذِي
يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ, يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيْهِمْ وَمَاخَلْفَهُمْ, وَلاَيُحِيْطُوْنَ بِشَيْئٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَاشَاءْ, وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَؤُوْدُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيْمُ
بِنَا اسْتَدَارَتْ كَمَا اسْتَدَارَتِ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ بِمَدِيْنَةِ الرَّسُوْلِ
بِلاَ خَنْدَقٍ وَلاَ سُوْرٍ مِنْ كُلِّ قَدَرٍ مَقْدُوْرٍ وَحَذَرٍ مَحْذُوْرٍ وَمِنْ جَمِيْعِ السُّرُوْرِ
تَتَرَّسْـنَا بِالله تَتَرَّسْـنَا بِالله تَتَرَّسْـنَا بِالله
مِنْ عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوِّ الله مِنْ سَاقِ عَرْشِ الله إِلَى قَاعِ أَرْضِ الله بِأَلْفِ أَلْفِ أَلْفِ لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِالله الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيْمِ صُنْعَتُهُ لاَ تَنْقَطِعُ (ثلاث)
بِأَلْفِ أَلْفِ أَلْفِ لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِالله الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيْمِ عَزِيْمَتُهُ لاَ تَنْشَقُّ بِأَلْفِ أَلْفِ أَلْفِ لاَحَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِالله الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيْمِ
اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ أَحَدٌ أَرَادَنَا بِسُوْءٍ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ وَالْوُحُوْشِ وغيرهم من المخلوقات مِنْ بَشَرٍ أَوْ شَيْطَانٍ أَوْ وَسْوَاسٍ
فَارْدُدْهُمْ ونظرهم فِي انْتِكَاسٍ وَقُلُوْبَهُمْ فِي وَسْوَاسٍ وَأَيْدِيَهُمْ فِي إِفْلاَسٍ وَأَوْبِقْهُمْ مِنَ الرِّجْلِ إِلَى الرَّأْسِ
لاَ سَهْلَ يَجْدَعُ وَلاَ جَبَلَ يَقْطَعُ بِأَلْفِ أَلْفِ أَلْفِ لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِالله الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيْمِ
وَصَلَّى الله عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَالْحَمْدُ لله رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

Transliteration: Bismillāhir ramānir raīm  Allāhumma inni ta tu bidarbillāh, ūluhū māshā’allāh,  qufluhū lā ilāha illallāh, bābuhū  Muammadur rasūlullāhi allallāhu ‛alayhi wa ālihī wa sallam, saqfuhū lā awla wa lā quwwata illā billāhil ‛aliyyil ‛a īm; aā a binā min  1. Bismillāhir ramānir raīm  2. Alamdulillāhi rabbil ‛ālamīn. 3. Arramānir raīm. 4. Māliki yawmid dīn.  5. Iyyāka na‛budu wa iyyāka nasta‛īn. 6. Ihdina irāal mustaqīm. 7. S irāal ladhīna an‛amta ‛alayhim, ghayril magh ūbi ‛alayhim wala āllīn.  [Sūrah al-Fātiah (1), Āyāt 1-7]   Sūrun Sūrun Sūrun
Translation: O Allāh! I have protected myself  with the fortification of Allāh: the length of which is māshā’Allāh (what Allāh has Willed); its lock is lā ilāha illallāh (there is no god but Allāh); its door is Muammadur rasulullāh (Muammad is the Messenger of Allāh), may the Blessings and Peace of Allāh be upon him and his family; its roof is, wa la hawla wa la quwata illā billāhil ‛aliyyil ‛a īm (there is no Power nor Strength except with Allāh, the Most Exalted, the Mighty); embrace us with, 1 In the Name of Allāh, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. 2 All Praise be to Allāh, Lord of the Universe; 3 Most Compassionate, Most Merciful; 4 Lord of the Day of Judgement. 5 You alone do we worship, and to You alone do we turn for help. 6 Guide us to the Straight Way. 7 The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace; not the way of those who have earned your anger, nor of those who went astray. [Sūrah al-Fātiah (1), Verses 1-7]  With His Wall (of Protection), with His Wall (of Protection), with His Wall (of Protection).
They must strive to show good character, be dignified and set the best example to those around them. They should not be affected by those who say unpleasant things to them and they should show kindness to those who mistreat them. This is a trial and its evil will soon pass.

