Another chance

Allah Ta’ala, through His grace and bounty, has afforded mankind numerous opportunities of gaining closeness to Him and turning to Him in repentance. These opportunities enable man to undo the wrongs which he may have committed since his last repentance. There is a famous Hadeeth in which Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said that one Ramadaan to the next, and one Friday to the next are means of atonement for the wrongs which were committed in-between. The 15th night of Shabaan is one such opportunity. There are several Ahadeeth on the virtues of this night. Some of them are:

Hadrat A’ishah Radiyallahu anha narrates that she heard Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam saying: “Allah Ta’ala opens [the doors of] goodness during four nights: the nights of Eidul-Ad-ha and Eidul-Fitr, the night of the 15th of Shabaan, and the night of Arafat until the adhaan [for the fajr salah].” (Imam Suyuti in Durr Manthur)

One of the special features of this night is that no sooner the sun sets, the special attention and focus of Allah Ta’ala descends from the heavens and an announcement is made: “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking sustenance so that I may provide him with sustenance? Is there anyone in difficulty so that I may remove his difficulty?” In short, the rains of mercy continue pouring down for the entire night until the time of fajr.

What should we do in this night?

This question is beautifully answered in a lengthy Hadeeth of Hadrat A’ishah Radiyallahu anha. The gist of which is that when she realized that Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was not sleeping next to her, she got up to see where he was. She found him in prostration making the following Dua:

“My body as well as my inner self have prostrated before You. My heart has brought Iman (faith) in You. I place before You my hand which I used to transgress against my self. O the Exalted, who is yearned for at the time of every enormous task! O the Exalted, forgive me my major sins. My face prostrated before the Being who created it, and granted it the faculty of hearing and seeing.”

We learn from the above Hadeeth that one should engage in Salah and Dua. Both, Salah and Dua, are the foundations of all our acts of worship. Salah is considered to be the apex of all acts of worship while Dua is considered to be the core and essence of all acts of worship. This is further explained in the following narration of Hadrat Ali Radiyallahu anhu:

“When it is the night of the 15th of Shabaan, stand up in worship at night and fast during the day. Surely Allah Ta’ala descends to the lowest heavens with the setting of the sun and announces: “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking sustenance so that I may provide him with sustenance? Is there anyone in difficulty so that I may remove his difficulty? Is there anyone, is there anyone?” This continues till the break of dawn. (Imam Suyuti in Durr Manthur)

Apart from Salah and Dua, one may also engage in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala (Zikr) and the recitation of the Quran. If one is unable to do any of this, the least one should try to do is offer the Isha and Fajr salahs with congregation so that one may earn the reward of spending the entire night in worship.

May Allah inspire all of us to take maximum benefit from this blessed night, Aameen

Are you going to grab this opportunity?

Maybe we have heard the words “another chance” from our kind and loving parents on many occasions. Perhaps when we did not do well at school or Madrasah or even when we did some wrong, we were given a second chance to rectify ourselves. Our Most Loving, Kind and Merciful Creator, Allah Ta’ala Who is Rahmaan, Raheem and Kareem on this auspicious night is saying to us, “O my servant (abd) come towards me even if you are filled with sins from head to toe. My doors are always open. On this night, I give you “a reminder”, “another chance” to repent. Come, my servant, even if your sins equal the pebbles in the ocean! I remind you tonight that this is the 15th of Shabaan, the Night of Freedom, the night of removing sins through taubah. Beseech my forgiveness my servant, I will forgive you. Come make taubah and grab this other chance to change.”

Hadrat Maalik Bin Dinaar Rahmatullaahi Alaihi got his “second chance”, his “wake up call” on the 15th of Shabaan. He slept in an intoxicated state that night and he saw a fearful dream in which he is shown the plight of those that disobey Allah Ta’ala. His daughter, who had passed away before him, admonishes him in this dream, with the verse of the Qur’aan, “Has the time not come for those wrongdoers to fear”? (Surah Al Hadeed, verse 16)

Dear Reader! Has our time not come?

Let us take this chance afforded to us by our Creator and take the bold step of change or reformation. Give up all sins and become the beloved (wali) of Allah Ta’ala.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of using this night to our advantage and saving ourselves from the fire of Jahannum with sincere Taubah, Aameen.

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