PERFORMING SHABEENA AND IT BEING A MEANS OF REWARD
It has always been the practice of virtuous Muslims to perform ‘Shabeena’ during the month of Ramadaan (i.e. to complete an entire Quran Sharif in Taraweeh in either one, two or three days). It is even reported about some Buzurgs of the deen that they used to complete an entire Quran Sharif daily outside of Ramadaan. All of this is permissible and thawaab on condition that the Holy Quran is not read so hastily that its words aren’t pronounced correctly or that recitation isn’t done with laziness.
Ghair-Muqallid Wahabies (those who reject the Four Imams) call Shabeena Haraam.
In other words, they curse those who recite the Quran the entire night. What deen do these people have?
PROOF OF SHABEENA
To complete the recitation the entire Holy Quran in one night is a means of thawaab, proven from the Quran, Hadith, rational thinking and the books of Wahabies themselves:
1. Allahعزوجل says to His Beloved صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم,”O Beloved covered in a sheet! Stand the entire night except for some part of it, half the night or less than it, or increase on this, and recite the Holy Quran with modulation (Tartee1).”35.1 -Surah Muzammil, Verses 1-4
In this ayat, the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is ordered to perform narnaaz approximately the entire night. In the beginning of Islam, making ibaadat the entire night was Fardh, with just a small part of the night being allowed for rest. The obligation was annulled (mansookh) a year later-but its preferability (istihaab) still remains. So, whoever remains awake the entire night and sleeps very little acts upon this ayat. It should be bared in mind, however, that only he who can properly recite the Holy Quran should make Shabeena, as deduced from the instruction of Tarteel.
2. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ mentions a long Hadith about Namaaz-e-Khusoof. In it, it is stated, “In the Salaah of a lunar eclipse, Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم extended his standing (Qiyaam) equal to the recitation of approximately Surah Baqarah,” 35.2
We come to know that the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم recited Surah Baqarah (2 lh paras) in Salaatul.Khusoof. In Shabeena, 1 ½ paras occur in each rakaat, so if ½ paras are proven to have been read in one standing, 1 ½ is definitely permitted.
3. Hadrat Huzaifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ reports a very long Hadith about the Holy Prophet’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم Tahujjud narnaaz. His last words were, “The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم performed rakaats of Tahajjud namaaz. In these, he recited Surah Baqarah, AaleImran, Surah Nisaa, Ma’idah and Anaarn.” 35.3 – Abu Dawud
Here we see that the Messenger صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم recited approximately 8 paras in 4 rakaats of Tahajjud namaaz. In other words, he read close to 2 paras in each rakaat! This much would not be necessary to complete Shabeena (since only1½ paras are required). Why then would it be Haraam?
4. Hadrat Mugheerah ibn Shu’ba رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ reports, “In the namaaz of the night, the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم stood in it so much that his feet became swollen. When he was asked why he strives so much whereas, through him, his Ummati’s former and latter sins have been forgiven, he answered, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful bondsman of Allahعزوجل?” 35.4 – Muslim, Bukhari
This Hadith establishes that to exert yourself in ibaadat is the Sunnah of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.If a Mu’rnin’s feet become swollen in Shabeena, he is fortunate to have attained this Sunnah. Wahabies don’t have the good fortune of making ibaadat themselves, so they stop others from doing so as well.
5. Hadrat Ibn Seereen رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Hadrat Tameem Daari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to remain awake the whole night and recite the entire Quran in one rakaat.” 35.5 -Tahaawi
In Shabeena, the Quran is recited within 20 rakaats of Taraweeh. The Sahaabi however, Hadrat Tameem Daari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to recite the entire Quran in only one!
6. Hadrat Is’haaq ibn Sa’eed رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ also reports from his father that, “Hadrat Abdullah ibn Zubair رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ recited the whole Quean in one rakaat.” 35.6 Tahaawi
7. Hadrat Uthman ibn Abdur-Rahman Teemi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “My father said to me, “I once decided that I shall remain awake the entire night at Maqaame-Ibrahim. So, after I performed Esha Salaah, I went to it and was about to stand (for salaah) when someone suddenly tapped my shoulder. It was Hadrat Uthrnan ibn Affan رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.He began reciting from Surah Fatiha and continued until he completed the entire Holy Quran. Thereafter, he made Ruku and Sajda and completed his Salaah. I don’t know whether he had read namaaz before this or not.”35.7 – Hulya of Abu Nu’aim
8. Hadrat Ibrahim Nakha’i رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Hadrat Aswad رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to complete an entire Quran every second in the month Ramadaan and would sleep between Maghrib and Esha.35.8-Hulya
9. And Hadrat Hammad-s-narratesرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ “The Sahaabi, Hadrat Sa’eed ibn Jubair رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ recited the entire Quran in one rakaat in the Baitullah Sharif.” 35.9Tahaawi
These Ahadith prove that remaining awake for the better part of the night, performing Namaaz, making Qiyaam daily (until even the feet become swollen) and reciting 2½ paras of the Quran in one rakaat is the Sunnat of the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم while reciting the entire Quran in one or two nights or even in one rakaat is the Sunnah of the Sahaaba. Whoever now calls Shabeena Haraam, Shirk or as sin is a plain idiot.
