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Mid-Sha'ban observance
Observed byMuslims
ObservancesPrayers for forgiveness
DateEve of 15th of Sha'ban (after sunset on the 14th)

Mid-Sha'ban (Arabic: نصف شعبان, romanizedniṣf šaʿbān or ليلة نصف مِن شعبان laylat niṣf min šaʿbān "night on the half of Sha'ban") is a Muslim holiday observed by Shia and Sunni Muslim communities on the eve of 15th of Sha'ban (i.e., the night following the sunset on the 14th day) — the same night as Shab-e-barat or Laylat al-Bara’ah (Arabic: ليلة البراءة).[1]


It is regarded as a night when the fortunes of individuals for the coming year are decided and when Allah may forgive sinners. In many regions, this is also a night when prayers are arranged for forgiveness from Allah for one's deceased ancestors.[2] Additionally, Twelver Shia Muslims commemorate the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi on this date.[3][4] Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq and Imam Muhammad al-Baqir used to perform special prayers in this night.[5] Both Sunni and Shia Muslims recognise this night to be as the Night of Forgiveness. Muslims observe Mid-Sha'ban as a night of worship and salvation. Scholars like Imam Shafii, Imam Nawawi, Imam Ghazzali, and Imam Suyuti have declared praying acceptable on the night of mid-Shaban.[6]


The 15th of Sha'ban goes by several names, depending on the country in which it is observed. Most can be categorised into two general meanings:

  • Mid-Sha'ban or Half of Sha'ban. Named after the day's chronological position in the eighth month of the Islamic calendar:
    • Nisf(u) Sha'ban (Arabic: نصف شعبان),
    • Nisfu Syaaban (Malay: نصف شعبان)
    • Nim Sha'ban (Persian: نيم شعبان)
    • Sha'ban yarisi (Azerbaijani: شعبان یارێسی)
  • Bara'at Night. Bara'at is an Arabic noun which is roughly translated to English as either innocence, records, assignment, deliverance or salvation.
    • Laylat al-Bara'ah (Arabic: ليلة البراءة)
    • Berat Kandili (Turkish: Berâet Kandili)
    • Shab-e Baraat (Persian/Urdu: شبِ براة, Hindi: शब-ए-बरात)
    • Shab-e Baraat (Bengali: শবে বরাত)
    • Barat Gejesi (Azerbaijani: برات گئجه‌سی)


The base for celebrating Mid-Sha'ban is not without dispute. Whether or not 15 Sha'ban is regarded as a special holiday, has primarily been an issue of interpreting the Quran and classifying the Hadith.


Although not mentioned directly in the Qur'an, two verses are sometimes ascribed[by whom?] to Mid-Sha‘ban:

"Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. On that night is made distinct every precise matter-"[Quran 44:3–4]

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir,[7][not specific enough to verify] the more correct interpretation of this blessed night been attributed to another Islamic holy night, Laylat al-Qadr, based on additional verses.[8][9][10]


In some hadiths of Ṣihah Sittah, this Hadith is described as the specialty of the night. Also in the other Hadith texts mention the specialty of this night. There are different standards of the hadiths and disagreements in this regard. The term "night of mid-Sha'ban", which is used in the hadeeth of the Hadith, is "Nisf Sha'ban" or "laylatun nisfi min Sha'ban (ليلةٌ نصفِ مِن شعبان)". It has been said in a Hadith,

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that Allah has manifested on the night of mid-Shaban and forgiveness of all His creation except the polytheists and the envious.

— - (Ibnu Majah, As-Sunan 1/445; Bazzar, Al-Musnad 1/157, 207, 7/186; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad 2/176; Ibn Abi Asim, As-Sunnah, pp. 223–224 Ibn Hibban, as-Sahih 12/481; Taabrani, al-Muzam al-Kabbir, 20/108, 22–233; Al-Mujam al-Aausat, 7/68; Baihaqi, Shu'abul Iman, 3/381; Ibnu Khuzaymah, Kitabut Tawhid 1 / 325-226, Mishkat Al Masabih 1306) [Classified as Daeef/Weak by Albani][11]

Another Hadith says,

Ayesha (R) said, one night I did not find the Prophet (ṣalla'llahu 'alayhi wa-sallam), and I went out to seek him. I noticed that he was in Jannatu 'l-Bāqi, lifting his head towards the sky. He said, "O Aisha! Do you fear that Allah and His Messenger will do injustice to you?" Ayesha (R) said, "No, but rather I thought that you might have gone to your wife. He said that Allah Almighty descended on the earth in the middle of the night of Sha'ban and forgave the sins of more people than the wool of the sheeps of the people of Kalb tribe. (Ibn Majah, As-Sunan 1/444, Hadith No. 1388). Ibnu Abi Sabrah, the only narrator of this hadith. Ahmad, Imam Bukhari and other Muhaddiths accused him of being liars.

