Sun 20 Jm2 1435 - 20 April 2014
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Increased Deaths in the Month of Sha’ban

Is there any report that more souls are taken during Sha’ban?

Praise be to Allah.

What is mentioned in some reports is that the names of those for whom death has been decreed in the coming year are all revealed to the Angel of Death in the month of Sha’ban, and that he is told of their names in scrolls from Allah, or that the annual decree of people’s deaths is written in Sha’ban, so death is decreed in this month according to these reports. 

But these reports and haadeeths (narrations) are all weak (da’eef), so they should not be relied upon and no attention should be paid to their contents. 

Al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

There is no reliable hadeeth about Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’ban (the fifteenth night of Sha’ban) or about its virtues, or that people’s deaths are decreed on this day, so no attention should be paid to that. End quote. 

Ahkam al-Quran (4/117): 

This has been discussed previously, and we have quoted comments of the scholars on this topic in the answers to questions no. 8907, 49675 and 49678

We will quote here some of the reports quoted by al-Suyooti (may Allah have mercy on him) which speak of the decree of death during Sha’ban, in his book al-Durr al-Manthoor (7/401-401), and we will comment briefly on each report. 

He (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Ibn Jareer, Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Hatim narrated via Muhammad ibn Sooqah from ‘Ikrimah: “Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [al-Dukhan 44:4].   He said: On the night before the fifteenth of Sha’ban, the affairs of the year are decreed, and death is decreed for some people, and it is decreed who is going to perform Hajj, and no name will be added to or omitted from whatever is decreed.”

This is contrary to the correct view and interpretation of the verse on which the salaf (pious predecessors) were agreed, which is that what is meant thereby is Laylat al-Qadar. This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 11722  

Ibn Zanjawayh and al-Daylami narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Death is decreed from one Sha’ban to another, even if a man gets married and a child is born to him when his name is among those who are going to die.”  

This was classed as da’eef by al-Shawkani in Fath al-Qadeer (4/801); al-Albani said in al-Silsilat al-Da’eefah (no. 6607): It is munkar (denounced). 

Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated that ‘At’ ibn Yasar said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast in any month more than he did in Sha’ban, and this is because death is decreed for some people in that month for the coming year.  

This is mursal (a narration whose chain stops at the Successor) and da’eef (weak). 

Abu Ya’la narrated from ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’ban. She asked him about this and he said: “Allah decrees in it every soul who will die that year, and I want the decree of my death to come to me when I am fasting.” 

This was narrated by Abu Ya’la in al-Musnad (8/311). Its isnad (chain of transmission) includes Suwayd ibn Sa’eed al-Hadathani, and Muslim ibn Khalid al-Zanji, and Tareef, all of whom are classed as da’eef in books of narrators’ biographies. 

Al-Deenoori narrated in al-Mujalasah from Rashid ibn Sa’d that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “On the night before the fifteenth of Sha’ban, Allah reveals to the Angel of Death to take the soul of every person whom He wants to take (in death) that year.” 

Al-Mujalisah wa Jawahir al-‘Ilm (p. 206). It is mursal and was classed as da’eef by al-Albani in Da’eef al-Jami’ (no. 4019). 

Ibn Jareer and al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eean narrated from al-Zuhri, that ‘Uthman ibn Muhammad ibn al-Mugheerah ibn al-Akhnas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Death is decreed from one Sha’ban to another, even if a man gets married and a child is born to him when his name is among those who are going to die.”  

Al-Shaykh al-Albani said in al-Silsilat al-Da’eefah (no. 6607): It is munkar. 

Ibn Abi’l-Dunya narrated that ‘Ata ibn Yasar said: When the night before the fifteenth of Sha’ban comes, a scroll is given to the Angel of Death, and it is said: Take (the souls) of those who are mentioned in this scroll. A man may furnish a house and get married and build houses, but his name is already written among those who are to die. 

These are only the words of ‘Ata; there is no isnad for this report. 

Al-Khateeb and Ibn al-Najjar narrated that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’ban, until he joined it to Ramadan, and he did not fast any month in full except Sha’ban. I said: O Messenger of Allah, is Sha’ban one of the dearest of months to you in which to fast? He said: “Yes, O ‘Aishah, for there is no soul who is to die during the year but his death is decreed in Sha’ban, and I want my death to be decreed when I am worshipping my Lord and doing righteous deeds.” 

The version narrated by Ibn al-Najjar says: “O ‘Aishah, in it the Angel of Death writes down whose soul he will take, and I do not want my name to be written down except when I am fasting.” 

Narrated by al-Khateeb in Tareekh Baghdaad (4/436). Its isnad includes Abu Bilal al-Ash’ari who was classed as da’eef by al-Daraqutni, as it says in Mizan al-I’tidal (4/507). It also includes Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Humayd al-Makhdoob, Abu Ja’far al-Muqri, of whom al-Daraqutni said: he is not strong. So the hadeeth is da’eef jiddan (very weak). 

To sum up: There is no saheeh hadeeth to suggest that there are more deaths in Sha’ban. 

And Allah knows best.

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