10. The practice of the Sahaaba is recorded in the following manner, “One group (amongst them) completed the Holy Quran in one day and night, another completed it twice while others finished it thrice. Those who completed it in one rakaat are countless.”35.10 Mirqaat, Baabu Tilaawatil-Quran
Rational thinking also proves that Shabeena should be considered ibaadat, not Haraam, because the reward of ibaadat is attained according to the amount of effort carried out. Extra thawaab will be attained (not punishment) by keeping fast during hot summer days, fighting Jihad by sword or performing a strenuous Hajj. How then can it be said that Muslims who perform namaaz the entire night for Allah’s عزوجلpleasure whilst reciting great portions of the Holy Quran attain punishment instead of reward? Reading one letter of the Holy Quran gains the reader the reward equivalent to 10 good deeds. So it’s surprising that instead of good deeds now being received for reading the entire Quran, punishment is conversely attained! As a miracle, Hadrat Dawood علیہ السلام recited the entire Zabur in a short space of time (as stated in the Ahadith). So, if punishment is attained by reciting the Holy Quran in one night, Hadrat Dawood رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ would be a sinner (Allahعزوجل Forbid!)! May Allahعزوجل grant these people understanding.
Speaking of the excellences of the founder of their sect (Maulwi Ismail Dehlwi), Wahabies write that he used to complete the Holy Quran from Asr until Maghrib salaah, with people hearing the entire Quran in a small space of time. – Arwaahe- Thalaatha.
Now, we ask the Wahabies: You curse and abuse our Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ because he used to complete a Holy Quran once every day and once every night during Ramadaan. Your Ismail Dehlwi used to finish one Quran from Asr until Maghrib. Is he also worthy of abuse or not? Is he a sinner and faajir, or is he excused for being your leader? Please answer.
OBJECTIONS AND ANSWERS TO PERFORMING SHABEENA
OBJECTION 1: The Holy Quran states, “Recite the Holy Quran by regulating (TarteeI).”35.11 – Surah Muzammil, Verse 4
It’s apparent that if, in every rakaat, 1½ paras are read to complete an entire Quran in one night, the Haaflz would have to read very fast. This necessitates not understanding anything besides ‘Ya’iamoon’ and ‘Ta’iamoon’. It’s for this reason that making Shabeena is contrary to the Holy Quran’s command.
Answer – There are two replies to this objection,
l. Your founder, Ismail Dehlwi, used to recite the whole Quran from Asr until Maghrib. Was he also guilty of this? Did he commit Haraam or not? Hadrat Dawood علیہ السلام used to recite the entire Zabur Sharif very fast. Hadrat Uthman Ghaniرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ , Tameem Daari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, Abdullah ibn Zubair رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ etc, who are senior Sahaaba, used to recite the entire Holy Quran in one rakaat! The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم himself would read 2 paras in one rakaat of Tahajjud namaaz and 1 Yz in Salaatul-Khusoof (references for these have already been given). Will your objections be leveled against these personalities as well? If not, why?
2. Allahعزوجل has blessed some people with such fluent reading that even though they read very fast, their reading is still clear. Others don’t have this ability, and so when they read, nothing except ‘Ya’iamoon’ and ‘Ta’iamoon’ is understood. Shabeena should only be performed with the first type, not with the second. This is the meaning of the ayat. Thus, both its meaning and the practice of performing an extended recitation in one rakaat (as proven by the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and his revered Sahaaba) are also correct.
OBJECTION 2: Hadrat Abdullah ibn Amr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ reports that Rasoolullah said, “Whoever recites the Holy Quran in less than three days won’t understand it.” 35.12 – Mishkaat, Baabu Tilaawatil-Quran
Thus, because we wouldn’t understand the Imam’s recitation, Shabeena is absolutely prohibited.
Answer – There are a few replies to this,
1. This Hadith is against you as well. You say that Shabeena of three days is Haraam while this Hadith allows it.
2. Your leader, Maulwi Ismail Dehlwi, used to complete one Quran from Asr until Maghrib. He also falls under this. Clear his name and whatever is your answer will be ours.