muslim sisters harassed* Wird al-Sakran can be found in al-Khulasah (download the wird here), after Surah Ya Sin. It is a short and powerful wird read for protection from all types of evil. It was composed by Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Sakran the son of Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf. The Khulasah is available at Daralturath Al Islami , Mecca Books  and Firdous Books.

Resources for Seekers


Cover Photo by Raul Lieberwirth

"He Came With a Blanket that Smelt Like Baby Urine"

Why did Habib Umar bin Hafiz give his students a blanket that smelt like baby urine? Habib Mundhir al-Musawa gives the answer and talks about his relationship with Habib Umar in an interview given shortly before his death. With genuine humility, he describes his early days seeking knowledge and then his first steps in calling to Allah.

He talks about the key to his success, his immense attachment to his Shaykh, Habib Umar bin Hafiz. The film is interspersed with footage of Majelis Rasulullah, the intense gathering which he established in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This short film titled ‘The Shaykh and the Murid’ gives a unique insight into the life of one of the heroes of our times, Habib Mundhir al-Musawa, may Allah have mercy upon him. In his short life, Habib Mundhir had a huge impact on thousands, if not millions of people and was a cause of many people returning to Allah.  Our thanks to Muwasala for this video.

Resources for Seekers

blanketsCover Photo by Daniel Orth

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FREE DOWNLOAD: Ad-Diya al-Lami – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

The Resplendent Illumination: A Remembrancer on the Life of the Messenger & The Purifying Drink: On the History of the Resplendent Messenger (Peace be upon him)

Mawlid of Habib Umar bin Hafiz

This commonly recited works, have been prepared and translated by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan and Shaykh Riyad Saloojee. Offered free, with thanks to DTI Publishing House.
Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan, with the aid of [Shaykh] Riyad Saloojee, has translated from Arabic into English two short works on the Prophetic Biography. These works mention the birth, life and attributes of the Messenger of Allāh – may Allāh send peace and blessings upon him, his family and companions – and also contain supplications to Allāh, the Real, exalted is He.
The first book is entitled “The Resplendent Illumination: a Remembrancer of the Life of the Messenger” and the second, “The Purifying Drink: On the History of the Resplendent Messenger”. May Allāh reward them abundantly for this translation; and for the publication of the works in both English and Arabic so that the non-Arabic speaker may follow the Arabic and understand its meaning.
DOWNLOAD: Two free mawlid books from Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Your Free Ramadan Gift – A Lesson Set from Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Your Free Ramadan Gift

In gratitude of your support, we we’d like to gift to you this special lesson set this  Ramadan.
The Path to Spiritual Excellence, a nine part lesson set from Habib Umar bin Hafiz.
Taught in Arabic by Habib Umar and translated into English by Shaykh Abdul Karim Yahya.
Download your copy from the SeekersHub website.
Thanks to DTI and Mahabbah Foundation
dti gold logo mahabbah_logo

VIDEO GUIDE: How To Make Your Ramadan Count – Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, Dr. Umar Abd-Allah, and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ramadan advice from great luminaries of our time:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on the fiqh of fasting

Habib Umar bin Hafiz on the stations of those who love Allah

Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf on the many ways to beloved states

Dr. Umar al Faruq Abd-Allah on finding Allah through fasting

With Ramadan fast approaching, SeekersHub Global wants to aid you and your loved ones in meeting the goals of this noble month.

