Shab e-Barat, also known as Mid-Sha’ban or Bara’at Night, is a Muslim holiday which is observed all over the world on the evening between the 14th and the 15th Sha’ban, the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. In Islam, Shab-E-Barat means the night of forgiveness or Day of Atonement. According to information on Wikipedia, the word ‘Barat’ means ‘the quality of being guileless’, or ‘without guile or deception’. This year, the month began on April 18, which means the festival this year takes place from dusk on Tuesday, May 1 until dawn the following day. 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 fervor 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. In some Muslim countries, it is also a night to honor 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.
Muslims believe that on this night Almighty Allah decides the fate of all human beings fixing their “rizq” (livelihood) for the next year. 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 neighbors 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 savior of mankind.
Ramadan 2018 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, May 15, and will end in the evening of Thursday, June 14.