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Prayer on the Fifteenth Night of Shaban – Muwasala

* Courtesy of Muwasala.org

It is the practice of many of the pious people of the Ummah to recite Surah Ya Sin three times on the 15th night of Sha`ban.

The first time they read it with the intention of being blessed with a long life spent in obedience to Allah, the second time with the intention that calamities are diverted and the third time with the intention of not being in need of people and being blessed with a good ending.

After each reading of Surah Ya Sin they read the following supplication:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد و آله و صحبه و سلم

اللهم يا ذا المَنِّ ولا يُمَنُّ عَلَيْهِ يا ذا الجَلالِ والإكْرام ياذا الطَوْلِ والإنْعام لا إلهَ إلا أَنْتَ ظَهْرَ اللاَّجِينَ وجَارَ المُسْتَجِيرينَ وأَمَانَ الخائِفِينَ

اللهم إِنْ كُنْتَ كَتَبْتَنَا عِنْدَكَ أَشْقِياءَ أَوْ مَحْرومينَ أَوْ مَطْرودِينَ أَوْ مُقَتَّراً عَلَيْنَا في الرِّزْقِ فَامْحُ اللهم بِفَضْلِكَ شِقَاوَتَنا وحِرْمَانَنا وطَرْدَنا

وإِقْتَارَ أَرْزَاقَنَا وأَثْبِتْنَا عِنْدَكَ في أُمِّ الكِتابِ سُعَداءَ مَرْزوقينَ مُوَفَّقِينَ لِلْخَيْراتِ

فَإِنَّكَ قُلْتَ وقَوْلُكَ الحَقُّ في كِتابِكَ المُنْزَل على لِسَانِ نَبِيِّكَ المُرْسَل (يَمْحُو اللهُ ما يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الكِتَابِ)

إلهَي بِالتَّجَلِّي الأَعْظَمِ في لَيْلَةِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعَبانَ المُكَرَّمِ الَّتي يُفْرَقُ فِيها كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ وَيُبْرَمُ نَسَأَلُكَ أَنْ تَكْشِفَ عَنَّا مِنَ البَلاءِ ما نَعْلَمُ

وما لا نَعْلَمُ وما أَنْتَ بِهِ أَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الأَعَزُّ الأَكْرَمُ

وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

Translation:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate.All praise is due to Allah Lord of the Worlds.

O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

O Allah, the Bestower of favours. No one has favour over You. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility, the One Who constantly bestows His bounties. There is no god but You, the One who grants safety and refuge to those that seek it and to those in fear.

O Allah, if You have recorded us as being wretched, deprived, cast out or if You have recorded that our provision be restricted then erase this by Your bounty. Instead record us in “the Mother of the Book” as being felicitous, as having plentiful provision and grant us the ability to do good works. Truly You have said, and Your word is true, in Your revealed Book, on the tongue of Your Prophet: Allah erases and confirms what He wishes and with Him is the Mother of the Book.1

O Allah, through Your most mighty manifestation on the fifteenth night of Sha`ban the Ennobled, in which every decreed affair becomes distinct and unchangeable, we ask You to remove all tribulations, those that we know and those that we do not know and those about which You know more, truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous.

O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

Resources for Seekers:
The Fifteenth Night of Shaban – Muwasala
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?

I’tikaf: When The Aching Bones of Your Wives May Testify Against You

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I’tikaf is intended to be a blessed time for those who have the opportunity to engage in it so why is it causing so much marital discord between couples who Jazmin Begum-Kennedy is counselling?

Iʿtikāf (Arabic: اعتكاف‎‎, also i’tikaaf or e’tikaaf) is an Islamic practice consisting of a period of staying in a mosque for a certain number of days, devoting oneself to worship during these days and staying away from worldly affairs. The literal meaning of the word suggests sticking and adhering to, or being regular in, something, this ‘something’ often including performing supererogatory (nafl) prayers, reciting the Qur’an, and reading hadith.

Every year, I read wonderful social media updates from brothers preparing to go to i’tikaf followed by others praising them and requesting them to make dua. This ought to be a beautiful thing but unfortunately for the wives left behind, it is often a nightmare.

Few men make enough fanfare or even mention who will

  • pack their things for them,
  • do grocery runs,
  • cook fresh food each day,
  • send the fresh food to the men in i’tikaf each day, twice a day – for iftar and suhoor,
  • take care of the children and the school runs,
  • serve their parents,
  • serve their in-laws
  • take care of her own health, while pregnant or otherwise

All this on often little to no resources.
For these women, engaging in more prayer, Qur’an reading and quiet reflection during the blessed 10 nights of Ramadhan are a remote possiblity.
Don’t get me wrong- I am all for i’tikaf but men need to make provisions for their womenfolk first before they set off. Every year I am left counselling mothers who have been left to take care of young children and demanding inlaws, as well as send freshly cooked food to their menfolk at the mosques. Often, they are not left with much money or resources to barely feed the children and elderly in their care, let alone send food to their men in i’tikaf.

