This is one of the most holy occasions celebrated by Muslims all over the world. It is the 15th day of the Muslim month Shaaban which is eighth in Muslim lunar calendar. In this day Muslims all over the world involves themselves in a festive celebration with night long prayers and offerings to Allah, The God. For the year 2013, the Shab-E-Barat was celebrated on June 23rd.
In Shia traditions the day is not celebrated on the same date as it is done in the Sunni traditions. This day is celebrated with respect and reverence in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
Celebrations of Shab-E-Barat
According to Muslim tradition this night is named as Shab-E-Barat as on this day Allah releases his sinful servants who were destined for the Jahannam or the Hell. The night is marked by constant prayers and asking Allah for forgiveness for the sins performed previously. Muslims recapitulate their past sins and promise Allah that they will not repeat it in their lifetime asking for forgiveness. All the deeds that are against the Shariaah are considered to be sinful and results in a lifetime in Hell after the death.
According to Muslim traditions it is said that on this particular day, a person’s future life, his sustenance and his chance to perform the Hajji will be considered. Also the names of all the souls who will arrive or depart the world are determined based on their Karma. Different countries have different traditions of celebrating this special day according to their customs and cultures. For example some Muslims in Indonesia perform a communal prayer followed by a lecture.
History behind the Shab-E-Barat
The fifteenth day of Shaaban is next to 27th day of Ramadan in auspiciousness. Sunnis observe this day as a night of salvation. It is said that on this night the Amal Nama or the record book of the previous sins and misdoings of every soul is closed by Allah and kept away to preserve them till the day of resurrection and new books are opened. Also, on this very night, all the angels of heaven, i.e. angels of death, birth, happiness, etc. are informed, assigned and instructed by The Allah about their various duties- i.e. how many people will die, how many will be born in the coming year.
On this night Allah opens the doors of forgiveness and mercy for those people who sincerely repent and grieve over their mistakes and make a promise never to repeat them again. They are forgiven if Allah finds that their prayers are true. He also frees punished souls from the hell but does not even look at the soul who is malicious or jealous in heart, denies any womb-relation, cuts off his ties with his parents, who is an alcoholic or who is too proud of himself.
Also, Muslims should visit the cemetery on this night and spend a good amount of time reading and reciting prayers for the deceased and asking Allah for forgiveness on their behalf.
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