— (Ibn Hajar, Taqribut Tahzib, page 63; Tahizibut Taazib, 12 / 25–26.), [Daif/Weak, or Maudu/fabricated narrator chain]

According to different Sahih Hadith, Muhammad used to perform fasting in this month. The fast of mid-Sha'ban was the most loved of him. He used to perform fasting in the month of Ramadan, from the first to the 15th of the month. When asked about this, he said,

"This month man's actions are being raised to the Lord Almighty. And I love that my work would be raised during my fasting."

— - (Nasa'i, As-Sunan 4/201; Albani, Sahihhut Taragib 1/24. [Hassan or better narrator chain]

Birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi[edit]

the celebration of Birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi Jamkaran Mosque, Qom.
Mid-Sha'ban at the Jamkaran Mosque, Qom.

According to Twelver Shias, Muhammad al-Mahdi, the final Shia Imām, was born on 15 Sha'ban. Shi'as celebrate Muhammad al-Mahdi's birthday on that day and perform religious acts such as prayers for the reappearance of Muhammad al-Mahdi,[12] fasting, and worship. Iranian cities are decorated on night of Mid-Sha'ban.[13]

Related customs[edit]

Mid-Sha'ban is celebrated in countries including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Salafi Arabs do not celebrate this holiday.[14] In the Arab world the festival is celebrated by Arabs with Sufi heritage, and Shias. In Iraq, children are given candies as they walk around their neighborhoods. Sunni Muslims in Iraqi Kurdistan and Afghanistan celebrate this holiday 15 days before Ramadan.[15] Some Muslims in Indonesia do communal zikr in mosques followed by a lecture (ceramah) led by an ustad or otherwise known in Java and Madura as a kyai. This tradition is rarely followed in Indonesia, but it is widely followed in Aceh, West Sumatra and South Kalimantan. In South Asia, Muslims make sweets (especially Halwa or Zarda) to be given to the neighbors and the poor on the evening prior to the 15th of Sha'ban.[16] This custom of distributing Halva is also practiced in Bosnia on the 15th night of Sha'ban, as well as on three other holidays: Laylat al-Qadr, Laylat al-Mi'raj and Laylat al-Raghaib.

Gregorian dates[edit]

Although the date of Mid-Sha'ban is always the same in the Islamic calendar, the date in the Gregorian calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year, since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. Hence if date falls in the first ten days of a Gregorian calendar year, there will be a second occurrence in the last ten days of the same Gregorian calendar year.

Upcoming predicted dates of Mid-Sha'ban
Islamic year Umm al-Qura predicted
1442 29 March 2021
1443 19 March 2022
1444 8 March 2023
1445 25 February 2024
1446 14 February 2025


  1. ^ Dinesh Bihari Trivedi; A. H. M. Zehadul Karim (1990). Law and order in upper India: a study of Oudh, 1856–1877. Northern Book Centre. ISBN 978-81-85119-83-0. ... The first significant religious occasion shabe-barat (lailat ul-barat or the night of deliverance) is held in the middle of Shaban (eighth month of the Islamic calendar) ...
  2. ^ Jamal J. Elias (1999). Islam: Religions of the world. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-21165-9. ... Laylat al-bara'a ... fortune for the coming year is popularly believed to be registered in Heaven ... prayer vigils and by feasting and illumination ... oblations are made in the name of deceased ancestors ...
  3. ^ "The great Shia scholar, Abu Ja'far Mohammad ibn Uthman al-Amri – Imam Reza (A.S.) Network". imamreza.net. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017.
  4. ^ The Return of al-Mahdi. P11
  5. ^ Shaykh Abbas Qummi, Supplications Prayers & Ziarats Call on Me and I answer you, Ansarian Publications, Qum, 1999/1420, pg. 309)
  6. ^ "Shab-e-Baraat 2020: Date, history and significance of Shab-e-Baraat". Hindustan Times. 8 April 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  7. ^ "QTafsir Tafsir Ibn Kathir Mobile".
  8. ^ Quran 97:1–5
  9. ^ Quran 2:185
  10. ^ Fatwa by the Permanent Committee
  11. ^ "Mishkat al-Masabih 1306, 1307 - Prayer - كتاب الصلاة - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Sunnah.com. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Marking the month of Sha'ban – Birth of Imam Mahdi". shafaqna. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  13. ^ "A Dazzling Night in Iran Embellished with Spirituality". Real Iran. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  14. ^ Damiel, Abū ‘Abd Allāh I. (7 April 2020). "15th of Sha'bān: Sunnah or Bid'ah?". Islam21c. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Live Chennai: Shab-E-Barat – Festivals of India – Festivals in India – Muslim Festivals – Ramzan – Id-ul-fitr – Bakrid, Eid Mubarak". livechennai.com.
  16. ^ "About: Shab-e-barat (شب برات)". Events in Karachi – Latest Event Updates- Articles – About Karachi. 5 July 2012. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2015.

External links[edit]