“But My Wife Doesn’t Mind”

I don’t just listen to the women’s side of the story. I have spoken to many men about this. Last year, one brother messaged me saying how the companions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  often left for months and years and no one complained. He insisted that his wife didn’t complain either. When I asked him if he had asked her, he did not reply.
We do not live in societies that allow for such privileges. When the companions of the Prophet ﷺ went away, they left their families in a community with extended families and friends. They had maids as well as wet nurses for support.
These days, women have to do school and mosque runs, shopping, take children to appointments, chores for in-laws etc. Everything is done by one person – the mother.
On top of the daily grind of life, there’s the added stress of arrange the delivery of fresh, pipping hot food because she doesn’t want to upset or anger her husband who has gone to get closer to Paradise.

Is This The Path To Paradise?

What blessing is there in striving for Paradise, off the back of another human being?
I acknowledge that being in service to those in worship is a form of worship itself, and may Allah reward all who engage in this to the best of their abilities. However, on the flip side, there is a disturbing element of injustice and oppression.
Just before I wrote this, I was consoling a mother who is experiencing a very difficult pregnancy and has a toddler to attend to. She can barely keep her head up due to the sickness and exhaustion. Her beloved husband set off for iti’kaf leaving her with strict instructions on making sure his two meals are delivered at the right temperature.
I try not to aggravate situations like this. I try to hold my tongue, for what it’s worth. I advised this woman to go to her parent’s home so she can get some much needed respite. She is drained. She is carrying life in her womb. It is her God-given right to be nurtured during this fragile time and her God-given right to request her husband stay home and make himself useful. I told her to print this profound hadith and hang it in her home so all can see what our beloved Prophet ﷺ had to say:

The best of you are those who are best to their wives.

SubhanAllah, it is time to reflect on why we do things and how our actions, even if it’s to do something good can be so damaging for our hereafter. I was reminded by a fellow mother, Sumayyah Omar on Muslim Mamas that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to the people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger. That I walk with a brother regarding a need is more beloved to me than that I seclude myself in this mosque in Medina for a month. Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could fulfill his anger if he wished, then Allah will secure his heart on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah the Exalted will make his footing firm across the bridge on the day when the footings are shaken.”

Scholars and Imams, Insist On A Checklist

Wouldn’t it be great if the imams in all our mosques would read this hadith out during Friday sermons in Ramadan? And then advise the men to follow basic protocols before packing their bags? Moni Akhtar, another mother from Muslim Mamas made a great suggestion: the masjid should give out a form of prerequisites before men are accepted into i’tikaf:

  • Have you asked your wife if she can cope without you?
  • Have you left her with provisions?
  • Have you paid for a cleaner to come and help?

Guidance and prompting from the ulema is sorely needed to raise greater awareness.
I would love to leave on a good note but instead I am forced to leave a warning. Your women and those in your care may not utter a word  now but their aching bones will testify against you on the Day of Judgement. May Allah have mercy upon us all, ameen.

Photo credit: Juliana Cunha

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Jazmin Begum Kennedy (JBK) is a ‘Qualified Housewife.’ By day she is a mother, wife and teacher; by night she wages war against oppressors and writes books. She is an experienced teacher of primary and secondary education, an acclaimed professional artist (JBK Arts) and published author of Mercy Like the Raindrops, Blessed Bees, No School Today and the upcoming novel, Fifteen. Jazmin is an online counsellor specialising in domestic abuse, rape and child abuse. She also physically helps victims of domestic violence flee their abusive marriages. She is the co-founder of the Nisa Foundation, working as a women’s aid worker for victims of domestic violence. JBK currently homeschools her three children, whilst managing a network for Home Educators in the Greater Manchester area of the United Kingdom.

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?

A Reader on Night Worship and the Night Vigil (tahajjud)

“… And my servant continues to draw closer to me by voluntary actions until I love him…”[Bukhari]

Tahajjud Prayer: Description & Merits
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]
The Virtues of Prayer at Night
In this lecture, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani discusses the virtues of praying at night.
Islamcast Recast: The Virtues of Witr at the End of the Night
In this lecture, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani discusses the virtues of Witr at the End of the Night. Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever fears not being able to pray at the end of the night should perform Witr at the beginning of the night. But whoever is avid to pray at the end of the night should perform Witr then, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed-and this is more virtuous.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi]
The Fiqh of Voluntary (Nafl) Prayers
An exposition of the prayers not directly related to the obligatory prayers. They are ten.
Are Tarawih and Tahajjud Prayers Different or the Same? Are they both from the sunna of the Prophet?
A straightforward answer.