I have been researching mid-shaban and when looking at the opinion of Shaykh al islam ibn taymiyyah, at one place I found that he said that gathering in the masjid is makruh but in Majmoo fatawa he states that it is not makruh Majmu’ Al-Fa??w?’, (23/131).
So what was his position regarding gathering in the masjid please? I have read many other fatawas and I understand that singling out 15th shaban is an innovation but I would just like to understand the view that ibn taymiyyah had please.
Jazakum allahu khairan
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, is His slave and Messenger.
The statements of Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah on this issue are consistent and involve no contradiction. He reported the scholarly difference of opinion regarding the merits of the night of mid-Sha‘baan in Iqtidhaa’ As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem Limukhalafat As-Haab Al-Jaheem. He stated therein that there is nothing wrong with performing voluntary night Prayers on that night. However, he condemned gathering for voluntary night Prayers in congregation on that occasion and believed it to be a newly invented practice. He said: “As for the night of mid-Sha‘baan, it is meritorious. Some of the righteous predecessors used to perform voluntary night Prayers on that night, but gathering for the purpose of congregational worship in the mosques on it is a religious innovation, and the same applies to As-Salaah Al-Alfiyyah (a one-hundred-Rak‘ah congregational Prayer in which Soorat Al-Ikhlaas [Chapter 112 of the Quran] is recited one thousand times).” [End of quote]
He also said in Al-Mustadrak ‘ala Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa: “As for the night of mid-Sha‘baan, it is meritorious, and some of the righteous predecessors used to perform voluntary night Prayers on it, but gathering in the mosques for worship in congregation on that specific night is a religious innovation. The As-Salaah Al-Alfiyyah on the night of mid-Sha‘baan and gathering to perform regular voluntary Prayers in congregation on that night is a religious innovation as well. Instead, they used to perform voluntary night Prayers in their homes. There is nothing wrong if a person is joined by some people occasionally to perform voluntary night Prayers in congregation on that night or other nights without making it a habit. It was narrated that the Prophet performed voluntary night Prayers in congregation one night with Ibn ‘Abbaas and another night with Huthayfah. The ruler should forbid such innovative gatherings for worship.” [End of quote]
The statement by the Shaykh that you mentioned conforms with that as it forbids gathering for that night and states that it is a religious innovation. It reads: “If a person performs (voluntary night) Prayer on the night of mid-Sha‘baan individually or in a private group, like some people from the righteous predecessors used to do, then it is good. As for assembling in the mosques to perform a specific Prayer in congregation – such as offering one hundred Rak‘ahs of Prayer in which Soorat Al-Ikhlaas is recited one thousand times on a regular basis – this is a religious innovation which none of the leading scholars ever recommended.” [End of quote]
In the above statement, the Shaykh is saying that it is permissible to perform congregational Prayer on that night if it is performed in such a manner occasionally, like other voluntary Prayers, not on a regular basis like the Taraaweeh congregational Prayers in Ramadhaan, and this is clear; praise be to Allah.
Allah Knows best.
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