The festival of Shab-E-Barat is celebrated with pomp and
enthusiasm by Muslims all over the world. For, Muslims
believe that on the night of Shab-E-Barat god writes the
destinies of all men for the coming year by taking into
account the deeds committed by them in the past.
The festival is celebrated held either on the thirteenth
or on the fourteenth day of Shaban, the eighth month of
the Muslim year. This happens to be fifteen days before
the beginning of Ramadan.
Shab-E-Barat means the night of forgiveness or Day of
Atonement. People pray to god both in preparation for
Ramadan and for the forgiveness of the sins committed by
them. The festival is also known as Boraks Nigh.
In Persian language, ‘Shab’ means night and ‘Barat’
means ‘the night of commission or assignment’. In Arabic
language, however, the day is known as Lailatul Bara'at,
meaning the night of emancipation. Some though see
Shab-E-Barat as the night of good fortune and a popular
legend says that on this night the Prophet visits each
house and relieves the pains of suffering humanity.
The night of Shab-E-Barat also commemorates the entry of
Muhammad into the city of Mecca. However, Shia Muslims
associate this night with the birth of their last Imam.
Skies light up on the night of Shab-E-Barat as the
festival is celebrated in the night. Houses and streets
are are also illuminated by candles and strands of
electric bulbs to provide a joyful ambiance to the
Colourful fire works keep dazzling the skies as the
Muslims stay awake on the night of Shab-E-Barat. This is
due to a belief that god writes the destinies of all
living beings for the coming years in heavens during the
Sweets, specially the delicious savaiyyan or the
vermicelli is prepared and sent to friends and also to
the relatives in their remembrance of those who died
during the year. Some also perform acts of charity by
distributing goodies to the poor and needy in the name
of their deceased ancestors. Flowers are also offered to
the graves of the deceased family members.
Fatiha or the blessings are recited over the meal in the
name of the Prophet, his daughter Fatima and her husband
Ali. The Holy Book of Quran is also read to mark the
day. Muslims hold a belief that if someone prays to
Allah throughout the night and seek forgiveness for all
the sins he may have committed, he could be forgiven.
Therefore, the entire night of prayer is devoted to
asking for forgiveness for the past year and for good
fortune in the year to come.
Some people also go to mosques for prayers and
meditation. While some Muslims fast during the day and
render nafal, the optional namaz at night.It may be
noted that there is no mention of Shab-E-Barat in the
holy book of Quran. However, Sura Dukhan does mentions
about Laila Mubaraka, which, according to the learned
scholars of the Quran and the Hadith, is Shab-E-Barat.