That’s why we’ve compiled a simple, three-step video guide on how to make the most of Ramadan.

These three steps are the keys to right guidance in any matter: knowledge, sincerity, and action.

(1) Knowledge:  Fiqh of Fasting: How to Make Your Fast Last – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

  • KnowledgeThe verses on fasting Ramadan are only four: Surat al Baqara verses 183-187. Reflect on these verses
  • The spiritual purpose of fasting is to attain imindfulness, thankfulness, and magnification of Allah which results in realization of His closeness
  • The validity of our fasts rests on abstaining from a few permissible things. It does not rest on staying away from all that is impermissible. This is a mercy from Allah Most High.

BONUS: Question & Answer Session – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

(2) Sincerity and Love : The Stations of Those Who Love Allah – Habib Umar bin HafizSincerity

  • People become enraptured in their love for creation, but as Allah Most High tells us “those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah”
  • A sign of loving Allah, and of Allah’s loving His servant, is that the servant loves the remembrance of Allah
  • We must strive to make our fasts an expression of our love of Allah

(3) Action: Finding Allah Through Fasting – Dr. Umar Abd-Allah and Seeking Allah: The Many Ways to Beloved States – Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf

  • Action We were created to worship God through acts such as fasting
  • We must prioritize our acts of worship according to the Divine command. Obligatory acts come first
  • Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) have told us what leads to the love of Allah — of actions, words, and states
  • We should strive in this month to leave sin, and inculcate virtue

 Finding Allah Through Fasting – Dr. Umar al-Faruq Abd-Allah

Seeking Allah: The Many Ways to Beloved States – Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf

ACT NOW: Join our #SpreadLight campaign: Can we reach one million students? Help SeekersHub Global #SpreadLight: support us through your generous Ramadan donation: become a monthly supporter; or give one-time support — or give your zakat through SeekersHub, to support needy and deserving scholars and students of knowledge.

The passing of Habib ‘Umar’s mother

To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the blessed mother of Habib Umar bin Hafidh, Hababah Zahra bint Hafiz bin `Abdullah al-Haddar.

When her husband, Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz, was abducted and martyred she showed great steadfastness and gave her children the best upbringing.

Habib Ali Mashhour bin Hafidh

Habib Ali Mashhour bin Hafidh, Mufti of Tarim

Her oldest son is Habib `Ali al-Mashur, Mufti of Tarim, and her youngest son is Habib `Umar. She also leaves behind her others sons: Habib `Attas, Sayyid Salim, Sayyid `Abdullah and three daughters.

She passed away at the age of nearly 96 after a life spent in worship and service. She was known for her uprightness, taqwa, fear of Allah and humility. She was constantly engaged in the remembrance of Allah. Her nights were spent standing in prayer and her days were spent fasting. She would give abundant charity in private.

If something bad was said about someone in her presence she would cut the person speaking off saying:

“May Allah guide us and guide him (or her) and may He guard our tongues and our hearts.”

Habib Ali al-Jifri said he would always request dua from her, but out of humility she would say that she was in need of dua due to her shortcomings. When she did make dua, she would always pray for the whole Ummah.

The janazah took place in Tarim on 22nd Sha`ban (9th June 2015).

May Allah pour His mercy upon her, raise her to the highest of stations and make her grave one of the gardens of Paradise. May He bless her children and loved ones with steadfastness.

Source: Muwasala

The Fifteenth Night of Shaban – Muwasala

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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 (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) 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 (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):
“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 (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) 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 (peace and blessings be upon him) 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 `Id al-Fitr and the night before `Id 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 in those nights Allah pours His mercy on His slaves: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, the night before `Id al-Fitr and the night before `Id 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.


Resources for Seekers:

Merits of Sha’ban – Muwasala

The Blessings of the Night of Mid-Sha’ban | Nur Sacred Sciences

It is Recommended to Perform Extra Worship on the Night of the 15th of Sha’ban?