(Surat ul Baqara – 149)
From wheresoever you start forth, turn your face in the direction of the Masjid-e-Haram (Baitullah); that is indeed the truth from the Lord. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
This article was written by Shehzada Dr Aziz Bhaisaheb Qutbuddin in 1436H about the significance and meaning of this night and this prayer… Click play below to listen to the audio version.
In the month of Shabaan, the month of Rasulullah SA, the eve of the 15th of Shabaan (Shabbarat) is the night in which Rasulullah was divinely instructed to face the Ka’ba, Masjid-e-Haraam, when praying namaaz. (Earlier, namaaz was prayed facing Masjid-e-Aqsa). This historic occasion is referred to in the Qur’an in the ayat quoted above. As is the case with all Quranic ayats, the ayat above also has a deeper meaning which our Hudaat have expounded in our kitaabs. One significance explained is that Shabbarat is the midpoint of the month of Rasulullah, thereby this night signifies the marker between the two parts of Rasulullah’s Dawat: 1) Tanzeel – the revelation received by Rasulullah and presented in the Qur'an and Shariat and 2) Ta’weel – the meanings embedded in the revelation, the elucidation of which was delegated by Rasulullah to Maulana Ali SA.
For historic and symbolic reasons, this night is one of the most auspicious in the Islamic calendar. Maulana Ali SA said that the eve of 15th Shabaan is one of the four most auspicious nights in the year (the other three are: 1) the eve of the 27th of Rajab (Me’raj ni raat), 2) the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, 3) the eve of Eid-ul-Adha - Lailatul Qadr is not included in these four nights because it is on a different level by itself). Amirul Mumineen said that on these four nights one should occupy himself only with the ‘ibaadat and remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, our Hudaat guide us to pray tatawwu’ washeq namaaz on all these nights. The washeq on the 15th of Shabaan, however, is unique. It is known as ‘thumm washeq’ due to the length of the qiyaam (standing) in it, the one praying is like a thumm (pillar).
The 14 rak’ats of thumm washeq signify our acknowledgment and acceptance of the Hudood of the Imam: the 12 Hujjats (the first of which is the Baab-ul-abwaab), followed by the Dai, and finally the Mazoon. It is through the guidance and intercession of these 14 Hudood that we reach the Imam.
In this age of seclusion, we recognize these Hudood and receive the illumination of their knowledge and guidance through the Dai. We offer praise and thanks that among the billions of people in this world, we are fortunate to be with the True Dai of the Imam, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin TUS. These Hudood guide us to tahmeed – praise and gratitude of Allah Ta’ala (Surat al-Hamd 14 times), they guide us to tawheed – the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala (Surat Qul-Huwa’allaho Ahad 14 times), and they then teach us isti’aazat – to seek refuge in Allah from those with jealousy and ill-intent (Surat Qul-a’uzo Birab-bil-falaq 14 times and Surat Qul -a’uzo Birab-bin-naas 14 times). These Hudood guide us to the singular and unparalleled ilaahi-maqaam of Maulana Ali and it is for this reason we pray Ayat-ul-Kursi once. By praying this namaaz and recognizing the Hudood we are among the people whom Allah Ta’ala has guided from darkness to light.
To stand firm as a pillar (thumm) in our commitment to Dawat…
It is indeed an effort and a task to pray the 15th raat washeq: to stand straight and focus on ‘ibaadat for so long. The washeq is a manifestation of the effort required to stand firm in the walaayat and taa’at of Awliyaa’ullah and their Hudood. Distractions in this world are many but what is most important is that we face the Masjid-e-Haraam (the Ka’ba) with our bodies and the Imam, the spiritual Ka’ba, with our soul; and that we stand firm in our commitment and belief of the Imam’s Dai. He is our path to the Imam. He is our path to salvation.
It is also worth noting, at a time when Dawat’s enemies are attacking the very position of ‘Mazoon’ to try and discredit the veracity of Syedna Burhanuddin’s RA Mazoon and Mansoos, that the position of Mazoon is one of the 14 Hudood which are signified in the Shabbaraat Washeq, alongside the Dai. This is but one example in which the position of the Mazoon is established as among the Hudood who lead to the Oneness of the Almighty and the straight path. A position that we have been recognizing in the Misaaq for 100s of years and been acknowledging through so many of our actions in ‘ibaadat, such as the 15th raat washeq. Those who did not accept Syedna Burhanuddin’s Mazoon in his lifetime had gone astray. After Syedna Burhanuddin’s wafaat, those who do not believe his Mansoos are truly misguided. The praying of the thumm washeq without recognizing, believing and trusting the Hudood that its 14 rak’ats signify is indeed pointless.