From Hazrat Ala ibne Haris (R), Hazrat Ayesha Rad says, “Once Rasulullah SallallahuAlaiyhiwa Sallam stood for Salat at night and he stayed in Sajdah for such a long time that I thought he had passed away. I then woke up and shook his thumb. His thumb shook. He got up from Sajdah and completed his Salat and told me,“O `A’ishah (or O Humaira [as he would call her]), have you thought that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would not give you your right?” I said, “No, by Allah, Allah’s Messenger. But when you stayed prostrating so long, I thought you had passed away.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then said, “Do you know what night this is?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “This is the 15th night of Sha`ban. Almighty Allah turns towards His servants on the 15th of Sha`ban and forgives those who ask for His forgiveness, grants mercy to those who ask for it, and delays (punishing or bringing to account) the evil people.”
Shuabul Iman, Baihaqi 3/382 – 368
Another Hadith :
Mu-az Ibne Jabal (RA) quot es Rasulullah SallallahuAlaiyhiwaSallam: “Allah Ta’la looks on to His creation at the half of Shaban, and without ‘mushrik’ (who make partners wit h Allah Taala and jealous people – He forgives all.” (Shahih Ibne Hibban)
Ibn Majah also reported with a weak chain of reporters on the authority of `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
''After sunset on the night of Middle of Sha`ban, Allah in His great mercy and kindness turns towards His creation and asks, "Is there anyone who would seek My forgiveness and I forgive him (or her)? Is there anyone who is in need to ask Me and I provide for his (or her) needs. Is there anyone who is in pain and seeks My help and I help him (or her)? Is there…? Is there…?” until the time of Dawn."
Shab-e- Baraat is observed on the night of 15th of Shabaan (15 days prior to Ramzan). As Muslims worldwide, calculate the beginning of a new day from sunset, Shab-e-Baraat this year is on the night of 27th July, 2010.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is said to have recommended prayers during this night and fasting during the following day.
It reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to visit the Muslim cemetery on this evening and he used to pray for the deceased Muslims.
It is also believed that the all the events, deaths, 'rizq' for the coming year (till next Shab e baraat) is accorded on this night.
To avail full benefit of the night, one has to offer Nifil namaaz throughout the night, recite the Quran, ask for forgiveness, offer supplication (dua). Some formats of Nifil namaaz are circulated these days. Though the formats do not appear in Quran / Hadeeth, they are recommended as they include duas and verses from Quran, which will be beneficial for all of us.
May Allah guide us and show us the right path
Note : The attached video was made in previous Shabaan, hence the timings and venue mentioned towards the end may be ignored