Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 2013-06-20
The month of Sha'baan has a very special place in the Islamic Calendar because in this month lies a very auspicious night known as Layaltul- Baraa’ah (The Night of Emancipation; The night of Freedom from fire). The word Sha'baan means branches of good a'maal (deeds).
The night of Layaltul- Baraa’ah has also become a night where millions of messages via text messages, BBM, Whatsapp and social media make the rounds to family and friends seeking forgiveness for actions done intentionally or unintentionally.
The question that needs to be asked is have we made a concerted effort to maintain our character and relations with family and friends from the previous year’s night of Layaltul- Baraa’ah? Or do we nonchalantly ponder, that it doesn’t matter; if we commit sins and break family relations, we can always improve and ask for forgiveness again and again making it a repetitive chant that loses significance?
On this night Allah's Special Mercy and Forgiveness descends upon His fortunate servants from the commencement of the night, Maghrib (Sunset) until dawn. Every Muslim should take stock of oneself and if one is involved in any form or vice or sin, one should turn to Allah and sincerely implore for forgiveness, lest one be deprived on this night.
One should turn towards Allah with sincere regret and shame for the sins that one has committed. One should seek Allah's forgiveness for one's sins and make a firm resolution and promise not to commit sin again and make a farce of this auspicious night arrogantly thinking that we might see this night again…We might not even see the next hour as Allah has power over all things.
Uthmaan bin Abil 'Aas (RA) narrates that Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) said: "On the fifteenth night of Sha'baan Allah's (special mercy) descends to the nearest heavens. Thereafter, a proclaimer announces:" Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who desires anything so that I may grant his wishes? Allah thus fulfills the requests of all accept the adulteress and idolator." (Baihaqi)