Shab-E-Barat also is known as Mid-Sha’ban or Bara’at Night is a Muslim holiday which is celebrated all over the world by the Muslim community. It falls on the 14th and 15th Sha’ban, the eight month of the Islamic calendar. It is believed that on this day Allah forgives sinners. This year, Shab-E-Barat will fall on April 20 (Saturday) and will continue till April 21 (Sunday).
The word ‘Barat’ means ‘the quality of being guileless’, or ‘without guile or deception’. In the Arab world, the festival is referred to as Laylat al-Bara’at. The festival falls in the run-up to Ramadan and is considered the night when God forgives sinners. The holy Shab-e-Barat will be observed tonight across the country with due religious fervour and devotion. It is regarded as the evening when all of the men’s fortunes for the upcoming year are decided and also the time when Allah may forgive those who have sinned. Muslims believe that on this night Almighty Allah decides the fate of all human beings fixing their “rizq” (livelihood) for the next year.
In some Muslim countries, it is also a night to honour those ancestors who have come before you. Muslim devotees will spend the night at mosques and homes offering prayers, reciting from the holy Quran and seeking blessings of Allah for long life, peace, progress and happiness for themselves, their families, relatives and friends.
This is how it is celebrated:
The devotees visit the graves of their loved ones at night and will pray for their eternal peace. Many will also visit shrines of saints. Many families will prepare traditional foods like rice bread and halua (a kind of dessert made usually from semolina, carrot, chickpea or papaya). In Bangladesh, many people will fast on the day after the Shab e-Barat night and in South Asia individuals hand out food and aid to their neighbours and the poor. The date of Shab e Barat is also celebrated as the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi, who is commemorated by Twelver Shia Muslims as being the saviour of mankind.