Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sufficient provision on the eve of Nisfu Shaaban


Alhamdulillah, yesterday a visitor brought to our attention  a gem which should be in every home - an English translation by Muhtar Holland of Al Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq by the venerable Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani. Its title in English is 'Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth'. InshaAllah we'll get hold of this precious collection soon.

The visitor had kindly highlighted to us a paragraph in the said book on the special prayer called Salat al-Khair for practice on the eve of Nisfu Shaaban. Some of you might notice it in the 'comments' section but we feel it's significant and thus warrants a posting.

These are the words of Ghawth al-Azam as translated by Allahyarham Muhtar Holland:

"As for the ritual prayer traditional for the night of mid-Sha'ban, it consists of one hundred cycles, including one hundred repetitions of Qul Huwallaahu Ahad (that is to say, ten recitations in each cycle [rakaat]). This prayer is called "Salat al-Khair" (the Prayers of Benefit), and its blessings are many and varied. Our righteous predecessors used to gather to perform it in congregation. It contains much merit and rich reward.

It is reported of al-Hassan [al-Basri] (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) that he once said: "Thirty of the companions of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) related to me that Allah will look seventy times upon one who performs this prayer on this night, and with each glance He will fulfill seventy of that person's needs, the least of them being forgiveness."

It is also commendable to perform this prayer on the fourteen nights on which vigil is recommended, as we mentioned in the chapter concerning the merits of Rajab, so that the worshipper may thereby obtain this grace, this merit and reward."

So, last night we made an attempt to perform the 'Prayers of Benefit' while feeling guilty on the quality of our hudur (presence). At one point we thought, fine even if we lacked hudur we should just go on and let our limbs struggle and feel the pain of 'hardwork' so they know they are supposed to work as a servant. Verily we are a servant of Allah and what can a servant present to the Sultan other than a poor gift that is not worth much at all - a present which is chipped, dusty, smelly and ugly! Astaghfirullah.

Allahu Allah we don't even dare to dream about our Lord fulfilling 70 needs of ours. Suffice that He looks down on us and notice we're simply trying to be a servant and that we know we have a Lord to whom we ought to bow and from whom we ask for forgiveness. That He will forgive us because we're not worshipping Him as He ought to be worshipped.

La ilaha illa Anta, Subhanaka inni kuntu minaz zolimin.
You may wish to purchase the book from the publisher directly so click here:
Al Baz Publishing


  1. assalamualaikum
    Pardon me if I'm wrong
    Actually today is Saturday 16.3.11(14 Syaaban)& tomorrow is 15 saaban . Therefore tonight is the time to do the solat nafil.

  2. Wa'alaykumsalam
    No you are NOT wrong. You follow your calendar and we follow our calendar. Khalas.
    Wallahu a'lam.

  3. Astaghfirullah, I just realized I sounded a bit harsh. Please accept my apologies.
    This exact date or timing issue has been going on forever. It depends on where our location is and often times if one belong to a certain group eg tariqa, one may be given advice on the "exact" timing of certain events. But of course we have also been advised to follow the official date given by the respective authority in our country with regard to the start of Ramadhan and Shawal. The other events can be subjective.
    But noted your point that 15 Shaaban starts beginning from Maghrib of 14 Shaaban.
    Wallahu a'lam.
    Again, I am sorry for sounding harsh earlier.