Ash-Shaafi‘i's opinion that supplication is recommended on specific nights
Fatwa No: 296533

Question

the shaykh in a musjid quoted imam ALShafie as saying that "it has come to us that 4 nights are for beseeching ALLAH (swt) the first night of RAJAB the 2 nights of the EIDS and the 15 night of SHABAAN" is this based on authentic narrations.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Imaam Ash-Shaafi‘i  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him made this statement in his book Al-Umm with the following wording:

We were informed that it used to be said: The supplications are answered on five nights: the night of Friday, the night of Al-Adhha, the night of Al-Fitr, the first night of Rajab and the night of the middle of Sha‘baan. Ar-Rabee‘ said: Ash-Shaafi‘i said: Ibraheem ibn Muhammad said: I saw the prominent elders of Madeenah come to the Masjid of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, on the night of ‘Eed and supplicate Allaah and mention Allaah until one hour of the night had passed. And we were informed that Ibn ‘Umar used to pass the night of Juma‘ in worship. The night of Jama‘ is the night of Eed al-Adhha, as the next morning is the Day of Sacrifice. Ash-Shaafi’i said: I consider everything that has been reported about these nights to be commendable but not compulsory.

However, we have not come across any evidence from the Quran or the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to support that supplication on these nights is recommended. What Imaam Ash-Shaafi‘i  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him based his statement on was what he had reported on the acts of the Salaf (righteous predecessors).

Allaah Knows best.

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