3. In this Hadith, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is referring to the general public. Usually when Huffaaz complete the Quran in one or two days, they are not able to understand it. Those who have the ability to are excluded from this-e.g. Hadrat Uthmanرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and other Sahaaba who would complete the Quran Sharif in one rakaat. This is why Mirqaat and Lam’aat state in the annotation of this Hadith that some Buzurgs used to complete the Quran in one day and night while others would complete eight! In fact, Shaikh Abu Madyun Maghribi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to complete 70,000 Quran Sharifs during a single night! Once, he completed a Quran Sharif after kissing the Hajar-e-Aswad and approaching the door of the Holy Kaaba. Those around him heard every single word of it. – Mirqaat, Baabu TiIaawatil-. Quran, Vol. 2, Pg. 216
Mulla Ali Qari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ further states, “The truth is that this command is different in relation to the diversity of people.” – Ibid
OBJECTION 3: The ending words of a lengthy Hadith reported by Hadrat Abdullah ibn Amr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ are, “Complete the Quran in one week. Do not exceed this.” 35.1-4 _ Muslim, Bukharl
The summary is that Hadrat Abdullah ibn Amr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ requested the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم for permission to complete the Quran quickly. He was ordered to first make one khatam in one month.
When he persisted, the Prophet replied, “The Quran shouldn’t be completed in less than a week.” Thus, Shabeena is prohibited.
Answer – The Prophet’s reply to Hadrat Abdullah ibn Amr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was in relation to his condition. He probably wouldn’t have been able to read clearly if he had to finish the Holy Quran in a couple of days. Or, here perpetual recitation is what is being referred to. In other words, if every person began completing the Quran every day, worldly works would be left incomplete. There is no problem in completing the Quran once in 1 ½ days during the entire year. Those Sahaaba who recited the entire Quran in a single rakaat knew this Hadith, so why didn’t they abandon this practice?
OBJECTION 4: The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم never recited the Quran Sharif within one or two nights. Shabeena is an Innovation and we should save ourselves from these.
Answer – Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم not reciting the Quran in a couple of nights is due to two reasons,
l. In the initial period of his life, the entire Quean was not revealed. Its revelation was completed just before his demise.
2. The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم had mercy on his Ummah. If he continuously practiced Shabeena, it would have become a necessary Sunnah on them. Thus, Shabeena was made by his Sahaaha afterwards. The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم didn’t always perform Taraweeh either but the Sahaaba did with jarnaat later on.
Remember that Shabeena is the Sunnah of the Sahaaba. Insha-Anah, practicing their Sunnat has the same thawaab of completing the Noble Messenger’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Calling the Sunnah of the Sahaaba “Bad Innovations” and prohibiting it is the misfortune of the Wahabies. We, the Ahle-Sunnah, don’t dare do such things.
OBJECTION 5: The state of Shabeena today is that the Haafiz continues to recite the Holy Quran even though some muqtadis are asleep, yawning or sitting from laziness. This is disrespectful to the Holy Quran and thus the reason why it should be stopped.
Answer – This is an absolutely false accusation. Some people solemnly attend Shabeena to listen to it (standing and listening attentively). Some come merely to see it and remain seated. There is nothing wrong with this. Listening to the Holy Quran is Fardh-e-Kifaaya and so the listening by only some is sufficient.
Hypothetically, even if it is accepted that all Muslims listen to Shabeena in laziness, effort should be made to remove the laziness, not stop the Shabeena. Today, there are many sins committed in weddings, such as dancing, music, fireworks, etc. Please don’t prohibit Nikah! Try to stop these incorrect practices. There were idols in the Holy Kaaba during the time of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Instead of bringing down the entire construction, he removed the idols when Allahعزوجل ultimately granted him the power to do so. If a dog enters a Musjid, don’t destroy the mosque, but take out the dog. If there are lice in your hair, don’t set flame to your scalp. It is a very strange practice of Wahabies that instead of removing the ills in ibaadats, they try to prohibit the ibaadat itself. Through this feeble excuse, these people wish to stop all good acts such as Meelad Sharif, Khatam-e-Khwajagaan, etc.
If my Sunni brothers remember my answer, Insha-Allah, they will be safe from the mischief of the Wahabies.
“وصلی اللہ تعالٰی علی خیر خلقہ و نور عرشہ سیدنا محمد و الہ و صحبہ اجمعین امین برحمتک یا ارحم الراحمین”
Ahmad Yaar Khan Naeemi Ashrafi Badayuni
Patron of Madrassah Ghousia Naeemia, Gujarat, Pakistan