Shab e Barat is one of the most prominent Islamic rituals that Muslims celebrate in the month of Shaban which is the 8th month of Islamic calendar. Muslims all over the world celebrate Shab e Barat with religious interest and make special preparations for this night in the form of standing up in prayers all night and keeping fast during the day.
Muslims worship Allah Almighty and in return Allah (SWT) rewards the efforts of the worshippers. Shab-e-Barat is one such occasion when one’s heart gets softened and one naturally feels more inclined to His obedience. Literal meaning of Shab-e-Barat is the night of salvation or the night of freedom from the Fire of Hell. The night of Barakah occurs in Mid Shaban that is between the 14th and 15th day of Shaban. In Arab this night is known as Laylat-ul-Baraa, or Laylatun Nisf. The blessed night starts at sunset on the 14th and ends at dawn on the 15th of Shaban.
Shab-e-Barat the 15th of Shaban is one of the most revered nights in which Muslims seek Allah’s forgiveness and blessings and repent over their sins. Hazrat Ali (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “When it is the fifteenth of Shaban, then stand (in worship) at night and fast during the day. Because Allah descends in this night at sunset to the first heaven and says: ‘Is there any seeker of forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there any seeker of sustenance, that I may sustain him? Is there anyone in affliction, that I may remove his affliction? Is there anyone like this, like that (and so on)’. This continues until Fajr.” (Ibn Majah)
During the virtuous night of 15th Shaban, Muslims make special preparations to pray at night from dusk till dawn. Moreover, besides the general prayers, Muslims also kept fast the consequent day as well to earn maximum rewards from Allah Almighty. Muslims pray various Nawafil prayers to earning the blessings from Allah (SWT). On the Night of 15th Shaban, after Maghrib or Isha prayer it is traditional practice to read Surah Yasin and make special supplications for good health, protection from calamities and to increase faith.
Shab-e-Barat is the night in which Allah Almighty forgives all those who believe Him and who don’t hate others. In hadith it is stated by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that: “In the fifteenth night of Shaban, Allah manifests and forgives all His creation except for the Mushrik (idolater) and the spiteful.” (Ibn Majah)
Hazrat Aisha (RA) reported that: “ The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘On the middle night of Shaban (that is, Shab-e-Barat), Allah most high descends to the lowest heaven and remits more sins than the hair of the goats of Banu Kalb’” (Jami Tirmidhi). So, we can say that Shab e Barat is one of the blessed nights in which a Muslim can repent on the previous mistakes and sins with a true heart and receive forgiveness from Allah Almighty. The 15th of Shaban is the blessed night in which a Muslim can turn towards Allah Almighty and find His doors of forgiveness open for him or her.
Shab-e-Barat the 15th night of Shaban is one of the blessed and bountiful nights of the Islamic year. Muslims must stand during the night praying and ask forgiveness and mercy from Allah Almighty, while during the day try to keep a fast to gain maximum benefits and rewards from the blessed night. Therefore, every Muslim must make use of this night and repent in front of Allah Almighty so that He forgives the sins that a person committed throughout the year. Ameen!