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Passion Islam I August 2008 SPECIAL REPORT / ORLD W NEWS I 19
thus I became happy. I heard him say in constantly been observing this night as Spend as much time of the night as
his prostration: a night of special merits and have been possible in worship individually. No
‘I take refuge of Your forgiveness from spending it in worship and prayers.” specific du‘ã or method of worship has
Your punishment. I take refuge of Your Recommended Deeds been prescribed. One may engage in
pleasure from Your anger. I take refuge The following practices are derived from dhikr, recitation of the Qur’ãn, salãh,
from You. Great is Your eminence. I the traditions of the Prophet sallallahu learning and teaching or any other form of
cannot praise You (as You are worthy of alayhi wasallam which have been ‘ibãdah. However, one must refrain from
praise). Your eminence is exactly as You mentioned above for Sha‘bãn and its worldly talk and wasting of time. If ‘ibãdah
have praised yourself.’ virtuous 15th night. is not possible then at least avoid all sinful
In the morning I mentioned these words It is desirable that one fasts in the month and useless acts and go to bed as soon
to him. He said, ‘O ‘Ã’ishah! Learn them of Sha‘bãn as much as one can. However, as possible.
and teach them (to others) because if fasting in Sha‘bãn is going to affect the In one hadeeth it has been mentioned
Jibra’eel taught me and ordered me fasting of Ramadhãn then one should that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam
to repeat them over and over again in refrain from it. visited the graveyard of Baqee‘. However,
sajdah.’” (Bayhaqi) Although the fast of 15th of Sha‘bãn one may not establish the practice to
Note: Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmãni hãfizahullah can only be derived from the ahãdeeth be Sunnah as there is no mention of
states: “Although the chain of narrators which have a weak chain of narration, Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam
of some of these traditions suffers with nevertheless the fast would be desirable making it a general practice of this night.
some minor technical defects, yet when considering other factors such as: Hence, if one visits the graveyard once in
all these traditions are combined together, The fasts of the first half of Sha‘bãn have a while it will be permissible.
it becomes clear that this night has some special merits as can be seen from the One must refrain in particular from all
well founded merits, and observing this practice of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi those practices which are contrary to the
night as a sacred night is not a baseless wasallam; Sunnah. Many of us deprive ourselves of
concoction as envisaged by some modern The virtues of the fasts of Ayyãmul the blessings of such auspicious moments
scholars who, on the basis of these minor Beedh (i.e. 13th, 14th and 15th of the and the Favours of Allah subhanahu
defects, have totally rejected to give any Islamic month) have been mentioned in wata’aala by following those customary
special importance to this night. In fact, the ahãdeeth; acts which have no basis in the Qur’ãn
some of these traditions have been held A large number of the elders (salaf) of and Sunnah.
by some scholars of hadeeth as authentic the Ummah have been observing the fast May Allah subhanahu wata’aala guide
and the defects in the chain of some of the 15th of Sha‘bãn. us all on the straight path and enlighten
others have been treated by them as Although everyday salãh should be us with the blessings of this sacred month
minor technical defects which, according performed in Jamã‘ah (congregation), on and its blessed night. Ãmeen.
to the science of hadeeth, are curable this auspicious night, one must participate
by the variety of their ways of narration. with deep and solemn care in the Maghrib, By Shaykh Muhammad
That is why the elders of the Ummah have ‘Ishã and Fajr Salãh. Saleem Dhorat
Christian, Muslim leaders
in interfaith dialogue
150 religious leaders, academics gather “We recognize that God’s merciful love
to promote interfaith dialogue at four day is infinite, eternal and embraces all things.
conference. A conference of Muslim and This love is central to both our religions
Christian leaders aimed at promoting and is at the heart of the Judeo-Christian-
interfaith dialogue ended here. Islamic monotheistic heritage.”
The four day event hosted by the Yale Yale theology professor Miroslav Volf
University Divinity School is the first of said that the ‘absoluteness of God’
a series of Christian-Muslim talks to be should not be understood as that of an
held around the world. Future events will all-powerful divinity, but rather as that of a
be hosted in Britain, at the Vatican, and being that irradiates love.
in Jordan. “It is not just the love of God, but love of
Some 150 religious leaders and neighbor also,” Volf, the event organizer,
academics gathered for the event - said.
- mainly protestant theologians and That view of God excludes any
evangelical leaders on the Christian extremism, Volf said. In September Volf
side, and Shiites, Sunnis and Sufis on is scheduled to co-teach a course at Yale
the Muslim side. Six Jewish guests were with British former prime minister Tony
present as observers. Blair titled “Faith and Globalization.”
“The practical issues included world The final text of the meeting avoids
In March there will be another conference
poverty, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mentioning Christian or Muslim
at Georgetown University in the US capital
the situation in Palestine and Israel, fundamentalist ideologies, though the
to look at social and political issues, and
the danger of further wars, and the final declaration does “denounce and
a final gathering will be held in October
freedom of religion,” said Prince Ghazi deplore threats made against those who
2009 at the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for
bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, engage in interfaith dialogue.”
Islamic Thought in Jordan.
describing the closed-door meetings. A similar dialogue between Anglicans
The idea behind the inter-faith
The final declaration, approved and Muslims is scheduled for October
conferences followed the October 2007
by consensus, states that Muslims at Cambridge University in Britain, and
publication of an open letter to Christians
and Christians “affirm the unity and between Catholics and Muslims at the
signed by 138 Muslim leaders in 40
absoluteness of God. Vatican in November.
countries.
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