August 18, 2008

Shabe-Barat - The Night of Deliverance

Shab-e-Barat or the night of Emancipation is celebrated on the 15th Night of Shaaban (the 8th Islamic month) by Muslims. It is a night of seeking forgiveness and repenting to Almighty Allah. Muslim devotees spend the night at mosques and houses, offering special prayers. They also hold milad, visit the graves of their near and dear ones and offer prayers for the peace of the departed souls.

The significant distinction of this night, according to Islamic belief, is that all births and deaths on universe for the forthcoming year are written on “Loh-e-Mehfooz”.

Though in the Islamic perspective every night and day has its own importance but some nights have supplementary importance. For example, Lailatul Qadar, Lailatul Miraj, Ashura and the two nights of Eids had extraordinary significance. On the occasion of Shab-e-Barat, Muslims believe, God Almighty showers infinite Mercy and Blesses upon human beings. It is also the night to help the poor and distressed people, to respond to beg mercy and forgiveness from Allah Almighty, the religious clerics believed.

Sweet dishes like Halwa, Kheer and Zarda are cooked and distributed among people. The children celebrate this night in a joyous manner and are seen in the streets with sparklers, skyrockets and small crackers. Houses, shops and other buildings are decorated with colorful lights and diyas (terracotta oil lamps).

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