The Global Communication and Personal contacts have established that ‘Shab-e-Barat’ is observed religiously in only few countries like India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh and Afghanistan. Specially in these countries, the night is observed as an old age celebration. Although this night is not celebrated in any other Muslim country, specially in the middle east.
Some people believe that in Surah al-Dukhan (44: 2-4), there is a reference of this night.
o وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ
o إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنْذِرِينَ
o فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
Allah says in surah Al Dukhan Ayats No.2 to 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 ".
It is clear that this Ayat is referring to the night of Qadr and not Shabe barat because the Qur’an was revealed in the night of Qadr.
Surah al-Qadr (97) " Verily, We have revealed this (Qur'ân) in the night of Al-Qadr "
It is also confirmed in surah No. 2, Al Baqr ayat No.185 that this holy book is revealed in the month of Ramzan (Ramadan).
Surah Al Baqr 2:185 " Ramadan is the month in which the Qur'an was sent down : this Book is a perfect guidance for mankind and consists of clear teachings which show the right way and are a criterion of Truth and falsehood. "
This ayat clearly indicates that the Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramzan (Ramadan), obviously the night of the revelation of the Qur’an was not in the month of Sha’ban but is in the month of Ramzan (Ramadan) that is Lailatul Qadr..
[ In Tafsir Surah Dukhan in Ma`ariful Quran by Mufti M.Shafi Usmani, has clearly described that Quran was revealed in the night of Ramzan from Preserved tablet to the lowest Firmament and from there it was revealed on the Prophet piece by piece. Mufti M Shafi Usmani has given his detailed statement in the tafsir of Dukhan about the revealation of Quran in the night of Power ( Lailatul Qadr)]
Some people also say that direction of Qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to Ka’bah (Makkah) on the 15th day of Sha’ban. This is also not confirmed by any authentic hadis.
It is a practice that in this night large number of devotees are visiting grave yards, feeding the poor, distribute sweets, making a sweet dish (Halwa) and doing fireworks (atish baazi) etc. There are also some other beliefs about this night. For example, some people believe that the spirits (arwah) of the deceased visit their relatives during this night. Some believe that list of newly born and list of those who will die during the coming year is prepared during this night. These things have no meaning and no reference in Ahadis.
It should be noted that any act in Islam is based on two sources, the Quran and the Hadis. According to most of the scholars of Tafsir, there is no mention of Sha'ban night in Qur’an. The scholars of Hadis say that most of the Ahadis concerning the speciality of this night are not sound and the references about observing the ‘Shab-e-Barat’ in the Ahadis are quite weak. All these beliefs and superstitions do not belong to the authentic teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. We must try to follow the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah of the blessed Prophet -(saws).
It is quite clear that the 15th night of ‘Shaban’ is like any other night, but it is celebrated after giving special significance, with great religious respect by the Muslims in the above countries. Please think seriously about this celebration, whether, is this a part of our religion or an Innovation ??
No Muslim has the right to innovate a way of worship. Only the Allah and his great Prophet has the right to dictate.
In Islam, if there is no authentic proof in an act, then the act is regarded as an innovation and all innovators will be sternly punished in the Hereafter.