One of the unique benefits of traditional Islamic spirituality is the observance of numerous holy days and nights throughout the Islamic calendar year in which spiritual seekers can take advantage of rare blessings and opportunities for spiritual growth and awakening.
One of the holiest and most significant nights of the Islamic calendar is the night of the 15th of Shaban, also known as Shabe Barat. It is on the night of the 15th of Shaban that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) taught is the beginning of the new year in the spiritual realm, and that on Shabe Barat, the 15th of Shaban, the affairs of human beings are arranged in the Divine Presence for the coming twelve months.
It is for this reason that it has traditionally been recorded and advised to fast the three days in the middle of the month, the 14th, 15th and 16th of Shaban, so as to end the previous cycle and begin the new in a state of fasting, which liberates from dependance upon the world of form and increases one’s connection with the the Source of all that is, the Divine Almighty.
Blessings of the 15th of the Month of Shaban (Shabe Barat)
There are numerous traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) in which he relates the unique blessings of the 15th of Shaban, Shabe Barat.
Prophet Muhammad Quotes on the Blessings of the 15th of Shaban, #1
The Prophet Muhammad (saws) said that, “Whoever fasts three days in the month of Shaban and at the time of breaking fast recites salawat three times upon me, his sins will be forgiven and his provisions will be amplified, and on the Day of Judgment he will enter Paradise riding on a heavenly mount.”
Prophet Muhammad Quotes on the Blessings of the 15th of Shaban, #2
Recorded in Nuzhat al-Majalis, Sayyidina Anas (ra) related that he heard from the Prophet Muhammad (saws) that Jesus (as) once passed by a mountain and there he saw a white stone. He stared upon it with awe. God revealed to His messenger, “Shall I disclose for you a thing stranger than this?” “Surely!” Jesus answered.
The stone split and from it emerged an old man with a green walking stick in his hand, and pointing to a grape vine he said, “I get my sustenance from here.” Jesus (as) asked him, “How long have you been busy worshipping God in this stone?” The man replied, “For four hundred years.” Jesus (as) said to God, “Certainly there is no one else that can worship as he does.” God revealed, “Two cycles (raka’) of prayer by one from the nation of My Beloved Prophet (saws) on the 15th night of the month of Shaban are better than this four hundred years of worship.”
Prophet Muhammad Quotes on the Blessings of the 15th of Shaban, #3
Recorded in Tirmidhi, Mother of the Believers, Sayyidatuna Aisha (ra) related that she heard from the Prophet Muhammad (saws), “God, Glorious and Exalted, descends to the nearest heaven on the night of the 15th of the month of Shaban, and He forgives more people than the number of hair on the hides of the flocks and herds of sheep of the tribe of Kalb.”
Adab (Spiritual Practices) of the 15th of Shaban
To obtain the maximum benefit from the holy night of the 15th of the month of Shaban, there are specific spiritual practices (adab) that one can perform.
Fast the 14th, 15th and 16th days of the month of Shaban. Alternatively, one may fast just the 15th, the Day of Shabe Barat.
Welcome Shabe Barat
1. Take a shower (ghusl) before the Maghrib prayer on the evening of the night of the 15th of the month of Shaban with the intention of welcoming Shabe Barat.
2. Pray the Maghrib prayer.
3. Recite Surah Ya Seen three times, each time with the following respective intention:
- For long life and health.
- For protection from calamities.
- For provision directly from the Divine Presence and to be free from need of others.
4. Pray the Isha prayer.
Salatul Khair (The Prayer of Goodness)
Throughout the night of Shabe Barat, pray one hundred cycles, or raka, of Salatul Khair, in each cycle reciting Surah Fatiha and ten times Surah Ikhlas (Chapter 112 of the Holy Qur’an), ultimately making a total of one thousand recitations of Surah Ikhlas.
After praying Salatul Khair, you may then pray Salatul Witr.
Notes on the Spiritual Practices of the 15th of Shaban
Needless to say, these nawafil (not required, but beneficial) practices of the night of the 15th of Shaban, Shabe Barat, are intensive. Do not overburden yourself beyond your capacity. Simply do your best with the right intention, and you will receive divine blessings.
The purpose of worship (‘ibadah) is to ultimately liberate a human being from the external world of form, to cement one’s connection to the Divine Presence and to develop spiritual presence. This leads to divine peace and purpose, and to a life of goodness and grace.