A feature of the month of Shaban is The Night of Emancipation (Laylatul Bara’ah), which is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Shaban. It is called this because God prepares the destiny for all people for the coming year on this night. Many Sufis and Muslims stay up throughout this night, or part of the night, offering supplication including the prayer especially for this night, Salat al-Khair.
It is related that al-Hasan al-Basri, an eminent Muslim and Sufi Saint said, “Thirty of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger related to me that God will look seventy times upon one who performs this prayer on the night of mid-Shaban and with each glance He will fulfill seventy of that person’s needs; the least of them being forgiveness”.
The wife of the Prophet, Aisha, related, “the Prophet stood up in prayer during part of the night and made his prostration so lengthy that I thought his soul had been taken back. When I saw this I got up and went to move his big toe, whereupon he moved, so I drew back. When he raised his head from prostration, he said, “O Aisha, O little fair one (humayra), did you think that the Prophet had broken his agreement with you?” She replied, “No, O Messenger of God, but I thought your soul had been taken back because you stayed in prostration for so long”. He replied, “Do you know what this night is?” to which she replied, “Allah and His Prophet know best”. He said, “this is the night of mid-Shaban, in which He forgives those who ask for forgiveness and He bestows mercy on those who ask for mercy and He gives a delay to the people of envy and spite”.
Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of the Prophet and a major figure in Islam and Sufism said,” let all of you spend the night of mid-Shaban (or partly) in prayer and it’s preceding day in fasting, for God descends to the nearest Heaven during sunset at the beginning of the night, saying: Is there no one asking forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant them sustenance? Is there no one under trial that I may relieve them? Is there not such-and-such, is there not such-and-such, and so forth, until dawn rises”.
This is the month that the high ranking Shaykhs look at the Preserved Tablets and supplicate to God asking if they can improve matters for their students.
Following the example of the Prophet, many Sufis fast in this month.